The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Arthur Richardson, 28, of Fall River, Mass., will be buried Sept. 18 in Arlington National Cemetery, Washington D.C. In January 1951, Richardson and elements of Company A, 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment (IR), 24th Infantry Division (ID), were deployed northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where they were attacked by enemy forces. During the attempt to delay the enemy forces from advancing, Richardson and his unit were moving towards a more defensible position, when his unit suffered heavy losses. It was during this attack that Richardson was reported missing.
When no further information pertaining to Richardson was received and he failed to return to U.S. control during prisoner exchanges, a military review board reviewed his status in 1954, and changed it from missing in action to presumed dead. In 1956, his remains were declared unrecoverable.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain more than 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Richardson was believed to have died.
In the identification of Richardson’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and Armed Forces DNA Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, to include mitochondrial DNA, which matched his niece and grand-niece.
Today, 7,880 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American recovery teams.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.