The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. soldier, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. Lee H. Manning, 20, of Los Angeles, will be buried Nov. 7, in Inglewood, Calif. In late 1950, Manning was assigned to Medical Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division (ID), which was deployed north and east of the town of Kunu-ri, North Korea, when their defensive line was attacked by Chinese forces, forcing the unit to withdraw south to a more defensible position. Before they could disengage, the 2nd ID was forced to fight through a series of Chinese roadblocks, commonly known as the Gauntlet. Manning was reported missing in action during this battle.
In 1953, returning American soldiers who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Manning had been captured by Chinese forces on Dec. 1, 1950, near Kunu-ri, and died as a result of medical neglect on May 31, 1951, in a prisoner of war camp known as Camp 5 in Pyokdong, North Korea.
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 Manning was believed to have died.
To identify Manning’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, to include mitochondrial DNA, which matched his sister and brother.
Today, 7,875 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.