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The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, were recently
identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army 1st Lt. Douglas H. Haag, 26, of Louisville, Ky., will be buried June 1, in his
hometown. In early July 1950, Haag, and elements of the 21st Infantry Regiment (IR), 24th
Infantry Division (ID), were deployed along the Kum River in western South Korea to maintain
their positions long enough for Republic of Korea (R.O.K) forces to retreat to a more defensible
position in the south. From July 10-12, 1950, North Korean forces struck and overran the U.S.
positions, inflicting heavy casualties on the 21st IR. During this attack, Haag was reported
missing near the town of Chochiwon.
When no further information on Haag was received by U.S. forces, and when he failed to
return to U.S. control during the prisoner of war exchanges with the Chinese and North Korean
forces, a U.S. military review board re-examined his status and concluded that Haag was
presumed dead and his remains non-recoverable.
In June 2012, personnel from the R.O.K Ministry of National Defense Agency for KIA
Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) were canvassing South Korea towns and villages to find
information regarding unaccounted-for R.O.K soldiers from the Korean War, when the team
located human remains near the town of Chochiwon. The MAKRI returned the remains and
military equipment over to U.S. officials. Haag’s remains were among those found and
transferred into U.S. custody.
To identify the 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 such as dental comparison which matched Grainger’s
records. They also used mitochondrial DNA - which matched Haag’s brother and sister.
Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the Korean War.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.