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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 Sgt. Bernard J. Fisher, 21, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., will be buried July 16, in Arlington
National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. In January 1951, Fisher and elements of Company L,
3rd 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 19th IR attempt to
delay the enemy forces from advancing, Fisher and his unit moved towards a more defensible
position, when the unit suffered heavy losses. It was during this attack, that Fisher was reported
In July 1951, the U.S. Army Graves Registration recovered the remains of four men north
of Shaha-dong, near Seoul, South Korea. The remains were buried in the United Nation
Cemetery at Tanggok, South Korea, and were disinterred and transferred to the U.S. Army’s
Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan for laboratory analysis.
During the analysis the remains of three men could not be positively identified. In March
1955, a military review board declared the remains of the fourth to be unidentifiable. The
unidentified remains were transferred to Hawaii, where they were interred as “unknown” at the
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the “Punchbowl.”
In 2012, U.S. officials reevaluated Fisher’s records and determined that with advances in
technology, the unknown remains could likely be identified. Following the reevaluation, the
decision was made to exhume the remains for scientific analysis identification.
In the identification of the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command (JPAC) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental
comparison and chest radiograph – which matched Fisher’s records.
Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were
previously turned over by North Korean officials. 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 web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.