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. 1st Class Joseph D. Steinberg, 31, of San Francisco, Calif. will be buried Aug. 1, in San Bruno, Calif. In Feb. 1951 Steinberg and Battery C, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, were a part of the Support Force 21 in a major offensive near Hoengsong, South Korea when they were overrun and suffered over 200 casualties. Steinberg and over 100 men were taken as prisoners. Following the war, Steinberg’s remains were not accounted for.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. service members. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from the area where Steinberg was last seen.
In the identification of Steinberg, 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 comparisons, bone samples, and mitochondrial DNA – which matched Steinberg’s sister, niece, and nephew.
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) 699-1169.