Press Release | Aug. 2, 2013

Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Robinson)

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 William Robinson, 26, of Denison, Texas, will be buried Aug. 7, in Indiantown Gap, Pa. In late Nov. 1950 Robinson and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT) were deployed along the east of the Chosin Reservoir near Sinhung-ri, South Hamgyong Province, in North Korea. On Nov. 29, 1950, remnants of the 31st RCT, known historically as Task Force Faith, began a fighting withdrawal to a more defensible position near the Hagaru-ri, south of the reservoir. It was during this withdrawal, Robinson was reported missing.

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 Robinson was last seen.

In the identification of Robinson, 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 and mitochondrial DNA – which matched Robinson’s brother.

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 or call (703) 699-1169.