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. Charles L. Scott, 20, of Lynchburg, Va., will be buried Sept. 5, in his
hometown. In late November 1950 Scott and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team
(RCT) were deployed along the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea when they came
under attack by Communist forces. The 31st RCT began a fighting withdrawal to a more
defensible position near Hagaru-ri, south of the reservoir. Following the battle, Scott was
reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950.
In 1954 the United Nations and Communist Forces exchanged the remains of war dead in
what came to be known as Operation Glory. Remains that were thought to be American were
transferred to the Army’s Central Identification Unit in Japan for analysis. Remains that were
unidentifiable were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as “the
In 2012, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) reassessed the
possibility of identifying the remains using modern technology and the decision was made to
exhume the remains for identification.
In the identification of Scott, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA
Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence, and forensic identification tools
such as dental comparisons, radiograph comparisons and mitochondrial DNA – which matched
Scott’s mother and sister.
Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were
previously turned over by North Korean officials. More than 7,900 American service members
are 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.