The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. soldier, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Norman Dufresne, 20, of Leominster, Mass., will be buried Oct. 19, in Leominster, Mass. In July 1950, Dufresne and elements of G Company, 2nd Battalion of 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division were deployed astride hills along the Chinju-Hadong road, just west of the Nam River, deep within South Korea. In late July 1950, the North Koreans launched a massive attack against 2nd Battalion positions and the American forces fell back from Chinju. Dufresne was lost during the course of this moving battle. He was reported as missing in action July 30, 1950.
In August 1951, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service (AGRS) recovered the remains of a U.S. serviceman from a battlefield near Chinju, South Korea. The remains were buried in the United Nations Cemetery in Tanggok. Several months later, the remains were disinterred and transferred to the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan for laboratory analysis.
In September 1954, a military review board declared the remains unidentifiable. The unidentified remains were transferred to Hawaii, where they were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the “Punchbowl.”
In 2012, analysts from Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) reevaluated Dufresne’s records and determined that, due to the advances in technology, the remains should be exhumed for identification.
To identify Dufresne’s remains, scientists from the (JPAC) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison and radiograph comparisons.
Today, 7,903 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously recovered from North and South Korea.
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) 699-1127.