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 Cpl. Edwin L. Galarneau, 21, of Wenatchee, Wash., will be buried April 23, in his
hometown. In late 1950, Galarneau was a member of the Headquarters Battery, 57th Field
Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team. After engaging in a battle with enemy forces
east of the Chosin Reservoir, members of the 31st RCT, historically known as Task Force Faith,
began a fighting withdrawal to a more defensible position. Following the battle, Galarneau was
reported missing on Dec. 6, 1950.
In 1953, a returning American soldier who had been held as a prisoner of war reported that
Galarneau had been captured by Chinese forces on Dec. 2, 1950, and died shortly thereafter as a
result of wounds inflicted during the battle. Galarneau’s remains were not among the remains
repatriated by the Chinese or North Koreans in “Operation Big Switch,” in 1954.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of human remains
believed to contain the remains of 350 - 400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents, turned
over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area
where Galarneau was believed to have died in 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir.
To identify Galarneau’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence
and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison and Mitochondrial DNA analysis,
which matched his cousins.
Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using
modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned
over by North Korean officials.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.