Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For (Craig)

Release No: 13-056 Dec. 12, 2013 PRINT | E-MAIL

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 Pfc. Jerry P. Craig, 17, of Panhandle, Texas, will be buried Dec. 19, in Leesville, La. In November 1950, Craig was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team (RCT). From Nov. 27 to Dec. 2, while deployed along the eastern bank of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, the 31st RCT was attacked by Chinese forces, causing them to begin a fighting withdrawal south to a more defensible position. Following the fighting, Craig was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950.

In 1954, Chinese and North Korean Communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead with the United Nations forces during Operation Glory. The following year a military review board declared many of the remains as unidentifiable and they were transferred to be buried as unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”

Due to advances in technology, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in 2012 determined that the possibility of identifying the remains was likely at that time. The unknown remains were disinterred for analysis and identification.

To identify Craig’s remains, scientists from JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparisons and radiograph comparisons, which matched Craig’s records.

Today, 7,898 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 or recovered from North Korea by American teams.

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.