Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For (Newton)

Release No: 13-057 Dec. 17, 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 Cpl. William A. Newton, 22, of Sikeston, Mo., will be buried Dec. 20, in Sour Lake, Texas. On Nov. 30, 1950, Newton was with the Headquarters Service Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. After a battle with enemy forces, Newton was reported missing in action, near Kunnu-ri, North Korea.

Following the war, returning U.S. service members reported that Newton had been captured by the Chinese and died in February 1951 while held captive in prisoner of war Camp 5 near Pyoktong, North Korea.

During Operation Glory in September 1954, United Nations and Chinese forces exchanged the remains of war dead, some of which were reportedly recovered from POW Camp 5 at Pyoktong.

A military review board declared the remains as unidentifiable in December 1955 and had the remains transferred to Hawaii to be buried as unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the “Punchbowl.”

Due to advances in technology, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) in 2012 determined there was a possibility of identifying the remains. After extensive historical and other research, the unknown remains were disinterred for analysis and possible identification.

To identify Newton’s remains, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison and radiograph comparisons, which matched Newton’s X-rays taken in 1946.

Today, 7,897 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.