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News Release

Press Release | Nov. 6, 2013

Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For (Conklin)

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. George W. Conklin Jr., 18, of Phelps, N.Y., will be buried Nov. 9, in his home town. In late November 1950, Conklin and members of Company I, 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), historically known as Task Force Faith, were deployed along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, Chinese forces encircled and overran the U.S. positions forcing the 31st RCT to withdraw south along Route 5 to a more defensible position. Following the battle, on Dec. 3, 1950, Conklin was reported missing in action.

From Sept. 21-27, 2004, a Joint U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) team surveyed a field south of the Pungnyuri-gang inlet of the Chosin Reservoir and a second site located south of Route 5. They recovered human remains and material evidence, including uniform insignia worn by the U.S. Infantry and Field Artillery personnel circa 1950.

To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including mitochondrial DNA – which matched Conklin’s brother.

Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were recovered or previously turned over by North Korean officials. As of Nov. 5, there are 7,903 Americans who remain 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 or call (703) 699-1169.