Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Tucker)

Release No: 12-003 Jan. 11, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Cpl. Robert J. Tucker, 27, of Princeton, Ind., will be buried Jan. 15, in Patoka, Ind. On Nov. 25, 1950, Tucker and the 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Division, were attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces near Kujan, North Korea. The Americans had been deployed in a defensive line that ran east-west across the center of North Korea. Tucker was listed as missing in action the day after the attack. In 1954, after the war, surviving POWs said Tucker died of a gunshot wound on Nov. 27, 1950.

In 2001, a joint U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea team interviewed a local witness who told them of a burial site of three Americans. The team investigated and then conducted an excavation of the site in Kujan County, North Korea. The site correlated to the location of the 24th Infantry Regiment on Nov. 27, 1950. The team recovered human remains, military uniforms, and other evidence. In 2009, the remains were submitted for DNA testing.

Among forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Tucker’s sister and niece – in the identification of the remains.

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) 699-1169.