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.