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.
Army Cpl. William R. Sluss, 21, of Nickelsville, Va., will be buried Feb. 18, in Gate City,
Va. In late November 1950, Sluss and elements of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division were attacked
by Chinese forces near Kunu-ri, North Korea. On Nov. 30, 1950, Sluss, along with many other
American soldiers, was listed as missing in action as a result of that heavy fighting. In 1953,
returning Americans who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Sluss had been captured
by the Chinese, and died in the spring of 1951 as a result of malnutrition while in a prisoner of
war camp in North Phyongan Province, North Korea.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains
believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents, turned
over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from
North Phyongan Province, where Sluss was believed to have been held in “Camp 5.”
To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and
the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, forensic
identification tools such as dental records and radiographs, and mitochondrial DNA – which
matched Sluss’s brother and sister.
Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the Korean War.
Identifications continue to be made from the remains that were returned to the United States,
using forensic and DNA technology.
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) 699-1420.