Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Viers)

Release No: 12-017 April 23, 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.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Edris A. Viers, 32, of Swan, Iowa, will be buried April 27, in his hometown. In August 1950, Viers and Battery A, 555th Field Artillery Battalion, were fighting against North Korean forces in a battle known as the “Bloody Gulch,” near Pongam-ni, South Korea. After the battle, on Aug. 12, Viers was listed as missing in action.

In late 1950, U.S. Army Graves Registration Service personnel recovered remains of service members from that battlefield, including nine men who were unidentified. These men were buried at the 25th Infantry Division Cemetery in South Korea. In 1951, the U.S. consolidated cemeteries on the peninsula. The unknown remains were re-interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

In 2011, due to advances in identification technology, the remains were exhumed for identification. Based on available evidence such as metal identification tags, military clothing, and wartime records, analysts from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) were able to conclude that the remains were a sergeant from the 90th or 555th Field Artillery Battalion, who had died at Pongam-ni. Both groups had suffered losses in the Bloody Gulch battle.

Scientists from the JPAC used the circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as radiograph comparisons to identify the remains as Viers.

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.