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.