News Release

Press Release | July 6, 2012

Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Gobble)

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

Army Cpl. Pryor Gobble, 18, of Jonesville, Va., will be buried July 11, in Concord, Ohio. In late November 1950, units of the 31st Infantry Regiment were advancing along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when enemy forces overran their position. After the battle, Gobble was reported missing in action on approximately Dec. 6, 1950. His remains were not recovered by American forces at that time, nor were they repatriated by the Chinese or North Koreans in “Operation Big Switch,” in 1954.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of human 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 remains were recovered from the area where Gobble was believed to have died in 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir.

To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, and forensic identification tools such as dental comparisons, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA – which matched Gobble’s living sister and brother.

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 or call (703) 699-1169.