Soldier Missing In Action From Korean War Identified (Barksdale)

Release No: 12-039 July 30, 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. Thomas J. Barksdale, 21, of Macon, Ga., will be buried Aug. 3, in Milledgeville, Ga. In late November 1950, Barksdale, and elements of the 2nd Infantry Division were in a defensive line north of Kujang, North Korea, when they were attacked by Chinese forces, in what became known as the Battle of the Ch’ongch’on. Barksdale was reported missing in action days after the attack. In 1953, after the Armistice, when captured soldiers were returned, American soldiers had no information concerning Barksdale. His remains were not among those returned by Communist forces after the war.

In 2000, a joint U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) recovery team excavated several Korean War fighting positions on a hilltop in Kujang County. Isolated human remains recovered from a nearby foxhole were submitted to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) for analysis.

Scientists and analysts from JPAC and AFDIL used circumstantial evidence, dental records and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Barksdale’s nieces – in the identification of his remains.

Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

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.