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.