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, have been
identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. William T. Barker, 21, of Rockwall, Texas, will be buried August 15, in
Killeen, Texas. In late November 1950, Barker, and elements of the 2nd Infantry Division were
attacked by Chinese forces near Kunu-ri, North Korea. On Dec. 1, 1950, Barker, along with
many other American soldiers, was listed as missing in action as a result of that heavy fighting.
In 1953, returning Americans who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Barker
had been captured by the Chinese, and died in February of 1951 as a result of malnutrition while
in a prisoner of war camp known as “Camp 5” at Pyoktong, North Korea.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of 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 human remains were recovered from
North Phyongan Province, where Barker was believed to have been held in “Camp 5.”
To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and
the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, forensic
identification tools such as dental records and mitochondrial DNA – which matched Barker’s
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 http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.