Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Block)

Release No: 12-043 Aug. 24, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

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. Kenneth R. Block, 22, of Ann Arbor, Mich., will be buried Aug. 29, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. In late November 1950, Block and elements of the 31st Regimental Combat Team, known as “Task Force Faith,” were advancing along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea, when they came under attack. On Dec. 3, 1950, Block, along with many other Americans, was listed as missing in action as a result of the heavy fighting.

In September and October 2001, two joint U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a mass grave that had been discovered on the eastern shore of the Chosin Reservoir. Human remains, of at least 12 individuals were recovered, along with two military identification tags and military equipment.

For 2004 through 2011 scientists from JPAC used mitochondrial DNA to determine the identification of six of the soldiers, who served with Block as part of Task Force Faith. To identify Block’s remains, experts used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including radiograph and dental comparisons.

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.