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News Release

Press Release | Sept. 5, 2012

Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Ryan)

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Master Sgt. Clifford L. Ryan, 27, of Muscatine, Iowa, will be buried Sept. 8 in Riverside, Calif. On Nov. 1, 1950, Ryan’s unit, the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, occupied a defensive position along the Kuryong River, near Unsan, North Korea. Chinese units attacked the area and forced a withdrawal. Almost 600 men, including Ryan, were reported missing or killed in action following the battle.

In 2000, a joint U.S-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a mass grave discovered earlier in Unsan County, south of the area known as “Camel’s Head.” Human remains, of at least five individuals, and U.S. military uniforms were recovered but they were unable to be identified given the technology of the time. In 2007, because of advances in DNA technology, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) reanalyzed the remains.

Scientists from JPAC and AFDIL determined the identity of the remains using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as mitochondrial DNA–which matched Ryan’s brother and sister.

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.