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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 www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.