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 Pfc. Casimir F. Walczak, 18, of Harvey, Ill., will be buried Sept. 2, in Nordman, Idaho. On Aug. 17, 1950, Walczak and the other soldiers of B Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, came under attack as they took a hill, near the town of Waegwan, South Korea. After the battle, Walczak was reported missing in action.
In 1951, U.S. Army Graves Registration Service (AGRD) personnel recovered remains and a cigarette lighter bearing the initials “E.H.P.,” found near Waegwan. The AGRD transferred the remains to a nearby U.N. Military Cemetery in Tanggok, South Korea, where mortuary personnel were unable to identify the remains and they were buried as "unknown" at the cemetery.
Due to advances in technology, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) re-examined the records in 2011 and concluded that if the remains were exhumed they could be identified. Once the remains were exhumed, scientists from the JPAC determined the identity of Walczak using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including radiograph and dental comparisons.
Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously buried as unknown. 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.