The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the
remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be
returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Joseph W. Fontenot, 20, of Maurepas, La., will be buried Oct. 27 in Whitehall,
La. In February 1951, Fontenot was assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division when he was captured
by enemy forces near Saemal, South Korea. He reportedly died in June 1951, while in captivity
at Camp 1 near Changsong, North Korea.
In 1954, United Nations and Communist Forces exchanged the remains of war dead in
what came to be called “Operation Glory.” Among the remains that were turned over at that time
were remains of servicemen who had died in Camp 1. All of the remains recovered in Operation
Glory were turned over to the Army Central Identification Unit for analysis. Those which were
unable to be identified with the technology at that time were interred as unknowns at the National
Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.
In 2010, analysts from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) re-examined
the case records and determined that advances in technology could likely aid in the identification
of the unknown remains as one of seven possible soldiers. Once the remains were exhumed,
scientists from JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including
dental records and radiographs, to identify Fontenot.
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.