Press Release | Dec. 4, 2012

Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (King)

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 Sgt. Bobby R. King, 19, of Seymour, Texas, will be buried on Dec. 7, in Dallas. In August 1950, King and his unit, Battery A, 90th Field Artillery Battalion, were fighting against North Korean forces in a battle known as the “Bloody Gulch,” near Pongam-ni, South Korea. After the battle, on Aug. 12, King was listed as missing in action.

In late 1950, U.S. Army Graves Registration Service personnel recovered remains of service members from that battlefield, including nine men who were unidentified. These men were buried at the 25th Infantry Division Cemetery in Masan, South Korea. In 1951, the U.S. consolidated cemeteries on the peninsula and the remains were sent to the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan, to determine whether they could be identified. When scientific analysis determined an identification wasn’t possible, King’s remains were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii and re-interred as “unknown.”

In 2011, due to advances in identification technology, analysts from DPMO and Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) reevaluated the information associated with the remains interred in Hawaii and concluded that if exhumed they could likely be identified. Based on available evidence such as metal identification tags, military clothing, and wartime records, analysts confirmed that the remains were a soldier who died at Pongam-ni.

The remains were exhumed and scientists from JPAC successfully identified King using circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as radiograph comparison and dental records.

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.