Soldier Missing from Korean War Accounted For (Sturm)

Release No: 15-017 April 15, 2015 PRINT | E-MAIL

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Donald R. Sturm, 23, of Elmo, Mo., will be buried April 25, in St. Louis. In late November 1950, Sturm, while assigned to Company C, 19th Infantry Regiment (IR), 24th Infantry Division (ID), was engaged in fighting with enemy forces northwest of Anju, North Korea. After elements of the 19th IR withdrew to a more defensible position, he was reported missing in action Nov. 4, 1950, in the vicinity of Anju.

A soldier who returned after the Armistice was signed in 1953, told debriefers that Sturm had been captured on Nov. 4, 1950, and died from malnutrition and lack of medical care while in captivity at a prisoner of war camp, known as Camp 5, in Pyokdong, North Korea. His remains were not among those returned in 1954 during Operation Glory.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains subsequently determined to be those of more than 400 U.S. servicemen lost during the war. North Korean documents, turned over at that time, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Sturm was believed to have died.

In the identification of Sturm, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and two forms of DNA analysis; mitochondrial DNA and Y-STR DNA analysis, which matched his brothers.

Today, 7,852 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American recovery teams.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420.