The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. soldier, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Ben L. Brown, 17, of Four Mile, Ore., will be buried May 15, in Roseburg, Ore. In early 1951, Brown was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division (ID), which was occupying positions in the vicinity of Hoengsong, South Korea, when their defensive line was attacked by Chinese forces. This attack forced the unit to withdraw south to a more defensible position. After the battle, Brown was reported missing in action. A military review board later reviewed the loss of Brown, declaring him dead and his remains non-recoverable.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains believed to contain more than 400 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents, turned over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where POWs from Brown’s unit were believed to have died.
To identify Brown’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence, dental comparison, which matched his records, and two forms of forensic identification tools, to include mitochondrial DNA analysis, which matched his sister and brother, and Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (Y-STR) DNA, which matched his brother.
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 missing Americans, who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1169.