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 Pfc. Paul L. Tingle, 36, of Montpelier, Ohio, will be buried June 8, in his hometown. In late 1950, Tingle was assigned to Company I, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division (ID), which was deployed north and east of the town of Kujang, North Korea, when their defensive line was attacked by Chinese forces, forcing the unit to withdraw south to a more defensible position. Before they could disengage, the 2nd ID was forced to fight through a series of Chinese roadblocks, commonly known as the Gauntlet. Tingle was reported missing in action during the battle.
In 1953, returning American soldiers who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Tingle had been captured by Chinese forces and died in a prisoner of war camp known as Camp 5 in Pyokdong, North Korea.
Between 1991 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 Tingle was believed to have died.
In July 2001, a joint U.S./D.P.R.K. team excavated a secondary burial site in a field near Kujang, where they recovered human remains. Those remains, and some of the remains turned over between 1991 and 1994, were identified as Tingle.
To identify Tingle’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, to include mitochondrial and autosomal DNA, which matched his sister and nephew.
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.