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The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency 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. Kenneth P. Darden, 18, of Akron, Ohio, will be buried June 27, in his hometown. In late 1950, Darden was assigned to Battery A, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division (ID), which was occupying positions in the vicinity of Hoengsong, North Korea, when their defensive line was attacked by Chinese forces, forcing the unit to withdraw south to a more defensible position. After the battle, Darden was reported missing in action. A military review board later reviewed the loss of Darden, 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 personnel captured from Darden’s unit were believed to have died.
To identify Darden’s remains, scientists from the DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence, dental comparison, which matched his records, and two forms of DNA analysis, mitochondrial DNA, which matched his sister, brother and niece, and Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat (Y-STR) DNA, which matched his brother.
Today, 7,846 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.