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The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office 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.
Private First Class Henry L. Gustafson, 18, of Cook Ill., will be buried Oct. 22 in West
Lebanon, Ind. In late Nov., 1950, Gustafson was assigned to 31st Regimental Combat Team in
North Korea, when the division came under attack near Kaljon-ri, near the Chosin Reservoir. The
unit was forced to withdraw to a more defensible position near Hagaru-ri, south of the reservoir.
Private First Class Gustafson was taken as a prisoner of war by the Communist Forces.
After the 1953 armistice, a surviving POW confirmed that Private First Class Gustafson
had been captured by enemy forces, and died from lack of medical care in captivity shortly after
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains
believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. In the late 1990s and early 2000s,
additional human remains were recovered by join U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
teams in North Korea. From these remains the Department was able to identify the remains of
Private First Class Gustafson through DNA testing.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory
also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Private First Class
Gustafson’s mother—in the identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.