The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) 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.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Benny D. Rogers, 25, of Athens, Texas, will be buried on Nov. 12, in
his hometown. In November 1950, Rogers, and almost 600 other 8th Cavalry Regiment soldiers
were killed during a battle south of Unsan, North Korea. Their bodies were not able to be
recovered at the time and were likely buried on the battlefield by Chinese or North Korean forces.
In 2000, a joint U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) team led by the
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a mass grave that had been discovered
in Unsan. Human remains of at least five individuals, and U.S. military uniforms were recovered,
but they were unable to be identified given the technology of the time. In 2007, because of
advances in DNA technology, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory
(AFDIL) reanalyzed the remains.
Among forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the JPAC
and AFDIL used dental records, and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Rogers’ mother
and nephew – in the identification of his remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1420.