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 are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Cpl. Frank H. Smith, U.S. Army, of Liverpool, N.Y. His funeral will be held Thursday in North Syracuse, N.Y.
Representatives from the Army met with Smith’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
In late July 1951, E Company, 5th Regimental Combat Team engaged the enemy about 10 kilometers east of Kimhwa, South Korea, defending against Chinese probing attacks and conducting aggressive patrols. Smith was killed in action during the fighting on July 25 while on a patrol in the vicinity of Hill 734. Friendly forces were unable to recover his body at that time.
In June 2009, personnel from the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification, excavating a former battlefield south of the Demilitarized Zone, unearthed human remains and U.S.-issued military equipment, including two identification tags bearing Smith’s name. The team turned the remains and artifacts over to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command for analysis.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Smith’s sister and niece—in the identification of the remains.
With this accounting 8,022 service members still remain missing from the conflict.
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) 699-1420.