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.
He is Pfc. David Woodruff, U.S. Army, of Poplar Bluff, Mo. He will be buried on April 22 in St. Louis, Mo.
Representatives from the Army’s Mortuary Office met with Woodruff’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
Woodruff was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 9th Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. In early 1951, the 2nd ID was augmented by Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) forces and was occupying positions near Hoengsong, South Korea. On February 11, the Chinese Army launched a massive attack on the U.S. line, overwhelming R.O.K. forces and exposing the American flank. The 2nd ID was forced to withdraw to the south and Woodruff was captured by enemy forces. He died in, or near, one of the North Korean prison camps in Suan County, North Hwanghae Province.
Between 1991-94, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. One box turned over in 1991 contained Woodruff’s military identification tag, and a box turned over in 1992 contained remains recovered from Suan County.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains turned over in 1992.
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.