Press Release | July 3, 2008

Pilot Missing In Action From The Korean War Is Identified (Mauldin)

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.

He is Capt. William K. Mauldin, U.S. Air Force, of Pickens, S.C. He will be buried on July 18 in Easley, S.C.

On Feb. 21, 1952, Mauldin departed Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, on an aerial reconnaissance mission of enemy targets in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.). While over Odong-ni, Mauldin’s RF-51 Mustang was hit by enemy fire and crashed near Sinan-ri, Hoeyang County, D.P.R.K. An aerial search of the crash site was conducted that day and the next, but found no evidence that Mauldin escaped the aircraft before it crashed.

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 set of remains turned over in 1993 included fragments of aircrew life-support equipment, and were reported to be those of an American pilot recovered near Sinan-ri.

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 mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Mauldin’s remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1169.