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 returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Sgt. Frank Bunchuk, U.S. Army, of Medina, N.Y. He will be buried Thursday in
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the Army met with Bunchuk’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 November 1950, Bunchuk was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry
Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division then occupying a defensive position southwest of Unsan, North
Korea near a bend in the Kuryong River known as the Camel’s Head. On Nov. 1, parts of two
Chinese Communist Divisions struck the 1st Cavalry Division’s lines, collapsing the perimeter
and forcing a withdrawal. In the process, the 3rd Battalion was surrounded and effectively ceased
to exist as a fighting unit. Bunchuk was one of the more than 350 servicemen unaccounted-for
from the battle at Unsan.
In 2002, a joint U.S.-Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea team, led by the Joint
POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a burial site south of Unsan near the nose
of the Camel’s Head formed by the joining of the Nammyon and Kuryong rivers. The team
recovered human remains.
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 Bunchuk’s 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) 699-1420.