The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the
remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified.
He is Sgt. Agostino Di Rienzo, U.S. Army, of East Boston, Mass.
Representatives from the Army met with Di Rienzo’s next-of-kin to explain the recovery
and identification process on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
Di Rienzo was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry
Division then occupying a defensive position near Unsan, North Korea in an area known as the
“Camel’s Head." On Nov. 1, 1950, parts of two Chinese Communist Forces 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. Di Rienzo 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 the 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.