The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of three U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Korean War, have been
identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Sgt. Donald C. Trent, of Crab Orchard, W. Va.; Cpl. Robert K. Imrie, of
Randolph, Mass.; and Cpl. Samuel Wirrick of Lancaster, Pa.; all U.S. Army. Imrie will be buried
Monday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.; and Trent and Wirrick will be
buried at Arlington in October.
Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns
to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military
honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
In late November 1950, these soldiers were members of the 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry
Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, then operating south of the Chongchon River in North Korea.
Their regiment’s positions came under heavy attack by Chinese forces and the 2nd Battalion was
forced to withdraw to positions near the town of Kujang. On Nov. 27, Imrie was killed in action,
and Trent and Wirrick were reported missing.
In 2000, a joint U.S.-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea-Korean People’s Army
team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a mass burial
believed to contain the remains of U.S. soldiers who died near Kujang. The team found human
remains, Wirrick’s identification tag and other material evidence associated with U.S. Army
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.