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The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and
returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Cpl. Clarence R. Becker, U.S. Army, of Lancaster, Pa. He was buried April 25 in
Indiantown Gap, Pa.
Representatives from the Army met with Becker’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.
On Dec. 1, 1950, Becker went missing in action when the convoy of trucks in which he
was riding was ambushed south of Kunuri, North Korea. He was captured and taken prisoner.
U.S. servicemen who were held in captivity with Becker said he died in the North Korean
Pyoktong POW Camp 5 around May 1951 from malnutrition and disease. He was buried near the
Following the Armistice, the Chinese Army exhumed remains from several POW camp
cemeteries and repatriated them in 1954 to the United Nations forces during Operation Glory.
Becker’s remains could not be identified at the time and were subsequently buried as unknown
remains at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific—the Punch Bowl—in Hawaii.
In 2005, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) reexamined Korean War-era
documents relating to unknowns buried at the Punch Bowl, which suggested that some of these
remains might be identifiable. Later that year, JPAC exhumed a grave there believed to be
associated with Becker.
Among other traditional forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
scientists from the JPAC also used dental comparisons in Becker’s identification.
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.