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 Cpl. Edward F. Blazejewski, U.S. Army, of Elizabeth, N.J. He is to be buried in
Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. on Friday.
Blazejewski was assigned to Medical Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, when his unit came
under heavy artillery attack by Chinese forces near Unsan, North Korea on Nov. 1, 1950. During a
hasty move to a previous defensive position, Cpl. Blazejewski and other soldiers who were killed were
left behind where they died. A U.S. soldier who had been held as a POW by the North Koreans told
debriefers that Blazejewski and others had been killed by a grenade explosion.
In August 1997, a joint U.S.-North Korean team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command (JPAC) excavated a site in Pyongan Province believed to contain the remains of several
U.S. soldiers. Remains representing four men were recovered, as well as an identification tag and a
denture, neither of which were associated with Blazejewski.
The other three soldiers were identified and buried in 2000. Buried at Arlington were Sgt.
James T. Higgins, Benham, Ky.; and Pfc. John L. Hoey, Philadelphia, Pa. Sgt. Andrew Ernandis,
Brooklyn, N.Y. was buried in Hicksville, N.Y. Group remains representing all four soldiers will also
be buried Friday at Arlington.
Among other forensic identification tools, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA
Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Blazejewski’s remains,
matching a DNA sequence from a maternal relative.
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.