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 Master Sgt. Robert V. Layton, U.S. Army, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He is to be buried
tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.
Layton was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry
Division (making up the 31st Regimental Combat Team). The RCT was engaged against the
Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces along the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. After intense
fighting from Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 1950, the 1/32 Infantry was forced to abandon its position, leaving
its dead behind. Layton was listed as Missing in Action on Dec. 2, 1950, and was later presumed
Killed in Action.
Between 2002 and 2004, joint U.S.-Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea teams,
led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), seven times excavated a mass burial
site associated with the 31st RCT along the eastern shore of the Chosin Reservoir. The team
found human remains and other material evidence, including Layton’s identification tag and part
of his billfold containing a newspaper clipping reporting on a Bronze Star being awarded to “Sgt.
Robert Layton” circa 1944.
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) 699-1169.