The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. soldier, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Grant H. Ewing, 28, of Fort Lupton, Colo., will be buried Oct. 19, in his hometown. In late November 1950, Ewing was assigned to Battery C, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division (ID), which was deployed north and east of the town of Kunu-ri, North Korea. On Nov. 25, 1950, 2nd ID was attacked by Chinese forces, which forced the unit to withdraw south to a more defensible position. Before they could disengage, the 2nd ID was forced to fight through a series of Chinese roadblocks, commonly known as “the Gauntlet”. Ewing was reported missing in action during this battle.
In 1953, as part of a prisoner of war exchange known as Operation Big Switch, returning American soldiers who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Ewing was among the many men captured by Chinese forces and died in February 1951, in prisoner of war Camp 5, in Pyoktong, North Korea. His remains were not among those returned by communist forces during Operation Glory in 1954.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea turned over to the U.S. 208 boxes of human remains now believed to contain more than 600 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents turned over with some of the boxes indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where Ewing was believed to have died.
To identify Ewing’s remains, scientists from the DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) used circumstantial evidence, dental comparison, and two forms of DNA analysis including; mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat DNA (Y-STR) analysis, which matched his brother.
Today, more than 7,800 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American recovery teams.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420.