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The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today the remains of a U.S. serviceman, unaccounted for from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Martin A. King, 18, of Harrisburg, Pa., will be buried Nov. 9 in Annville, Pa. In early November 1950, King was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when his unit was attacked by Chinese forces while occupying a position along the Nammyon River, near Unsan, North Korea. King was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950, while his unit was conducting a fighting withdrawal to a more defensible position.
In 1953, during the prisoner of war exchanges historically known as “Operation Little Switch” and “Operation Big Switch,” American soldiers who were returned told debriefers that King had been captured during the battle and died from malnutrition at Pyoktong POW Camp. His remains were not among those returned by communist forces in 1954.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which we now believe contain the remains of at least 600 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area where King was believed to have died.
To identify King’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, including mitochondrial and Y-chromosome short tandem repeat DNA analyses, 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 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.