The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sgt. Robert C. Dakin, 22, of Waltham, Mass., will be buried Dec. 12 in his hometown. On Dec. 12, 1950, Dakin was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, and was declared missing in action when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir during a heated battle. A military board later amended his status to deceased when no information was available pertaining to his loss.
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 Dakin was believed to have died.
In June 1999 and July 2001, remains were recovered in Kujang County, North Korea, and in October 2000, additional remains and personal effects were recovered along the Kuryong River, North Korea.
To identify Dakin’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and two forms of DNA analysis, including mitochondrial DNA, which matched maternal references, and autosomal DNA, which matched two sisters.
Today, more than 7,800 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using advances in 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.