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 Cpl. Davey H. Bart, 18, of Houston, will be buried March 26 in Humble, Texas. In early November 1950, Bart was assigned to Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, near Unsan, North Korea, when Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces attacked the regiment, forcing the unit to withdraw. Many soldiers attempted to escape and evade the enemy but were captured and marched to prisoner of war camps. Bart was declared missing in action as a result of the battle that occurred between Nov. 1 and 2, 1950.
In 1953, during prisoner of war exchanges known as “Operation Big Switch,” a repatriated American soldier reported that Bart was held as a prisoner of war at the Pyoktong prisoner of war camp and died in February 1951. Additionally, Bart’s name appeared on a POW list compiled by the Chinese, dated Aug. 8, 1953, which stated Bart died while in captivity in March, 1951. Based on this information, a military review board amended Bart’s status to deceased in 1953.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea, account for 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 vicinity where Bart was believed to have died.
DNA testing was performed at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL), Armed Forces Medical Examiner System, Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Tests included mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which traces the maternal line of inheritance; Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR), which traces the paternal line of inheritance; and autosomal DNA, which is individual specific.
To identify Bart’s remains, scientists from DPAA and AFDIL used mtDNA analysis, which matched a sister, Y-STR DNA analysis, which matched a nephew and a sister; dental comparison analysis, which matched Bart’s records; and circumstantial evidence.
Today, 7,820 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea 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.