The 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. George P. Grifford, 18, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, will be buried June 27 in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington D.C. On Nov. 30, 1950, Grifford was a member of the 37th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near Kunu-ri, North Korea. He was reported missing in action after the battle.
In 1953, the Chinese reported that Grifford died Feb. 6, 1951, while being held prisoner in North Korea. Based on this information, a military review board amended his status to deceased.
In 1954, United Nations and communist forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” All remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis. The remains they were unable to identify were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii, known as the “Punchbowl.”
In 1999, due to advances in technology, the Department of Defense began to re-examine records and concluded that the possibility for identification of some of these unknowns now existed. The remains designated X-14029 were exhumed on Feb. 25, 2015, so further analysis could be conducted.
To identify Grifford’s remains, scientists from DPAA used circumstantial evidence, dental analysis, and chest radiographs, which matched Grifford’s records.
Today, 7,812 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 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.