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The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
U.S. Army Cpl. Charles A. White, 20, of New Lexington, Ohio, will be buried July 29 in New Lexington, Ohio. On December 3, 1950, White was a member of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, when his company’s position was overrun by the Chinese Communist Forces near Huksu-ri, North Korea. Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that White died in captivity at Prisoner of War Camp 1, Changsong, North Korea, in 1951. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared White deceased as of May 12, 1951.
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-14173 were exhumed on May 18, 2015, so further analysis could be conducted.
To identify White’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used anthropological, dental and chest radiograph comparison analyses; mitochondrial DNA analysis, using the Next Generation Sequencing technique, which matched a niece, a nephew and a sister; as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
Today, 7,807 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.