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News Release

Press Release | April 15, 2022

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Mitchem, P.)

WASHINGTON  –   The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Cpl. Paul Mitchem, 20, of Avondale, West Virginia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Feb. 11, 2021.

In July 1950, Mitchem was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on July 7 after his unit sustained heavy casualties while defending against the North Korean army’s advance near Ch’onan, South Korea. His body was not recovered because his unit was forced to retreat, nor were any remains found that could be identified as Mitchem. The Army issued a presumptive finding of death in December 1953, and he was declared non-recoverable in January 1956.

Shortly after recapturing territory around Ch’onan, remains were recovered in October 1950 and designated X-22 Taejon. X-22 was unable to be identified by American Graves Registration Service and was determined unidentifiable in August 1954. The remains were later transported with all of the unidentified Korean War remains and buried as Unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In June 2019 during Phase 2 of the Korean War Disinterment Project, X-22 was disinterred from the Punchbowl as part of the planned exhumation of all 53 burials originating from the United Nations Military Cemetery Taejon, and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii for analysis.

To identify Mitchem’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Mitchem’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Mitchem will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. The date has yet to be determined.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.

To see the most up-to-date statistics on DPAA recovery efforts for those unaccounted for from the Korean War, go to the Korean War fact sheet on the DPAA website at:

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, find us on social media at or

Mitchem’s personnel profile can be viewed at