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News Release

Press Release | March 22, 2023

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (White, D.)


The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Cpl. Delbert L. White, 20, of Ottumwa, Iowa, who died as a prisoner of war during the Korean War, was accounted for Sept. 27, 2022.

In late 1950, White was a member of D Company, 2nd Engineer (Combat) Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division. On Dec. 1, White and many other 2nd ID Soldiers were captured by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces as they attempted to block the CPVF and allow the rest of 2nd ID to escape south. In August 1953, the CPVF sent a list to United Nations Command stating White died in March 1951 as a prisoner of war at POW Camp #1. However, in September 1953, two returning American POWs said he died in February 1951 at POW Camp #5. Despite conflicting reports, the Army determined March 18, 1951 was the latest White could have been alive and declared that his date of death.

During Operation GLORY in the fall of 1954, 550 sets of remains from reported to be from Prisoner of War Camp #5 were returned to United Nations Command. White was among the 38 who could not be identified. Those unidentified remains were buried as Unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu in 1956.

In October 2019, during Phase 2 of DPAA’s Korean War Disinterment Project, X-14794 Operation GLORY was disinterred from the Punchbowl as part of the planned exhumation of Operation GLORY burials originating from Camp #5, and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.

To identify White’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as chest radiograph comparison and circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

White’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.

White will be buried in Ottumwa, Iowa on date 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 Accounting page 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

White’s personnel profile can be viewed at