An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News Release

Press Release | July 10, 2023

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Powell, R.)


The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Cpl. Rex W. Powell, 18, Valdese, North Carolina, who was killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Feb. 13, 2023

In the winter of 1950, Powell was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 12, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. While it is possible Powell was captured, there was no record or eyewitness accounts of him being held as a prisoner of war, and no recovered remains were ever identified as him. The Army issued a presumptive finding of death on Dec. 31, 1953.

During Operation GLORY in 1954, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea returned the remains of over 2,900 Americans. During the subsequent processing and identification of these remains, none were associated with Powell, and he was declared non-recoverable in January 1956. At the end of the identification process, 848 unidentified remains, including one designated X-15633 Operation GLORY, were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In July 2018, the DPAA proposed a plan to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl. In March 2021, during Phase Three of DPAA’s Korean War Disinterment Project, X-15633 was disinterred from the Punchbowl and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.

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

Powell’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.

Powell will be buried in Salisbury, North Carolina on Aug. 11, 2023.

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