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News Release

Press Release | March 15, 2024

Soldier Accounted for from Korean War (Lilly, R.)

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Corporal Ray K. Lilly, 18, of Matoaka, West Virginia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Sep. 26, 2023.

In Nov. 1950, Lilly was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He went missing in action after his unit engaged in defensive actions in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea, November 2, 1950. After Operation Big Switch, several returning prisoners of War (POWs), reported seeing Cpl. Lilly at POW Camp #5. It was later determined that Lilly died in captivity in January or February 1951.

In the fall of 1953, during Operation Glory, North Korea unilaterally turned over remains to the United States, including one set, designated Unknown X-14682. Those remains were reportedly recovered from prisoner of war camps, United Nations cemeteries and isolated burial sites. None of the remains could be positivity identified as Cpl. Lilly. Those unidentified remains were subsequently buried as an Unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In July 2018, the DPAA proposed a plan to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl. In 2019 DPAA disinterred Unknown X-14682 as part of Phase Two of the Korean War Disinterment Project and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

Lilly’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.

Lilly will be buried in Princeton, West Virginia, on a date 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

Lilly’s personnel profile can be viewed at