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News Release

Press Release | April 17, 2024

Soldier Accounted for from Korean War (Wilder, H.)

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Private 1st Class Harold D. Wilder, 19 of Pennington Gap, Virginia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Feb. 17, 2023.

In the winter of 1950, PFC Wilder was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on July 11 after his unit took part in defensive actions while engaged with enemy forces north of Chochiwon. Unofficial enemy broadcasts stated PFC Wilder was killed in action while fighting 20 miles north of Taejon, South Korea, but his remains were never recovered or identified during or directly after the war.

In 1954, during Operation Glory, North Korea unilaterally turned over remains to the United States, including one set, designated Unknown X-5139 Operation Glory. The remains were reportedly recovered from prisoner of war camps, United Nations cemeteries and isolated burial sites. None of the remains could be identified as Wilder and he was declared non-recoverable on Jan. 16, 1956. The remains were subsequently buried as an unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

In 2019, DPAA disinterred X-5139, and after a decade of scientific advances and increased historical research, DPAA was able to positively associate X-5139 to Wilder.

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

PFC Wilder’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.

PFC Wilder will be buried in Pennington Gap, Virginia, on April 28, 2024.

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

PFC Wilder’s personnel profile can be viewed at