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News Release

Press Release | April 18, 2024

Soldier Accounted for from Korean War (Williams, L.)

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Private 1st Class Lawrence H. Williams, 22, of Norton, Kansas, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Nov. 7, 2023.

In August 1951, Williams was a member of Able Company, 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th U.S. Army during the Korean War. After working with two or three other soldiers from his unit washing vehicles, Williams went for a swim in the nearby Han River, outside of Chongyang, South Korea. The other soldiers witnessed PFC Williams struggle against the fast-flowing currents of the river and eventually submerge. Rescue attempts were unsuccessful, and no search parties were able to locate Williams. The Army issued a finding of death due to “drowning” with his remains being non-recoverable on Nov. 9, 1951.

On Sept. 25, 1951, the remains of an Unknown servicemember (designated X-1945) were recovered from the Han River nearly 40 miles downstream from where PFC Williams was last seen. The distance between the loss location and the recovery point was significant, but it is believed heavy rainfall in the area could have washed the remains of PFC Williams downstream. Ultimately, attempts by the American Graves Registration Service Group (AGRS) to scientifically identify X-1945 were unsuccessful and the remains were sent to Hawaii where they were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In July 2018, the DPAA proposed a plan to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl. In March 2019, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-1945 as part of Phase Two of the Korean War Disinterment Project and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory, for analysis.

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

Pfc. Williams’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. Williams will be buried in Denver, Colorado, 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

Williams’s personnel profile can be viewed at