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News Release

Press Release | May 14, 2024

Soldier Accounted for from Korean War (Smith, T.)

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that U.S. Army Pfc. Thomas A. Smith, 17 of Grant, Michigan, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Sept. 22, 2023.

In the summer of 1950, Smith was a member of 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 3rd Engineer Combat Battalion, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Aug. 2 when his unit took part in defensive action near Chinju at the southern end of the Korean peninsula. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered, and there is no evidence that he was ever a prisoner of war. Smith was never listed as a prisoner of war, and the Army issued a presumptive finding of death on Dec. 31, 1953.

The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps (AGRSG) was responsible for recovering, identifying, and repatriating those lost during the Korean War.  In late 1950 they recovered a set remains designated as Unknown X-5077 Tanggok near the village of Hwagye, South Korea. After extensive analysis by the Central Identification Unit-Kokura in Japan was unable to identify X-5077 the remains were declared unidentifiable. In February 1956, the remains were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, with other Korean War Unknowns.

In July 2018, the DPAA proposed a plan to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl. In March 2019, DPAA disinterred X-5077 as part of Phase One of the Korean War Disinterment Plan and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.

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

Smith’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.

Smith will be buried in Grant, Michigan, 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 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

Smith’s personnel profile can be viewed at