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News Release

Press Release | July 11, 2024

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

Washington  –  

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Corporal Edward J. Smith, 18, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for May 15, 2024.

In August 1950, Smith was a member of Baker Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Aug. 31 while fighting North Korean forces in the vicinity of Changnyong, South Korea. He was never found, nor were any remains recovered that could be identified as Smith.

On October 6, 1950, a sets of remains was recovered from an isolated grave in a rice paddy near the village of Ibang-ni, roughly 8 miles west of Changnyong. Investigators could not make a scientific identification, and the remains, designated Unknown X-321 Miryang, were later transported to the United Nations Military Cemetery for temporary interment. In Feb. 1951, X-321, along with other unidentified Korean War remains, were transferred to National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In June 2021, DPAA exhumed X-321 for scientific analysis and identification, and transferred the remains to the DPAA Laboratory.

To identify Smith’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.

Smith’s name is recorded on the American Battle Monument Commission’s 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 Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on August 23, 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: https://www.dpaa.mil/Resources/Fact-Sheets/Article-View/Article/569610/progress-on-korean-war-personnel-accounting/.

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 www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.

Smith’s personnel profile can be viewed at https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt000000zbczYEAQ.