The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today
that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been
identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Henry F. Johnson, 20, of Conway, Ark., will be buried April 7, in Wichita,
Kan. In November 1950, Johnson, of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, was
deployed in a defensive line that ran east-west across the center of North Korea. On Nov. 25,
after Chinese forces had attacked, Johnson was listed as missing in action. In 1953, returning
Americans who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Johnson had been captured by the
Chinese and died in the spring of 1951 as a result of malnutrition while in a prisoner of war camp
known as “Camp 5” in North Phyongan Province, North Korea.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains
believed to contain the remains of 200-400 U.S. servicemen. North Korean documents, turned
over with some of the boxes, indicated that some of the human remains were recovered from
North Phyongan Province, where Johnson was reported to have been held. Beginning in the mid-
1990s and continuing through the present, hundreds of samples from these remains have been
submitted to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) for DNA testing to be
To identify Johnson’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command
and the AFDIL used circumstantial evidence, forensic identification tools such as dental records
and mitochondrial DNA – which matched Johnson’s cousins.
Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the Korean War.
Identifications continue to be made from the remains that were returned to the United States,
using forensic and DNA technology.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.