News Releases

Press Release | April 20, 2012

Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Larkin)

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office 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. James N. Larkin, 34, of Kirkwood, Mo., will be buried April 24, in St. Louis, Mo. On Feb. 11, 1951, Larkin and his unit known as “Support Force 21,” from the 2nd Infantry Division, were attacked by Chinese forces near Changbong-ni, South Korea. The unit withdrew to a more defensible position and suffered many losses. Following the battle, Larkin was listed as missing in action.

After the 1953 armistice, surviving prisoners of war who returned during “Operation Big Switch” said Larkin had died in April 1951, from battle wounds and malnutrition while captive in the Chinese operated POW camp known as “Bean Camp” located in North Korea. His remains were not returned during Operation Glory in 1954.

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 Suan County, where Larkin was held as a POW.

Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, as well as dental comparisons, radiographs, and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Larkin’s nephews—in the identification of the remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at or call (703) 699-1420.