News Releases

Soldier Missing In Action From Korean War Identified (Roper)

Release No: 12-069 March 19, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

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. Chester J. Roper, 20, of Pittsburgh, will be buried March 23, in Evergreen Park, Ill. In late November 1950, Roper, and elements of the 2nd Infantry Division were attacked by Chinese forces near Kunu-ri, North Korea. Roper was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, near Somindong, North Korea. In December 1951, the Chinese supplied information that Roper had been captured and died of pneumonia in early 1951 while in a prisoner of war camp known as “Camp 5” at Pyoktong, North Korea.

In 1954, United Nations and Communist Forces exchanged the remains of war dead in what came to be called “Operation Glory.” Among the remains that were turned over at that time were remains of servicemen who had died in Camp 5. All of the remains recovered in Operation Glory were turned over to the Army Central Identification Unit for analysis. Those which were unable to be identified with the technology at that time were interred as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii.

In 2011, analysts from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) re-examined the records associated with Roper, and the unknown remains were exhumed. JPAC used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as dental records and radiographs to identify them as Roper’s remains.

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.