News Releases

Soldier Missing From Korean War Identified (Leiviska)

Release No: 12-071 May 24, 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 Pfc. Arthur W. Leiviska, 18, of Calumet, Mich., will be buried May 28, in his hometown. On Jan. 20, 1951, Leiviska, of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was reported missing in action, when he failed to return from a reconnaissance patrol near Yangyon-ni, South Korea.

In 1953, returning Americans who had been held as prisoners of war reported that Leiviska had been captured by the Chinese on Jan. 20, 1951. He died several months later as a result of malnutrition while being held as a prisoner of war in the camp known as “Bean Camp” in Suan County, North Korea.

Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of human 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 remains were recovered from the area where Leiviska had reportedly died while in captivity.

To identify the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, and forensic identification tools including mitochondrial DNA – which matched Leiviska’s sister and niece.

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.