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.
He is Cpl. Roy Stewart, U.S. Army, of Jackson, Miss. His funeral will be held Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Representatives from the Army’s mortuary office met with the next-of-kin of Stewart to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Army.
Stewart was assigned to Company A, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, deployed to North Korea near Kujang-dong. In late November 1950, he was captured by enemy forces and reportedly died March 14, 1951, while in captivity near Pyoktong, North Korea.
During Operation Glory in the fall of 1954, North Korea turned over 4,167 caskets including remains they claimed to be those of Stewart. This was part of an agreement in which each side would return remains of enemy soldiers. The United States returned caskets containing the remains of more than 12,000 communist soldiers. At the time the Army was unable to identify Stewart and the remains were buried as “unknown” along with 415 other servicemembers.
In 2008, an analyst from DPMO and an independent researcher concluded they had evidence that supported identification of several unknown soldiers buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. The remains were exhumed in September 2008. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command identified Stewart’s remains through dental comparisons and circumstantial evidence related to the 1954 turnovers.
More than 2,000 servicemen died as prisoners of war during the Korean War. With the accounting of Stewart, 8,023 servicemembers still remain missing from that conflict.
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 703-699-1420.