Nineteen sets of remains believed to be those of American soldiers missing in action from the Korean War were recovered by two teams of U.S. specialists and will be repatriated to U.S. control at Yongsan Military Compound in Seoul May 27.
The joint remains recovery work is the result of negotiations with North Korea led by the Defense Departments POW/Missing Personnel Office. The remains will be returned overland across the demilitarized zone for the first time since 1999. Jerry D. Jennings, who led the negotiations with North Korea, will be the ranking Department of Defense official participating in the repatriation.
A joint team operating near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea recovered 12 sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. Army soldiers from the 7th Infantry Division who fought against Chinese forces from November-December 1950. Approximately 1,000 Americans are estimated to have been lost in battles of the Chosin campaign.
Additionally, a second team recovered seven sets of remains in Unsan County, about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. This area was the site of battles between communist forces and the U.S. Armys 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions in November 1950.
The 28-person U.S. contingent was composed primarily of specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, where the remains will be flown to begin the forensic identification process.
Since 1996, 28 individual joint operations have been conducted in North Korea, during which more than 200 sets of remains believed to be those of U.S. soldiers have been recovered. Of the 88,000 U.S. servicemembers missing in action from all conflicts, more than 8,100 are from the Korean War.
For additional information about POW/MIA recoveries, visit http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo , or call the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office at (703) 699-1169.