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 returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Pfc. Francis Crater Jr., U.S. Army’s 32nd Infantry Regiment, of Barberton, Ohio. He will be buried Oct. 21 in Akron, Ohio.
From Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 1950, the U.S. Army’s 31st Regimental Combat Team, to which Crater’s regiment was temporarily assigned, fought elements of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. After intense fighting, the 1/32 Infantry was forced to abandon its position, leaving its dead behind. Regimental records compiled after the battle indicate that Crater was killed in action on Nov. 28, 1950.
Between 2002 and 2003, two joint U.S.-Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated two, adjacent mass graves on the eastern shore of the Chosin Reservoir believed to be burial sites of U.S. soldiers from the 31st RCT. The team found human remains for eight individuals and other material evidence, including Crater’s identification tags.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons 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 http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169.