The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are Cpl. Samuel C. Harris Jr., of Rogersville, Tenn; Cpl. Lloyd D. Stidham, of Beattyville, Ky.; Cpl. Robert G. Schoening, of Blaine, Wash; and one serviceman whose name is being withheld pending a briefing to his family. All men were U.S. Army. Harris will be buried April 10 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C., Stidham will be buried April 13 in Nicholasville, Ky., and Schoening will be buried June 19 in Arlington.
Representatives from the Army’s Mortuary Office met with these servicemembers’ next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Army.
These soldiers were assigned to Company C, 65th Combat Engineer Battalion, 25th Infantry Division. On Nov. 25, 1950, Company C came under intense enemy attack when it was occupying a position near Hill 222 situated south of the Kuryong River east of the “Camel’s Head” bend, North Korea. The men were reported missing in action on Nov. 27.
In 2000, a joint U.S./Democratic People’s Republic of Korea team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a site overlooking the Kuryong River in P’yongan-Pukto Province where U.S. soldiers were believed to be buried. The team recovered human remains and non-biological evidence. One soldier who was also recovered there with this group, 1st Lt. Dixie Parker, was previously identified and buried in December 2007 in Arlington.
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 these soldiers’ remains. Remains that could not be individually identified will be buried as a group in Arlington on a date to be determined.
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 or (703) 699-1420.