Sunday, April 08, 2012

Korean War casualty’s remains are identified - - April 7, 2012

Korean War casualty’s remains are identified - - April 7, 2012

The remains of a Spokane soldier who went missing in 1950 during the Korean War have been identified, the Department of Defense said Friday.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Richard L. Harris was 23 when the 2nd Infantry Division was attacked by Chinese forces north of Kujang, North Korea, on Nov. 26, 1950. During the battle – named the Battle of the Chongchon – 676 Americans were killed and more than 2,000 were captured, among them Harris, who was reported missing four days later.

In 1953, when captured American soldiers were returned during Operation Big Switch, fellow servicemen reported that Harris had been captured and died from malnutrition on Jan. 22, 1951.

... Between 1996 and 2005, the U.S-North Korean program recovered the remains of what is believed to be more than 225 servicemen, according to the Defense Department. The missions to North Korea were halted because of “increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula.” In October it was announced that American teams would be returning to the secretive nation this year.

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.

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