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July 19, 2007

Soldiers Missing in Action from the Korean War are Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of three 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 Sgt. Donald C. Trent, of Crab Orchard, W. Va.; Cpl. Robert K. Imrie, of Randolph, Mass.; and Cpl. Samuel Wirrick of Lancaster, Pa.; all U.S. Army. Imrie will be buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.; and Trent and Wirrick will be buried at Arlington in October.
Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men in their hometowns to explain the recovery and identification process and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
In late November 1950, these soldiers were members of the 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, then operating south of the Chongchon River in North Korea. Their regiment's positions came under heavy attack by Chinese forces and the 2nd Battalion was forced to withdraw to positions near the town of Kujang. On Nov. 27, Imrie was killed in action, and Trent and Wirrick were reported missing.
In 2000, a joint U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea-Korean People's Army team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a mass burial believed to contain the remains of U.S. soldiers who died near Kujang. The team found human remains, Wirrick's identification tag and other material evidence associated with U.S. Army infantry equipment.
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) 699-1420.

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