The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced Nov. 22 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.
Pfc. Charles H. Long, U.S. Army, of Durand, Ill., was to be buried Nov. 25 in Durand.
Representatives from the Army met with the 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.
March 24, 1953, Long was one of four men from L Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, who was declared missing in action (MIA) after engaging enemy forces north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on what came to be known as Pork Chop Hill. The bodies of two of the MIAs were recovered, and a third MIA was returned alive during Operation Big Switch after having been captured by Chinese Communist Forces. Long remained unaccounted for, and was eventually declared dead March 24, 1954.
In 1993, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK) gave United Nations officials 33 boxes with human remains of alleged U.S. servicemen who were unaccounted for. The DPRK recovered the remains near Komsa-ri in Kangwon Province, which was near Longs last known location. Also included in one of the boxes were Longs social security and identification cards, along with identification tags.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
For additional information about the Defense Departments mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call (703) 699-1169 .
From the Nov. 29-Dec. 5, 2006, issue