The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced April 19 that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Richard E. Clapp, 19, of Seattle, Wash., will be buried April 25, at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
On Sept. 2, 1950, Clapp and the C Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment came under fire near Yulchon, South Korea, and Clapp was killed in action. The Army was unable to identify his remains at the time, and the remains were buried as “Unknown” in a military cemetery on the Korean Peninsula.
In 1951, the U.S. consolidated cemeteries on the peninsula. The unknown remains were interred in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
In 2011, due to advances in identification technology, the remains were exhumed for identification. Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools such as radiograph comparison, and dental records to identify Clapp.
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.