Now I know how The Beatles felt when they cracked the US charts in the early 60s!
Of all the men listed as missing in action from the Chosin Reservoir in November-December 1950, perhaps none are more famous than Lt. Col. Don Faith who commanded the ill-fated Task Force Faith. His remains were positively identified last October and next week, April 17, he will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
In late 1950, Faith’s 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, which was attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team, was advancing along the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir, in North Korea. From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 1950, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces encircled and attempted to overrun the U.S. position. During this series of attacks, Faith’s commander went missing, and Faith assumed command of the 31st RCT. As the battle continued, the 31st RCT, which came to be known as “Task Force Faith,” was forced to withdraw south along Route 5 to a more defensible position. During the withdrawal, Faith continuously rallied his troops, and personally led an assault on a CPVF position.
Records compiled after the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, to include eyewitness reports from survivors of the battle, indicated that Faith was seriously injured by shrapnel on Dec. 1, 1950, and subsequently died from those injuries on Dec. 2, 1950. His body was not recovered by U.S. forces at that time. Faith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor – the United States’ highest military honor – for personal acts of exceptional valor during the battle.
In 2004, a joint U.S. and Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea team surveyed the area where Faith was last seen. His remains were located and returned to the U.S. for identificationTo identify Faith’s remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, compiled by DPMO and JPAC researchers, and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison. They also used mitochondrial DNA – which matched Faith’s brother
Today, more than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American teams.
Until They are Home.
It could be a page right out of the Korean War novel, War Remains.
Another soldier, Corporal James Rexford Hare, has come home from a forgotten war. And this time, it’s a soldier who was captured during the battle at Hoengseong.
Hare was in the 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, which was part of the American forces supporting Republic of South Korea forces near the South Korean town of Hoengsong, when Chinese forces launched a massive counter attack, according to a news release from the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office in Washington.
According to the release, “During the attacks, U.S. and Korean forces were forced to retreat south. Over the next few days units of the 2nd ID were attacked again, suffering more than 200 casualties, including more than 100 servicemen being captured by enemy forces.”
Read the rest of the story here.
Thanks to advances in DNA testing, more and more remains are being identified and quicker than in the past. Although there are still more than 7,900 missing Americans from the Korean War, with each set of remains identified and another service member coming home brings hope to those families waiting for their loved one to come home.
Until They Are Home