The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced this week that U.S. Army Cpl. Alton Christie, 18, of Jasper, Florida killed during the Korean War, was accounted for July 28, 2022.
In July 1950, Christie was a member of Company B, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on July 5 after his unit has been engaged by the Korean People’s Army near Osan, South Korea. There is no indication his remains were recovered after the battle and he was never recorded as a prisoner of war.
The Army issued a presumptive finding of death on Dec. 31, 1953, and his remains were determined to be nonrecoverable in January 1956.
In October 1950, 20 sets of remains were recovered near Osan. Seven were interred as Unknowns. One set of remains, designated X-214 Taejon, was thought to be Christie, but investigators at the Central Identification Unit-Kokura in Japan didn’t have enough identifying data to positively ID the remains.
X-214 was later transported with all of the unidentified Korean War remains and buried as an Unknown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In December 2014, Christie’s next of kin contacted the Army and requested the disinterment of X-214 as a potential association with Christie. The remains were disinterred on March 7, 2016, and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii for analysis.
To identify Christie’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Christie’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Christie will be buried in Jasper, Florida on a date yet to be determined.