The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced this week two soldiers killed during the Korean War have been accounted for.
U.S. Army Cpl. Walter A. Smead, 24, of Hadley, New York, was accounted for March 16, 2021. And U.S. Army Cpl. Richard L. Henderson, Jr., 18, of Lansing, New York, was accounted for June 30, 2020.
In late 1950, Henderson was a member of Headquarters Battery and Smead was a member of Battery A of the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division.
On Dec. 6, 1950, the two were reported missing in action when their units were attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, their remains could not be recovered.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War.
The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Smead’s and Henderson’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Smead’s and Henderson’s names are recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to their names to indicate they have been accounted for.
Smead will be buried Sept. 20, 2021, in Schuylerville, New York.
Henderson will be buried July 23, 2021, in his hometown.