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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 2:02 a.m., Friday, December 21, 2007

MIA Korean War soldier's remains ID'd after 56 years

Advertiser Staff

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today 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.

He is Cpl. Robert S. Ferrell, U.S. Army, of Dallas, Texas. His burial date is being set by his family.

Representatives from the Army met with Ferrell's 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.

On Feb. 12, 1951, Ferrell was assigned to Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, then occupying a position about 70 miles east of Seoul, South Korea. The 503rd was providing artillery support for friendly units coming under heavy attack by Chinese Communist Forces. In danger of being overrun, the 503rd was forced to withdraw to the south. Records indicate that Ferrell was captured near Hoengsong, South Korea, during the fighting. He later died in captivity at the Suan Mining POW camp located about 40 miles southeast of Pyongyang, North Korea.

Between 1990 and 1994, the North Korean government repatriated what they claimed to be 208 sets of remains, including a 1991 turnover of several servicemen recovered near the Suan Mining POW camp. Ferrell's remains, along with cold-weather clothing and uniform buttons worn by U.S. infantry, were included in the 1991 repatriation.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in Honolulu also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of Ferrell's remains.