Remains identified as N.J. soldier missing since Korean War

BELVIDERE, NJ (Warren County) – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, DPAA, announced Friday that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, recently accounted-for from the Korean War, are being returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

Army Pfc. Albert E. Atkins, 20, of Belvidere will be buried December 15 in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

According to the DPAA, on May 23, 1951, Atkins was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, when his unit was attacking enemy forces near Mae-Bong, South Korea. The regiment’s mission was to secure Hill 911, and as the company prepared to assault the hill, Atkins and two other soldiers from his company were reported missing in action.

On Sept. 17, 1966, two South Koreans provided information regarding three side-by-side graves in the vicinity of Kwandra-ri, South Korea. A U.S. Army Graves Registration team recovered the remains and sent them to the Central Identification Unit in Yokohama, Japan for analysis. Two of the remains were individually identified as members of Atkins’ company, but the third, X-6385, could not be identified and was interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, DPAA said.

After a thorough historical and scientific analysis of information associated with X-6385 it was determined that the remains could likely be identified. After receipt of approval, the remains were disinterred from the NMCP on Nov. 1, 2005 and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

To identify Atkins’ remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial analysis, involving Next-Generation Sequencing, which matched his family, as well as dental and anthropological analysis, which matched his records, and circumstantial evidence.

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By: Jay Edwards Follow on Twitter | Like on Facebook