LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The remains of a Kentucky soldier who disappeared after a 1950 Korean War battle with high casualties will be returned home for a burial with full military honors.
Army Pfc. Joe S. Elmore’s remains were originally thought to be of a British soldier when they were discovered in North Korea in 1995, but they could not be identified. The remains were later buried in South Korea.
Nearly 20 years later, the remains were disinterred and transported to the Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency, which seeks to identify missing and unidentified American soldiers. The agency used DNA and anthropological analysis to match the remains to Elmore.
Elmore was 20 when he was killed during a battle on Dec. 2, 1950, in Hamgyeong Province, North Korea. He will be given a military funeral in Albany, Kentucky, on Aug. 18.
The POW/MIA Accounting Agency said in a release that Elmore was among about 2,500 U.S. soldiers that were attacked in late November by overwhelming Chinese forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
The attacks pushed the U.S. forces to withdraw south and by Dec. 6, the Army had evacuated about 1,500 soldiers. The release said the rest had been captured, killed, or were missing in enemy territory.
The agency says about 7,700 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.