DECATUR, Ill. — The remains of U.S. Army Cpl. Asa E. Vance on Monday were brought to his family 70 years after he left Decatur, Illinois, to serve in the Korean War.
Niece Alma Andrews was on hand Monday when Vance’s remains were taken from a airliner’s cargo hold at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport. The body was carried to a waiting hearse and escorted by an honor guard to Decatur.
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Vance was a member of Company D, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, and was reported missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Vance, 18 when he went missing, was listed as presumed dead by the Army in 1954.
Funeral services with full military honors for Vance will be at noon Friday in the First Christian Church in Springfield. Burial will follow at in the city’s Camp Butler National Cemetery.
“It’s going to be an interesting day, that’s for sure,” Andrews told the Herald-Review in Decatur.
The U.S. military says it has identified the remains of three more Americans killed during the Korean War, even as efforts to recover additional remains have stalled amid souring relations with North Korea.
A result of a 2018 meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un was the turning over of more than 55 boxes of war-dead remains to the United States. Some boxes contained remains recovered from Sinhung-ri, where Vance was reported missing in action. Analysts eventually identified Vance among the remains through testing of DNA from his relatives.
Vance was one of 15 children, all of whom have had died, Andrews said.