Scientists and researchers have identified the remains of a 20-year-old Army corporal who died as a prisoner of war during the Korean War.
Cpl. Delbert L. White, of Ottumwa, Iowa, served in D Company, 2nd Engineer (Combat) Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division in late 1950 when Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces captured White and other division soldiers as White’s unit attempted to block the forces’ advance, according to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency release.
The blocking action was to allow the rest of the division to escape to the south and avoid being overrun.
It wasn’t until August 1953 when volunteer forces officials sent a list to the United Nations Command that stated White died in March 1951 while a prisoner at POW Camp #1.
But back in September 1953, two returned American POWs told officials that White had died in February 1951 at POW Camp #5.
In the fall of 1954 during Operation Glory, 550 sets of remains from camp #5 were returned to the UN Command. Those remains were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Then, in October 2019, the section of the cemetery in which White’s remains were buried was excavated for a remains disinterment and identification project, according to the release.
White’s name along with others is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl. A rosette, symbolizing that his remains have been identified, will be added to the listing.
The corporal will be buried in Ottumwa, Iowa on a not yet determined date.