The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today 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 Cpl. Daniel F. Kelly, 18, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be buried September 27 in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. In late November 1950, Kelly was a member of C Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, when his unit was ordered to advance as part of preparations for an offensive to push the North Koreans to the Yalu River along the border of North Korea and China. By the night of November 25, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) had begun relentless attacks on the 2nd Infantry Division and neighboring units which continued throughout the night and into the next morning. Kelly was declared missing in action as of Nov. 26, 1950, when he could not be accounted for following the battle.
During the war, Kelly was not listed on any CPVF or Korean People’s Army (KPA) Prisoners of War lists. However, one returned American prisoner of war reported Kelly died at the camp known as “Death Valley” in March of 1951.
Between August and September 2002, joint U.S. and Korean People’s Army (KPA) recovery teams conducted Joint Recovery Operations (JRO) in Unsan County, North Pyongan Province, North Korea. A large quantity of possible human remains were recovered from a site reported to be a temporary prison camp and were accessioned into the Laboratory.
To identify Kelly’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA analysis, which matched his family.
Today, 7,727 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American recovery teams. Kelly’s name is recorded on the Walls of the Missing at an American Battle Monuments Commission site along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or call (703) 699-1420.