Thursday, January 24, 2008

Soldier Missing from Korean War is Identified

No. 0061-08 January 24, 2008
Soldier Missing from Korean War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is:
Pfc. Billy M. MacLeod, U.S. Army, of Cheboygan, Mich. He was buried Saturday in Cheboygan.

Representatives from the Army met with MacLeod's next-of-kin to explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on behalf of the secretary of the Army.

MacLeod was a member of Company B, 32nd Infantry Regiment, then making up part of the 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division, operating along the eastern banks of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. From November 27-December 1, 1950, the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces overran the U.S. positions, forcing their southward withdrawal. Regimental records compiled after the battle indicate that MacLeod was killed in action on November 28, 1950.

Between 2002 and 2005, three joint U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated an area with two mass graves on the eastern shore of the Chosin Reservoir. They were believed to be burial sites of U.S. soldiers from the 31st RCT. The teams found human remains and other material evidence. Analysis of the remains subsequently led to the identifications of eight individuals, including MacLeod.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of MacLeod's remains.

For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at or call (703) 699-1169.

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