A 25th Infantry Division soldier and an Army medic whose dog tag was recovered are the first two Korean War identifications to be made from 55 sets of remains turned over to the United States by the North in July, officials said today.
President Donald Trump announced the identifications on Twitter, saying, “These heroes are home, they may rest in peace, and hopefully their families can have closure.”
…North Korea to be identified as a result of my Summit with Chairman Kim. These HEROES are home, they may Rest In Peace, and hopefully their families can have closure.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018
All of the remains are being examined at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s lab on Oahu.
Pfc. William Hoover Jones, 19, joined the Army from North Carolina and was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
On Nov. 26, 1950, Jones was reported missing in action in fighting against Chinese Communist Forces near Kujang, North Korea, according to the accounting agency.
Jones was never reported as a prisoner of war, and his remains were not identified among those returned to U.S. custody following the conflict, the agency said.
The African-American 24th Regiment was created after the Civil War and remained a segregated unit with black enlisted men and mostly white officers into the Korean War.
Master Sgt. Charles McDaniel, 32, a medic with the 8th Cavalry Regiment Medical Company, also was identified. The unit was engaged with enemy forces of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces southwest of Unsan in North Korea, the accounting agency said. The Indiana man was reported missing in action on Nov. 2, 1950.
The sole military identification tag that North Korea provided with the 55 boxes of human remains belonged to McDaniel. The Army in August returned McDaniel’s corroded dog tag to his sons, Charles Jr. and Larry.
Charles, 71, told reporters at the time he was moved to tears when he got the phone call at home in Indianapolis informing him that his father’s dog tag had been returned.
The brothers were so young when their father was reported missing that they had little recollection of him.
“It’s a very mixed, jumbled moment for us,” Charles said. “At least we have this,” he said of the ID tag, imprinted with the name Charles Hobert McDaniel and a service number.
The retired Army chaplain and his brother are expected to attend an accounting agency commemoration of National POW/MIA Recognition Day at 10 a.m. on Friday at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. They will participate in a rosette ceremony for their father after the ceremony.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.