WARREN, Ohio (AP) - The remains of a Pennsylvania-born soldier declared missing during the Korean War have been returned to his family in Ohio after DNA testing helped with identification.
U.S. Army Cpl. Dennis Buckley was 23 when he was declared missing in action in February 1951 while serving near Wonju, South Korea. He was declared dead four months later, The Warren Tribune Chronicle (https://bit.ly/1qmexHC ) reported.
Buckley’s unit was supporting the Republic of Korea against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces on Feb. 5. He was later captured and is believed to have died at a prisoner of war camp.
He was posthumously promoted to corporal in May 1953.
His remains were among those turned over decades later by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. They were cross-checked with thousands of DNA swabs collected by military specialists.
Eleanor Stevenson, of Youngstown, said she received a phone call from Maj. Jerry Mourn about two months ago asking whether she had a relative named Dennis Buckley. She confirmed that she was his niece, and Mourn then explained that the Army had Buckley’s remains. Stevenson quickly agreed to have them transported back to Ohio.
“There was not a question,” she said. “He has been over there for too long. He needed to come home.”
Although Stevenson doesn’t remember her uncle, she said, other relatives have served in the Navy and Army.
“Military service always has been very important in my family,” Stevenson said.
Buckley’s remains were flown into the Army Reserve Base in Corapolis, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday. A service is planned Thursday at a funeral home in Austintown Township, a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio. The escort to Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery will include police and the Patriot Guard.
Information from: The Tribune Chronicle, https://www.tribtoday.com
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