AKRON, Ohio (AP) - The remains of an Ohio soldier who never came home from the Korean War were returned to his family for burial this month after almost 65 years.
David Burke of Akron was 18 when his unit was attacked on Nov. 25, 1950, near the North Korea-China border. He was taken prisoner among 136 soldiers and four officers.
Burke reportedly died of malnutrition the following spring. His body was returned in the 1990s when North Korea turned over 208 boxes of human remains to the U.S.
Military officials announced Jan. 8 that scientists had identified Burke’s remains using dental records and DNA obtained from his only surviving brother, The Akron Beacon Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1Nd1YSo ).
Burke’s niece, Sharon Burke Reynolds, said after the Army informed Burke’s parents that he reportedly died in captivity, his mother still believed he would come back and urged another son to enlist so he could search for him.
“She would just not accept that he was not coming home,” Reynolds said.
Burke’s remains recently were returned for his long-delayed funeral.
Family members, childhood friends and military representatives gathered Jan. 15 to honor him at a military service in West Akron. It included an honor team from the Ohio Army National Guard and salutes by members of two military support organizations, Patriot Guard Riders and Rolling Thunder.
Deputy Mayor Marco Sommerville was in attendance and spoke on behalf of Mayor Dan Horrigan.
Burke was buried Monday at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman.
Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, https://www.ohio.com
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