- Associated Press - Thursday, February 2, 2017

ALEX, Okla. (AP) - A U.S. veteran of the Korean War will be buried in Alex more than 66 years after his death.

Corporal Melvin “Mutt” Hill’s remains will be transported to Alex on Feb. 4, the Express-Star (https://bit.ly/2k4lmxk ) reported.

Thressa Bland and Linda Southerland searched for Hill, their cousin, after their father Douglas Lancaster, who submitted his DNA, passed away in 2009.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Linda said. “We did this for our dad, because he wanted this done.”

For years Bland and Southerland helped researched their genealogy, and met in groups across the state while searching for their cousin.

In May 2016, Hill was identified through DNA from what was described as commingled remains of accounted for U.S. Servicemen, according to the Medical Examiner Summary Report. The report also says he died on Dec. 2, 1950. Originally the U.S. issued a Finding of Death of a Missing Person with a death date of Dec. 31, 1953, when he was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

“It was a great joy to hear that they had found him,” Bland said.

Southerland said Hill will be buried near his family in the Alex Cemetery.

Hill, who was 19 years old at the time, was among 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled in the 31st Regimental Combat Team on the east side of the Chosin River.

The veteran’s name never appeared on Prisoner of War (POW) lists.

In December 1950 he was reported Missing in Action after he couldn’t be accounted for.

In the early 1990s, 208 boxes of remains were released by North Korea. They claimed the remains, which required extensive DNA testing, were of American servicemen. By 1993, 33 boxes of the remains were believed to be unaccounted for U.S. serviceman from the Korean War, reportedly from east of the Chosin River where Hill may have perished.


Information from: The Express-Star, https://www.chickashanews.com

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