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The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Sgt. William C. Holmes, 21, of Smyth County, Virginia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for July 24, 2019.
In 1951, Holmes was a member of Heavy Tank Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. On September 21, 1951, his unit participated in a patrol located near the Iron Triangle, North Korea. After a prolonged firefight, Holmes was killed in action. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.
On November 1, 1951, an unidentified set of remains, designated X-2162, were turned over to the 19th Infantry Regiment’s collection point. The remains could not be identified and were subsequently buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
In 2018, DPAA disinterred X-2162 and accessioned the remains to the laboratory.
To identify Holmes’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Today, 7,607 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by Korean officials, recovered from Korea by American recovery teams, or disinterred from unknown graves. Holmes’ name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Holmes will be buried Nov. 23, 2019, in Middleway, West Virginia.