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Remains of US soldier Tommie Hanks identified after 72 years

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    1 day ago

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Image source, DPAA Handout

The remains of a US soldier have been identified 72 years after he was killed and declared missing during the Korean War, the US government has said.

Army Cpl Tommie T Hanks, then 27, was killed after his unit attempted to withdraw from a location near Anju in North Korea in 1950.

His body was declared “non-recoverable” six years later.

Nearly 7,600 of those killed in the war are still unaccounted for, according to the US defence department.

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The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) said Cpl Hanks was reported missing in action on 26 November while his unit was attempting to withdraw from east of the Ch’ongch’on River near Anju.

“His remains could not be recovered, and there is no evidence that he was ever a prisoner of war,” said the DPAA in a statement.

Hanks’s identification became possible after North Korea turned over 55 boxes containing the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War.

It came after a summit between then-President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018.

To identify Hanks’s remains, scientists used anthropological and isotope analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence.

He will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on a date yet to be determined.

Since 1982, the remains of over 450 Americans killed in the Korean War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honours.

This number is in addition to the roughly 2,000 Americans whose remains were identified in the years following the end of hostilities, when the North Korean government returned over 3,000 sets of remains to the US.

The DPAA says the remains of hundreds of service members still unaccounted for are classified as “non-recoverable”.

The Korean War is considered the deadliest conflict of the Cold War era, according to the DPAA, with the US suffering approximately 36,500 casualties.

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