he Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Sgt. George R. Schipani, 19, of Somerville, Massachusetts, was accounted for on Jan. 30, 2019.
(This identification was initially announced on Feb. 13, 2019.)
In late 1950, Schipani was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, when his unit took part in the Battle of Unsan, North Korea. Early in the morning of Nov. 2, 1950, Schipani’s battalion was struck by enemy units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces. After several days of intense fighting, survivors escaped to friendly lines. Schipani was reported missing in action as of Nov. 2, 1950.
At the end of the war, returning American prisoners stated that Schipani had been captured and marched to Pyoktong, Prisoner of War Camp 5, and died in February or March 1951. Based on this information, the Army declared Schipani deceased as of March 31, 1951.
Although the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service planned to recover American remains that remained north of the Korean Demilitarized Zone after the war, administrative details between the United Nations Command and North Korea complicated recovery efforts. An agreement was made and in September and October 1954, in what was known as Operation Glory, remains were returned. Remains that were unable to be identified were buried as Unknowns in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, including a set of remains designated Unknown X-13448 Op Glory.
In July 2018, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-13448 Op Glory from the Punchbowl, and sent the remains to the laboratory for analysis.
To identify Schipani’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.
Today, 7,662 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by North Korean officials or recovered from North Korea by American recovery teams. Schipani’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, 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.