The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Cpl. Billy J. Butler, 19, of Kerrville, Texas, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on April 29, 2019.
(This identification was initially published on May 23, 2019.)
In late 1950, Butler was a member of Company C, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, engaged in combat operations against the enemy near Kujang, North Korea. On Nov. 28, 1950, his unit’s defensive positions were attacked and he was captured by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Force (CPVF.)
Following the war, returning American prisoners reported that Butler died in January 1951, at the prisoner of war camp in Pukchin-Tarigol, North Korea, known by some as Hofong Camp. On March 15, 1954, the U.S. Army declared Butler deceased as of Jan. 27, 1951.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Butler’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Today, 7,652 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. Butler’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.