The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Cpl. William S. Smith, 19, of Vidalia, Georgia, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on June 4, 2019.
(This identification was initially published on June 6, 2019.)
In the summer of 1950, Smith was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting against members of the Korean People’s Army. On Sept. 1, 1950, he was reported missing in action after an enemy assault on his unit’s position along the Naktong River, near Yongsan, South Korea. Absent evidence of continued survival, the Department of the Army declared him deceased as of Dec, 31, 1953.
On Sept. 23, 1950, personnel from the United Nations Military Cemetery (UNMC) at Miryang, South Korea, examined a set of unknown remains that had been recovered in the vicinity of Changyang, South Korea, approximately 5.5 miles northeast of Yongsan. The remains could not be identified and were designated as X-193, and buried at UNMC Miryang. After identification attempts failed, the remains were transferred to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP,) known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu and were interred as Unknown.
On Oct. 30, 2017, following thorough historical and scientific analysis, X-193 was disinterred from the Punchbowl and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
To identify Smith’ remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their partnership in this mission.
Today, 7,649 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. Smith’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl along with others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
For family contact information, contact the Army Service Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.
Smith will be buried Aug. 17, 2019, in his hometown.