The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Sgt. 1st Class Phillip C. Mendoza, 27, of Anthony, New Mexico, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for Aug. 9, 2019.
(This identification was initially published Aug. 19, 2019.)
In late 1950, Mendoza was an artilleryman with Battery D, 15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team. He was reported missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, when his unit engaged against enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. His remains could not be recovered following the battle.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un 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 Mendoza’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), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Today, 7,608 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. Mendoza’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.
For family information, contact the Army Casualty office at (800) 892-2490.
Mendoza will be buried Nov. 15, 2019 in Dixon, California.