The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Pfc. William J. Winchester, 20, of Mount Hope, Alabama, who was captured and died in captivity during the Korean War, was accounted for Sept. 10, 2019.
(This identification was initially published Sept. 16, 2019.)
In late 1950, Winchester was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was captured by enemy forces near Unsan, North Korea in November 1950. He reportedly died while in custody of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces at Prisoner of War Camp #5 in February 1951.
On 1954, During Operation Glory, North Korea unilaterally turned over remains to the United States, including one set, designated Unknown X-13442 Operation Glory. The remains were reportedly recovered from prisoner of war camps, United Nations cemeteries and isolated burial sites. None of the remains could be identified as Winchester and he was declared non-recoverable. The remains were subsequently buried as an unknown in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
On June 11, 2018, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred X-13442 Operation Glory and accessioned the remains to the laboratory.
To identify Winchester’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental, anthropological and chest radiograph comparison analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Army for their partnership in this mission.
Today, 7,603 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. Winchester’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.