WASHINGTON — The remains of a Hadley soldier who was killed during the Korean War have been accounted for, the Department of Defense announced on Wednesday.
Army Cpl. Walter A. Smead was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division.
Smead, 24, was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces as they attempted to withdraw near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, according to a news release.
His remains were not recovered at the time.
They were among the 55 boxes turned over by North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un to President Donald Trump following a summit on July 27, 2018.
The remains were sent to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and turned over to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for identification.
Scientists at the DPAA used anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence to make the determination that it was Smead.
Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used DNA analysis.
Smead’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 still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for, according to a news release.
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Smead will be buried Sept. 20 in the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at 800-892-2490.
Smead’s unit was assigned to replace the 5th Marine Regiment on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir. They arrived at the P’ungnyuri Inlet on Nov. 27, 1950.
The Chinese Communist Forces launched a surprise attack against the 31st Regimental Combat Team. The attacks continued through Dec. 1, when the combat team retreated to the town of Hagaru-ri at the base of the Chosin Reservoir.
They then were pushed back to a place on a defensive perimeter surrounding the town. The Chinese attacked their positions on the evening of Dec. 3 and again overnight on Dec. 5-6.
The unit then withdrew to Hamhung on Dec. However, Smead went missing in action. The exact circumstances are unknown, according to authorities.
Michael Goot covers politics, crime and courts, Warren County, education and business. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.