Oklahoma soldier’s remains identified 68 years after he was missing in action

WAURIKA, Okla. – It’s been more than 60 years since family members have seen Mathis Ball.

In July of 1950, Army Private First Class Mathis Ball was fighting in combat operations against North Korea near Choch’iwon, South Korea.

After the battle was over, Mathis was nowhere to be found.

“It was rough on my grandparents, really bad,” Hobert Ball, Mathis’ nephew, said. “They missed him everyday. Like I said, they had that picture on the wall [until] they died.”

In October of 1950, a set of unidentified remains was recovered from a grave in the area and then buried at the National Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii.

Last year, those remains were exhumed and sent for testing. Ultimately, they were identified as Ball’s remains.

“Astounded because I’ve been waiting on them for a long time. Couldn’t really believe it” he told KXII.

Family members say Mathis Ball will be laid to rest on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Bokchito Cemetery in Waurika.

 

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