WASHINGTON (KFOR) — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) says a 19-year-old soldier from Seminole who was killed during the Korean War has finally been accounted for.
U.S. Army Cpl. R. V. Leo Short was accounted for June 22, 2023. His family just recently received their full briefing on his identification.
In November 1950, Short was a member of George Company, 2nd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Eighth U.S. Army. He went missing in action after his unit was forced to retreat from Kunu-ri in the vicinity of Unbong-dong, North Korea.
In 1953, several POWs returned during Operation Big Switch reported Short had been a prisoner of war and died in March, 1951, at Prisoner of War Camp #5.
In the fall of 1954, during Operation Glory, North Korea returned remains reportedly recovered from Pyoktong, also known as Prisoner of War Camp #5, to the United Nations Command.
However, Short’s name did not appear on any of the transfer rosters and the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan, did not associate any repatriated remains with him.
Short was determined non-recoverable in January 1956.
In 2018, DPAA’s request to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns—in seven phases—from the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific—also known as the Pounchbowl—in Honolulu, Hawaii, was approved.
In September 2019, the DPAA disinterred Unknown X-14743, a set of remains returned during Operation Glory, as part of Phase Two of the Korean War Disinterment Plan and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
To identify Short’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as chest radiograph comparison and circumstantial evidence. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Short’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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.
Short will be buried in Seminole, Oklahoma, on December 9, 2023.