Your help is needed to identify
remains recovered from North Korea!

With the exception of one buried in the Tomb of The Unknowns, all unidentified remains which were repatriated after the Korean War are buried at the Punchbowl, the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Oahu, Hawaii.  Prior to joint recovery efforts, North Korea returned 224 sets of remains, five of whom were positively identified. Since the start of joint recovery efforts in 1996 more than 200 additional sets of remains have been recovered with a small percentage positively identified and returned to their families for burial with military honors. 

The reference DNA database is not yet complete and this is why it is so important for families of a missing serviceman to donate a DNA reference sample.  When a substantial number have donated samples, the likelihood of accurate identification is greatly enhanced.  When you request a DNA sample kit from your Casualty Officer, complete instructions and packaging are provided to you.  In addition, once sequencing is complete, a copy of the report is now being returned to the individual.  If you have previously submitted a sample and would like a copy of the sequencing report, send a written and signed request to:  Department of Defense DNA Registry, Attn. Family Reference Section, AFIP Annex, Building 101, 2nd Floor, 1413 Research Boulevard, Rockville, MD 20850.  You may also fax your request to (301) 295-5932.

Actions to be taken

  • Remind your Representatives that our government needs to stand by their commitment to consider the POW/MIA issue the highest of national priorities.
  • Contact your casualty officer at the toll free numbers below and request a sample kit.

Mitochondrial DNA blood samples need to be obtained from the maternal line.  See chart below:

mtDNA Chart



The mother is the logical starting point since she passed the mtDNA to the missing person.


The brother inherited the same mtDNA as the missing person but does not pass it on to his children.


The sister passes the mtDNA along to both her male and female children.

Aunt, the Mother's Sister

The aunt of the missing person has the same mtDNA as the mother of the missing person.

Cousins on the Mother's Side

Cousins may be male or female as long as their mother and the missing person's mother were sisters.

Sister's Offspring

Both male and female children of the missing person's sister have the mtDNA, but only the females will pass it on to their children.

The mtDNA line will continue as long as there is a female family member arising from the mother's side to pass it along to the next generation.  Your Casualty Officer will help you determine if you or another family member is a candidate to provide a mtDNA sample.

Contact Information






Air Force 




Links for additional information

The Korean War Project

Coalition of Families

National Alliance

Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI)

Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO)

Library of Congress

National Archives & Records Administration




This page created in memory of Lt. Charles Garrison, USN

Story and USS Boxer Squadron 884 MIA/KIA Photos

You are not forgotten.

Please consider supporting the Korean War Project.
Your tax deductible contribution may be in memory of a loved one,
friend, or for all the "forgotten heroes."

Contact:  Janis Curran
Revised  5/29/07