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Soldier who went missing during Korean War has been accounted for

WFXT Boston 9/24/2022 Associated Press

A soldier from Massachusetts who went missing during the Korean war and was later reported to have died in a prisoner of war camp has been accounted for using modern scientific techniques, military officials said.

The remains of Army Cpl. Joseph J. Puopolo, 19, of East Boston, will be buried in Malden at a date to be determined according to a statement Friday from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

He was accounted for in August, but his family was only recently briefed, the agency said.

Puopolo, an artilleryman with the 8th Army, was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, after his unit attempted to withdraw from Kunu-ri, North Korea following the Battle of Ch’ongch’on, according to the military. Four former POWs reported in 1953 that Puopolo had died at a POW camp in February 1951.

After the war, the sides exchanged remains, but not all could be identified and those were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, the agency said.

A set of previously unidentified remains were disinterred in December 2019, and identified as being those of Puopolo through dental and anthropological analysis, mitochondrial DNA analysis, and circumstantial evidence, the agency said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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