LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) –The remains of a Detroit soldier who went missing during the Korean War in July 1950 will return home to Michigan for burial.
Eighteen-year-old U.S. Army Corporal Lewis W. Hill, of Detroit, was accounted for on May 22 this year, and his family more recently received a full briefing on his identification, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Thursday.
During the Korean War, Hill was a member of L Company, Third Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He went missing in action after his unit was forced to retreat from the area of Taejon, South Korea, on July 20, 1950.
Officials could not recover Hill’s body at the time because of the fighting, and there was no evidence that he was a prisoner of war. The U.S. Army issued a presumptive finding of death for Hill on Dec. 31, 1953.
After regaining control of Taejon in the fall of 1950, the Army began to recover the remains of soldiers from the area, temporarily burying them at the United Nations Military Cemetery Taejon. Officials have tentatively connected a set of remains recovered during that period, known as Unknown X-29, with Lewis W. Hill, but could not find definitive proof.
His remains were then sent to Hawaii, and buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. In July 2018, the DPAA proposed to unearth the remains of 652 unknown Korean War personnel from the Punchbowl.
On July 15, 2019, DPAA unearthed “Unknown X-29” as part of Phase Two of the Korean War Disinterment Project and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory. 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 used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Hill’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl in Honolulu. To show he has been accounted for, officials will place a rosette next to his name.
Hill will now be buried in Imlay City, Lapeer County, Michigan, on a date to be determined.
If you want to learn more about the recovery effects for those unaccounted for from the Korean War, click here.
To view Lewis W. Hill’s personnel profile, click here.