Remains of Korean War soldier interred at Arlington
A soldier whose remains were returned from North Korea in the 1990s was buried Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, 60 years after he disappeared during the Korean War, according to the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.
Cpl. John W. Lutz, 21, of the 1st Ranger Infantry Company, went missing while his unit attempted to infiltrate enemy lines near Chaun-ni, South Korea, in May 1951. The unit, part of the multinational Task Force Zebra, had been attacked and isolated into smaller units.
After the 1953 armistice ended the conflict, surviving prisoners of war said Lutz had been captured by enemy forces on May 19, and marched north to a POW camp in Suan County, North Korea. The Kearny, N.J., native died of malnutrition that July, according to the DPMO.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea sent boxes containing the remains of some 400 troops to the United States. One of the boxes contained documents indicating the remains inside had been exhumed from the Suan County area, where Lutz was last seen.
Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA, which matched that of Lutz’s niece, to identify his remains.
About 8,000 servicemembers are still missing from the conflict, according to DPMO.