Almost 60 years after disappearing in the Korean War, a New York soldier is finally accounted for
By THE ERIE TIMES-NEWS Published: October 3, 2019
ERIE, Pa. (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that Army Sgt. Gerald B. Raeymacker, 21, of Dunkirk, New York, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for on Aug. 9.
In late 1950, Raeymacker was a member of Battery B, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, 31st Regimental Combat Team. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces.
Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War.
The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Raeymacker's remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, and circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, there are 7,609 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be be made from remains that were previously returned by Korean officials, recovered from Korea by American recovery teams or disinterred from unknown graves.
Raeymacker's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War.
A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for. Raeymacker will be buried Oct. 19 in Dunkirk, New York.