Remains of Korean War soldier from New York identified after 71 years
(Tribune News Service) — The remains of a 19-year-old soldier from Hague, N.Y., who was killed during the Korean War have been identified more than seven decades after he was reported missing in action, defense officials announced Wednesday.
Army Sgt. Howard R. Belden was accounted for on Oct. 14 and will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a date that has yet to be determined, according to the The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Belden was reported missing in action on Dec. 1, 1950, after his unit was attacked near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. More than 1,000 U.S. troops were killed during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, which unfolded over two frigid weeks.
In 2018, North Korea sent the United States 55 boxes they said contained the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War after President Donald Trump held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
The DPAA has identified the remains of more than 75 service members from those 55 boxes, most from the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
Scientists who identified Belden’s remains relied in part on DNA analysis, anthropological and isotope analysis and circumstantial evidence.
Belden was a member of Headquarters Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.
Another soldier from the Glens Falls area with connection to the Chosin Reservoir had his remains identified earlier this year.
On June 30, the Department of Defense announced that the remains of 24-year-old Army Cpl. Walter A. Smead, whose unit was attacked by enemy forces as soldiers attempted to withdraw near the Chosin Reservoir, had been identified.
Smead, of Hadley, was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion of the 7th Infantry Division.
According to a fact sheet about the progress of Korean War personnel accounting on the DPAA’s website, the remains of a total of 602 individuals have been identified and accounted for between 1982 to the present.
There are a total of 7,554 personnel unaccounted for from the Korean War, according to the fact sheet. That number is a working figure from the Personnel Missing Korea list, according to the website.
Post-Star reporter Jay Mullen contributed to this report.
(c)2021 The Post Star (Glens Falls, N.Y.)
Visit The Post Star at www.poststar.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.