Korean war vets remains returned home–60 years after death

Bill's Plumlee's uncle "Billy" McIntyre died during fighting in North Korea on Dec. 7 1950.

On January 17, 2014, Oklahoma’s Own shared the story of an Oklahoma family who has finally been reunited with the remains of their loved one.

“Billy” McIntyre died during combat in North Korea on December 7, 1950. Twenty years ago, North Korea returned the remains of approximately 400 American soldiers. With the advances in DNA, scientists were able to identify some of the remains of those belonging to McIntyre. “I knew someday he would be found and returned,” Bill Plumlee said at Will Rogers World Airport. “I just didn’t know if it would happen in my lifetime.”

Plumlee’s son, Earl, is an Army Special Forces Medal of Honor nominee. He flew from Hawaii to Oklahoma City with an American flag-draped coffin that carried his great uncle’s remains. Bill Plumlee says he remembers his grandmother erected a plaque that commemorated her son, Billy’s death next to the front door of the family’s home.

“I never walked out of their house without looking at it,” Plumlee said, his voice choking up. Plumlee went to a three decade long military career of his own in the Marine Corps and in the Army Reserves. Plumlee says there are still 7,896 US soldiers who remain unaccounted for who fought in the Korean War.

“So the job’s not done yet,” he said.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE