Returning Home At Last – January Burial Of A Missing Army Major

Maj. Jack Griffiths (left); Korean War September, 1950 (right).
Maj. Jack Griffiths (left); Korean War September, 1950 (right).

The Department of Defence POW/MLA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced recently that the remains of a serviceman, Army Maj. Jack D. Griffiths, 31, of San Diego, had been identified. Griffiths was buried January 11 in San Diego.

On November 30, 1950, Griffiths was a member of Headquarters, 38th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, when he was reported missing in action in the area of Somin-dong, North Korea.

Repatriated American prisoners of war reported that Griffiths died and was buried at Camp 5, Pyoktong, North Korea. In 1954, United Nations and Communist forces traded the remains of war dead in what came to be known as ‘Operation Glory.’ All remains recovered in the operation were turned over to the Army’s Central Identification Unit for analysis.

A set of remains designated as X-14411 could not be identified and were interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Based on this information, the U.S. Army declared Griffiths deceased, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reported.

Currently, more than 7000 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

In November 2013, the remains were exhumed and sent to the DPAA laboratory for DNA analysis, which matched a brother and two sisters in addition to using dental and circumstantial evidence.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE