Army Corporal George A. Perreault, of Burlington, Vermont, was 20 years old when he was killed in fighting during the Korean War.
A member of Support Force 21, assigned to Headquarters Battery, 15th Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, he was participating in support for the Republic of Korean Army (ROKA) attacks on units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the Central Corridor of South Korea.
On February 11, 1951, the CPVF launched a counterattack against the ROKA regiment which forced the Koreans to withdraw, leaving the Americans to fight alone at Changbong-ni until they withdrew as well.
After a prolonged attack from the Chinese, the Support Force had to abandon Hoengsong and move toward Wonju. Perreault was unaccounted for at Wonju and was declared to be missing in action on February 13, 1951.
According to a list received from the CPVF and Korean People’s Army on December 26, 1951, Perreault died as a prisoner of war. That information was not able to be confirmed. None of the American prisoners of war that returned home could provide any information on Perreault. With no information on his whereabouts, the US Army declared him deceased on January 18, 1954.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea sent 208 boxes to the US filled with commingled human remains. When combined with remains that were recovered during joint recovery options in North Korea, they account for at least 600 US servicemen. According to North Korean documents included with the remains, some of them were recovered near where Perreault was thought to have died.
The Defense POW\MIA Accountability Agency (DPAA) and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial (mtDNA) and autosomal (auSTR) DNA analysis to match Perreault’s remains to a sister and two nieces. They also used anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence to positively identify Perreault’s remains.
His remains are being sent to his family for burial with full military honors.
There are 7,751 Americans still unaccounted for from the Korean War. DPAA continues to analyze recovered remains with the latest technology in order to make identifications.