73 years later, Korean War soldier identified, to be buried in Imlay City


WASHINGTON — At long last, after 73 years of few answers, family members of Lewis W. Hill can rest easy. Remains of their loved one have been identified by the military.

In a recent press release, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced U.S. Army Cpl. Lewis W, Hill, 18, of Detroit, Michigan, killed during the Korean War, was accounted for May 22, 2023.

In July 1950, Hill was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division.

Cpl. Lewis W. Hill

He went missing in action after his unit was forced to retreat from the vicinity of Taejon, South Korea, on July 20.

Due to the fighting, his body could not be recovered at that time, and there was never any evidence that he was a prisoner of war.

The U.S. Army issued a presumptive finding of death on Dec. 31, 1953.

After regaining control of Taejon in the fall of 1950, the Army began recovering remains from the area and temporarily interring them at the United Nations Military Cemetery (UNMC) Taejon.

One set of remains recovered during this period was designated Unknown X-29 Taejon.

A tentative association was made between X-29 and Hill, but definitive proof could not be found, and X-29 was determined to be unidentifiable.

The remains were later sent to Hawaii where they were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

In July 2018, the DPAA proposed a plan to disinter 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl.

On July 15, 2019, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-29 as part of Phase Two of the Korean War Disinterment Project and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory, for analysis.

To identify Hill’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as chest radiograph comparison and circumstantial evidence.

Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Hill’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War.

A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Hill will be buried in Imlay City, Michigan, on a date to be determined.

For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at 800- 892-2490.

To see the most up-to-date statistics on DPAA recovery efforts for those unaccounted for from the Korean War, go to the Korean War Accounting page on the DPAA website at: https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaFamWebKorean.