18-year-old killed in Korean War accounted for

Elizabeth Howe
November 21, 2019 - 11:01 am


Army Pfc. Wilbur Tackett, 18, from Alger, Ohio was accounted for on Aug. 9, 2019 — 69 years after he was reported missing during the Korean War. 

Tackett was a member of Battery B, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team, 7th Infantry Division. When enemy forces attacked his unit near Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, Tackett's remains could not be recovered and he was reported missing in action.

In July of 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes of remains of American service members — Tackett was among them. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used anthropological analysis as well as material evidence to identify Tackett's remains. 

North Korea provided just 1 dog tag with 55 sets of war remains

Tackett will return home to Ohio to be buried. 

Today, 7,605 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Total, 81,864 American service members rest in unmarked graves. DPAA director Kelly McKeague appeared before Congress this week to discuss DPAA's 2020 budget. 

The remains of 39,000 service members could still be identified — but DPAA needs more money

Last year, DPAA functioned with a $130 million budget in addition to a $30 million financial contribution from Congress. In the proposed fiscal year 2020 budget, DPAA has requested a slight budget increase of $146 million — and those involved with recovery efforts are hoping for another financial boost from Congress. 

"The DPAA will not waiver in its commitment to bring our missing heroes, their families, their comrades in arms, and the American people the answers they deserve," McKeague said. 

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