Remains of US soldier previously listed as MIA are located

Elizabeth Howe
January 13, 2020 - 11:17 am
William McCollum

DPAA

Army Cpl. William McCollum of Anderson, South Carolina was 19 when he was killed during the Korean War. His remains have now been accounted for. 

McCollum was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, 31st Regimental Combat Team. His unit was attacked by enemy forces near Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on Dec. 2, 1950. After the attack, McCollum was reported missing. His remains could not be recovered. 

It wasn't until July of 2018, following a meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un, that 55 cases of remains were returned to the United States from North Korea. Only one set of dog tags was returned with those cases. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency has been working to identify every service member contained within those cases — including McCollum. 

25 more sets of remains from Korean War were just identified

Despite decades of American efforts to bring home the remains of U.S. service members killed overseas, it is believed the remains of 5,300 Americans are still in North Korea. DPAA continues its mission of identifying all of the remains contained within the 55 cases returned to the U.S. in July of 2018. Additionally, the agency hopes to resume joint field activities in North Korea during fiscal year 2020 — for the first time since 2005. 

The agency that brings home service members remains hopes to return to North Korea in 2020

A rosette will be placed next to McCollum's name on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu to indicate that he has been accounted for.

McCollum will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

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