After more than half a century, remains of Bedford soldier killed in Korean War identified

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

WASHINGTON (WFXR) — A Bedford soldier’s remains have been identified 70 years later. He will be returned and buried in Bedford in May.

Army Pfc. Bobbie Ray Daniels, 17, was killed during the Korean War. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) made the announcement Thursday that Daniels’ remains were accounted for on Sept. 21, 2020.

(Photo: Courtesy The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

According to DPAA, Daniels was a member of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division in August 1950. He was reported missing in action on Aug. 16 during a battle near Waegwan, South Korea.

His remains could not be immediately recovered and he was officially declared dead on May 1, 1953.

In February and March of 1951, the American Graves Registration Service recovered two sets of remains from the area where Daniels went missing. The remains could not be identified at the time and were eventually interred as unknown remains at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In August 2018, the remains were exhumed and accessioned into the DPAA laboratory. Daniels was eventually identified from among them.

To identify Daniels’ remains, DPAA scientists used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Daniels is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In order to indicated he has been accounted for, a rosette will be placed next to his name.

Daniels will be buried in Bedford on May 22. His personnel profile can be viewed by clicking here.

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