(WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has ordered the United States and commonwealth flags on all commonwealth facilities, public buildings, and grounds to fly at half-staff.
The order will begin at sunrise on October 22, 2022, to honor U.S. Army Pfc. Edward J. Reiter.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced in August that U.S. Army Pfc. Edward J. Reiter, 17, of Northampton, Pennsylvania, was accounted for after he was killed during the Korean War.
In July 1950, Reiter was a member of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on July 7 after his unit sustained heavy casualties while defending against the North Korean army’s advance near Ch’onan, South Korea. His body was not recovered because his unit was forced to retreat, nor were any remains found that could be identified as Reiter.
The Army declared him non-recoverable in January 1956 and issued a presumptive finding of death after the end of the war.
In May 1951, two sets of remains were recovered approximately one mile north of Ch’onan. One set of remains was designated as X-1091 Tanggok of European ancestry. X-1091 was unable to be further identified by American Graves Registration Service and was determined unidentifiable in August 1954. The remains were later transported with all of the unidentified Korean War remains and buried as Unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In November 2019, during Phase 2 of DPAA’s Korean War Disinterment Project, X-1091 was disinterred from the Punchbowl as part of the planned exhumation of all 53 burials originating from the United Nations Military Cemetery Taejon and the Taejon area, and transferred to the DPAA Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii for analysis.
To identify Reiter’s remains, the DPPAA says scientists used dental and anthropological analysis, chest radiograph comparison, and circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Reiter’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 was placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.