WASHINGTON (WHTM) — The Defense MIA/POW Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced on Thursday, Oct. 20, that a Pennsylvania soldier who was killed during the Korean War was accounted for on Aug. 15, 2022.
According to a release from the Department of Defense and the DPAA, 18-year-old U.S. Army Cpl. David N. Defibaugh of Duncansville went missing in action after his unit was forced to retreat from the vicinity of Taejon, South Korea, in July 1950.
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, according to the release. Because of this, the Army issued a presumptive finding of death in December 1953.
After regaining control of Taejon in the fall of 1950, the Army began recovering remains from the area, according to the release, and one set of remains recovered during that time was designated as Unknown X-12 Taejon. At the time, the remains could not be identified and were later sent to Hawaii where they were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.
On June 10, 2019, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-12 as part of the Korean War Disinterment Project and sent the remains to a DPAA lab in Hawaii for analysis, where he was then identified using dental and anthropological analysis, the release explained.
Defibaugh’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing in Hawaii, 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, the release noted.
According to the release, he will be buried on Nov. 4 in Altoona.