IDENTIFIED: US serviceman MIA in Korean War from Wilmington


WILMINGTON (WECT) — The remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified as a 21-year-old man from Wilmington.

The Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Friday that Army Pfc. Frank Worley, 21, will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

On Feb. 11, 1951, Worley and elements of Battery A, 503rd Field Artillery Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division were occupying a position in the vicinity of Hoengsong, South Korea, when their unit was overwhelmed by Chinese forces. This attack caused the 2nd ID to withdraw south to a more defensible position.

Worley was reported missing after the attack.

In 1953, during the prisoner of war exchanges historically known as “Operation Little Switch” and “Operation Big Switch,” returning American soldiers did not have any information concerning Worley.

A military review board amended his status to deceased in March 1954. Worley’s remains were also not among those returned by communist forces during “Operation Glory” in 1954.

Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returning 208 boxes of commingled human remains to the United States, which is believed to contain the remains of at least 600 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicated some of the remains were recovered from the vicinity where men captured from Worley’s unit were believed to have died.

In the identification of Worley’s remains, scientists from the DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, dental comparison, and forensic identification tools, including mitochondrial DNA analysis and Y-chromosome short tandem repeat DNA analysis, which matched his brothers.

Worley will be buried Nov. 6 in Salisbury.

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