U.S. Army Cpl. Carmen Carrillo, of Lompoc, was 20 years old when he was reported missing in action during the Korean War. Now, more than 70 years later, his remains have been identified, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
Carrillo was seriously wounded in battle in South Korea in February 1951. He returned to duty two months later, in April, according to information listed by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
One month after his return, Carrillo was reported missing in action. His unit had been fighting in Hongcheon, South Korea, in the central sector of a U.N. defensive line known as the “No Name Line.”
The specific circumstances of his death are still unknown. Carrillo served in Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
In December of 1953, the Army added Carrillo to its list of soldiers who were presumed dead.
Then in 2013, more than six decades after he went missing, Carrillo’s remains, along with those of several others, were recovered in South Korea and returned to the U.S. In 2021, the remains were disinterred for testing, and in February of this year, laboratory analysis “and the totality of the circumstantial evidence available” established one set of remains as Carrillo’s, according to the agency.
Carrillo will be buried in Lompoc, though a date for the burial has not yet been determined, the agency said.
His name is listed on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. Now that his remains have been identified, a rosette will be placed next to his name, signifying that he has been accounted for, the agency said.
Since 1982, the remains of more than 450 U.S. citizens killed in the Korean War have been identified and returned to their families for burial. More than 7,600 remain unaccounted for, according to the agency.
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