DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The remains of a Korean War soldier from Miamisburg are finally returning home to receive a final resting place.
US Army Pfc. Billy DeBord, 18, of Miamisburg, was killed during the Korean War. He was finally identified as ‘accounted for’ by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) on April 28.
DeBord was in the F Company, Second Battalion, Fifth Cavalry Regiment, First Cavalry Division and the Eighth US Army. During his time serving the U.S. near Yongdong, South Korea, while being engaged by the North Korean People’s Army, he was reported as missing in action on July 25.
“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,” DPAA said. “The Army issued a presumptive finding of death on Dec. 31, 1953.”
A set of remains were recovered on April 17, 1951, by the 565th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company. On April 15, 1955, the remains were declared “unidentifiable,” and were sent to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. The cemetery where DeBord’s remains were buried is also known as Punchbowl.
The DPAA proposed a plan in July 2018 to exhume the resting places of 652 unknown individuals from the Korean War. Late in 2019, the plan began and the remains were sent for analysis.
“On Oct. 21, 2019, DPAA disinterred Unknown X-945 as part of Phase Two of the Korean War Disinterment Project and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory for analysis,” DPAA said.
DPAA scientists used a variety of methods to identify the remains of the Miamisburg soldier.
“To identify DeBord’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as chest radiograph comparison. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis,” according to DPAA.
DeBord will be buried on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Miamisburg. A rosette will be placed by DeBord’s name on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, which clarifies he has been recovered.