Remains of West Virginia Soldier killed during Korean War to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery


Fort Knox, KY (WOAY) – Arlington National Cemetery will inter the remains of a soldier killed during the Korean War on September 2. Army Cpl. Paul Mitchem from Avondale, West Virginia, was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. Mitchem’s unit reported him missing after they sustained heavy casualties defending against advancing enemy forces near Ch’onan, South Korea.

The unit could not recover Mitchem’s body or remains as North Korean soldiers forced them to retreat. As a result, the US Army issued a presumptive finding of death in December 1953 and declared Mitchem non-recoverable in January 1956.

After forces recaptured the territory in 1950 around Ch’onan, they recovered remains, designating them X-22 Taejon, classifying them as unidentifiable in August 1954. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, buried the remains as Unknowns.

During Phase 2 of the Korean War Disinterment Project in June 2019, United Nations personnel disinterred X-22 as part of a planned exhumation of 53 burials and transported the remains to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory for analysis. As a result, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified Mitchem’s remains using dental, anthropological, and mitochondrial DNA analysis on February 11, 2021.

Mitchem’s name is recorded on the Courts of Missing at the Punchbowl along with the others still missing from the Korean War, which will now include a rosette next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Everly-Wheatley Funerals and Cremation will perform graveside services for Army Cpl. Paul Mitchem preceding the internment.

“For additional information about Cpl. Mitchem, go to: https://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/News-Releases/PressReleaseArticleView/Article/2505814/soldier-accounted-for-from-korean-war-mitchem-p/.

To learn more about the Department of Defense’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country visit the DPAA website at http://www.dpaa.mil,or call (703) 699-1420/1169.

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