Korean War soldier Ray P. Fairchild to be reinterred
Media Contact: Nicole Burton
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 22, 2019) – Gov. Matt Bevin has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in honor of a Kentucky serviceman who was killed in action during the Korean War, but whose remains were only recently identified.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recently announced that Marine Corps Pfc. Ray P. Fairchild, 21, of Salyersville, was officially accounted for July 29, 2019.
In late 1950, Fairchild was a member of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was killed in action Nov. 27, 1950, near the town of Yudam-ni, west of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the war his remains could not be recovered.
In 1954, during Operation Glory, North Korea and the United States Command exchanged the remains of casualties. One set of remains, designated Unknown X-13474 Yudam-ni could not be identified and were subsequently buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.
On May 11, 2012, the Joint Personnel Accounting Command (a predecessor to DPAA) disinterred X-13474 Yunam-ni and accessioned the remains to the laboratory.
To identify Fairchild’s remains, scientists from DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
DPAA is grateful to the Department of Veterans Affairs and the United States Marine Corps for their partnership in this mission.
Today, 7,607 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by Korean officials, recovered from Korea by American recovery teams, or disinterred from unknown graves. Fairchild’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Fairchild will be buried on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Magoffin County.
All individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies are encouraged to join in this tribute of lowering the flag to honor Fairchild.
To download a photo of Marine Corps Pfc. Fairchild, click here.
Flag status information is available at http://governor.ky.gov/flag-status.