72 years after he was killed in the Korean War, a teenager soldier is identified

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72 years ago, the remains of a soldier aged 17 was found. He was killed during the Korean War. U.S. Army Pfc. Edward J. Reiter’s body had originally been declared non-recoverable until new dental and anthropological analysis positively identified a match with remains at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Reiter’s exhumed remains will now be reburied in his hometown of Northampton, Pennsylvania this fall.

Reiter was a member of K Company, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division in July 1950 when he was reported missing in action. His unit had been defending against a North Korean army near Ch’onan, South Korea, when his unit retreated after sustaining heavy casualties.

In January 1956, he was declared non-recoverable and was declared dead at the end of the Korean War.

Years prior, in 1951, two sets of remains were recovered from the approximate location he disappeared – one belonging to someone of Asian descent, and another of European descent. They were both buried at the Punchbowl as Unknowns because they could not be identified with the available technology.

To indicate that he is safe and sound, a rosette will be placed beside his name at Punchbowl.

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