The remains of a Prisoner of War (POW) who starved to death in a prison camp in North Korea are coming home 65 years later.
Wayne Minard enlisted in the U.S. Army with his mother’s permission when he was 17 years old but died two years later in a prison camp in North Korea on February 16, 1951, the Bellingham Herald reported.
His mother, Bertha Minard, never forgave herself for letting her son enlist; she died nine months later.
“They say she died of a broken heart,” said Wayne Minard’s great-nephew, Bruce Stubbs.
On Wednesday, sixty-five years later, his remains are coming home to Wichita, Kansas, where Minard grew up, the Washington Post reported.
In Spring 2005, an Army recovery team found a North Korean burial site that held the remains of an American soldier, the Post reported.
Scientists tested DNA samples from two of Minard’s sisters to see if there was a match, and 11 years later, his remains were identified.
The Pentagon released a statement saying that Minard’s remains had been accounted for in September.
Minard “was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF)” when “enemy forces launched a large-scale attack with heavy artillery and mortar fire” on November 25, 1950, according to the Pentagon.
He was reported missing in action the next day.
“Minard’s name did not appear on any POW list provided by the CPVF or the North Korean People’s Army,” the Pentagon statement said. But two prisoners of war reported that Minard died at Hofong Camp on February 16, 1951.
“Based on this information, a military review board amended Minard’s status to deceased in 1951.”
To this day, 7,784 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, the Post reported.
Minard’s remains will be buried with full military honors Saturday in Furley, Kansas.