Published April 13, 2013
The remains of a soldier awarded the Medal of Honor after being killed in the Korean War will be returned to his relatives for burial with full military honors more than 62 years after his death, officials announced this week.
Army Lt. Col. Don C. Faith Jr., of Washington, Ind., will be buried April 17 in Arlington National Cemetery, officials from the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office said.
Faith, a veteran of World War II who continued to serve in the Army during the Korean War, was seriously injured by shrapnel on Dec. 1, 1950, and died a day later from those injuries. But his body was not recovered by U.S. forces at the time.
He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military honor recognizing personal acts of exceptional valor during battle.
“What’s so amazing is that our country doesn’t give up,” Barbara “Bobbie” Broyles, Faith’s only child, told FoxNews.com on Wednesday. “They keep looking for the missing and the prisoners of war and people who are unaccounted for in battles.”
Broyles, her husband and the couple’s three children will travel to Washington next week for her father’s burial. And with the current political climate in North Korea, she said it’s “particularly important” to remember veterans of the Korean War.
“It’s now just becoming apparent how critical the Battle of Chosin was,” Broyles told FoxNews.com in reference to conflict along the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1, 1950. “We sacrificed a lot to help Korea.”
At the time of his death, Faith and his unit — 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment — were attached to the 31st Regimental Combat Team as it advanced along the eastern side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
During attacks by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces, Faith assumed command with his supervisor missing, and he continuously rallied his troops, personally leading an assault on an enemy position, defense officials said.
In 2004, a joint team from the U.S. and North Korea surveyed the area where Faith was last seen and located his remains. To confirm the find, scientists used circumstantial evidence, forensic identification tools and mitochondrial DNA, using samples from Faith's brother for comparison.
“I’m incredulous,” Broyles, a 66-year-old psychotherapist, said when reached at her home in Baton Rouge, La. She praised Department of Defense scientists and researchers for their relentless work. “He’s been missing for 62 years and it’s a wonderful, wonderful thing that he’s been found.”
More than 7,900 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War, U.S. defense officials said.