Standing Rock soldier’s remains to return home after more than 70 years

Korean War soldier's remains return home
Korean War soldier's remains return home(KFYR)
Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 10:58 AM CDT
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MCLAUGHLIN, S.D. (KFYR) - The remains of a soldier killed in the Korean War are finally returning home after more than half a century.

Army Private First Class Melvin Little Bear will be laid to rest at All Nations Veteran’s Cemetery on September 30.

Little Bear was reported missing in action on February 13, 1951, after his unit was attacked by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces in South Korea. He was held a prisoner of war in North Korea, where repatriated POW reports show he died later that summer. He was just 21 years old.

Little Bear’s remains were brought back to the United States in 1954 under Operation Glory. But because investigators were unable to identify to whom they belonged, he was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii with other unknown remains.

Finally, in July of 2022, just a few weeks shy of 71 years since his death, Little Bear was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency using dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis.