Guinn asks for help in locating servicemen lost in Korean conflict

Gov. Kenny Guinn has asked Nevadans to help in a search for the relatives of U.S. servicemen lost in the Korean War so it can be determined if any Nevadans are among the 35 bodies recovered recently from North Korea.

There are an estimated 8,100 servicemen who did not return from the Korean War. Since 1996, the North Korean government has permitted Department of Defense investigation and excavation teams to work in North Korea.

A total of 35 remains have been recovered as a result of the joint recovery operations.

The Department of Defense has notified Nevada officials of three servicemen from Nevada who were listed as MIA in the conflict. The three were identified as Cpl. Robert Harrison Atha, HDQTS BTRY 15th FA, Lincoln County; PFC Francis E. Harrison, G Co 19th INF, Eureka County; and Cpl. David Elliot Pursley, a BTRY 955th RA, Elko County.

However, the Department of Defense has lost contact with family members of the missing servicemen over the last 40 years and needs help in locating family members who lost loved ones in the war.

Additionally, eligible family members are asked to provide a blood sample to keep on file at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in the event it is needed in the identification process.

"We would like to invite you to assist us in this humanitarian effort. We need your help to locate family members who lost loved ones in the war," said Col. John W. Radke, Director of U.S. Army Casualty and Memorial Affairs in a letter to the governor.

Family members or anyone with additional information should call (800) 892-2490. Col. Rosemary Salak is the Army point of contact.

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