The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Edward M. Pedregon of El Paso, Texas, will be buried on Oct. 6 in Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service was held in San Elizario, Texas, on Oct. 1. In late November 1950 Pedregon and the Heavy Mortar Company, of the 31st Regimental Combat Team – known as Task Force Faith – were overrun by Chinese forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. After several days of heavy attacks, Task Force Faith was forced to withdraw, but was stopped by enemy blockades that overpowered them on Dec. 2, 1950. Pedregon was reported missing in action on Nov. 30, 1950.
In 1953, following the exchange of all prisoners of war by both sides of the conflict, no further information was gained to indicate that Pedregon had been held as a prisoner of war, and he was declared dead.
In 2004, a joint U.S./Korean People’s Army team excavated several sites in the Chosin Reservoir area and recovered the remains of at least nine individuals and military equipment. The location of the remains corresponds to the positions temporarily held by elements of Task Force Faith in late November 1950.
Among forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used dental records, and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of Pedregon’s mother and brother—in the identification of the remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703-699-1169.