Remains of Michigan soldier who died in Korean War head home

The remains of a mid-Michigan soldier killed in combat during the Korean War will be returned to his hometown for burial after military scientists identified them seven decades after his death.

The remains of U.S. Army Sgt. William Cavender, 20, were among more than 55 boxes of remains of U.S. servicemembers North Korea turned over to the U.S. in 2018.

The Leslie, Michigan, man’s remains were identified in May 2020, but the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said Friday it withheld an announcement until his family could be fully briefed about the identification, the Lansing State Journal reported.

DPAA scientists used anthropological analysis and circumstantial evidence to identify Cavender’s remains. That finding was confirmed by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System through mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Cavender will be buried in his hometown on a yet-to-be-determined date, the accounting office said.

A rosette will be placed next to his name in the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu to denote that he has been accounted for.

Cavender was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950, after his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, the accounting agency said. He was a member of Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.