South San Francisco, CA April 5, 2016 Submitted by Maria Pia
U.S. ARMY CPL ROBERT PERRY GRAHAM (20) of San Francisco will return home Wednesday, April 6, 2016. M.I.A. 1951 Korea, Found 2015.
Services will be held Friday, April 8, 2016, 11:00am at DUGGAN’S SERRA MORTUARY, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City.
A graveside service will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma. Cpl. Graham will be buried with FULL MILITARY HONORS.
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
Fulfilling Our Nation’s Promise
Soldier Missing From Korean War Accounted For (Graham)
16-014 | April 01, 2016
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing from the Korean War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Cpl. Robert P. Graham, 20, of San Francisco, will be buried April 8 in Colma, California. In February 1951, Graham was assigned to Company A, 13th Engineer Combat Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, which was engaged in a battle near Hoengsong, South Korea. Under heavy enemy attack, his unit was ordered to withdraw south to Wonju. During the withdrawal, they fought continuously with the enemy and encountered numerous roadblocks. Upon arrival at Wonju, Graham was reported missing on Feb. 13, 1951.
In 1953, during the prisoner of war exchanges historically known as “Operation Little Switch” and “Operation Big Switch,” repatriated U.S. soldiers told debriefers that Graham had been captured by enemy forces and died in March 1951 at Suan POW Camp. His remains were not among those returned by communist forces in 1954, however.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which when combined with remains recovered during joint recovery operations in North Korea between 1996 and 2005, included the remains of at least 600 U.S. servicemen who fought during the war. North Korean documents included in the repatriation indicated that some of the remains were recovered from the area where Graham was believed to have died.
To identify Graham’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, to include mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome Short Tandem Repeat DNA analysis, which matched his nephews.
Today, 7,819 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American recovery teams.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil or call (703) 699-1420.
Robert Perry Graham
Corporal Graham , a member of Company A, 13th Engineer Combat Battalion, 7th Infantry Division will be remembered at a Memorial Service. In early February 1951, Private First Class Robert P. Graham’s unit came under attack. He was declared Missing-In-Action as of February 13, 1951.
From August 5th to September 5, 1953, U.S. prisoners repatriated during a prisoner of war exchange between the United Nations Command and the Korean People’s Army, two returnees reported that Pfc Graham died at the Suan POW Camp. Based on this evidence, the U.S. Army issued a report of death for Pfc Robert P. Graham estimated May 31, 1951 and posthumously promoted him to the rank of Corporal.
In December 1993, the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea unilaterally turned over 31 boxes containing remains purported to be those of U.S. servicemen that they alleged were recovered from Up-ri, Tosan County, North Hwanghae Province, a temporary holding area en route to the Suan POW camp complex, the area where Cpl. Graham reportedly went missing.
Preliminary analysis of these remains revealed them to be highly commingled, requiring extensive use of DNA analysis. DNA from Cpl. Graham’s nephews proved a match with remains contained in the recovered boxes.
Cpl. Graham’s brothers and sisters always spoke of “someday he would be found”. They have since passed away, leaving one sister and many nieces and nephews. Cpl. Graham was born in San Francisco, December 19, 1930, a short life of 21 years.
He was not forgotten by his family and not by the U.S. Army. Bobby is back with his family and will be laid to rest near his brother.
Services will be held Friday, April 8, 2016, 11:00am at DUGGAN’S SERRA MORTUARY, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City. A graveside service will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma. Cpl. Graham will be buried with full military honors.