From The Tribune staff reports
WASHINGTON — The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Friday that an Alabama soldier killed in the Korean War has been accounted for.
Nearly 70 years after going missing, Army Cpl. Henry L. Helms, 24, of Collbran, Ala. was accounted for April 16, 2020, according to DPAA. In late 1950, Helms was a member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.
He was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
To identify Helms’ remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y chromosome (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Helms’ name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Helms will be buried May 22, 2021, in Ringgold, Ga.
For family and funeral information, contact the Army Casualty Office at (800) 892-2490.