WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — The remains of a 19-year-old soldier killed during the Korean War will be coming home to Ohio for burial.  

Army Pfc. Jack E. Lilley, of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division., was reported missing July 20, 1950 after his unit was forced to retreat from the vicinity of Taejon, South Korea.

In March 1951, seven sets of remains were recovered from a common grave a few miles east of Taejon – only one set could not be identified. Those remains were designated Unknown X-769 Tanggok and were later transported with all of the unidentified Korean War remains and buried as Unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu. Lilley was declared non-recoverable in January 1956.  

On July 15, 2019, X-769 was disinterred as part of Phase 2 of the Korean War Identification Project – to disinter and identify the 652 Korean War unknown burials from the Punchbowl – and transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.

Lilley was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Nov. 5, 2021, after his remains were identified using circumstantial evidence, as well as, dental, anthropological and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

His name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, 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.

U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Public Affairs Office

Lilley, of Wadsworth, will be interred June 14, at Northlawn Memory Gardens, before graveside services will be performed by Hill Funeral Home, Westerville.