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73 years after SC soldier was declared dead, his remains are identified

300 flags in the fifth annual Veterans Park of Heroes display in Springfield, Mass, Nov. 2, 2020. (Don Treeger/The Republican/TNS)
August 01, 2023

Albert Gosnell was fresh out of Greenville High School when he enlisted in the Army just before the Korean War began.

He had been a boxer at the YMCA in Greenville and lived in the Sans Souci neighborhood with his parents Mr. and Mrs. J.O. Gosnell and his brother Bruce.

In June 1950, he wrote to his parents to say he was in Japan, learning combat techniques.

When the war began June 25, 1950. Gosnell was among the first U.S. servicemen in Korea.

And then he was gone.

On July 16, 1950, Gosnell was reported missing in action after his ill-equipped and outmanned unit — Heavy Mortar Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division — came under heavy fire from the North Koreans and retreated somewhere near Taejon, South Korea.

His body could not be recovered immediately.

It was three years before the Gosnells learned their son had been officially declared dead.

It was 73 years before his remains were identified.

On Thursday the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced dental, anthropological analysis, and chest radiograph comparison were used to identify the remains. Armed Forces Medical Examiner System scientists also used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Initially, Gosenll’s remains were known as X-274 Taejon, one of many U.S. soldiers who died during the three-day battle beside the Kum River, trying to defend the headquarters of the 24th Infantry Division.

Once the U.S. regained control of Taejon in the fall of 1950, remains were recovered and interred at the United Nations Military Cemetery Taejon. From there they were sent to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu.

The accounting agency began disinterring 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl in July 2016 in hope of identifying them.

Gosnell’s remains were disinterred in July 2018 and were identified in May of this year.

Gosnell’s name was listed on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl and will now be marked with a rosette to show he has been accounted for. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Gosnell will be buried in Anderson.


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