Sergeant, United States Army
Sergeant Bunchuk was a member of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on November 2, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953.
His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
Sergeant Bunchuk was awarded the Purple Heart,
the Combat Infantryman's 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.
Rose Waters' brother, Sgt. Frank Bunchuk, was just 19 years old when he was deployed overseas to battle in North Korea. Only months later, in November 1950, Bunchuk was listed as Missing in Action.
In March, Waters received a phone call that her brother's remains had been found, complete with a DNA match. Rose and her daughter, Jeanette, had taken part in the military's DNA databank years earlier, in hopes that this day would come.
Last Friday, military personnel presented the family with full documentation of their findings.
Bunchuk's remains were actually found back in 2002 by a Korean farmer. The farmer discovered a mass grave with the remains of three bodies on his property. U.S. teams recovered the remains along with other items and sent them to be identified at a lab in Hawaii.
It was a day Rose Waters never imagined would happen. Now she can finally have closure for the mystery surrounding her only sibling.
"It just seems impossible. I keep saying after 57 years I can't believe it," says Waters.
The family is touched to know that their loved
one will be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery with full military
honors. The ceremony could take place sometime in August or September.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Hawaii team helps ID missing Korean War soldier
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Sergeant Frank Bunchuk, of Medina, New York, will be buried Thursday in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.
In November 1950, Bunchuk was assigned to Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division then occupying a defensive position southwest of Unsan, North Korea, near a bend in the Kuryong River known as the Camel's Head. On November 1, parts of two Chinese Communist Divisions struck the 1st Cavalry Division's lines, collapsing the perimeter and forcing a withdrawal. In the process, the 3rd Battalion was surrounded and effectively ceased to exist as a fighting unit.
Bunchuk was one of the more than 350 servicemen unaccounted for from the battle at Unsan.
In 2002, a joint U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of North Korea team, led by the Hawai'i-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), excavated a burial site south of Unsan near the nose of the Camel's Head formed by the joining of the Nammyon and Kuryong rivers. The team recovered human remains.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of Bunchuk's remains.
For additional information on the Defense Department's
mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at www.dtic.mil/dpmo
or call 703-699-1420.