John W. Lutz
- Hudson, New Jersey
- Born 1929
- Corporal, U.S. Army
- Service Number 12265234
- Died while Prisoner of War
- Died July 31, 1951 in Korea
Corporal Lutz was a member of Company A, 1st Airborne Ranger Company, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team. He was seriously wounded by the enemy in South Korea on February 12, 1951 and returned to duty on April 1, 1951.
He was taken Prisoner of War while fighting the enemy in South Korea on May 19, 1951 and taken to a POW camp in Suan where he died on July 31, 1951.
His remains have been recovered and identified on July 28, 2009.
His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. Corporal Lutz was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, 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.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 295-11
April 12, 2011
Soldier Missing from Korean War Identified
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
Army Corporal John W. Lutz, 21, of Kearny, New Jersey, will be buried tomorrow at Arlington National Cemetery. From May 16-20, 1951, Task Force Zebra, a multinational force made up of Dutch, French, and U.S. forces, was attacked and isolated into smaller units. Lutz, of the 1st Ranger Infantry Company, part of Task Force Zebra, went missing while his unit was attempting to infiltrate enemy lines near Chaun-ni, South Korea, along the Hongcheon River Valley.
After the 1953 armistice, surviving POWs said Lutz had been captured by enemy forces on May 19, marched north to a POW camp in Suan County, North Korea, and died of malnutrition in July 1951.
Between 1991-94, North Korea gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200-400 servicemen. North Korean documents turned over with one of the boxes indicated the remains inside were exhumed near Suan County. This location correlates with the corporal’s last known location.
Analysts from DPMO developed case leads with information spanning more than 58 years. Through interviews with surviving POW eyewitnesses, experts validated circumstances surrounding the soldier’s captivity and death, confirming wartime documentation of his loss.
Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA – which matched that of his niece—in the identification of the remains.
More than 2,000 servicemen died as prisoners of war during the Korean War. With this accounting, 8,001 service members still remain missing from the conflict. For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site at http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo or call 703- 699-1169.
Stars and Stripes
12 April 2011:
A soldier whose remains were returned from North Korea in the 1990s was buried Tuesday in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, 60 years after he disappeared during the Korean War, according to the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office.
Corporal John W. Lutz, 21, of the 1st Ranger Infantry Company, went missing while his unit attempted to infiltrate enemy lines near Chaun-ni, South Korea, in May 1951. The unit, part of the multinational Task Force Zebra, had been attacked and isolated into smaller units.
After the 1953 armistice ended the conflict, surviving prisoners of war said Lutz had been captured by enemy forces on May 19, 1951, and marched north to a POW camp in Suan County, North Korea. The Kearny, New Jersey, native died of malnutrition that July, according to the DPMO.
Between 1991 and 1994, North Korea sent boxes containing the remains of some 400 troops to the United States. One of the boxes contained documents indicating the remains inside had been exhumed from the Suan County area, where Lutz was last seen.
Scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used dental comparisons and mitochondrial DNA, which matched that of Lutz’s niece, to identify his remains.
About 8,000 servicemembers are still missing from the conflict, according to DPMO.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard