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Michaux Turbeville was a United States Army soldier declared missing in action on December 1, 1950 during the Korean War. His remains were returned to US custody on July 27, 2018 and identified on February 16, 2021.

Military service

Michaux Turbeville was born on November 14, 1919 in Dillon, South Carolina to John and Annie McKellar Turbeville. In 1946, he joined the United States Army from Dillon and was trained in Texas. He was assigned as Private First Class to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division and went on foreign service in 1949. In his unit, he was a Food Service Apprentice.

The 7th Infantry Division took part of the Battle of Inchon AKA the Inchon Landing between September 10 and September 19, 1950. United States and South Korean forces invaded and had taken over the city of Inchon. This battle was a strategic victory for the United Nations Command that turned the tide of the war in their favor. Michaux likely participated in this battle, but details of his participation are unknown.

Michaux's unit took part in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which between November 27 and December 13, 1950, the North Korean Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army recovered northeastern Korea and caused the UNC to retreat. In the ensuing chaos, Michaux was reported as missing in action on December 1, 1950. Over 17,000 of United Nations soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing and between 49,000 and 60,000 Chinese soldiers were killed or wounded.

Aftermath

On January 16, 1950, Michaux's cousin, Pauline Hamilton, was notified of his death. Heis parents predeceased him, but he was survived by his cousins and a brother in North Carolina. He was not among the Prisoners of War or identified remains recovered when the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953. He was listed as presumed dead on December 31, 1953 and was considered the was the first serviceman from Dillon that was killed in the Korean War.

Michaux posthumously awarded the following awards: Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal. Additionally, he was memorialized at the Honolulu Memorial Courts of the Missing in Honolulu, Hawaii and the National Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Identification

On July 27, 2018, following a US and North Korea joint-summit between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un the month before, the North Korean government returned fifty-five boxes of unknown US soldiers to US custody. They arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on August 1, 2018. Scientists at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR), and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis to identify the remains.

Based on these DNA analysis techniques and historical evidence, Michaux Turbeville's remains were identified on February 16, 2021. The identification was announced on November 3, 2021. He will be buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia at a to-be-determined date.

Sources

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