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Wilfred Kalei Hussey Jr. was an American servicemen who was declared Missing in Action on or before December 12, 1950. His remains were returned to U.S. custody on July 27, 2018 and identified September 10, 2019.

Early Life

Wilfred Hussey Jr. was born on September 13, 1931 in Hilo, Hawaii to Wilfred and Louise Hussey. After graduating Hilo High School, he volunteered for the United States Army in July 1949. He was a member of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was ranked as a corporal.

Military Service

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. It is likely Hussey took part in this battle, but the extent of his participation is unknown.

Hussey'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, Hussey was reported as Missing in Action on or before December 12, 1950, but the circumstances and the exact date of his disappearance were unknown due to the unit's heavy losses and the chaos of the battle. By December 12, 1950, the unit was reserve in the Hamhung-Hungnam area. His remains were not recovered at the time and not when the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953.

Aftermath

Hussey was listed as presumed dead on December 31, 1953.

Hussey was 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.

His name is featured at the Honolulu Memorial Courts of the Missing and the National Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Identification

On July 27, 2018, following a U.S. 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 U.S. soldiers to U.S. custody. They arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on August 1, 2018. One of the boxes held remains recovered by the North Korean Korean People's Army at Sinhungri, South Hamgyong Province, North Korea. 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, the remains were identified as belonging to Wilfred Kalei Hussey Jr. on September 10, 2019. The identification was announced on September 18, 2019.

Hussey is buried at the East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2 in his hometown of Hilo, Hawaii.

Sources

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