Colville soldier missing since the Korean War finally accounted for

COLVILLE, Wash. — A missing soldier from Colville who served in the Korean War is finally accounted for.

Army Private First Class Kenneth Bridger was 17 when he went missing and was accounted for on January 26, 2022.

In late 1950, Bridger was a member of Company K 3rd Battalion, 31st infantry regiment, 7th infantry division. He was reported missing on Nov. 30, 1950, after his unit’s stand south of the Pungnyuri Inlet on the east side of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. After the battle, Bridger’s remains were not recovered.

On July 27, 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes that contained the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018. They were accessioned into the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency laboratory for identification.

DPAA scientists used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence to identify the remains. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial, Y chromosome, and autosomal DNA analysis.

Bridger’s name is on the American Battle Monuments Commission’s Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.

Bridger will be buried in Twin Falls, Idaho, on May 21, 2022.

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