Another Three Return

| July 7, 2019

DPAA has identified and accounted for the following formerly-missing US personnel.

From World War II

Pfc Kenneth W. Likens, USMC Reserve, assigned to Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, was lost on Tarawa on 22 November 1943. He was accounted for on 26 June 2019.

From Korea

SGT Vernon R. Judd, US Army, assigned to D Company, 89th Medium Tank Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, was lost in North Korea on 28 November 1950. He was accounted for on 26 June 2019.

CPL Billy J. Butler, US Army, assigned to C Company, 2nd Engineer Combat Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, was lost in North Korea on 28 November 1950. He was accounted for on 3 May 2019. (see note)

From Southeast Asia


Welcome back, elder brothers-in-arms. Our apologies that your return took so long.

You’re home now. Rest easy.

. . .

Over 72,000 US personnel remain unaccounted for from World War II; over 7,600 US personnel remain unaccounted for from the Korean War; over 1,500 remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia (SEA); 126 remain unaccounted for from the Cold War; 5 remain unaccounted for from the Gulf Wars; and 1 individual remains unaccounted for from Operation Eldorado Canyon. Comparison of DNA from recovered remains against DNA from some (but not all) blood relatives can assist in making a positive ID for unidentified remains that have already been recovered, or which may be recovered in the future.

On their web site’s Contact Us page DPAA now has FAQs. One of those FAQs describes who can and cannot submit DNA samples useful in identifying recovered remains. The chart giving the answer can be viewed here. The text associated with the chart is short and is found in one of the FAQs.

If your family lost someone in one of these conflicts and you qualify to submit a DNA sample, please arrange to submit one. By doing that you just might help identify the remains of a US service member who’s been repatriated but not yet been identified – as well as a relative of yours, however distant. Or you may help to identify remains to be recovered in the future.

Everybody deserves a proper burial. That’s especially true for those who gave their all while serving this nation.


Note: While CPL Butler was accounted for on 3 May 2019, a public announcement of this fact was not made by DPAA until on or about 21 June.

Category: No Longer Missing

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. AW1Ed says:

    Welcome home.

  2. Sparks says:

    Welcome home Brothers. Rest in peace in your home soil.

  3. RGR 4-78 says:

    Welcome Home.

  4. 3/10/MED/b says:

    Welcome Home.
    If anyone has knowledge in reference to services/ arrangements for the above servicemen, please share.

  5. 26Limabeans says:

    Welcome home brave warriors.
    It is a beautiful sunny day here and I get to enjoy mowing the lawn and feeding the birds.
    There is a flagpole in the yard just for you.
    The summer breeze makes your flag gently wave.
    You are not forgotten.

  6. 5th/77th FA says:

    Welcome Home Warriors. We Salute your Service and pay Honors to your Sacrifice.

    The Flag flutters from the breeze created by the last breath of each service member that died defending it. They are all still “Present in Spirit Sir!”