Remains of Elgin soldier who went MIA in Korean War identified
An Elgin service member will be buried in St. Charles later this month, more than 69 years after he went missing in action in the Korean War.
Army Master Sgt. Harold F. Drews was 21 when he went missing in action Dec. 12, 1950. He was killed in the Korean War and his remains were identified Nov. 5, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Friday. He will be buried Feb. 19 in St. Charles.
Drews was assigned to King Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. For several days in December 1950, his unit was engaged in intense fighting with the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.
An Army spokesman told the Daily Herald that Drews' relatives don't want to make public comments. The St. Charles funeral home also declined to comment, citing the family's wishes.
Drews was the son of Fred and Emma Drews of Elgin. He enlisted in the Army in July 1948 and was stationed in Japan for 18 months before going to Korea, a newspaper clipping said.
North Korea turned over to the United States in July 2018 a total 55 boxes said to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The release followed a summit a month earlier between President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un.
To identify Drews' remains, scientists used anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence, mitochondrial DNA and autosomal DNA analysis.
Drews' name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency said.