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Korean War veteran from Mexia to be buried in Dallas, over 70 years after being reported missing in action

Army Sgt. Willie J. Baty was reported missing in action on Sept. 14, 1950 at age 20. Now, he will be buried back in Texas.

DALLAS — The body of a Korean War veteran from Mexia will be returning home to Texas to be buried on Sept. 15, more than 70 years after he was reported missing in action.

The remains of Army Sgt. Willie J. Baty will be interred at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery on Sept. 15, 2023. Graveside services before the interment will be performed by Tree of Life Funeral Directors.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), Baty was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

Baty was reported missing in action on Sept. 14, 1950, after his unit was forced to withdraw from the Masan area of the Pusan Perimeter, South Korea, said the DPAA. He was 20 years old. Baty's remains were reportedly not recovered after the battle, and there is no evidence he was ever a prisoner of war, said the DPAA.

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Credit: Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
A portrait of Army Sgt. Willie J. Baty, reported missing in action during the Korean War in 1950.

The Army issued a presumptive finding of death on Dec. 31, and Baty's remains were determined nonrecoverable on Jan. 16, 1956, said the DPAA.

According to the DPAA, in late 1950, a set of remains was recovered near Masan by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps and was designated Unknown X-159. The remains were declared unidentifiable after analysis by the Central Identification Unit-Kokura in Japan. The remains were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii in December 1950, alongside other unknown soldiers from the Korean War.

The DPAA disinterred Unknown X-159 in March 2019 as part of Phase One of the Korean War Disinterment Plan and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii for analysis.

On Feb. 8, 2023, Baty's remains were identified through dental, anthropological, isotope and mitochondria DNA analysis.

Now, Baty is finally coming back to Texas.

Baty's name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery alongside other missing soldiers from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed by his name to signify that he has been accounted for. 

According to the DPAA, over 7,500 Americans still remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

For more information on Sg.t Baty, visit this link.

For more information on the DPAA and their mission, visit their website at this link, their Facebook page, or call 703-699-1420/1169.

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