NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER
ARMY NON-BATTLE DEATHS, KOREA
Korean War veterans and groups who are seeking names to put on memorials now have another reference source
to help them with their very important work.
The information contained in the enclosed roster of Army Non-Battle Deaths in the Korean War, 1950 through
1954, was obtained from the Department of the army under the Freedom of Information Act, release of this
information being in the public interest. The data was released in microfiche form and reproduced to hard coy
by the requester at the suggestion of the Department of the Army.
The names were extracted from DA Microfiche Reference No. 601-07, POW, MIA, Non-Battle Casualties, Korean
Operation (all services) Korean War, March 31, 1954. The Army portion of the microfiche set (Fiche Nos.
001-0018) contains the names of 30,073 dead from all causes.
Although the title does not mention KIA ("Killed in Action") deaths, they are nevertheless included.
However, only the "Non-Battle" information was extracted by the requester from the 1954 microfiche (see
attached). The Department of the Army has advised that it does not maintain a validated hard copy printout of
the information that is available to the public.
Content of Non-Battle Data
Insofar as it can be determined, the 1954 Army microfiche data identifies "Non-Battle" deaths as follows:
(1) 2,389 casualties classified as DNB ("Died, Non-Battle"). Since that date, 18 DNB cases have been
reclassified as HDWM ("Hostile, Died While Missing"); (2) three cases classified as MNB ("Missing,
Non-Battle"); (3) 22 cases classified as FOD ("Finding of Death"). Since 1954, three FOD cases have been
reclassified as KIA ("Killed in Action"); (4) One entry apparently is a duplication.
Thus, it appears that there are 2,392 Army "Non-Battle" deaths (DNB, MNB, FOD) identified in the
microfiche; 60 cases less than the official Army statistic of 2,452 Army "Non-Battle" dead contained in Frank
Reister’s Battle Casualties and Medical Statistics: U.S. Army Experience in the Korean War," published by the
Surgeon General, Department of the Army, 1973.
Insofar as it is known, none of the names listed in the DA microfiche appear in any of the official
Department of Defense rosters which are in the public domain. Nor are they contained in official rosters
maintained by the National Archives. A list, however, does exist at The American Battle Monuments Commission.
Appendix I is the list I made up. It is referenced to the DA microfiche and contains notations made by the
ABMC data base officer.
Explanation of Columns in the Appendix I List
- Column 1: indicates the sequence in which a name is contained in a particular Fiche.
- Columns 2, 3, and 4: name, Rank and Serial Number is shown on the microfilm.
- Prefixes to ASN: RA = Regular Army; RO = Reserve Officer (enlisted man with reserve commission); NG =
National Guard; ER = Enlisted Reserve; US = Draftee; O = Officer; W = Warrant Officer; PS = Unknown.
- Rank Abbreviations: PV1 = Private (Recruit); PV2 = Private; PFC = Private First Class; CPL = Corporal;
SGT = Sergeant; SFC = Sergeant First Class; MSG = Master Sergeant; JWO = Junior Warrant Officer; CWO = Chief
Warrant Officer; 2LT = Second Lieutenant; 1LT = First Lieutenant; CPT = Captain; MAJ = Major; LTC =
Lieutenant Colonel; COL = Colonel; BG = Brigadier General.
- Column 5: Casualty Dates. Only one date is shown where the casualty date and the reporting date is the
same. A second entry indicates a later reporting date. The dates are shown as Day-Month-Year, thus 08-06-53 =
8 June 1953.
- Column 6: Apparent Reclassifications. From DNB to HDWM (18 in all); from FOD to KIA (three in all).
In the absence of a properly validated Department of the Army roster, the following list represents a
good-faith interpretation of the data contained in the microfiche; particularly with respect to the casualty
codes designated as DNB, MNB and FOD. I was unable to secure from DA the meaning of certain number codes
appearing next to the casualty designations KIA, DOD, MIA, DNB, MNB, FOD.
Due to the extremely poor condition of the microfiche, some of the letters and numbers were not 100%
readable and so in transcription were sometimes identified in error. [The ABMC also noted codes beside some of
the names, but gave no explanation of them. Several names have been identified as "MIA" by ABMC for
unexplained reasons. See Part III for further discussion of ABMC rosters.]
Because the information contained in the following list has never been validated by the Department of the
Army, and is not currently contained in the Department of Defense 1994 "Selected Korean Conflict Casualties"
data base, it should not be considered a complete, official DA list.
Unfortunately, the DA data does not contain home town or unit of assignment information. You will have to
write DA for this. Some of the information may be on file with the ABMC. On February 12, 1997, I asked the DA
for such information. They informed me in a letter dated February 20, 1997 that I would have to pay a fee of
$900,000 (NINE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) to pay for the research.
Information on Microfiche
Maybe you’ll hit it lucky! For further information on Army "Non-Battle" casualties, please contact:
Department of the Army, Total Army Personnel Command, Attn: TAPC-ALP (FOIA), 200 Stovall Avenue, Alexandria,
Information at ABMC
For your information, in February 1997, The American Battle Monuments Commission installed a $500,000
"Interactive Computer System" at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C., which is available to the
public. On February 28, 1997, I sent a copy of my list to the ABMC for whatever action they wishes to take to
ensure that the names are included on their data base.
On June 12, 1997, I received a response from ABMC (through former U.S. Congresswoman Susan Molinari, 13th
District, NY) informing me that the ABMC has been able to add 200 names to the data base which they did not
previously have. In addition, ABMC’s Col. Frederick C. Badger, the data base project officer, graciously
updated my Army "Non-Battle" roster to fill in most of the missing or erroneous information.
As of December 31, 1998, according to an ABMC release, the complete ABMC data base contains over 37,277
names. It includes the Korean War "Hostile" and "Non-battle" deaths, a number of civilian and merchant seamen
deaths, the post-war Korea deaths to date and a number of deaths which occurred during the Korean War era in
locations other than Korea.
For further information, please contact The American Battle Monuments Commission, Attn: Col. Anthony N.
Corea, Director, Operations & Finance, Courthouse Plaza II, Suite 500, 2300 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, VA
22201. Colonel Corea has been most responsive and sensitive to the concerns of Koeran War veterans and their
families in gathering information for The Korean War Honor Roll. Both he and Colonel Badger have earned our
Regrettably, as verified by both of these officers, a complete roster of the 17,355 other military
personnel, some of whom died in support of or because of the Korean Operation and some who died in connection
with Cold War operations, is not available to ABMC. 1./ However, as these names are provided to the Commission
by families and friends, we are told that they are being added to the ABMC database.
MARTIN J. O’BRIEN
December 31, 1998
1./ Why is not clear! According to the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI), the ABMC
maintains a "Book of the Military Dead." Furthermore, Individual Deceased Personnel Files (IDPF/293),
mortuary files, are maintained by the Department of the Army and National Archives.
[KWE Note: The document below was retyped for insertion on the Korean War Educator.]
THE AMERICAN BATTLE MONUMENTS COMMISSION
WASHINGTON D.C. 20314-0001
June 5, 1997
The Honorable Susan Molinari
Member, U.S. House of Representatives
14 New Dorp Lane
Staten Island, NY 10306
Dear Ms. Molinari:
The Department of the Army, Office of Legislative Affairs has referred your letter of April 22, 1997 on
behalf of Mr. Martin J. O’Brien, to this Commission for reply. Information about this Commission, the services
we provide and the American military cemeteries and memorials under our care may be found in the enclosed
pamphlet and World War II commemorative booklet.
The Korean War Memorial Honor Roll database, which is an integral part of the Memorial, is in the process
of being compiled. At this time, the database contains the names of approximately 37,000 men and women of the
United States military who died during the Korean War. Regrettably, a roster of the approximately 17,000 other
military personnel who died world wide during the war is not available through Department of Defense channels.
However, as these names are provided to this Commission, they are being added to the database.
Enclosed for forwarding to Mr. O’Brien, is a copy of the roster which he compiled and provided to us. From
Mr. O’Brien’s roster, we have been able to include in the database approximately 200 names which we did not
previously have. Colonel Badger, the database project officer, has made some handwritten notes on the roster
which will be of assistance to Mr. O’Brien.
Please convey to Mr. O’Brien our appreciation of the extensive labor and dedication he has made to ensure
that those who have made the supreme sacrifice so that others may live in freedom are honored If we may be of
other service to you or your constituents at any time, please let us know.
Anthony N. Corea
Director, Operations and Finance
LIST OF ARMY NON-BATTLE CASUALTIES
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE ARMY NON-BATTLE STATS
Going into this exercise, I knew with some certainty from Department of Army, Surgeon General and
Department of Defense records and statistical data, that 2,452 Army non-battle deaths were officially
attributed to the Korean Operation. Whether all of the names are to be found in official files is another
The Reister Study:
Then I was lucky enough to find a rare copy of a study entitled Battle Casualties and Medical Statistics:
U.S. Army Experience in the Korean War, put together by Frank Reister and published by the Surgeon General,
Department of the Army in 1973. He developed the statistics using a variety of records, including hospital
patient records. Some 1943 deaths were attributed to injuries, burns, wounds, poisonings, suicides,
homicides and other causes, and 509 deaths were attributed to diseases. Reister’s report is very
comprehensive, as evidenced by the exhaustively detailed preface he wrote for the book.
DoD Acknowledges the Reister Numbers:
DoD acknowledges the Army study and uses the information in their statistical tables which routinely are
made available to the public, though it does not actually have a list of the 2,452 names to back up the
statistics. Then I got a copy of a 1954 Army microfiche set which I obtained from the DA under the Freedom
of Information Act. [As mentioned elsewhere in this study, the reference is: 601-87 (Fiche page Nos.
0001-0018) "POW, MIA, Non-Battle Casualties, Korean Operation (All Services, Korean War, as of March 31,
1954. Note: The title would lead one to believe that there are not KIA, DOW; however, they are included.]
Then I analyzed the microfiche. I found 2,389 DNB, "Died-Non-Battle;" 3 MNB, "Missing, Non-Battle;" and
22 FOD, "Finding of Death" entries for a total of 2,414 names. [Some 38 names short of the official DoD
count of 2,452. The difference, however, may lie in the possibility that some of the hospital records used
by Reister were of DNB who were hospitalized in Japan, or U.S., and may have been picked up in the mix of
the 17,355 "other" deaths attributed to out-of-theater operations. E.g., Roland Carey who died in Japan
after complications arising from an accident in Korea.]
I next cross-referenced the 2,414 names to the 1994 DoD DIOR data base of 34,461 names and the POW/MIA
list [PMKOR] of 8,196 names prepared by the Pentagon’s POW/MIA Office [DPMO] and released after the second
edition of my study was published.
The PMKOR is made up of the original 8,177 BNR (body-not-returned/identified) cases plus 19 of the 22 FOD
cases I had identified from the Army microfiche.
- The PMKOR list told me that 16 of the 19 FOD cases had been determined to be MIA and 3 cases had been
determined to be DNB.
- The DoD DIOR list told me that one DNB entry was a duplication; and that 18 FOD cases had been
reclassified as HDWM and 3 had been reclassified as KIA.
I do not know, however, if the 16 MIA additions in the PMKOR list already have been or will be
incorporated into the DoD DIOR data base (the official government record) for "Hostile" deaths. I do know,
though, that the DoD DIOR is working on a new casualty list for Korea which is due to be released in 2000,
at last report.
Changes Per DoD DIOR Data Base and DPMO Data Base
|- 1 DUPE
|| - 1
|- 18 HDWM
|| - 18
|| - 16 MIA
|| - 16
|| - 3 KIA
|| - 3
|| 3 DNB
| 2,452 = Official DoD DNB Stat
|-2.376 = DNB/MNB Identified by My Study
| 76 = Difference