Remains of Joe Elmore, Korean veteran, are headed back to Clinton County after 68 years

Posted August 8, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Joe Elmore.psd

It’s been more than 68 years since the family of Private First Class Joe Stanton Elmore last knew of his whereabouts.

Elmore was reportedly missing on December 2, 1950 in Changjim County, Hamgyeong Province, North Korea, after an engagement that occurred in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir.

Since that time, his whereabouts have been unknown until now.

While the remains of Elmore have been in the states for the past 23 years, the identification of his remains have recently been discovered.

The process of identifying the remains often requires years, if not decades of detailed examination and meticulous forensic analysis according to a press release issued by Governor Matt Bevin’s office.

Elmore was a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was one of 2,500 U.S. and 700 Republic of Korea soldiers assigned to the 31st Regimental Combat Team, also known as Task Force MacLean and renamed as Task Force Faith.

In November, 1950, Elmore’s unit was deployed along the north shore of North Korea, in the South Hamgyong Province. On November 27, 120,000 Chinese troops attacked the task force Elmore was in. A fight that lasted 17 days in the bitter cold winter in Korea. Elmore was declared MIA on December 2, 1950 and presumed dead on December 31, 1953.

In 1995, his sisters Mary Bowlin and Lola Smith, who passed away in 2012, took part in the Korean War Missing DNA project.

According to reports, Bowlin was contacted five years ago and told there was a 99.9 percent chance the remains of her brother were found.

On July 5, 2018, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency informed Bowlin that the DNA she and her sister had provided in 1995, was a 100 percent match to the remains located by the Army.

For 68 years Elmore had been lost, but now he will return to Kentucky where he was born and finally laid to rest.

Elmore was born on January 27, 1930, in the Neathery-Cave Springs Community of Clinton County.

According to Weldon Haddix of Weldon Haddix Funeral Home, Elmore’s remains will be in Nashville, Tennessee on August 15, where he is scheduled to be picked up and brought back to Clinton County.

Other arraignments for services are yet to be determined.