FORT KNOX, K.Y. (WETM) — The remains of a soldier from Buffalo killed during the Korean War are to be buried in Elmira this month after going unidentified for nearly 70 years.
Buffalo native, and Army Cpl. Robert C. Agard Jr. was a member of the 2nd Platoon, 24th Reconnaissance Company, 24th Infantry Division when he was reported missing in action on July 19, 1950, at the age of 19. At the time he was conducting a night recon patrol with his unit near Taejon, South Korea. He was reportedly never found, nor were any of the remains recovered identified as Agard, and in January of 1956, he was declared non-recoverable.
In December of 1950, Agard’s remains were unofficially located but were designated Uknown X-311 Taejon, as they were unidentifiable at the time. The remains were found near Dawbyeol-dong, a village near Taejon, along with the remains of two members of Agard’s unit.
The remains of X-311 were unable to be identified and were transported with all of the unidentified Korean War remains and buried as unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
On June 10, 2019, X-311 was brought up from the unknown grave as part of the Korean War Identification Project. The remains were transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
Agard’s remains were officially identified on September 29, 2020, after they were identified using circumstantial evidence, along with dental, anthropological, and mitochondrial DNA analysis.
Agard’s remains are set to be buried on May 27, at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Elmira.