Remains identified as Central Texas soldier missing in action in Korea since 1950

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 3:47 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEXIA, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas soldier who fought in the Korean war has been accounted for after he was reported missing in action on Sept. 14, 1950.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced on Aug. 31 that U.S. Sgt. Willie J. Baty, of Mexia, was killed in the Korean War and accounted for on Feb. 8, 2023.

Although Baty was accounted for in February, the DPAA says his family only recently got their full briefing on his identification, which is why the information is being released now.

Baty was a part of the L Company, 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

He was reported missing in action on Sept. 14, 1950, when his unit was forced to withdraw from the Masan area of the Pusan Perimeter, South Korea.

After the battle, DPAA says his remains could not be recovered and there was no indication Baty was a prisoner of war.

The Army issued a presumption of death for Baty on Dec. 31, 1953, and determined his remains unrecoverable on Jan. 16, 1956.

In late 1950 a group tasked with recovering and identifying remains lost during the Korean War, the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps, found a set of remains designated as Unknown X-159 near Masan.

Extensive analysis of the remains was done by the Central Identification Unit-Kokura in Japan, and they determined the remains unidentifiable.

The remains were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, with other Korean War Unknowns in December 1950.

DPAA proposed a plan in July 2018 to dig up 652 Korean War Unknowns from the Punchbowl.

X-159 was dug up by the DPAA in March 2019 and sent the remains to the DPAA laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, for analysis.

Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA analysis AND Scientist from DPAA used dental, isotope and anthropologic analysis to identify X-159 as Baty’s remains.

A rosette will be placed next to Baty’s name at the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl to indicate he has been accounted for.

Baty will be buried in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 15, 2023.