History

Missing Korean War Soldiers’ Families Being Sought

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) seek help locating the families of 16 Canadian Army soldiers who went missing during the Korean War.

According to a press release, all soldiers were reported missing in action between October 11, 1951, and July 12, 1953. Their remains are believed to be close to where they were last seen, in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea’s Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) has been working on finding and recovering the remains of the soldiers. In addition, the CAF is looking for relatives to help identify if any discovered remains to see if any are the missing Canadian Army soldiers.

Canada’s Contribution to Korean War

Canadian soldiers set up a machine gun position, May 1951. Photo: Library and Archives Canada

“Our military relationship with Korea dates back to 1950, when Canada declared its support of South Korea following its sudden invasion by North Korea,” Lieutenant-General Steven Whelan, Commander Military Personnel Command, stated. “Canada contributed the third largest number of soldiers among United Nations (UN) countries during the Korean war. Of the more than 26,000 who deployed, 516 made the ultimate sacrifice. A formal agreement between the Republic of Korea and Canada signed on June 23, 2021, shows that we will never forget our fallen, and brings us one step closer to granting peace to the families of the soldiers who went missing.”

The press release noted that successfully identifying those who went missing and their burial with their name by their regiment could give the families some closure.

Dr. Sarah Lockyer, DND’s Casualty Identification Coordinator commented, “Canada owes a debt to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. It is our sacred duty to remember and honour those who died in service to Canada, no matter how long ago or how far away.”

Missing Soldiers

The only United Nations cemetery in the world, this memorial cemetery in Korea is a burial ground for United Nations Command casualties of the Korean War
  • Private Marcel Bear – 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SL-4741 / Date of birth: April29, 1932 / Missing Presumed Dead: May 3, 1953
  • Private Marc André Bolduc – 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment/Service No. E-800002 / Date of birth: October 2, 1930 / Missing Presumed Dead: November 25, 1951
  • Private Donald Frederick Bradshaw – 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry/Service No. SH-61876 / Date of birth: July 17, 1929 / Missing Presumed Dead: Oct 23, 1951
  • Private John Nicholas Burak – 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SK-5520 / Date of birth: October 11, 1926 / Missing Presumed Dead: May 3, 1953
  • Private Gerard Distefano – 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment/Service No. D-801423 / Date of birth: May 22, 1930 / Missing Presumed Dead: October 23, 1951
  • Lance Corporal John Howard Fairman – 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SM-9462 / Date of birth: March 21, 1932 / Missing Presumed Dead: October 13, 1952
  • Private Robert Gendron – 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SE-103719 / Date of birth: July 15, 1925 / Missing Presumed Dead: May 6, 1952
  • Corporal Donald Perkins Hastings – 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry/Service No. SK-12663 / Date of birth: March 20, 1929 / Missing Presumed Dead: October 15, 1952
  • Lance Corporal William Edward Johnstone – 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry/Service No. SF-10453 / Date of birth: November 14, 1929 / Missing Presumed Dead: October 15, 1952
  • Private John Paul Keating – 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SB-13903 / Date of birth: August 15, 1930 / Missing Presumed Dead: May 3, 1953
  • Private Joseph Edward Kilpatrick – 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SD-4685 / Date of birth: July 4, 1933 / Missing Presumed Dead: October 13, 1952
  • Acting Corporal Joseph Gaston Maurice Ladouceur – 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment/Service No. SD-4552 / Date of birth: August 8, 1930 / Missing Presumed Dead: September 6, 1952
  • Private William Albert Stone – 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SF-22255 / Date of birth: May 6, 1926 / Missing Presumed Dead: May 23, 1952
  • Corporal John Richard Toole – 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry/Service No. B-801850 / Date of birth: March 30, 1929 / Missing Presumed Dead: October 11, 1951
  • Private Joseph Georges Tremblay – 1st Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment/Service No. SD-4621 / Date of birth: December 7, 1932 / Missing Presumed Dead: June 23, 1952
  • Sergeant Gordon William Morrison Walker – 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment/Service No. SD-800063 / Date of birth: April 9, 1926 / Missing Presumed Dead: July 12, 1953

Family Member Declared Missing

The Canadian Korean War Memorial Garden is situated northeast of Kapyong-gun and just below the hills which were defended by Canadian Forces in the Battle of Kapyong in April 1951

Anyone who may know someone whose family member was declared Missing in Action between 1950 and 1953 can look into the Casualty Identification Program and fill out the form found here.

About the Casualty Identification Program

As stated in the press release, in 2007, the Casualty Identification Program was created by DND in response to a large number of discovered human remains of the more than 27,000 Canadian war dead with no known grave from the First World War, the Second World War, and the UN Operations in Korea.

Since then, the Casualty Identification Program has identified the human remains of 32 Canadians, while five sets of remains have been buried as unknown soldiers in cases where they couldn’t identify the soldiers. The Program has also identified the graves of 2 Canadians, which were previously marked as unknown, since 2019.

Show More

Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

Leave a Reply

Close