James Thomas Higgins
Sergeant, United States Army
Sergeant, U.S. Army
Service Number 15380455
Killed in Action
Died November 1, 1950 in Korea
Sergeant Higgins was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy near Unsan, North Korea on November 1, 1950. His remains were recovered on August 8, 2000. Sergeant Higgins was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department
Soldier Missing in Action From the Korean War is Identified
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Korean War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.
He is Corporal Edward F. Blazejewski, U.S. Army, of Elizabeth, New Jersey. He is to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. on Friday, 11 August 2006.
Blazejewski was assigned to Medical Company, 8th Cavalry Regiment, when his unit came under heavy artillery attack by Chinese forces near Unsan, North Korea, on November 1, 1950. During the attack, Corporal Blazejewski and other soldiers killed in action were left behind when their unit moved to a previous defensive position. A U.S. soldier who had been held as a prisoner of war by the North Koreans told debriefers that Blazejewski and others had been killed by a grenade explosion.
In August 1997, a joint U.S.-North Korean team, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavated a site in Pyongan Province believed to contain the remains of several U.S. soldiers. Remains representing four men were recovered, as well as an identification tag and a denture, neither of which were associated with Blazejewski.
The other three soldiers were identified and buried in 2000. Buried at Arlington were Sergeant James T. Higgins, Benham, Kentucky; and Private First Class John L. Hoey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sergeant Andrew Ernandis, Brooklyn, New York, was buried in Hicksville, N.Y. Group remains representing all four soldiers will also be buried Friday at Arlington.
Among other forensic identification tools, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of Blazejewski's remains, matching a DNA sequence from a maternal relative.
For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO web site or call (703) 699-1169.
Posted: 10 August 2006