Korean War Project

Finding The Families - The Search For Korean War MIA/POW Family DNA Samples

KIA-MIA-POW Non Battle

DNA Needed Search
By State or Territory

Korean War Project
Call 214-320-0342
For Family DNA Information.


On May 15, 2001, the Korean War Project announced Finding The Families, an Internet based initiative to find several thousand families of servicemen Missing In Action from the Korean War. As tensions heat and cool on the Korean peninsula, many remains of servicemen lost in the Korean War will eventually be repatriated to the United States. DNA samples are needed from these families in order to make it possible to attempt to identify remains found in the future.

We encourage you to research your local city or county and see if together we can find the missing families to let them know We Remember The Lost.

Once we make contact, we will direct you to the Department of Defense unit that ultimately obtains the DNA samples.

For More Information Email Ted Barker or call 214-320-0342


November 21, 2018 - Dallas, Texas. In the three years of the Korean War, 8,177 United States servicemen were designated Missing In Action. At least 800 of these servicemen now rest in the Military Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. Remains of others rest forever at sea and on land in both North and South Korea.

The Punchbowl remains are to date largely unidentified. The only potential means of positive identification is through DNA samples obtained from family members of the lost, and from other forensic records that only recently became available.

In addition to the Punchbowl remains, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) Laboratory at Hickham AFB in Hawaii has hundreds of remains ready for DNA matching and possible identification.

According to the Department of Defense, DNA samples are needed from family members of these missing.

Over the years, tensions in Korea have cooled and re-heated, but many of the MIA's now resting in North Korea and the DMZ are expected to be repatriated to the United States. It is with great hope that many of these remains may be identified in the future through DNA analysis.

In 1999, the Department of Defense asked the Korean War Project for help finding families of MIA's. Because Department of Defense funds were unavailable to conduct the search, the Korean War Project volunteered free help.

In August 2000, the Korean War Project, a non-profit corporation based in Dallas, Texas, began an online program to identify the specific MIA servicemen and find their families. That project evolved into Finding The Families. This volunteer work has continued for over 19 years.

The Korean War Project maintains the most comprehensive public Korean War casualty database on the Internet.

With the cooperation of the four military services, the Project obtained the names of all personnel for whom DNA samples were needed from family members and placed flags on these names on the central Korean War Project casualty database.

Jan Curran, of Diamond Bar, California, lost her father, naval aviator Lt. Charles Garrison. Lt. Garrison was shot down and captured in May, 1951. He died in captivity. His remains have not been recovered.

Mrs. Curran supports the Finding The Families Project.

"This is such an important effort, particularly as the years pass. The available family members who can donate is dwindling. Many people are unaware that samples from two family members are desired for better identification. My aunt and uncle both donated samples a few years ago and my aunt has since passed away. I'm glad I didn't put it off." If you are a family member who lost a loved one in Korean, please visit the Korean War Project at https://www.koreanwar.org to determine if DNA samples are needed for future analysis.


For over 20 years, the Korean War Project has maintained the most comprehensive public database of Korean War Casualties available to the public.

This database is a combination of the central Korean War casualty database maintained by the Department of Defense, the PMKOR database maintained by the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, databases from the National Archives, and individual casualty databases maintained by the four military service casualty offices.

In addition to the government obtained information, the Korean War Project maintains the Remembrance database consisting of data submitted by veterans and family members who have interest or knowledge of a particular loss.

To date, over 46,000 (counting Families Found) entries are now in the Remembrance database for public viewing and access through the Internet. Many of these Remembrance entries have resulted in family members discovering the need for DNA samples.

The Department of Defense and researchers throughout the world routinely use the Korean War Project databases to identify potential DNA donors. In addition, hundreds of veterans with actual knowledge of the circumstances of a loss place their invaluable information online.

For many family members, the Remembrance database entries comprise the first actual specific knowledge of a loss and the unique ability to immediately contact veterans who knew their loved one.

The Korean War Project first appeared online in February 1995. In 1997, the Project obtained 501(c)(3) non-profit status and embarked on a mission to provide the public worldwide with a central location for information relating to the Korean War.

In addition to providing the most comprehensive Korean War casualty databases, the Project provides more than 2200 individual unit pages with over 100,000 individual entries from veterans, family members, researchers, and government agencies. All entries are readily available to the public.

The Project does not have any major commercial or foundation sponsors and does not receive government funds.

The Internet operation of the Korean War Project is manned by Hal and Ted Barker in Dallas. All design, programming, communications, and historical research is conducted by the Barkers and a small group of volunteers.

The Finding The Famlies program is a continuing public effort to provide the most comprehensive information to the public relating to the Korean War.

Korean War Project
P.O. Box 180190
Dallas, TX 75218-0190

Media and Information Telephone - 214-320-0342

Dedicated To - Arthur Donald DeLacy - 1st Lieutenant - USMCR - MIA POW - 10/07/1951 - Heartbreak Ridge