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Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance

Korean memorial wall

The Korean War affected the lives of millions of military members who served in the armed forces during that time, as well as their family members. For many, the impact was devastating, as more than 35,000 U.S. service members lost their lives in the war, which was fought in Asia from June 1950 to July 1953 after communist North Korea invaded noncommunist South Korea.

A Closer Look at the Memorial

Get an up-close 3D tour of the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the newest addition to the Memorial, the Wall of Remembrance.

In a powerful tribute to the nearly 6 million men and women who served during the war, the Korean War Veterans Memorial stands near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It includes seven-foot statues of 19 battle-clad soldiers advancing toward the American flag, and a granite wall of etchings representing a cross-section of those who served. Listen to an interactive app with an audio tour while walking five sections of the Memorial, available in both English and Korean. And now, thanks to a law passed by Congress in 2016, a wall of remembrance is constructed at the memorial, similar to the one at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in May 2021.

A service member must be classified as an official Korean War casualty to be included on the wall. Most of these names are already a matter of record. A policy is in place for families to submit the names of other service members who:

  • Died of wounds, illness or injury received while in the combat zone
  • Did not die in an active-duty status, so their deaths are not already part of the official record

This might include cases such as service members gravely wounded in battle, discharged from the military service and sent to a civilian hospital before ultimately dying from their injuries. In these instances, those individuals may also meet the criteria to be declared an official casualty of the war ─ making them eligible to have their names etched in the wall.

As of Mar. 29, 2023, the DOD Instruction 1300-18, “DOD Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies, and Procedures,” provides the policy for determining official Korean War casualties and eligibility criteria for inclusion on the wall. The following shows the official language on eligibility from the DTM.

a. For a Service member to be considered an official casualty of the Korean War, they must meet one of the following criteria.

(1) Died within the territorial limits of Korea, in the waters immediately adjacent thereto or in aerial flight over Korea, while participating in combat operations or in support of combat operations. Geographical boundaries include the Korean peninsula, the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Korean Strait, the Korean Bay, and the Northeast section of the Peoples’ Republic of China (referred to collectively in this DTM as the “combat zone”) between June 25, 1950, and July 27, 1953;

(2) Died in the defined combat zone from July 28, 1953, to July 27, 1954;

(3) Died as a result of wounds, illness, or injury sustained in the combat zone;

(4) Died in the defined combat zone while participating in, or providing direct support to, a combat mission immediately in route to or returning from a target; or

(5) Died from wounds resulting from combat or hostile related action by an enemy of the United States within the territorial limits of Korea before June 25, 1950, or after July 27, 1954.”

The criteria above does not require that the service member was killed in action or that the cause of death was combat related.

View the DOD list to see if your loved one’s name is already considered a Korean War casualty. If your service member is not on the list and you believe they are eligible for inclusion on the wall, you must submit evidence and documentation in written form to show how your service member meets the established criteria. Department of Defense Instruction 1300.18, paragraphs and, provides information about the policy that mandates medical documentation and other requirements.

To request corrections, connect with your service headquarters below.

United States Army:
Address: Headquarters U.S. Army Human Resources Command
Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Division
1600 Spearhead Division Ave.
Fort Knox, Kentucky, 40122-5405
Telephone: 800-626-3317
Commercial: 502-613-9025

United States Marine Corps:
Address: Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps
Attn: Korean War Memorial
2008 Elliot Road
Quantico, Virginia, 22134-5103
Telephone: 800-847-1597, select Option 2

United States Navy:
Address: Department of the Navy
Attn:  POW/MIA Office
Navy Personnel Command PERS-00C
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, Tennessee, 38055
Telephone: 800-443-9298
United States Department of the Air Force:
Address: Headquarters Air Force Casualty — Missing Persons Branch
550 C St. West
JBSA-Randolph, Texas, 78150
Telephone: 210-565-3752
Toll Free: 800-531-5501

United States Coast Guard:
Address: Commander
Personnel Service Center
U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7200
2703 Martin Luther King Junior Ave. South East
Washington, D.C.,  20593-7200
Telephone: 202-795-6637

To begin the process, a family member, friend or other individual must make a request for the name of their service member to be added to the existing DOD list of official Korean War casualties.

The DODI 1300-18, “DOD Personnel Casualty Matters, Policies, and Procedures,” outlines the review process for determining whether a service member is eligible to be included on the wall. The following is the official language from the DTM.

a. Requests to include names to the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall will be sent to the Military Service concerned, which will review the request and relevant information in the individual’s official personnel record in accordance with Paragraphs and of DoD Instruction 1300.18.

b. The Military Service concerned will review each request and provide its recommendation to DHRA on whether the case meets the eligibility criteria in Paragraph 2 of [the attachment in the DTM] to be declared as an official casualty of the Korean War.

c. After the Military Service concerned completes its review, the request will be forwarded to the Director, DHRA. Family members or other interested parties will be advised by the Military Service that the request has been received, and an update will be provided when a determination of whether the individual meets the established Korean War casualty criteria has been made.

d. A representative from the DHRA and the respective Military Service will present the case to the DoD Casualty Advisory Board, which will review and provide its recommendation for the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness’ final review and validation as to whether or not an individual is an official casualty of the Korean War under the established criteria.

e. The names of the individuals validated by DoD as official Korean War casualties will be provided by the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness through the Secretary of the Interior to the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc., for inclusion on the Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall.”

In providing its list of Korean War veterans for inclusion on the wall, the DOD will use the name in the service member’s official military record.

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