72 years after his death in Korean War, local soldier to be buried in Dayton

Owen Watkins, a member of the civil air patrol, holds a wreath and walks among the grave markers at Dayton National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 18. Eileen McClory / staff

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Owen Watkins, a member of the civil air patrol, holds a wreath and walks among the grave markers at Dayton National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 18. Eileen McClory / staff

Remains of Fairborn soldier return home decades after Korean War battle

After years of painstaking analysis, the remains of a Fairborn man killed during the Korean War will be interred May 21 at Dayton National Cemetery.

Graveside services for U.S. Army Pfc. Chauncey (William) J. Sharp will be performed by Morris Sons Funeral Home of Fairborn preceding the interment.

A native of Osborn — one of two villages that formed Fairborn in 1950, with Fairfield — Sharp was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He was reported killed in action July 24, 1950, at 18. His unit sustained heavy casualties while defending against the North Korean army’s advance near Hwanggon, South Korea, according to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

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Army Pfc. Chauncey (William) J. Sharp. U.S. Army photo

Army Pfc. Chauncey (William) J. Sharp. U.S. Army photo

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Army Pfc. Chauncey (William) J. Sharp. U.S. Army photo

His body was not recovered because his unit was forced to retreat, and no remains found could be identified as Sharp, the Army said in a release Monday. He was declared non-recoverable in early 1956.

A graves registration team from Sharp’s unit investigating the area where he was lost found several sets of remains on Oct. 12, 1950, including one designated “unknown X-8 Taejon,” the Army said.

“Despite several attempts over four years, X-8 could not be identified,” the Army said. “The remains were later transported with all of the unidentified Korean War remains and buried as Unknowns at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the Punchbowl, in Honolulu, Hawaii.”

After research into casualties from the Hwanggon area, those remains was disinterred Aug. 17, 2017, and transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii for analysis.

Sharp was accounted for by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in December 2020, with DNA analysis.

Sharp’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the Punchbowl, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War.

A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for, the Army said.

More than 7,500 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.

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