A road in Dunham will be named in honor of a U.S. Army soldier whose body wasn’t identified until 62 years after he died in combat in the Korean War.
James Curtis Mullins, who grew up near Straight Row in Dunham, was listed as missing in action after his unit, H Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, battled enemy forces near Yugong-ni, South Korea on July 22, 1950.
The remains of Mullins, who died at age 18, and eight other unknown soldiers were first buried in the Pusan Cemetery in Pusan, South Korea in 1951, but were reburied later that same year at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. Recorded as“X-14”, Mullins’s remains were reburied in Section U, Grave 332. On December 31, 1953, Mullins was listed as presumed dead.
In 2012, analysts from the Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) and Joint POW/ MIA Accounting Command ( JPAC) relied on military clothing, metal identification tags, and wartime records to verify that the remains were a soldier who died in Yugong ni.
JPAC scientist compared dental records to identify the remains of Mullins, who was buried with full military honors at Sand Hills State Veterans Cemetery near Ft. Bragg, N.C. on November 2, 2012.
“It brings closure to a lot of questions I had in my mind,” James Mullins’s brother Clayton told the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer. “ Where he was. What could possibly have happened to him. It made me happy that they finally identified him, and it made me sad in another way.”
James Mullins 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 Republic of Korea War Service Medal. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
A road dedication will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 3 on Straight Row in Dunham.