Dog Tag Returned With Korean War Remains Belonged to Indiana Man

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Dog Tag Returned With Korean War Remains Belonged to Indiana Man

In a ceremony Wednesday, Master Sgt. Charles McDaniel's identification tag was presented to his two sons.

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The lone dog tag that North Korea provided with 55 boxes of human remains last month belonged to an Army medic from Indiana.

Master Sgt. Charles Hobert McDaniel, of Indianapolis, was killed in combat in North Korea's Nammyon River valley in Nov. 1950. 

In a ceremony Wednesday in Arlington, Va., the representatives from the Pentagon presented the identification tag to his two sons, Charles Jr. and Larry.

"I broke down and cried when I got the phone call about the dog tag," Charles, a retired Army chaplain, told reporters. "It was a very, very moving moment for me. I had to take a little time to compose myself. We'd seen the caskets coming back, but of course, this is something we didn't expect."

Charles was about 3 years old when his father was deployed to Korea in August 1950; Larry was two. 

Neither man remembers much about their father, but Charles told reporters about two small things he still recalls.

"He liked ice cream and watched his weight," he said.

Charles said he also remembered gathering with his mother's family in southern Indiana after his father disappeared.

Larry McDaniel, who told reporters he has no memory of his father, said he is proud of his father's patriotism and love of country. 

“I’m proud that my father was extremely patriotic and loved the country enough that he was able to dedicate his entire life for the country without hesitation. But the thing is he was one of the thousands of guys in that generation that did it. And I don’t think the fact that we found his dog tags should overshadow any of that.”

It's unknown whether Master Sgt. McDaniel's remains are among those returned from North Korea. Identification is going on now in Delaware, a process that will take months.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency estimates nearly 8,000 American service members remain unaccounted-for from the Korean War.

(Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

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