EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An Anthony, New Mexico soldier who never returned home from the Korean War was identified by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency after being returned by the Korean government last summer.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Calzada Mendoza, 27, was reported missing in action on December 2, 1950, when his unit engaged against enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea.
SFC Mendoza was an artilleryman with Battery D, 15th Anti-Aircraft
Artillery, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 31st Regimental Combat Team at the time of his disappearance.
President Donald Trump negotiated the release of over 55 boxes of purported remains of American service members in July 2018 while meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification. His remains were positively identified through DNA in August.
Mendoza’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, along with the others who are missing from the Korean War. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.
Mendoza will be laid to rest on November 15, 2019, in Dixon, California.