The Department of Defense this summer identified the remains of a Crook County man killed during the Korean War.
Army Cpl. Norvin D. Brockett was officially accounted for on Aug. 5th, but his local family just learned of the news last week.
“You knew that he was lost in battle but having your government spend time and effort to bring him home is huge for a family because you get a chance to look back and think about him as a person,” said Gale Brockett, a cousin of Cpl. Brockett. “Even though I didn’t know him personally, I know the family and I know how much that struggle probably meant to them.
A release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency says in December 1950, Brockett was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, 31st Regimental Combat Team. He was reported missing in action on Dec. 6, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. His remains could not be recovered following the attack and he was not reported as a prisoner of war. The U.S. Army declared him deceased as of Dec. 31, 1953.
On July 27, 2018, following the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes, purported to contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War. The remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on Aug. 1, 2018, and were subsequently accessioned into the DPAA laboratory for identification.
All of Corporal Brockett’s immediate family members have passed In the nearly 70 years since he was presumed Killed in Action. Brockett’s oldest brother Clarence Brockett, an Army veteran who lived in Redmond, died in 2008 without fulfilling his goal of finding his brother’s remains.
“When you think of a soldier going, you think of all that patriotic stuff but when you remember what people said about him, he was just a 17 year old, 18 year old kid,” Gale Brockett said. “He was just a regular person who also patriotic and went over there and had a very short life.”
To identify Brockett’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis.
Today, 7,607 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using modern technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously returned by Korean officials, recovered from Korea by American recovery teams or disinterred from unknown graves. Brockett’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.
Brockett will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia. The date has not yet been determined.