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Missing Declared Dead


Korean War truce talks began in July 1951, but the war wouldn't end until two years later.

On this date in 1952, one U.N. negotiator accused North Korea and China of secretly imprisoning allied prisoners of war in Red China. Rear Admiral R. E. Libby stated a Chinese lieutenant had confessed he escorted POWs to a processing center in Harbin, deep in Manchuria, where he saw more than 1,000 U.N. prisoners, including Americans. When the final prisoner exchange took place in September 1953, further evidence existed that live American prisoners were held back by the communists.

Five months later, all missing U.S. servicemen were declared dead. Among them were Milton Billigmeier of Stutsman County, Elmer Bear of McLean County, Joseph "Sonny" Meyer of Richland County, Dennis Brady of Eddy County, Edmund Bergum of Grand Forks, Charles Blomberg of Dickinson, and Cecil Brandsted of Amenia.

By Merry Helm


The Bismarck Tribune. 8 Mar 1952:1.

Dumas, Bill. Missing, Presumed Dead: a search for America's POWs.

Documentary feature. 2004.

North Dakota Casualties in the Korean War. (Database) Author. 30 Dec 2008.