SACRAMENTO – On behalf of all Californians, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown honor Army Pfc. James J. Leonard, Jr., a U.S. serviceman missing from the Korean War.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) has announced that Army Pfc. Leonard’s remains have been identified and that he will be buried on January 23 with full military honors.
Army Pfc. James J. Leonard, Jr., 22, of San Francisco, CA, bravely gave his life in service to our state and nation and the Governor and First Lady extend their deepest condolences to his family and friends. In memorial, Governor Brown ordered that flags be flown at half-staff over the State Capitol. Army Pfc. Leonard’s family will receive a letter of condolence from the Governor.
The following information was provided by DPAA:
In July 1950, Army Pfc. Leonard was a member of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. On July 20, Army Pfc. Leonard’s regiment arrived east of Yongdong, South Korea, and began preparing to assume the defense of the city. By July 23, Korean People’s Army (KPA) units began attacking American defenses and took control of Yongdong by July 25. Army Pfc. Leonard was reported killed in action on July 25, 1950.
In June 1952, the 392nd Quartermaster Graves Registration Company conducted searches of the area around Yongdong, but Army Pfc. Leonard’s remains were not identified. On March 30, 2017, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense Agency for Killed in Action Recovery and Identification (MAKRI) recovered remains near Yongdong village, which were subsequently sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis. Scientists from DPAA used material evidence as well as dental and anthropological analyses in the identification of the remains.