Durham soldier killed in Korean War to be buried after remains identified decades later ::

— The remains of Army Cpl. Leon E. Clevenger — a Durham man who fought in the Korean War — will be buried at Oak Grove Memorial Gardens on Dec. 11.

Clevenger was 21 years old when he was reported missing in action in 1950 while in combat against the North Korean People’s Army.

The Army declared Clevenger dead in 1953, but his remains were not identified until 2019.

A couple months after Clevenger went missing, the body of an American soldier was found three miles from Clevenger’s last known location. Officials in Japan were not able to identify the body, and “unknown X-2258” was buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

Army Cpl. Leon E. Clevenger

Then in 2018, an initiative with U.S. Department of Defense working to identify fallen soldiers, disinterred the man’s body. Crews with the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency were able to identify Clevenger three years ago using circumstantial and dental evidence in addition to DNA analysis.

Clevenger was a light weapons infantryman and was awarded a Purple Heart after his death.

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A post from his family member on the Korean War Project’s website says he was not married and originally from Arkansas. All five of his brothers served in the military, according to the Korean War Project.

Graveside services for Clevenger will be performed by Bright’s Funeral Home in Wake Forest.

At this time, more than 7,500 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Korean War, according to the DPAA.

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