By Shereen Siewert
U.S. and Wisconsin state flags are being flown at half staff Saturday, July 25, to honor a recently identified Korean War soldier whose remains were returned to Wisconsin for burial.
Army Cpl. Francis J. Rochon of Superior will be buried with full military honors on Saturday, July 25, in Foxboro, Wisconsin, after the Department of Defense positively identified his remains 70 years after his death.
Gov. Tony Evers on Friday issued the flag order, calling Saturday a “great, yet somber day.”
“We humbly remember Cpl. Rochon’s brave sacrifice to our nation and offer our condolences to his family as they now find closure after so many years and lay Cpl. Rochon to rest eternally in his home state and community,” said Evers, in a news release issued Friday.
Rochon was a member of the 2nd Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Sept. 1, 1950, after fierce fighting near Changnyeong, South Korea. The Army officially declared Rochon deceased on Dec. 31, 1953, and declared his remains non-recoverable Jan. 16, 1956.
Rochon’s unidentified remains were buried at a cemetery in South Korea in January 1951 and re-interred in 1956 to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu. He was disinterred in 2018 for possible identification by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
To identify Rochon’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.
Rochon will be buried at Summit Cemetery in Foxboro. His military awards include the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.
Executive Order #81 is available here.