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Korean War Casualty/Fatality Information



According to recent Department of Defense statistics, a total of 36,576 Americans died while serving in the Korean War. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation about the casualty figures for the Korean War. This is caused by the fact that casualty statistics recorded by the US government for that time period are generally of a global nature. One frequently sees the casualty figures for the war at 54,246. That is because the statistics also include 17,670 deaths that occurred outside of the Korean theater of battle. (For example, a person killed in an accident in Germany while the war was going on in Korea is considered by the government to be a "Korean War casualty.")

A numerical breakdown of the 1950-1953 Korean War casualties can be found at:
http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/korea.pdf.  (Or Here) Each number is backed up with a name on a published roster maintained by DOD. All dates of death are based on the actual "date of incident." The roster of 36,576 names for the 1950-1953 period contains hundreds of changes and corrections, superseding all previous published DOD rosters, now archived at NARA. However, the archived rosters are useful for historical research.

The March 2004 DOD roster is available at Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate of Information Operations Reports, Department of Defense Comments@dior.whs.mil. The American Battle Monuments Commission relies on the DOD roster to feed its Interactive Computer System at the kiosk at the KWVM in D.C. and for their website at www.abmc.gov.

With respect to the 17,670 worldwide deaths, the DOD has not compiled a roster to date. The DOD may have these names, or most of them. A spokesman for DOD DIOR has indicated that his office is working with the Armed Services to compile this information.

The following are links to older works and information on the subject of Korean War casualties/fatalities, which provide broad and/or specific details on the subject.


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