Jasper Victoriano Marquez is an American serviceman who was captured on November 28, 1950 and died on January 20, 1951. His remains were returned to U.S. custody on July 27, 2018 and identified on August 9, 2019.
Jasper Marquez was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico on November 17, 1929. He was living in Brown, Texas when he joined the United States Army. He was a part of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division and his rank was a Private First Class.
The 2nd Infantry Division arrived in Pusan, South Korea on August 23, 1950, becoming the first American unit to arrive in South Korea. On the night of August 31, 1950, the North Korean People's Army began their sixteen-day attack at the Naktong River Line. It is presumed Marquez took part in this battle as he was seriously wounded on September 6, 1950. He returned to duty on October 13, 1950.
The 2nd Infantry Division took part in the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River in which between November 25 and December 2, 1950, in which the Chinese People's Volunteer Army managed to cause forces of the United Nations Command to retreat to the 38th parallel. In one area of the battle, Kujang-dong, Marquez's unit was attacked by enemy forces. He was reported missing in action on November 28, 1950. After the war ended, a returned prisoner-of-war reported Marquez was captured as a prisoner of war and died on January 20, 1951. His remains could not be recovered at the time.
He was posthumously awarded the following awards: the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Prisoner of War Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.
His name is featured at the Honolulu Memorial Courts of the Missing in Court 6 and the National Korean War Veterans Memorial.
On July 27, 2018, following a U.S. and North Korea joint-summit between President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un the month before, the North Korean government returned fifty-five boxes of unknown U.S. soldiers to U.S. custody. They arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on August 1, 2018. Scientists at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), Y-chromosome DNA (Y-STR) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis to identify the remains.
Based on these DNA analysis techniques and historical evidence, remains associated with the fifty-five boxes were identified as belonging to Jasper Victoriano Marquez on August 9, 2019. His identification was announced on August 13, 2019.
Marquez is now buried in Col. 4, Row D, Site 272 at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe.