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Norvin Dale Brockett is a United States Army soldier who was reported missing in action during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War on December 6, 1950. His remains were returned to U.S. custody on July 27, 2018 and identified on August 5, 2019.

Early Life

Norvin Brockett was born in Crook County, Oregon on February 7, 1932 to Clarence and Zoretta Brockett. Raised in Powel Butte, Oregon, he had four other brothers and one sister. One of his brothers, Irvin, whom he considered his younger brother Norvin to be his favorite, recalled, "His biggest thing in life was to whip me. We boys would be wrestling, who could take the other one down. That was his biggest ambition, and all the other kids knew it – they’d egg him on." When he became seventeen years old, he begged his parents to join the United States Army. After receiving permission, Brockett joined the United States Army as a Corporal in Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division, 31st Regimental Combat Team on April 1950. He was stationed in Fort Ord, California, then he was shipped to Japan, and then shipped to North Korea.

Military Service

The 7th Infantry Division took part of the Battle of Inchon AKA the Inchon Landing between September 10 and September 19, 1950. United States and South Korean forces invaded and had taken over the city of Inchon. This battle was a strategic victory for the United Nations Command that turned the tide of the war in their favor. It is likely Brockett took part in this battle, but the extent of his participation is unknown.

Brockett's unit took part in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which between November 27 and December 13, 1950, the North Korean Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army recovered northeastern Korea and caused the United Nations Command to retreat. In the ensuing chaos, Brockett's unit was engaged in intense fighting with enemy forces. On December 6, 1950, Brockett was reported missing in action. Between December 1-2, 1950, his position near Hagaru-ri, North Korea, was overrun, but he was not listed as a prisoner of war. His remains were not recovered at the time and not when the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953.

Aftermath

Brockett was listed as presumed dead on December 31, 1953.

Brockett was posthumously awarded the following awards: the Purple Heart, 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 4 and the National Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Veterans activist Dick Tobiason, planned to erect one of the new POW/MIA Memorial Highway (U.S. Highway 26) signs in Prineville, where Brockett attended Crook County High School for two years, before he went off to war. He says Brockett's name also will be engraved on the Bend Veterans Peace Memorial at the Bend Heroes Memorial in Brooks Park

Identification

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 Norvin Dale Brockett on August 5, 2019. His identification was announced on August 7, 2019, the same day another serviceman, Billy Maxwell was identified. By the time Brockett was identified, only one of his siblings, Irvin, had survived him.

Brockett is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

Sources

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