MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has declared Wednesday a day of mourning in honor of a Memphis soldier whose remains were lost for nearly 70 years.
U.S. Army Capt. Rufus Hyman is being laid to rest Wednesday afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery. He was reported missing July 30, 1950 while serving in the Korean War. He was 23 years old.
Hyman, a Central High School graduate, was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. He went missing while engaged in combat against the North Korean People’s Army.
A year later, a search and recovery team with the American Graves Registration Service Group recovered remains where Hyman was last seen, but initial attempts at identification were unsuccessful and his remains were sent to the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii where he was buried as Unknown X.-1575.
The remains were disinterred in 2017 by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used DNA and other evidence to identify the remains as Hyman in February 2019.
“Rufus was a West Point graduate who served his country courageously,” said Lee. “The Hyman family finally has the closure that they deserve, and we join them in pausing to remember this Tennessee hero as he is laid to rest in the Arlington National Cemetery."
“Captain Hyman will be forever remembered for his service to our country,” said Rogers. “We will take this moment to reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice he made for his country 69 years ago.”
Hyman is survived by niece Jan Hoppe, of New Bern, North Carolina, niece Peggy Mullins of Mufreesboro, Tennessee, and nephew LaValle Sorrels, of Bartlett, Tennessee.