Readshaw and D. Costa joint resolution recognizes life of formerly unknown Korean War soldier

HARRISBURG, June 3 – Honoring the life and death of U.S. Marine Sgt. John McLaughlin, who died in battle during the Korean War, the Pennsylvania House this week unanimously adopted H.R. 351, introduced by state Reps. Harry Readshaw and Dom Costa, both D-Allegheny.  

McLaughlin was 19 and a member of USMC Company D, 32nd battalion, 5th regiment, 1st Division when he when he died during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir on Dec. 7, 1950.

McLaughlin's remains were unidentified and buried in the grave of unknown soldiers in the National Memorial Cemetery in Hawaii, where they lay for 58 years, until a project using familial DNA samples positively identified him.

McLaughlin was returned to the Pittsburgh region in April and will be laid to rest there on Saturday, June 6.

"It is an honor to salute the life of Sergeant McLaughlin," Readshaw said. "As a fellow Marine, I am thrilled to know his body is finally being interred in his home region. Advances in both science and medicine are providing more families their final closure to the unknown casualties in our wars."

Costa said, “Closure is a critical component to the healing process for the families of MIA service members, and it’s fortunate that we are able to recognize the heroism and sacrifice of one of Pittsburgh’s own as we highlight the good work of the Korean War Project.”

Positive identification was made through the Korean War Project: Finding the Families, which matches family DNA to unidentified soldiers from the Korean and Vietnam wars.

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