X-rays help to ID Korean War casualties

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Hunched over a pair of hazy photos, Emily Wagner maneuvers a tiny spatula to rearrange the torn and furrowed film that shows the chest X-ray of a missing Korean War soldier.

It’s slow, painstaking work in a converted cotton mill in the Berkshires, but the payoff could be immeasurable. By putting its film-restoration skills to new use, a photo laboratory here is in the vanguard of a promising Defense Department effort to identify the remains of Korean War veterans, six decades after the conflict began.

“It’s a huge breakthrough for us,’’ said John Byrd, lab director at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii, who estimated the improved photos might help identify as many as 200 remains that lie buried in the national military cemetery in Honolulu. “It’s fantastic is what it is.’’...

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