'A great yet somber day:' Gov. Evers orders flags to half-staff in honor of Army Cpl. Francis J. Rochon

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday that the flags of the United States and the state of Wisconsin will be flown at half-staff on July 25, in honor a recently identified Korean War Soldier whose remains have been returned to Wisconsin for burial.

Army Cpl. Francis J. Rochon of Superior will be buried with full military honors on Saturday, July 25, in Foxboro, Wisconsin, after the Department of Defense positively identified his remains 70 years after his death.

“This is a great yet somber day,” said Gov. Evers.  “We humbly remember Cpl. Rochon’s brave sacrifice to our nation and offer our condolences to his family as they now find closure after so many years and lay Cpl. Rochon to rest eternally in his home state and community.”

Rochon was a member of the 2nd Infantry Division.  He was reported missing in action on Sept. 1, 1950, after fighting near Changnyeong, South Korea. The Army officially declared Rochon deceased on Dec. 31, 1953, and declared his remains non-recoverable Jan. 16, 1956.

Rochon’s unidentified remains were buried at a cemetery in South Korea in January 1951 and reinterred in 1956 to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.  He was disinterred in 2018 for possible identification by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

To identify Rochon’s remains, scientists from DPAA used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

Rochon will be buried at Summit Cemetery in Foxboro.  His military awards include the Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and Combat Infantryman Badge.