Cpl. Kirtley was a member of Battery A, 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was listed as Missing in Action while fighting the enemy near Hagaru, North Korea on December 6, 1950. He was presumed dead on December 31, 1953. His remains were not recovered at the time. Through the work of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, the remains of Cpl. DeMaret M. Kirtley were accounted for in 2018. His name is permanently inscribed in the “Courts of the Missing” at the Honolulu Memorial.