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Dec 15, 2021 / 17:53

More US servicemen missing in action in Vietnam repatriated

Since 2012, Vietnam has turned over policy, strategic, and tactical level archival documents regarding unaccounted for Americans.

Two sets of remains of US servicemen missing in action during the war in Vietnam have been repatriated in Danang, lengthening the list of accounted servicemen to 735 since joint research in 1973.

 A repatriation ceremony of US servicemen was held in Vietnam. Photo: US Embassy in Hanoi  

The repatriation ceremony was held at Hyatt Hotel with the attendance of Noah Zaring, Political Counselor at the US Embassy in Hanoi, and representatives from the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP), and Detachment 2 (Det-2) of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC).

Addressing the ceremony, US officials reaffirmed that joint efforts in missing in action (MIA) help build trust and mutual respect. It’s a field promoting bilateral cooperation in economics, trade, and humanitarian activities, including solving war legacies in Vietnam, Noah Zaring said.

Nguyen Hong Quang, Deputy Head of VNOSMP, said searching for US servicemen missing in action in the war in Vietnam reaffirmed Vietnam’s humanitarian policy and highlighted the Vietnamese people’s spirit of leaving the past behind and looking forward to the future.

The remains, which were found by joint search teams during the 144th and 145th Joint Field Activity conducted from July to December 2021, will be transferred to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) laboratory in Hawaii for further analysis and identification.

Vietnam and the US have cooperated for over 30 years to fully account for those Americans still missing from the war in Vietnam. The good cooperation has upheld the promise that those missing in action are never forgotten.

According to DPAA, there remain 1,238 Americans still unaccounted for in Vietnam.

Each Joint Field Activity (JFA) involves approximately 95 American personnel plus their Vietnamese counterparts. Together, they work on investigations and excavations throughout the country for a period of approximately 30 days per JFA.

In addition to the interviews conducted during JFAs, US and Vietnamese investigators have conducted nearly 300 oral history interviews of former and current Vietnamese government and military officials. This program is ongoing, said DPAA.

The US and Vietnam started to work together on accounting for missing persons in the 1980s, and the cooperation on this humanitarian work laid the foundation for the normalization of bilateral ties in 1995.

For over 30 years, the United States and Vietnam have sustained strong cooperation to provide the fullest possible accounting for those Americans still missing from the war in Southeast Asia.

At the end of the war, 1,973 US military and civilian personnel were unaccounted for in Vietnam. The DPAA and VNOSMP continue their pursuit to account for the remaining personnel.