HANOI, June 19, 2017 – The U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), in collaboration with the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP), yesterday held its 141st Repatriation Ceremony at Da Nang International Airport. During the ceremony, Vietnam officially transferred custody of remains believed to be those of U.S. personnel missing from the Vietnam War.
DPAA and Vietnamese unilateral recovery teams located these remains during the 127th Joint Field Activity, which took place in the central provinces of Vietnam from May 6 to June 18, 2017. Prior to the repatriation ceremony, a team of U.S. and Vietnamese forensic scientists examined the remains and recommended that they be transported to DPAA’s laboratory in Hawaii for further testing.
U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City Deputy Principal Officer (DPO) Tim Liston represented the U.S. Government in receiving custody of the remains. The U.S. military honor guard from DPAA then transferred the remains to a United States Air Force aircraft for repatriation to the United States.
“The repatriation ceremony truly pays honor and respect to the men and women that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The continuing cooperation with Vietnam on this important issue underscores the strength of the bilateral relationship.” said DPO Liston.
During the last search mission in Vietnam, 53 dedicated Americans and their Vietnamese partners excavated sites in Quang Nam, Quang Tri, Quang Binh, and Nghe An provinces. They worked hard in some of the most unforgiving terrain and weather conditions. The mission successfully recovered through excavation two sets of remains to be further examined in DPAA’s Laboratory in Hawaii.
Since 1985, U.S.-Vietnamese joint personnel accounting cooperation — through the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency and its predecessors in coordination with the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons — led to the accounting of 717 Americans in Vietnam. There are 1,256 Americans still unaccounted-for in Vietnam from the war.