DEFENSE POW/MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCY (DPAA) / VIETNAM OFFICE FOR SEEKING MISSING PERSONS (VNOSMP)
143 JOINT FIELD ACTIVIES COMPLETED | 729 AMERICANS REPATRIATED/IDENTIFIED | 1,244 AMERICANS REMAIN UANCCOUNTED
THE U.S. ACCOUNTING MISSION IN VIETNAM
The Government of Vietnam established the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) in March 1973 with the primary mission of assisting the United States with accounting for Missing in Action (MIA) personnel in Vietnam. In 1985, the United States and the VNOSMP conducted the first post-unification excavation in Gia Lam District, Hanoi. Since 1988, both countries have sustained cooperation on this humanitarian effort completing 143 Joint Field Activities (JFA), with 729 Americans repatriated and identified to date. Of special significance, during the COVID-19 pandemic when U.S. personnel were not able to travel to Vietnam, the VNOSMP deployed nine Vietnamese Unilateral Recovery Teams, resulting in the return and identification of one American. This month marks the 30th anniversary of the U.S. MIA office in Hanoi. The U.S. accounting mission in Vietnam predates diplomatic relations and has operated under several monikers since 1985. Today, the humanitarian accounting mission remains the bedrock of the U.S-Vietnam Relationship, enabling bilateral cooperation across a range of other areas.
U.S. to Vietnam: Recently, a U.S. veteran turned in information and pictures of a mass burial site (approximately 20 Vietnamese soldiers) in central Vietnam. This information was provided in response to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) data call to encourage members to turn in war artifacts that will assist Vietnam in locating and identifying their own war dead. The VFW turned the information and pictures over to DPAA for further analysis as part of an existing cooperative MOU. DPAA Detachment Two in Hanoi, in collaboration with Department of Defense STONY BEACH investigation and research specialists, examined the information and identified the probable location of this burial site.
Vietnam to U.S.: A Vietnamese citizen in central Vietnam turned in several artifacts to local authorities that were discovered while tending buffalo: a pilot’s checklist; an evasion map; and a “blood chit” with the unique identifier of an American U.S. Air Force F-4 pilot. Working with the VNOSMP, DPAA Detachment Two was able to directly correlate these artifacts to the case of a U.S. Air Force F-4 pilot who crashed in Quang Binh in 1967.