MIA Searches Bring Results in Cambodia and Laos
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) _ Bones, teeth and other artifacts of several U.S. servicemen missing in Cambodia during the Vietnam War were handed over to American officials in Phnom Penh today.
An undetermined number of remains were given to U.S. officials in six coffins draped with American flags. They were recovered in two separate operations in cooperation with Cambodian officials.
One of the operations recovered remains at the site of the Mayaguez rescue mission. The cargo ship was seized by communist Khmer Rouge troops near Koh Tang island off Cambodia’s southern coast in 1975. Thirty- eight U.S. soldiers died freeing the ship.
The three-week search in the waters off Koh Tang Island also found helicopter wreckage and personal effects such as pieces of uniforms and helmets, but there were no traces of five soldiers lost on the island.
Major Scott Chavez, commander of the task force, said the search would resume next year.
Remains and wreckage also were found in a separate search in Kompong Cham province, 45 miles northeast of Phnom Penh. Four Americans died there in a UH-1 helicopter crash in 1971.
Meanwhile, remains of seven United States Air Force servicemen shot down over Laos during the Vietnam war have been identified, embassy officials in Vientiane said today.
The seven were crew members of Baron 52, a reconnaissance plane hit by anti-aircraft fire on Feb. 5, 1973.
A search for the crew members began in 1992, and the remains were recovered in February 1993. They were identified last week.
They were determined to be Sgt. Dale Brandenburg, Sgt. Peter R. Cressman, Sgt. Joseph A. Matejov, Sgt. Todd M. Melton, Lt. Severo J. Primm III, Capt. George R. Spitz and one crew member whose name is being withheld until his relatives can be notified.
There are 2,162 Americans unaccounted for from the war in Southeast Asia. Seventy-seven are missing in Cambodia, 1,613 in Vietnam, 464 in Laos and eight in China.