Remains Of 13 MIAs Found In Laos Arrive at Travis AFB
FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) _ The remains of 13 U.S. servicemen killed in a 1972 airplane crash in Laos, the largest group of missing-in-action soldiers returned since the end of the Vietnam War 10 years ago, arrived Friday at Travis Air Force Base.
The recovery of the remains in February marked the first time bodies of U.S. servicemen killed in Laos had been recovered and identified, according to an earlier White House announcement.
Silent ceremonies were held for the men before the 13 caskets were transferred to a mortuary in Oakland, said Air Force Maj. Mike Cox. The bodies will be sent to destinations designated by next of kin, he said.
Since 1981, the remains of 118 people have been turned over to the U.S. government, said Cox.
The 13 soldiers were killed when a C-141 cargo plane crashed near Pakse, in Sedone Province, Laos, on Dec. 21, 1972.
Their bodies were recovered by a joint U.S. and Laotian team, and were identified at the U.S. Army’s Central Identification Laboratory in Honolulu.
Cox said the 13 were the largest group of MIAs returned since the war ended in 1975.