Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Final MiA mission fails to find remains



Final MiA mission fails to find remains

Final MiA mission fails to find remains

US servicemen have completed the final field mission to search for comrades who

went missing in Cambodia during the Vietnam war. The remains of only three

soldiers have been positively identified out of 81 searched for, with a further

two cases being tested at the Central Identification Laboratory in

Hawaii.

The US operation to search eight aircraft crash sites, which

began in February and involved a team of 50 men and helicopters, is expected to

be the last. The office handling MiA inquiries at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh

is to close later in the year.

Teams could return if families of missing

soldiers or authorities in the US request re-investigations, or if new facts

emerge, said Major Tony Lowe, Commander of Detachment 4 of the Joint Task Force,

Full Accounting.

"It's been very satisfying, and we've suffered no

serious injuries," said Major Lowe.

"We needed a great deal of planning,

coordination and speed, almost as if we were on a combat mission."

The

last MiA investigation in Cambodia, which began in February in Takeo, Siem Reap,

Kompong Thom and Kompong Cham, unearthed wreckage in the latter two provinces

and some "unidentifiable" remains.

"Most of the bones found are too

small to be used for DNA testing," explained Lowe, who said the final

investigation was the most dangerous as Khmer Rouge gunfire could often be

heard.

The team, split into squads of 16 men, guarded by 250 Cambodian

soldiers, often had to leave sites they were investigating, when it was felt the

guerrillas were getting too close.

Spread over some of the country's

densest forests, many remains have probably decomposed, been moved or washed

away by rain, or damaged by animals, said Lowe.

Often the "remains"

proved to be animal bones or those of non-Americans and several graves, reported

to be of American soldiers, turned out to be dead ends.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian