kratie – US military missions to examine crash and burial sites in northern Cambodia have found possible remains of US soldiers believed have been killed in the early 1970s, US officials said here Thursday.
Anthropologists on two US excavation teams told Robert Jones, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense of POW/ Mission Personnel Affairs who led the 40-member mission, that small pieces of bones, teeth and other belongings, such as parts of boots, have been found. The findings will be sent to a laboratory in Hawaii in efforts to confirm identities, officials said.
The one-month mission is the 21st joint field activity since a task force composed of officials of the US Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Army was formed in 1992. The US budgeted $120,000 to the mission, officials said.
Arriving in Cambodia on Jan 10, the two teams excavated sites where helicopters were believed to have crashed in 1971. In addition, a team is on Koh Tang island off Sihanoukville.
Officials said the remains of seven soldiers have been identified in Cambodia since the first operation in 1992, but there are still 74 US MIAs in Cambodia.