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Friday, June 7, 2002



Recovery team leaves
on mission to Vietnam


Associated Press

A military team charged with recovering the remains of American servicemen lost in Southeast Asia left Monday for Vietnam on five recovery missions, one of which involves a helicopter that crashed off the southern part of the country more than 30 years ago.

The 95 members from the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting include both Army and Navy divers, who will work to recover the six Army servicemen who went down with the helicopter in 70 feet of water off Nhatrang in Khanh Hoa province on Oct. 26, 1971, said Lt. Col. Jerry O'Hara, spokesman for the task force.

Four other teams will work on two helicopter recovery sites, one C-130 airplane site and one A-6 airplane site, he said.

The recovery teams consist of Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps members, as well as Department of Defense civilians, and archaeologists and anthropologists from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam Air Force Base.

In addition to the five recovery teams, an investigative unit is working on 25 cases of reported recovery sites, while another, more senior unit called a research investigative team is working on eight cases, O'Hara said.

Another task force team leaves for Laos later this month to search for missing Americans.

"We're going to keep dwindling those numbers down, going in the right direction," O'Hara said.



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