Sunday, July 8, 2001


Ceremony to honor
war remains
of 17 vets

The Army's Central ID Lab in
Hickam will try to
identify the remains


By Gregg K. Kakesako

Seventeen sets of remains from the wars in Korea and Southeast Asia will be honored upon their arrival Tuesday at Hickam Air Force Base.

The joint arrival ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m., was initially to honor 12 sets of remains.

But recent excavations by Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA) at Camp Smith and the Army's Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI) at Hickam increased the number of remains to be honored to 17.

Following the ceremony, all 17 sets of remains will be taken to CILHI where they will undergo an extensive forensic identification process.

Nine sets of remains are believed to be those of American servicemen missing in action from the war in Southeast Asia. Five sets of remains were recovered by military and civilian members of JTF-FA and CILHI during excavations in Vietnam conducted earlier this year. Three sets of remains were excavated during recovery missions earlier this year in Laos. An additional set of remains from Laos was recovered during a mission completed on July 3.

The other eight sets of remains were recently excavated by CILHI teams in North Korea. They are believed to be those of American servicemen missing since the Korean War. These remains will also be honored at the arrival ceremony.

All veteran and military organizations are invited to attend.

Since 1973, the remains of 612 American service members, formerly listed as unaccounted for, have been identified and returned to their families. There are currently 1,973 Americans still unaccounted for from the war in Southeast Asia and 417 in Laos.

Gregg K. Kakesako can be reached by phone at 294-4075
or by e-mail at

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