US repatriates remains of WWII airman

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A repatriation ceremony is being held at U-Tapao International Airport on Wednesday for the remains of a World War II airman whose patrol plane crashed in Lampang more than 70 years ago. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

RAYONG: The United States held a repatriation ceremony at U-Tapao International Airport on Wednesday for the remains of a World War II airman whose patrol plane crashed in Lampang more than a year ago. 70 years.

The ceremony was attended by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission James Wayman, US Embassy staff, former Air Chief Marshal Sakpinit Phromthep of the Royal Thai Air Force and members of the government Thai.

Specialists arrived several months ago from the Hawaii headquarters of the US Prisoners of War/Missing in Action (DPAA) accounting agency to lead the search for the plane and the remains of the airman .

Mr Wayman said the ceremony was the culmination of a three-year mission, carried out in partnership with the government and the villagers of Ban Mae Kua in the Sop Prap district of Lampang province, where the airman, with his P-38 plane, would have disappeared 78 years ago.

He said it was the first successful recovery operation in Thailand in more than two decades, which would not have been possible without the support of the Thai government and local people who helped find the remains. of the fallen hero.

“This operation represents the exceptional teamwork between Thai and American officials, as well as a long history of cooperation that exists between our two governments. This shared mission serves as the basis for cooperation between us, providing countless opportunities to learn, trust and work with each other,” he added.

The recovered remains were kept in a wooden box which was placed inside a transfer box covered with the American flag.

The remains will be sent to the DPAA laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii for further analysis. If a positive identification is made based on the material collected, U.S. military family members will be notified and given the opportunity to arrange a funeral with full military honors.

“The family of this serviceman has waited a long time and we thank the Thai government and its people for their help, which will help bring closure to the family,” he added.

The DPPA is leading investigations and recovery efforts in Asia and Europe to provide as many details as possible about missing U.S. personnel to their families and the nation. Some 81,600 US personnel are still missing from past conflicts.

During the final stage of the repatriation ceremony, an officer in charge gave the order: “Escort him home, Captain.

The repatriation team returned to the aircraft and the flight crew prepared the aircraft for departure.

The recovered remains, in a wooden box, were placed inside a transfer case covered with the American flag. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

(Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

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