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Remains of missing Vietnam soldier returned to family for burial

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The remains of a soldier who was killed during the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to his family for burial, the Defense Department announced Monday.

Army Sgt. John Jones, of Louisville, Ky., is to be buried Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, according to a Defense Department statement.

Jones was part of a U.S. team working with indigenous commandos to defend a radio-relay base, known as Hickory Hill, in Quang Tri Province, when enemy forces attacked the site on June 4, 1971, the statement said. Taking up a defensive position in a nearby bunker, Jones was killed by enemy fire the following morning and another soldier was captured and held prisoner until 1973.

Between 1993 and 2010, joint U.S.-Vietnamese teams, led by the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, conducted several investigations, site surveys and multiple witness interviews, the statement said. Potential excavation sites were targeted, and human remains were found in a bunker in 2011.

Scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used circumstantial evidence, dental records and mitochondrial DNA that matched Jones’ mother and brother to positively identify the remains, the statement said.

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