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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The remains of an airman who died during the Vietnam War have been identified and returned to his family for burial, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.

Air Force Capt. Clyde Campbell of Longview, Texas, was to be buried Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors, according to a Defense Department news release.

Campbell, an A-1J Skyraider aircraft pilot, was carrying out a close air-support mission in Houaphan province, Laos, on March 1, 1969, when he crashed, the news release said. Forward air controllers directing the mission from the ground reported hearing an explosion that they believed to be Campbell’s bombs, but later learned that his aircraft had gone down. No parachutes were seen in the area.

In 1997, a joint U.S.-Lao People’s Democratic Republic team investigated a crash site in Houaphan province, within 330 feet of Campbell’s last known location, the release said. The team found aircraft wreckage and military equipment linked to Campbell, in addition to human remains.

Joint recovery teams investigated and excavated the crash site three more times between 2009 and 2010, recovering additional remains, and military equipment, including an aircraft data plate and a .38-caliber pistol matching the serial number issued to Campbell, the release said.

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command scientists used forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence to identify the airman.


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