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Remains of Vietnam-era pilot, plane’s observer to be buried

October 17, 2018

DETROIT (AP) — Remains of an Army pilot and an observer killed more than 50 years ago when their plane went down in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War will be buried with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

The Defense Department’s POW/MIA Accounting Agency says ceremonies for Staff Sgt. Marshall Kipina of Calumet, Michigan, and Lt. Col. Robert Nopp of Salem, Oregon, are scheduled Thursday.

Nopp was 31 and Kipina was 21 when their aircraft failed to return in 1966 from surveillance mission over Laos, which shares a border with Vietnam. Nopp piloted the plane. The military says visibility was poor due to heavy thunderstorms.

The crash site was identified in the 1990s and later excavated. Their remains were accounted for earlier this year.

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