South Vietnamese ‘lost soldiers’ memorialized in California

October 26, 2019

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — The remains of 81 South Vietnamese soldiers shot down over Vietnam in 1965 have been interred at Southern California’s Westminster Memorial Park.

Richard Spencer, Secretary of the US Navy, joined local officials for a procession and ceremony Saturday just outside Little Saigon in Orange County.

The airborne soldiers of the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam were shot down in a remote area along with four American service members. The remains, which were commingled, were recovered in 1974 and eventually shipped to the US. The Americans were identified thanks to DNA technology.

Efforts to return the other remains to Vietnam failed, so officials decided to give the unknown South Vietnamese soldiers a final resting place in the US.

Orange County is home to the largest concentration of Vietnamese people outside Vietnam.