U.S. and Vietnamese veterans of the Vietnam War exchanged maps, letters and other items Wednesday that could lead to the grave sites of missing soldiers from both sides.
At a meeting in Hanoi, James L. Brazee, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Inc., presented a briefcase of information to Maj. Gen. Nguyen Trong Ving, deputy head of the Vietnam Veterans Association.
“These activities are very important,” Brazee said. “We try to bring answers to American and Vietnamese families who are still waiting to hear about their relatives, and bring peace to veterans who are still suffering from their war experiences.”
The Americans believe the documents, donated by former U.S. servicemen, could provide hints to the location of a mass grave with the remains of some 600 North Vietnamese soldiers missing from a 1968 battle in Quang Tri province.
Vietnam is seeking to account for some 6,000 Vietnamese soldiers from a total 300,000 still missing since the war.
More than 2,100 Americans are still listed as MIA, and U.S. officials admit many may never be found.
The Vietnamese side on Wednesday turned over paperwork and information on the location and time of battles where at least four or five Americans are believed to be buried, said Huynh Van Trinh, foreign relations chief of the Vietnamese group.
The meeting was the eighth of its kind since 1994. Vietnamese veterans have given information that assisted in identifying, and in some cases recovering, the remains of 16 Americans previously unaccounted for, the U.S. group said, plus additional information on more than 60 U.S. prisoners of war or MIAs.
On Wednesday, the Vietnamese said the remains of a man identified only as Capt. Borah were discovered. They also said they had found a Vietnamese veteran who remembered a site where several U.S. servicemen were buried, either on the Cambodian border or inside Cambodia itself.