Missing Vietnam War airman’s remains found

Remains of Minn. airman recovered in Laos

The Department of Defense announced June 7 it has located the remains of a Minnesota airman killed during the Vietnam War — almost 44 years to date — and will return those remains to his hometown of Browns Valley, Minn. for burial this weekend.

Air Force Capt. Darrell J. Spinler will be buried with full military honors on June 18, the department said.

On June 21, 1967, Spinler was aboard an A-1E Skyraider aircraft attacking enemy targets along the Xekong River in Laos when villagers reported hearing an explosion before his aircraft crashed. 

For years, his body was presumed to have been washed away by the river, but last year the military conducted a full excavation of the site and recovered human remains and personal effects.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command used dental X-rays and other tools to confirm the identity.

The number of service members still missing from the Vietnam War is now 1,689.

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