WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Defense Department Monday said the remains of three American soldiers missing in action from the Vietnam War have been identified.
The remains of Army Staff Sgt. Robert S. Griffith of Hapeville, Ga., Army Staff Sgt. Melvin C. Dye of Carleton, Mich., and Sgt. 1st Class Douglas J. Glover of Cortland, N.Y., will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors, the department said in a release.
Griffith will be buried Saturday in Fairburn, Ga. The group remains of the other two soldiers, which could not be individually identified, will be buried at a later date.
The men were aboard a UH-1H Iroquois helicopter on Feb. 19, 1968, when it was shot down by enemy fire in Laos as they tried extract a long-range reconnaissance patrol in the mountains of Attapu province. Three other American service members survived the crash and were rescued. Three Vietnamese Montagnards also died.
The helicopter crash site and remains were first discovered in 1995 but the remains could not be recovered until late 2007. They subsequently were identified through forensic testing and other measures.
Since late 1973, the remains of 938 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been accounted for and returned to their families with 1,708 service members still missing, the Defense Department said.