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Last Australians killed in Vietnam War returned home

The remains of the last two Australians listed as missing in action in the Vietnam War returned to Australia on Monday, almost 39 years after they disappeared. The bodies of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver were received with full military honors at a ceremony at Sydney's Richmond military air base.
/ Source: Reuters

The remains of the last two Australians listed as missing in action in the Vietnam War returned to Australia on Monday, almost 39 years after they disappeared. The bodies of Flying Officer Michael Herbert and Pilot Officer Robert Carver were received with full military honors at a ceremony at Sydney's Richmond military air base.

The men were on a bombing raid on November 3, 1970, when their Canberra bomber disappeared near Da Nang. An Australian Air Force history unit found the wrecked plane in April this year, near the Vietnam-Laos border, along with the remains of the two pilots.

"The return of Flying Officer Herbert and Pilot Officer Carver completes the recovery of all Australian service personnel who were lost on operations and not recovered during the Vietnam war," Australia's junior Defense Minister Greg Combet said.

The bodies of four other Australians who had been listed as missing in action in Vietnam were returned home in 2007 and 2008.

Australia sent almost 60,000 troops to the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1975. More than 3,000 were wounded and 521 were killed.

The United States State Department lists 1,763 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, and says accounting for those missing is one of its highest priorities in Vietnam.