A recent effort to find the remains of six Americans killed in action in Southeast Asia reflects a continued commitment to find, locate, and return the remains of U.S. service members killed in the line of duty to provide final closure for family members and comrades in arms.

Earlier this month, a recovery team from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) attempted to find the remains of the six Americans—two Green Berets and four aviators—who fought and died in the secret war fought for eight years under the aegis of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam–Studies and Observations Group, or simply SOG.

Cliff Newman (shown above), a former Green Beret who located those fallen Americans 44 years ago but was unable to recover their bodies due to intense enemy gunfire, traveled with the DPAA team along the Laos/South Vietnam border on this mission in an effort to pinpoint the exact location of those remains. They went to the A Shau Valley, which was a hotbed of enemy activity in 1971.

Enemy documents captured at the time revealed that the communist North Vietnamese Army (NVA) placed nearly a dozen counter-recon companies in that valley to reinforce LZ (landing zone) watchers and to force locals to work with the communist soldiers. In addition, enemy estimates of troop strength in the A Shau Valley listed several infantry battalions as resting and training there. The communists moved at least two anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) battalions to defend the valley.