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Minn. Pilot Missing Since 1965 Identified

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Pentagon has identified remains recovered in Vietnam in 2009 and 2011 as those of a pilot from Minnesota. He’s Air Force Maj. Thomas E. Reitmann of Red Wing.

The Department of Defense reports Thursday that Reitmann was flying his F-105D Thunderchief on a bombing mission on Dec. 1, 1965, when the fighter-bomber was hit by anti-aircraft fire.

He crashed in Lang Son Province, North Vietnam. Other pilots in the area didn’t see a parachute or detect emergency signals. A two-day electronic search turned up no sign of Reitmann or his aircraft.

Decades later, military investigators began searching for Reitmann again. In 2009 and 2011, a local farmer turned over remains and a button he found in his corn field.

The investigation, including DNA testing, confirmed the remains were Reitmann’s.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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