|Quoting AirCop (Reply 1):|
Quoting DIJKKIJK (Thread starter):
1. Have they all been accounted for ?
No! Yes there have been attempts and remains have been found, but its a slow process. Helpful clues have come from the people living in the villages, but after thirty its tough. They are still finding bodies of airmen from WWII in old unreported crashes in remote areas.
Even in Germany. A friend of mine went metal-detecting in the Huertgen Forest near Aachen and (through his metal detector detecting the metal dog tag) found the remains of a German WW2 soldier (there was a desperate battle fought in these hills for three months during winter 1944-45 between American and German troops). Unlike the scavengers, who e.g. rob the battle fields in Russia (taking personal items off the dead bodies to sell on eBay, careful when you see e.g. a German dog tag "found in the ground", and dump the bones in a hole), my friend went to the priest in the next village and showed him the site (the soldier's body was apparently still in the same foxhole he died in). the priest then called the police, which arranged matters with the war graves comission to collect the remains for reburial in a proper grave yard and to notify the relatives (if they still exist).
On the other hand, many Vietnamese women are very attractive. I know of German soldiers (or ex-POW
's), who lost all family back home during bombing raids, and, after release from the POW
camps decided to stay in the country they were in, married a local girl and blended perfectly into the local population. There existed concentrations of former German soldiers e.g. in Northern France, the UK or in Yugoslavia, though they usually adopted local habits, so that it is almost impossible to distinguish them from those who have been living there for centuries.
One example from the Napoleonic wars would be my great-great-great...-grandfather, who as a French soldier of Napoleon's Grande Armee, survived the Russia campaign in 1811-1812 and decided that he had enough. He got stuck in the former German province East Prussia (today divided between Poland, Russia and Lithuania).
I can well imagine that a few Americans met a nice woman in some Vietnamese village, deserted and stayed on, keeping their heads down, since I think the American government will still prosecute deserters decades after they deserted.