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Fallen Australian Soldiers Return Home After Five Decades

  • VOA News

Australian Defence Force personnel carry coffins from a plane that contain the remains of 33 Australian service personnel and dependents, many of whom were casualties of the Vietnam War, during a repatriation ceremony at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base located in Richmond, west of Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2016.

Australian Defence Force personnel carry coffins from a plane that contain the remains of 33 Australian service personnel and dependents, many of whom were casualties of the Vietnam War, during a repatriation ceremony at the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base located in Richmond, west of Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2016.

The remains of 33 Australian soldiers killed in the Vietnam War returned home Thursday, after more than 50 years.

Australian Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, along with Vietnam War veterans and family members, was on hand when two military transport planes carrying the coffins of the fallen servicemen arrived at a military airbase near Sydney.

The soldiers' had originally been buried in Malaysia and Singapore, and their return marked one of Australia's largest repatriations of servicemen killed in combat.

About 60,000 Australians served in during the Vietnam War, when U.S.-backed South Vietnam fought the Soviet-backed North from the early 1960s until 1975, when the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon.

The 33 soldiers were among more than 500 Australians killed in the conflict.

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