The remains of suspected US airmen killed in Myanmar during World War II were repatriated Thursday, as American officials continue searching for 500 unaccounted servicemen in the country.
Myanmar was a key battleground between the Allies and Japan during the war.
The remains are thought to be those of some of the seven servicemen in a B-25G aircraft downed in February 1944 in northern Salingyi.
Although the wreckage was located two years later, it was not until 2019 that the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) found possible remains in the same region and returned this year to continue the search.
On Thursday, a ceremony was held in honour of the lost servicemen at Mandalay airport as white-gloved US guards carried the coffins draped in the American flag into a C-17 military plane.
The remains will be taken for further analysis at a Hawaii laboratory.
"Brave Americans gave their lives on a riverbank in Sagaing, fighting for peace, justice and freedom far from home," said Deputy Chief of Mission George Sibley in a statement.
"Today we recommit to those noble values as we repatriate the possible remains."
There are still 505 US service members unaccounted for in Myanmar from WWII.