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Chuck Hagel

Carter checks on lab effort to ID airman lost in Asia

Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday toured a forensics laboratory that is trying to positively identify human remains which, just hours earlier in Malaysia, he had saluted as they were returned to U.S. custody.

The remains are believed to be those of a crewmember aboard a C-47B cargo plane that slammed into a jungle-covered mountainside Nov. 27, 1945 while flying from Singapore to a Malaysia airfield just months after World War II ended.

Three servicemen were aboard; only one set of remains has been recovered, according to a senior defense official traveling with Carter. The official was not authorized to discuss details of the case until the lab work is finished and so...