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Indian Army recovers wreckage of World War II aircraft

The army had received information about the wreckage from local trekkers of Lower Dibang district through the police.

Apr 04, 2019, 09.05 PM IST
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Over 400 American soldiers are believed to have gone missing in aircraft crashes while crossing ‘The Hump’ from India to China.
NEW DELHI: The Indian Army has recovered a wreckage of a World War II vintage US Air Force aircraft in Arunachal Pradesh’s Roing district.

The developments were shared by the army on Thursday. A 12 member strong army patrol with a police representative on March 30 located the aircraft debris, which was covered by thick undergrowth and buried under five feet of snow.

The army had received information about the wreckage from local trekkers of Lower Dibang district through the police. A special patrol of the army was sent to locate the wreckage in a remote location, about 30 km from Roing.

“The patrol moved cross country for 30 kilometers in thick jungles and snow covered areas for eight days to trace the wreckage. The region had seldom been ventured by anyone in the past and is even obscured from air due to thick foliage,” said Lieutenant Colonel Mohit Vaishnava, the army’s spokesperson.

He added that the discovery of the aircraft and other warlike stores will provide a historical perspective of what had happened.

Over 400 American soldiers are believed to have gone missing in aircraft crashes while crossing ‘The Hump’ from India to China, according to reports. The Hump, over the Himalayas, was the main supply route between India and China during World War II, after Myanmar was captured by Japanese troops. The route is believed to have been dangerous due to the mountain peaks and bad weather.

The US government’s Defence Prisoners of Wars/Missing in Action Accounting Agency has been conducting searches in India to look for remains of American soldiers, who have been missing since the war. In April 2016, India had handed over the remains of a US Air Force B-24 ‘Hot as Hell’ bomber. The aircraft was flying from Kunming, China to Chabua, Assam in January, 1944, when it had crashed in Arunachal Pradesh. In 2006, the crash site was identified.

There are believed to be several more such crash sites in the North-East, especially Arunachal Pradesh.

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