World War II US aircraft wreckage found in Arunachal

A collage of the WW-II aircraft wreckage. Photo by Indian Army

Indian Army has recovered the wreckage of a US Air Force's World War-II aircraft that was buried deep under the snow in a remote corner of Arunachal Pradesh.

The plane may be one of the nearly 400 aircraft that went missing in the China-Burma-India theatre of operations during the World-War-II while crossing the notorious Himalayan Hump.

It took a 12-member Indian Army team to trek for 8 days to reach the wreckage site at Roing district from where the remains were recovered on March 30.

“The region had seldom been ventured by anyone in the past and is even obscured from the air due to thick foliage. The patrol located the aircraft debris covered by thick undergrowth and buried under five feet of snow,” an Indian Army spokesperson said in a statement.

“Based on the information received from local trekkers of Lower Dibang district through the police, a special patrol of Army was sent to locate the wreckage in a remote location, 30 km from Roing. The patrol moved cross country for 30 kilometre in thick jungles and snow covered areas for eight days to trace out the wreckage,” he added. The Army team was assisted by one policeman.

In the past, wreckages of WW-II aircraft were recovered from North East India. One of the recent discoveries was the human remains from the wreckage of a B24 bomber, nicknamed Hot as Hell that crashed in a remote corner of Arunachal Pradesh in January 1944. While the site was identified in 2006, the human remains were recovered only in 2016.

Despite the risks, flying over the Hump was necessary during the WW-II as the Allied Forces were building an aero-bridge to maintain the supply line for the Chinese war effort of Chiang Kai-shek and the units of the United States Army Air Forces based in China.

According to one estimate, more than 1,300 US veterans were lost in the China-Burma-India theatre. In recent years, several crash sites were located in Assam, Nagaland, and Tripura.

“The discovery of the vintage aircraft and other warlike stores will definitely lead to the revelation of some historical inputs,” said the Army spokesperson.

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