Suspected remains of more downed US airmen found in India

(iStock)
(iStock)

New Delhi - An American agency which deals with soldiers missing in action has found the suspected remains of more airmen who went missing over the Himalayas more than 70 years ago, the US embassy said.

The men were probably among the Allied pilots who flew the perilous route over the world's highest mountains to deliver military supplies from hundreds of Indian airfields to Chinese forces in World War II.

The Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) sent a team to India's northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh last September to try to locate the wreckage of a B-24 Liberator plane which crashed in 1944 with eight men on board.

While discussing possible crash sites with local residents, the team was given human remains and bone material which a witness recovered near the wreckage of a crashed aircraft.

"After arriving at the site, the team found additional human remains believed to be associated with missing US service members," the embassy said in a statement on Tuesday.

Once approved by the Indian government, these remains will be sent to the DPAA laboratory for identification, it said.

Last year the DPAA recovered remains from the same region before shipping them back to the US for identification.

Allied airmen ferried about 650 000 tons of fuel, munitions and equipment over the eastern Himalayas - which they nicknamed "The Hump" - from 1942, when the Japanese cut off the main land route through Burma.

According to the China-Burma-India Hump Pilots Association, 590 planes went down with the loss of more than 1 650 lives.

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