Working To Recover The Remains Of Second World War U.S. Servicemen In India

A stock photo of a B-24 Liberator after being shot down, during the WWII.
A stock photo of a B-24 Liberator after being shot down, during the WWII.

The remains of U.S. servicemen missing since their aircraft crashed during World War II in the Himalayas may have been found, say Department of Defense officials.

Two sites in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh were visited recently by the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) in the search for remains. Aircraft carrying the still-unidentified remains are believed to have crashed in the secluded area.

Officials at one of the sites located the wreckage of a B-24 Liberator. The team’s objective was to determine if the reported sites correlate to any known crash sites, said the Embassy in India.

The DPAA team was presented with human remains during discussions with local residents, which a witness had recovered close to the wreckage of the crashed airplane. Other human remains believed to be connected with missing U.S. servicemen were located.

After the Indian government gives its approval, the remains will be forwarded to a DPAA laboratory with the aim of ascertaining identity, said the Embassy.

Other important evidence recovered from the site of the B-24 crash will be scrutinized after its return to the United States, said a DPAA spokesman.

If the evidence collected on the mission corroborates with reports and historical records, additional missions might conduct an excavation to recover the remains and return them to DPAA’s lab to pinpoint identification, said the Embassy, Fox News reported.

DPAA staff traveled up to 10,000-foot altitude during the challenging trip. The Indian federal government, in addition to the government of feet Arunachal Pradesh and the Indian Air Force also participated.

Currently, the DPAA is laboring to identify remains recovered last year from Arunachal Pradesh.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE