Arunachal Pradesh to set up museum for World War II artifacts
Arunachal Pradesh is setting up a museum that will house the remains of an American aircraft that fell in the state during World War II and other important articles relating to the event, chief minister Pema Khandu said.
During World War II, the United States provided supplies to the Chinese Army by flying over the Himalayas, a route known as ‘The Hump’ because of its difficult terrain. Many of these aircraft went missing here and were never found in the mountainous terrain.
“Many aircraft belonging to the US went missing in the region and have not been traced. The HUMP Museum is being set up at Pasighat and will open by March next year,” Khandu said. “I have invited the US Ambassador to India for the inauguration ceremony.” Ambassador Kenneth Ian Juster was in Arunachal Pradesh this week to attend Tawang Festival as the chief guest.
‘The Hump’ comprises parts of Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet and Myanmar, where nearly 650 aircrafts crashed during WWII due to difficult flying conditions. Approximately 400 US airmen went missing in India, most of whose remains are believed to be located in the Himalayan mountains in northeast, as per the US embassy website. The American government has made several efforts to dig out the remains of trace the missing aircrafts and their personnel.
“Until now 20 aircraft have been identified and remains and personal belongings of five martyrs have been recovered and sent to families,” said Khandu.
The Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency of the US government (DPAA) has been carrying out search operations in Arunachal Pradesh since 2013 with the help of locals. Investigators from the DPAA visited India in November 2017 to search for remains of missing US personnel.
In 2016, DPAA deployed a team to northeast India for 30 days in search of remains for unaccounted-for U.S. airmen. This was their fifth mission to India since 2013, the Kolkata-based US consulate general office said in a release issued in November 2017.