US team in India to trace missing WW II airmen

March 19th, 2008 - 9:07 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) A US military team Wednesday met officials of the defence ministry here and discussed with them a plan to recover remains of over 400 American airmen who went missing in plane crashes over Indian territory during World War II. “Another meeting is required to firm up logistical details. The US team will come again to India this fall,” Rear Admiral Donna L. Crisp, commander of Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action, Accounting Command (JPAC), told reporters here.

The team will go to Arunachal Pradesh where most of the crashes occurred, she said.

Around 90 aircraft and 4,300 American soldiers went missing during the crashes over the Indian territory, Crisp said.

Of these, the wreckage of six aircraft has been identified, she said while ruling out a joint operation with India, at least for now. These six aircraft, whose wreckage has been found, can lead to the other missing aircraft and personnel, she said. The last signal from the missing aircraft came from India.

“It is not our intention to launch a joint operation,” she said.

According to Crisp, more than 1,365 US servicemen went missing in the China-Burma-India theatre during World War II.

The JPAC will arrange DNA tests on the bones if the remains of the deceased servicemen are traced and match these with available records.

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