Lower Dibang Valley, India (BBN) – A US team visiting India’s north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh has recovered what it says are possible remains of US soldiers who died in a plane crash during World War II.
Residents of Lower Dibang Valley handed over the remains to the team recently, reports BBC.
Last year, the team had recovered some remains from the same region, and work is being carried out to identify them.
It is thought the remains of up to 400 Americans could still be in the remote state, which borders Myanmar and China.
Many more servicemen went missing during allied operations to supply China’s Kuomintang army fighting Japan.
The team visiting Arunachal Pradesh is from the US government’s Defence Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA).
Members trekked to several locations up to heights of 10,000ft (3,048 metres) where US aircraft are believed to have crashed in the Himalayas.
“While discussing the sites with local residents, the team received a presentation of human remains and osseous [consisting of or turned into bone] material, which a witness recovered near the wreckage of a crashed aircraft,” a statement released by the US consulate in the eastern city of Kolkata said.
“After arriving at the site, the team found additional human remains believed to be associated with missing US service members. Once approved by the Indian government, these remains will be sent to the DPAA’s laboratory with the goal of identification.”
The release said if the team could corroborate evidence at the site with historical records and reports, future missions to the sites may conduct an excavation in an attempt to recover the remains and return them to the DPAA’s laboratory for identification.
There are more than 1,300 individuals missing – primarily from aircraft crashes – in and around the border area between India, Myanmar (also called Burma) and China, an area known to pilots as “the Hump”.