Skip to comments.US Army Men in Arunachal to Investigate WW II Wreckage
Posted on 06/27/2008 10:54:19 AM PDT by Coffee200am
Itanagar, June 27: A five-member US Defence Department team has arrived in Ita nagar to coordinate a joint Indo-US search operation to find the wreckage of US fighter planes and remains of hundreds of pilots missing in action during World War II in Arunachal Pradesh.
Official sources said on Friday that a team from the US Joint Prisoners of War/Missing In Action Accounting Command (JPAC) arrived on June 24 on a coordination mission for the search on humanitarian grounds.
The team comprised Lt Col Peter Huddle, Lt Col Bruce E Cox, Maj Craig Tippins, Maj William J Taylor and Capt Joshua K Marcus.
Earlier in March, US Consul General Henry V Jardine had visited the state following reports of discovery of wreckage of US fighter planes in several parts of the state including the state capital.
At least eight wreckages were found by a private US investigator Clayton Kuhles and local tour operator Oken Tayeng.
The joint Indian and US military teams will look for the remains of the lost men and the flying machines in thick jungles of the hilly border state, close to China-Burma-India theatre of WW-II.
The fighter planes were engaged in maintaining supply lines to the Allied Forces fighting against Japan six decades ago.
In an apparent bid to cross the Himalayas at least 430 planes along with their crew went missing in the inaccessible dense forest of the then North Eastern Frontier Agency (NEFA).
Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has assured help to the US Defence Department team.
Whoa - remains of hundreds - hopefully will finally get a hero’s welcome home and be able to RIP...
Really? 430 aircraft and hundreds of crewmen missing in a forest since WWII? That must be some really rugged terrain.
I do hope they can recover them.
I thought it was mostly C-46s "flying the hump" that became the "aluminum highway"?
Standard crew was four, iirc.
They also used the B-24 bomber (because of its range and altitude plus weight it carried)to ferry supplies and equipment over “the hump”. A good friend Capt Len Gale USAF recipient of the Legion of Merit, and The Flying Cross, 2X,. Before he passed away told me many tales of his experiences he was downed twice in China.
The B-24 was one of the worst planes to exit from, if not the worst, in an emergency.
An emergency exit from a boomtail aircraft was not something one ever would have wanted to attempt. I knew a guy who did - bailed from a P-38 over Holland and suffered compound fractures of both legs.
Daunting enough without being in a combat situation.
He told me that they had been instructed to dive over the boom... which apparently was somewhat more sensible in the abstract than when a ME-109 was trying to shoot your ass off.
I did read an account of a B-17 ball turret gunner. The aircraft was in trouble, ammo boxes on fire, and a waist gunner panicked, jumped out the side, splattering himself on the stabilizer.
So it just wasn't boom aircraft.
Jumping from an aircraft is only better than the other alternative.
Ted Williams rode his damaged plane in for a dead stick landing rather than risk ejection.
Even in a deliberate parachute jump from a stable, level aircraft, failure to get adequate clearance on exit can be painful, and results in an experience known affectionately as, “counting rivets.”
The private aircraft was not from the area, and pilot had failed to read or heed the chart about a designated parachuting zone in flight plan.
Orange, MA sticks in my mind.
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