After nearly 70 years of waiting, families of those who died in the US Air Force B-24 bomber plane which crashed at the height of World War II in India would be handed over the final remains of soldiers.
File picture of US Air Force B-24 Bomber 8th Air Force
Today #SecDef Carter attended a repatriation ceremony @usairforce station, Palam, India for remains found by @dodpaa pic.twitter.com/Njsq7qy6vk — U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) 13 April 2016
Today #SecDef Carter attended a repatriation ceremony @usairforce station, Palam, India for remains found by @dodpaa pic.twitter.com/Njsq7qy6vk
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) 13 April 2016
During the ceremony, Carter also expressed his gratitude to Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Indian government for all their support in facilitating the recovery effort.
Twitter US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter (L)
In a joint statement, Carter and Parrikar said:
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“The Indian government agreed to support America’s commitment to bringing its fallen personnel home and providing their families the fullest possible accounting, and looks forward to further humanitarian missions of this kind over the next few years to return the remains of these US heroes to their families.”
Indian Express US President Barack Obama (L) during his India visit in 2015
Back in December 2006, the wreckage of a US B-24 bomber nicknamed ‘Hot as Hell’ was also located at Damroh village in Arunachal Pradesh. After which families of US soldiers had asked the matter to be perused further.
After UPA government finished their tenure, the Narendra Modi government gave the Americans fresh permission to recover the bodies of their crewmen. Their plane had crashed while flying resupply missions between Assam and Kunming in China.
According to the US Department of Defence, over 500 aircraft are still listed as missing in the China-India-Burma theatre of the Second World War.