ITANAGAR: Investigators from the US Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) returned to India this week to search for remains of United States personnel missing since World War II in the North East.
Last year, DPAA deployed a team to northeast India for 30 days in search of remains for unaccounted for US airmen, and this is their fifth mission to India since 2013, a press release from Kolkata-based US Consulate General office said.
There are approximately 400 US airmen missing in India, most of whose remains are believed to be located in the Himalayan Mountains in northeast, the release 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'. Many of these aircraft went missing and were never found in the mountainous terrain, it said.
During DPAAÂ’s missions in 2015 and 2016, remains were recovered and are in the process of being identified through DNA testing.
One set of remains from the 2015 recovery mission was positively identified as US Army Air Forces 1st Lt Robert E.
In 2016, a local villager turned over additional remains thought to be associated with another US crash site.
This year, the team would conduct a similar mission in northeast, surveying several different sites from those visited during the 2016 investigation effort.
MaryKay Carlson, the Charge dÂ’Affaires at the US Embassy in New Delhi said, "The United States works with governments around the world to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.
"This is the fifth DPAA mission to India since 2013, demonstrating successful cooperation between the governments of India and the United States. This positive relationship underscores the dedication each nation brings to this humanitarian mission." DPAAÂ’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for US missing personnel to their families and the nation, the release added.