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US officers look for WWII planes in Arunachal

September 04, 2008 16:03 IST

Two US military officers are on a familiarisation trip to Arunachal Pradesh before a joint Indo-US search next month for wreckage of hundreds of US fighter planes missing in action during World War II in China-Burma-India theatre and their pilots' remains.

Jeffrey Collins and Craig Tippins arrived in Itanagar on Wednesday and left for Marivang in Upper Siang district in the state on Thursday. In the past few years, wreckage of at least eight war planes has been located in different parts of the mountaineous border state by an US private investigator Clayton Khules, aided by a local tour operator Oden Tayeng. One of them was found on a hilltop right in this state capital.

The discovery brought the then US Consul General in Kolkata, Henry V Jardine, to Arunachal Pradesh and made him trek to some of the wreckage spots in March.

A five-member US defence team also came to the state in June to coordinate a joint Indo-US search as relatives of missing pilots were still awaiting information of the fate of those pilots.

Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu had assured the team of all help to its mission.