Seventy years after World War II, a five-member team of researchers is currently in a village in upper Assam’s Sivasagar, looking for the remains of a B-29 Superfortress aircraft that crashed there on June 26, 1944. The aircraft, which was returning from a mission in Burma to its base in Dimapur, crashed at village No 1 Kothiakhunda with 11 persons on board.
The team, headed by Ken Tilley of the Joint Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command, arrived on Monday and will search the area till November 5.
The B-29 Superfortress, designed by Boeing, was a heavy bomber driven by a four-engine propeller. It was one of the largest aircraft used in WW-II and had a pressurised cabin, an electronic fire-control system, and remote-controlled machine-gun turrets.
“Reports say the bodies of seven persons killed in the crash were removed within a few days. The US team is looking for any remains of the other persons and of the aircraft and have found portions scattered in the village,” Sivasagar deputy commissioner S S Meenakshi Sundaram told The Indian Express on Thursday.
B N Sarkar, superintendent anthropologist, who has accompanied the team along with two MHA officials, said altogether 21 sites were identified in a joint research of the US-JPA and Anthropological Survey of India where Allied Forces’ warplanes had crashed during World War II.