Saturday, July 28, 2018

'Develop Amarda Rd airstrip as tourist hub'

Bhubaneswar: A memorial service was held at the Amarda Road Airstrip at Rasgovidpur in Mayurbhanj district on July 26 for the 14 airmen who had died in a crash here on the same date in 1945. War historian Anil Dhir, Gandhian Aditya Patnaik, social activist Dr Biswajit Mohanty and the staff of the Gandhi Eye Hospital at Rangamatia, besides locals including school children paid homage to the dead airmen who have been forgotten in history.  Wreaths were laid for each of the dead airmen.

On the July 26, 1945, two British Royal Air Force B-24 Liberator four-engine bombers collided at low altitude. The aircrafts were based at the Amarda Road airfield and were part of a six-plane contingent from the Air Fighting Training Unit engaged in a formation flying exercise.

14 airmen, the crews of the two aircraft, died in the crash. They comprised six British, three American, one each Canadian, Dutch,  New Zealander, Australian and Indian. Meanwhile, historian Dhir requested the Governments of Odisha and West Bengal to erect small memorials for these airmen at Amarda Road and the crash site. He has also requested to open up the sealed underground bunker which may hold relics of the period.
28/07/18 Pioneer

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