Saturday, October 06, 2018

Guwahati: Remains of WWII crash victims from US identified

Guwahati: The mortal remains of two US airmen, whose plane carrying four American soldiers from Assam's Jorhat to Hsin-Ching in China crashed in a remote part of Arunachal Pradesh during World War II, have been finally identified.
The US Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA), which recovered the remains from the crash site in Arunachal's Bhismanagar village in 2016, on Wednesday confirmed that those were of 1st Lt Allen Turner and flight engineer Joseph I Natvick. The duo was flying a C-109 tanker aircraft.

"Turner and Natvick, killed during World War II, were accounted for. On July 17, 1945, both the members of the 1330 Army Air Force Base Unit, Air Transport Command, on board a C-109 aircraft, crashed in a remote area in India. All four passengers were declared deceased after an extensive search effort failed to locate the crash site then," said a DPAA official statement.

According to US Army records, the last position report of the aircraft carrying aviation gasoline was over Pathalipam in Lakhimpur. Later, it was declared missing. A concentrated search was conducted but to no avail. After the US government negotiated with India, the DPAA conducted field activities in Arunachal in 2016 in search of the personnel and found some evidence which was examined by a joint forensic review committee comprising both DPAA and Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI) members. The committee determined that the evidence was possibly correlated to US WWII service members unaccounted for from that region and recommended the remains and material evidence be transported to a DPAA laboratory for further analysis.

Subsequently, one set of remains was identified to be of co-pilot 1st Lt Frederick W Langhorst. However, another member of that same crew, Corporal Robert McAdoo, is still missing.
06/10/18 Pranjal Baruah/Times of India