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Arunachal: US ambassador Eric Garcetti inaugurates 'Hump World War II' museum in Pasighat

Arunachal: US ambassador Eric Garcetti inaugurates 'Hump World War II' museum in Pasighat

A unique museum showcasing remnants of USA aircraft that went missing and crashed down here in Arunachal Pradesh during World War II was inaugurated here today at Pasighat.

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A unique museum showcasing remnants of USA aircraft that went missing and crashed down here in Arunachal Pradesh during World War II was inaugurated here today at Pasighat, the oldest administrative centre and town of Arunachal Pradesh located at Gumin Nagar by US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti amidst the presence of Chief Minister of Pema Khandu and other dignitaries.

The Hump museum is being set up at the initiative of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and it would pay tribute to 'Hump Operation', one of the most remarkable feats of aviation history.

Just after inaugurating the ‘The Hump Museum’ here at Pasighat in East Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh today, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti thanked Government of India as well as the Government of Arunachal Pradesh led by Chief Minister, Pema Khandu for constructing a museum for the American Missing in Action during the II World War. “This beautiful museum and memories of those fallen airmen from the US Air Force during the Second World War to live on through the display of relics and remnants. I am so honoured to be a part of this opening of the museum and it’s a great museum for India, and America and a great museum for the world. We know that the United States and India have never been so close before, but such love and initiative from India will tell the stories of growing bonding between India and US”, added Eric.  

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Upon asked on the present position of China objecting to the recovery activities of US fallen heroes (airmen) missing in action which had delayed the search operation here in Arunachal Pradesh before, Eric said that politics shouldn’t be played with the lives of families, we should honour the death and their families living who are anxiously waiting for the remains of their love one who lost their lives.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu said today is a historic day for Arunachal Pradesh, India and US.”After so much effort we could finally come up with a museum for the memory of US Airmen who lost their lives in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh during the II world war. All the remnants and relics including letters of US Airmen communication to their families recovered from the crash sites are being displayed here in the museum and this museum is going to be a world attraction in near days. Even many families from the US have sent their relics and artifacts for this museum in memory of their great grandfathers who have lost their lives while flying over the tough mountains of Arunachal Pradesh during II World war. This Hump Museum of Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh is said to be 2nd in South-East Asia and this is going to promote the tourism of the state also”, added Khandu.

Hump Museum Director and local who helped the US recovery team, Oken Tayeng said that this museum is going to be a symbol of good relations between India and US. Remnants of crushed warplanes from US totalling from eight crush sites across Arunachal Pradesh like from Vijaynagar, Damro, Tezu, Seppa etc so far are being collected and displayed here. “Several struggles were made even scaling high and tough mountains across Arunachal Pradesh to recover the fallen aircrafts of US and finally we have come up with this beautiful museum in memory of those fallen airmen of US air force”, added Oken Tayeng.

During World War II, the Allied Forces led by the United States flew supplies over the Himalayas. The route was known as 'The Hump' because of the altitude of the Eastern Himalayas. Many of their aircraft went missing in Arunachal Pradesh and were never found in the remote jungles and mountains.

The Hump route traverses regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Tibet, Yunnan (China) and Myanmar, and it is estimated that nearly 650 aircraft crashed in these areas during World War II due to the extreme flying conditions.

In 1942, when the Japanese Army blocked the 1,150 km Burma Road, a mountain highway connecting Lashio in present-day Myanmar and Kunming in China, the US-led allied forces had to undertake one of the biggest airlifts in aviation history.

The pilots of the Allied forces nicknamed the route 'The Hump' because their aircraft had to navigate deep gorges and then quickly fly over mountains rising beyond 10,000 feet.

From 1942 to 1945, military aircraft transported nearly 6,50,000 tonnes of supplies like fuel, food and ammunition from airfields in Assam to those in Yunnan in China.

The mountains of Arunachal Pradesh often get unpredictable weather making it difficult for planes and choppers to fly even now.

According to a US Embassy handout in 2017, investigators from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) returned to India that year to continue the search for remains of US personnel missing since World War II.

In 2016, the DPAA deployed a team to northeast India for 30 days in search of remains of unaccounted-for US airmen.

There are approximately 400 US airmen missing in India, most of whose remains are believed to be located in the Himalayan Mountains in northeast India.

Edited By: Atiqul Habib
Published On: Nov 29, 2023