Press Release Author: World War II Families for Return of the MIssing
Press Release Summary: At a meeting held in Washington on January 13 and 14, 2008 between Indian Defence Secretary Vijay Singh and US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Ambassador Eric Edelman, several confirmed crash sites of American World War II military aircraft in northeastern India were discussed and an agreement was reached to bring closure to several families of the missing aircrews.
Press Release Body: WWRM Press Release: Feb 7, 2008 Indo-US agreement on MIA recovery
Washington, DC: There are still 79,000 Americans Missing from WWII, approximately 430 Americans are still missing from the China-Burma-India Theatre. There was a meeting held in Washington DC on January 13 and January 14, 2008 between Defense Secretary Vijay Singh (India) and US Under-Secretary for Defense Eric Edelman. Active searches in India concluded with the closure of the Barrackpore and Kalaikunda Cemeteries as the remains were concentrated to the Punchbowl on Oahu, HI and the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. This repatriation of remains was concluded in January 1948. The last active searches in the India-Burma Zone were conducted in the summer of 1949. In August 1974 an Indian Army Patrol was dispatched to a US aircraft crash site reported by a hunter in Northeast India. These remains were transferred to a CILHI (Central Identification Lab - Hawaii) team in August 1977. It was not until recent lobbying by private citizens from the families of the Hot as Hell crew that brought this issue to the attention of the government.
At the meeting several confirmed crash sites in northeastern India were discussed and an agreement was reached to bring closure to several families.
\"We are treating this as a humanitarian gesture and we have no objections to the US teams coming into the Northeast\", Defense Ministry officials told India Today.
According to India Today, \"The missions were cleared by the Ministry of Home Affairs (India) which overruled reservations expressed by Intelligence bureau (India). \" There still some details to be worked out between the US and India. \"A team of US specialists led by Rear Admiral Donna L. Crisp, Commander, JPAC (Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command) is to meet with Indian Defense Ministry Officials in March to discuss specific plans for further investigation and recovery operations. India IAF helicopters out of Assam have already begun preliminary work in identifying crash sites and helipads for the operations which are slated to begin between April and May of this year.\"
For more on this story please check the following articles that have been published:
\"Ghosts of War\"
India Today - Sandeep Unnithan, \"Ghosts of War\", Feb. 1, 2008
\"Still Trying to Bring Their Fallen Heroes Home\"
New York Times - Nina Bernstein, \"Still Trying to Bring Their Fallen Heroes Home\", Feb. 3, 2008
Web Site: http://www.wwiimissing.com
Contact Details: Ms. Lisa Phillips President, World War II Families for Return of the Missing email@example.com PO Box 804 Windham, ME 04062 (207) 939-2051