Remains of World War II US pilots returned

Beijing, Oct 22 (IANS) China handed over the remains of US pilots who supported the Chinese Army during World War II to representatives from the US on Thursday.

The ceremony was held in Chengdu in southwest China’s Sichuan province, Xinhua news agency reported.

The remains are believed to belong to pilots tasked with transporting goods to southwest China along the famous World War II air route “Hump”.

The remains as well as parts of a US Army C-87 transportation airplane were found at the top of a mountain in Bomi in Tibet in August 2015.

The remains will be taken back to the US where they will undergo DNA tests, said Raymond Greene, the American consul general at Chengdu.

The C-87 plane and remains of five US pilots were first found by locals in September 1993, but the majority of the wreckage remained on the glacier.

According to official files, a C-87 plane with five US pilots went missing on the return route from Kunming, Yunnan province.

The “Hump” route, which began in the Indian state of Assam, passed over the Himalayas to Sichuan. It was established in 1942 and closed in 1945.

It served as a crucial channel in China’s, then weak, logistic system. A total of 650,000 tonnes of goods were transported via the route.

As a major airborne passage, the “Hump” route saw the loss of more than 500 planes and over 1,500 US and Chinese pilots.

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