In a significant historical moment, the “Hump World War II” museum was inaugurated in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, by the US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti. The museum, situated in the oldest administrative center and town of Arunachal Pradesh, pays tribute to the “Hump Operation,” a remarkable feat in aviation history.
Seizure of USA Aircraft Remnants
The museum, initiated by Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, showcases remnants of USA aircraft that went missing and crashed in the challenging terrains of Arunachal Pradesh during World War II. The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and other dignitaries.
Expressing Gratitude and Collaboration
Following the museum’s inauguration, Ambassador Eric Garcetti expressed gratitude to both the Indian and Arunachal Pradesh governments, acknowledging their efforts in constructing a museum dedicated to the American Missing in Action during World War II. He emphasized the significance of the museum, not only for India and America but also for the global community, symbolizing the growing bond between the two nations.
Political Considerations and Honoring Fallen Heroes
Addressing queries about China’s objections to the recovery activities of fallen US heroes in Arunachal Pradesh, Ambassador Eric stressed that politics should not interfere with the lives of families awaiting closure. He emphasized the importance of honoring the fallen heroes and providing solace to their families.
Historic Day for Arunachal Pradesh and India-US Relations
Chief Minister Pema Khandu termed the inauguration a historic day for Arunachal Pradesh, India, and US relations. He highlighted the museum’s significance in commemorating US Airmen who lost their lives in the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh during World War II. The museum displays relics, including letters from US Airmen recovered from crash sites, making it a potential world attraction.
Symbol of Good Relations and Collaborative Efforts
The Hump Museum’s director, Oken Tayeng, emphasized its role as a symbol of good relations between India and the US. Tayeng, who aided the US recovery team, highlighted the challenges faced in recovering the aircraft remnants across Arunachal Pradesh’s rugged terrain.
The Historical Context: ‘The Hump’ Operation
During World War II, the United States-led allied forces undertook the challenging “Hump” route over the Eastern Himalayas, including Arunachal Pradesh, to transport crucial supplies. The route faced extreme flying conditions, leading to many aircraft going missing in the remote jungles and mountains.
Continued Search for Missing Personnel
In recent years, investigators from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) have returned to India to search for the remains of US personnel missing since World War II. The challenging Himalayan Mountains in Northeast India are believed to hold the remains of approximately 400 US airmen still missing.
As the museum opens its doors, it stands as a testament to the shared history between India and the US and the sacrifices made during World War II.