US experts in Tripura to inspect WW-II crash site

Agartala: A three member delegation of US accompanied by officials of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is scheduled to visit remote Birmonipara village of Dhalai district of Tripura tomorrow to inspect the crash site of an American aircraft during World War-II.

State home department officials here stated that the visit was pre-pone for a day and upon arrival today the team would hold a meeting with top civil and security officials before heading for Birmonipara under Gandacherra subdivision.

Early last year, Assam Rifles had discovered wreckages and a propeller of an American aircraft, which had crashed in the dense jungles of Dhalai during World War II, on May 17, 1946 with 11 crew members on board due to heavy storm while carrying remains of allied prisoners of war from Rangoon to Calcutta.

Jawans of 34 battalion of Assam Rifles discovered the crash site and after a detail literature, Indian authority had confirmed that American plane (C-47-B) had taken off from Rangoon airport in Burma (now Myanmar) with war criminals for Calcutta on but had crashed near Birmonipara.

All the passengers and crew had died in the crash. The bodies were buried and a cemetery was built in the area. The cemetery was located near Birmonipara village and the crash site and the propeller were found within 3km of the cemetery.

Throwing light on some events related to the crash, police sources said an American passenger David Campbell had succumbed to his injuries a few days after the crash. His younger brother

Tony Campbell, who came to know of the crash and his brother’s death from American army records and the Internet, had come to the state in the mid-nineties when insurgency was at its height in the state.

“He wanted to visit the spot but was prevented from doing so by the police on the ground that the place was a hotbed of militancy and he might be kidnapped or killed,” a senior police officer said.

Tony Campbell returned to the US and took up the issue with his government, which then drew the attention of the Indian government to the matter..

But there was no further progress in the matter though the cemetery remained in place, the officer added further.

However, the officials stated that the Campbell family is persuading the issue for past many years with both US and Indian administration and finally, US has sent the technical team to survey the spot and inspect the wreckages. (UNI)