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News Release


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 464-12
June 05, 2012

Statement on Remains Recovery Activities in India

            The Department of Defense announces that the United States and India have agreed to resume remains recovery activities in parts of Northeastern India.

            The Department assesses that there are approximately 400 unaccounted-for service members from some 90 aircraft crashes in the area during World War II.

            Secretary Panetta said, “This is a critical step toward bringing home our service members lost during World War II.  The United States and India, working together, can help provide comfort to the families of Americans who were lost during the war.”

            The Department deeply appreciates the close cooperation of the Government of India in helping our teams resume their critical work.  Returning our fallen heroes is a top priority of the Department of Defense.

            Background:

  • There are about 400 unaccounted-for servicemen in India as a result of approximately 90 aircraft crashes.  Virtually all of those sites are located in Northeast India.
  • The United States possesses information on sixteen known crash sites and continues to develop information on others.
  • Some of the information was reported to the Department of Defense by private parties or through Indian press.
  • In April 2012, Department of Defense representatives participated in State Department-led bilateral discussions with the Government of India where restarting remains recovery operations was addressed.