The US team on Friday began expedition in forests of Dhalai district in Tripura to search for wreckages and remains of 55 defence personnel of a missing air force plane. Six officials of Joint Prisoners of War / Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Command under the US government reached Birmanipara near Ganddachara, scene of the crash of a C-47B plane on May 17 1946.

They were accompanied by two officials of India’s external affairs ministry and Tripura government officials. Prelude to expedition, they attended preparatory meetings that were held at Ambassa, headquarters of Dhalai district, on Thursday.

“The US team of experts examined the propeller of the crashed flight and went around in forests. They were equipped with some sophisticated gadgets”, a Dhalai district official said.

He informed that that the US team collected some soil samples from the location for their forensic examination. They also had a talk with several veterans in nearby tribal hamlets to gather information about crash of the plane on its journey from Rangoon to Kolkata in aftermath of World War II.

US department of defence said the flight had three crews, eight US military officers besides remains of 43soldiers who died in Burma frontier fighting Japanese army. Government of India has extended support to MIA recovery missions in India’s northeast.

US department of defence recorded 400 unaccounted-for US service members in India due to crashes of war and transport planes during and after world war. Three US war planes fell over Tripura in 1945 – 1946.