Thai archival find may resolve fate of missing WWII U.S. airman – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2022-05-18 23:10:00 –

U-Tapao, Thailand >> The bodies of U.S. Air Force soldiers missing in World War II may finally return home, thanks to records found in archives threatened by Thai floods. ..

The United States and local governments held a solemn ceremony on Wednesday at an air force base in eastern Thailand to honor and return the recently recovered remains from paddy fields in northern Thailand.

At the U-Tapao Navy Air Force Base on the east coast of Thailand, military personnel paid homage to Thai and American officials. The casket containing the found remains was covered with the US flag before being transported to the United States on a C-17 transport plane.

Testing at a special laboratory in Hawaii determines if the body is human and probably identifies it. However, circumstantial evidence has raised expectations that the casket will retain long-lost military personnel from the US Army Air Force.

“You know, it keeps the promise that we will never leave people behind. Anyone who fought with someone, in any way, in any country or country, participated in the battle. There is a bond that has been built up. We have a duty to find those answers in our families and take them home, “said the Marine Corps Captain, who heads the Defense POW / MIA Accounting Office (DPAA) Indo-Pacific Department. Matt Branen said. Find the missing war.

Thailand formally formed an alliance with Japan in World War II, was occupied by its army, and became the target of British and American bombers. Inevitably, the crew from the Allied side was lost in action.

The leaflets of just a few Americans who disappeared over Thailand today have not yet been described. Over time, you’re unlikely to find them — unless something special happens.

In 2011, the flood that struck Thailand flooded the Royal Thai Air Force Museum in Bangkok. There was concern that the archive might be damaged by mold. Former Thai Airways chief Marshal Sakpinit Promtep, who worked part-time in the archiving department of his passion for World War II history, spent the next few months examining the files one by one to confirm their status. ..

That’s how he noticed that he was looking at a faded document from a musty, dusty folder. This was a handwritten police officer’s report dated November 1944. He elaborated on the crash of a US P-38 plane that was reported to have been struck by lightning during a storm.

That was the spark of “Eureka!” A reaction to history lovers who heard rumors of a World War II plane crash in Lampang but never found the record.

“This is a wonderful moment in my life. I found something like this in front of me!” He told The Associated Press. “You imagine, you look for something, you like to see it, and there is little hope of finding it. Open the page, open the page — oops! — Eyes In front. Wow! This is what I’m looking for, “he enthusiastically laughed.

When he got the report that day, he thought that the ghost of the pilot might be on his shoulder.

“He may know I’m looking for him. I’ve been looking for him for a long time,” says Sakpinit, and perhaps the spirit of the pilot puts those pages in that file on his page. Suggested that I put it before. “Otherwise, without the flood, the document would probably be hidden for another year or more … maybe for a long time.”

The US Army Department’s missing World War II crew file contains pilots who took off from southern China for reconnaissance missions in Myanmar and northern Thailand and did not return. The location and cause of the crash is recorded as “Unknown”.

However, his P-38 disappeared the same day that the same type of plane crashed in the village of Meir. US records identify the plane as an F-5E, a P-38 that has been removed and modified for reconnaissance missions.

The AP withholds the pilot’s name while waiting for clear identification of the body and notification to relatives.

Importantly, police officers’ reports in the Thai archive showed the exact location. Still, it took 10 years to actually excavate from the musty folder that Sakpinit held. An interview with a 100-year-old woman who heard of the crash was one piece of evidence that DPAA investigators were convinced that the site would benefit.

In February, a joint US-Thai search team dug up rice fields in the village of Meikia in Lampang.

By April, the team had discovered numerous small pieces of metal and “bone material” (teeth and bones) that matched the collision.

“We are celebrating the 80th anniversary of World War II, and with that information, historians, analysts, and researchers can develop those events. It’s definitely time. “It’s a fight against,” said Branen of DPAA.

Of the 72,335 U.S. military personnel still missing in World War II, nearly 47,000 disappeared in Asian combat zones, according to the DPAA.

Thai archival find may resolve fate of missing WWII U.S. airman Source link Thai archival find may resolve fate of missing WWII U.S. airman

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