CHENGDU, China, Oct. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/-- China handed over the remains of U.S. pilots who supported the Chinese Army during World War II to representatives from the United States at a ceremony held at Jianchuan Museum in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Oct. 22.
The Jianchuan Museum Cluster is located in Anren Town, Dayi County, Sichuan province, China, about one hour's drive from the provincial capital Chengdu. The Flying Tigers section was one of the museums and was home to 1400 pieces of artifacts telling stories of U.S. Lieutenant Richard Vernon Hill, the Flying Tigers and its founder General Chennault.
The remains are believed to belong to pilots tasked with transporting goods to southwest China along the famous WWII air route 'Hump'.
The remains, as well as parts of a United States Army C-87 transportation airplane, were found at the top of a mountain in Bomi Country, Tibet, in August 2015.
The remains will be taken back to the United States where they will undergo DNA tests, said Raymond Greene, consul general of the American Consulate General at Chengdu.
The C-87 plane and remains of five U.S. pilots were first found by locals in September 1993, but the majority of the wreckage remained on the glacier. According to official files, a C-87 plane with five U.S. pilots went missing on the return route from Kunming, Yunnan Province.
The 'Hump' route, which began in the southern Indian state of Assam, passed over the Himalayas to Sichuan. It was established in 1942 and closed in 1945.
It served as a crucial channel in China's, then weak, logistic system. A total of 650,000 tonnes of goods were transported via the route.
As a major airborne passage, the 'Hump' route saw the loss of more than 500 planes and the lives of more than 1,500 U.S. and Chinese pilots.
According to the historical records, Sichuan province was the very place that the U.S. Air Force had been most involved in World War II. In the autumn of 1943, the United States sent a large number of air force to support China. The Nationalist government mobilized 1.5 million people near Chengdu to build four military air bases in Xinjin, Qionglai, Guanghan and Pengshan counties from late 1943 to May 1944. Taking off from the four bases, more than 70 B-29 bombers struck Yawata, a steel-producing base in Japan, in June 1944. Later, B-29 bombers hit the Japanese mainland and Japanese-occupied areas in China many times.
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SOURCE GO CHENGDU