ITANAGAR: A unique museum, named, the Hump Museum, is set to open for the public in the picturesque town of Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh.
The museum will offer visitors a glimpse into a fascinating chapter of World War II history, showcasing the wreckage of allied forces’ aircraft that crashed in the region during the war.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu told the press that the museum is ready for its grand opening, scheduled for next month. The museum plans to invite the US Ambassador to India to participate in the inauguration, further cementing the historical significance of the site.
The museum’s name, “The Hump”, pays tribute to one of the most remarkable feats of aviation history during World War II. In 1942, when the Japanese army blockaded the 1,150-kilometer Burma Road, an essential mountain highway connecting Lashio in present-day Myanmar and Kunming in China, the allied forces were faced with a monumental challenge. They embarked on one of the most significant airlift operations ever recorded.
The pilots who undertook this perilous mission coined the route “The Hump” due to the treacherous path they navigated. It involved traversing deep gorges and then rapidly ascending over mountains that soared above 10,000 feet.
“The Hump” route traverses regions of Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet, and Myanmar, and it is estimated that nearly 650 aircraft crashed in these areas during World War II due to the severe flying conditions.
The museum’s significance extends beyond its historic wreckage displays. In 2017, investigators from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) returned to India to continue their search for the remains of US personnel missing since World War II. This mission marked their fifth deployment to India since 2013.
The DPAA’s efforts stem from the fact that approximately 400 US airmen are still unaccounted for in India, with many believed to have met their fate in the hills of Northeast.