July 15, 2024

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‘Hump WWII’ Museum Opens In Arunachal With US Aircraft

3 min read

In a poignant ceremony held in Pasighat, the East Siang district headquarters of Arunachal Pradesh, a museum dedicated to the fallen airmen of the Allied forces during World War II was inaugurated on November 29. The Hump WWII Museum stands as a tribute to the aviators who navigated the perilous air route between north-eastern Assam and Yunnan in China, nicknamed ‘The Hump.’

The Significance of the Hump

The air route earned its moniker due to the formidable challenges faced by Allied pilots flying from airfields in Assam to those in Yunnan. Navigating through deep gorges and mountains rising beyond 10,000 feet, these pilots played a crucial role in the war effort, underlying perilous journeys to transport supplies such as fuel, food and ammunition.

Historical Context

Between 1942 and 1945, the Hump served as a vital lifeline, facilitating the transportation of nearly 650,000 tonnes of essential supplies. However, the treacherous terrain and extreme weather conditions led to the tragic loss of 650 aircraft. The museum seeks to immortalize the bravery of these Allied pilots and serves as a reminder of their sacrifices for democracy and freedom.

Inauguration Ceremony

The museum’s inauguration was a historic moment marked by the presence of Eric Garcetti, the US Ambassador to India and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Garcetti emphasized the global significance of the museum, stating that it is not just a gift to Arunachal Pradesh but to India and the world.

A Gift to Remember

Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed that The Hump is a heartfelt tribute from the people of Arunachal Pradesh to the fallen heroes of WWII. He underscored the museum’s role in educating the younger generation about the valor of the Allied pilots who braved The Hump to confront the threats to democracy during the war.

Remnants of History

Khandu urged Eric Garcetti to facilitate exploration of approximately 30 locations in Arunachal Pradesh where remnants of WWII aircraft are believed to still exist. These locations serve as a tangible link to the past, holding the potential to unveil more stories of courage and sacrifice.

The Hump Legacy

The Hump air route traverses through Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet, Myanmar and Yunnan (China). Initially established in response to the Japanese Army blocking the Burma Road in 1942, The Hump became the stage for one of the most significant airlifts in aviation history, undertaken by the US-led Allied forces.

Unearthing the Past

In 2016-17, the US Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA) deployed a team to search for the remains of unaccounted-for American airmen. Approximately 400 US airmen are believed to have lost their lives in the Himalayan mountains, particularly in Arunachal Pradesh, emphasizing the importance of preserving and remembering this crucial aspect of history.

Important Questions Related to Exams

Q1. When was The Hump WWII Museum inaugurated?

Sol. The Hump WWII Museum was inaugurated on November 29.

Q2. Why is the air route between Assam and Yunnan called ‘The Hump’?

Sol. The route earned its nickname due to the formidable challenges faced by Allied pilots navigating through deep gorges and mountains rising beyond 10,000 feet.

Q3. How many aircraft were lost on The Hump between 1942 and 1945?

Sol. A total of 650 aircraft were tragically lost during this period.

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