Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Repatriation Ceremony

New Delhi | April 13, 2016

‎Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was honored to participate this morning in a ceremony in New Delhi, India, repatriating the possible remains of U.S service members recovered by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

One set of remains was recovered in the Arunachal Pradesh state between September 12 and November 17, 2015. A second set of remains was unilaterally turned over to DPAA by a third party from the same region.

The remains recovered late last year are possibly associated with a B-24 crash on January 25, 1944, where a crew of eight personnel assigned to the 14th Air Force, 308th Bomb Group were lost during a routine mission from Kunming, China to Chabua, India. ‎The remains that were turned over to DPAA are possibly related to a C-109 that crashed on July 17, 1945, travelling from Jorhat, India, to Hsinching, China, with a four-man Army Air Force crew.

Today’s ceremony, sponsored by the Department of Defense, U.S. Embassy New Delhi and the Government of India, highlights the Secretary’s strong commitment to bringing the nation’s fallen personnel home and providing their families the fullest possible accounting. It’s also a testament to the deepening U.S-India defense partnership and a reflection of our shared commitment to universal values. Secretary Carter is grateful for the Indian Government’s support for this important humanitarian mission and looks forward to cooperating on future personnel accounting operations.

After the ceremony, the remains were flown by U.S. military aircraft to the DPAA laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii, for further identification.