DIMAPUR, Nov 17 � A six-member team of the Joint Prisoners of war/missing in action Accounting Command (JPAC) from United States is currently in Nagaland investigating remains of aircrafts belonging to the Allied Forces that crashed/were shot down in Nagaland territory during the Second World War (WW II).
The JPAC is a task force of the US Government, set up to account for American nationals who went missing in action during the past wars across the world.
A military source, who did not wish to be named, informed that the team has been to Longsa village in Wokha district and is currently in Tuensang district cross-checking metallic remnants from WW II crash sites in the area and interacting with locals having knowledge about the war.
When contacted, Longsa village chairman Zaiyo Ezung confirmed that the JPAC team had visited the village on November 9 to inspect the remains of an aircraft that is believed to have been shot down near the village in 1944. He said most parts of the aircraft have been taken away/scrapped off or eroded over time but there is still a bulky piece of metal that resembles an aircraft propeller left at the original crash site in a jungle near the village.
�They couldn�t find much, so they just took some photographs of the area and left,� the village leader said. He disclosed that the villagers believe the aircraft which was shot down belonged to the Japanese forces.
The JPAC has reportedly sent its teams to the Northeastern region several times in the past to investigate the places and remains of allied planes that were shot down in different parts of the region as per estimation of locations of the �last messages� that were transmitted from the lost aircrafts. The Allied Forces during the WW II, besides the land battle, used the Northeastern region as an air route to supply arms and ammunition and food rations to the Chinese forces who were battling against the Japanese, and some of their aircrafts were believed to be lost in the region.
The JPAC team is said to be camped at Noksen village in Tuensang district, scouring areas near Longra, Hukpong and Yangpi villages that are known as WW II crash sites. The team includes Capt Dave Gooch, Ken Tilley, Capt Ben Sabard, Gnr Sgt Pedro Hernandez, Communication Officer David Castro and Lt Col Capozzolla.