William R. Belcher
Date of this Version
Kennison, Finn R. 2023. Then and Now: The History and Methodology Behind The Excavation of a WWII Boeing B-29 Superfortress Aircraft Crash Site in Assam state, India. Master's thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln.
From 1942 to 1945 the United States supplied military aid to China to keep the country from being overtaken by the Japanese Empire. As all land and sea routes to China were under Japanese control the only way to deliver aid was by air; this was formally known as The Hump Airlift. Referring to the flight over the Himalayas, The Hump was known for its devastating weather conditions that in some circumstances had the ability to rip a plane in half. In the three years the airlift was operating over 600 aircraft were lost and more than one thousand crewmen had died in the steaming jungles of Burma and over the icy mountains. In June of 1944, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress crashed in Assam State, Indian Empire. What was supposed to have been a routine flight ended unexpectedly; all crew members were killed in action. The following thesis will explore the broader historical events that led to The Hump Airlift, the airlift itself, and an archaeological site report of a crashed Boeing B-29 Superfortress, excavated from 2018 to 2023.
Advisor: William R. Belcher