Mystery WWII B26-B MIA Aircraft and Crew Investigated in India

In a remote expanse of the Karbi Hills Massif in Northeast India, an international team of investigators embarked on a quest to unravel a mystery steeped in decades of history and intrigue. Their mission, initiated by PalaeoWest on behalf of the U.S. Government’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, was to uncover the truth behind the wreckage of a World War II B26-B MIA aircraft, long rumored to be ensconced in the dense foliage of this rugged terrain.

This endeavor was not just about uncovering a piece of history; it was a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made and the closure sought by families of those who served.

The area, known for its dense forests and challenging topography, had long whispered secrets of past conflicts and downed aircraft, but the specifics remained elusive, shrouded in the mists of time. The team, equipped with the latest in archaeological and forensic technologies, set out to piece together the puzzle, hoping to bring solace to families and add a crucial chapter to the annals of World War II history.

crash area
Crash area, Karbi Hills, Northeast India.

As the investigation unfolded, the team encountered unexpected challenges. The initial excitement of discovery was tempered by the realization that the site might not correspond to the records of known missing aircraft from the era. The discrepancies raised questions about the accuracy of historical records and hinted at the possibility of untold stories lying in wait beneath the forest canopy.

Amidst the tangled wreckage and silent witnesses of the past, the investigators made a poignant discovery: human remains, a solemn testament to the final moments of the crew. This discovery shifted the focus of the mission, as the team now bore the weighty responsibility of ensuring a dignified return for the fallen, a task fraught with bureaucratic and logistical hurdles but imbued with a deep sense of duty and respect.

The intrigue deepened as security concerns emerged, highlighting the sensitive nature of such missions in regions with complex geopolitical landscapes. The team navigated these challenges with a blend of diplomacy and determination, mindful of the broader implications of their presence and the historical significance of their findings.

This investigation transcended the mere recovery of lost aircraft; it became a journey into the heart of history, unearthing stories of bravery, sacrifice, and the enduring quest for peace and reconciliation. The findings not only provided potential closure for families but also opened new avenues for understanding the complexities of World War II‘s legacy in the region.

As the team concluded their mission, the Karbi Hills Massif stood silent once more, its secrets partially revealed but still guarding the echoes of a turbulent past. The endeavor highlighted the importance of international cooperation, the dedication of those committed to honoring the fallen, and the unending quest for truth in the shadows of h000istory.

PaleoWest was appointed by the US Government to undertake two missions. The Assam and Meghalaya Government ensured the US delegations activities within the specified area

B26-B Aircraft

MACR-form 14165, B26-B aircraft.
MACR-form 14165 B26-B aircraft.

Sites located in Missing Aircraft Crew Report [MACR] 14165 near Kaipani Village. Karbi Anglong District, Assam, India at 26 degrees 27.30 minutes north. 93 degrees 10.35 minutes East (MGRS 46R EQ 1783 26455, WGS 84)

Unfortunately, the official MACR 14165 record shows the B26-B was lost near Germany 48 degrees 12 minutes North, 10 degrees 32 minutes East. The Karbi Hills are 7,500 km East of Germany and the B26 has a range of around 1,750 km. This means the MACR number is either incorrect, or there is a duplicate number report with the coordinates for this location in India.

Sites in Missing Air Crew Report ([MACR] 6603 located near Borhill Falls, East Khasi Hills District, Meghalaya, at 25 degrees 10.965 minutes North, 91 degrees 57.448 minutes East.

The US delegation was allowed to investigate each site for establishing a datum for future recovery operations at the sites suspected of containing the remains of U.S service members missing in action from World War II.

It may be noted that as per the Memorandum of Agreement signed between DPAA and the Anthropological Survey of India in 2023 regarding the storage and handling of remains, the Government of India should be notified and provide complete details of any human remains recovered during the activity.

Wreckage investigation team
Wreckage investigation team

This story serves as a reminder of the ties that bind humanity across generations and borders, a call to remember, honor, and learn from the past. The investigation in the Karbi Hills Massif is but one chapter in the ongoing narrative of World War II, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the relentless pursuit of closure and understanding in the face of the unfathomable.

For a more detailed exploration of this captivating story to uncover the wreckage, visit, for a more detailed account of this remarkable mission and its implications for history, families, and international relations.

MIA research team in Karbi Hills, India.
MIA research team in Karbi Hills, India.
Sushanta Roy
Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.