A Chinese expedition recovered wreckage of a C-87 Liberator Express—a cargo variant of the B-24—that crashed flying the notorious “hump” supply route over the Himalayan mountains during World War II, for museum display. “These pilots were the very the best flyers of that era. It is heart rend[ing] to think that they traveled so far from their homelands to fight for the world peace,” said team leader Jiang Fan from the Jianchuan Museum in Chengdu, China. The expedition recovered sections of the aircraft’s wing, engines, and cockpit, from some 13,450 feet up in the Tibetan mountains, Aug. 11, according to a release. The relics will go on display alongside other artifacts commemorating US and Chinese military cooperation during WWII. The aircraft’s reported serial number matches a C-46, and is more likely C-87 serial number 41-23862 which was lost on Jan. 31, 1944. The remains of the five aircrew were recovered and identified when ice melt revealed the wreckage, and were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in 1998, according to an obit?uary.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.