World War II Aircraft Which Crashed in The Himalayas Is Discovered 77 Years Later
C-46s started being used as cargo and passenger carriers during the late 1940s and 1950s
When the C-46 was first conceived, Curtiss intended it to be a pressurized luxury aircraft with adequate range to fly nonstop between New York City and Chicago, regardless of the weather conditions that might arise along the way. The company’s marketing team predicted a 24- to 36-seat’ sub-stratosphere conveyance’ with the option of crosswise sleeping chambers. However, it would not be a true airliner if it were to be pressurized, opulent, or even fly at all. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, nonscheduled cargo and passenger carriers operated hundreds of war surplus Commandos at best.
During WWII, C-46 aircraft became the most preferred freight aircraft used for resupplying the Chinese forces
When the Japanese closed the Burma Road in World War II, the C-46 was the only high-altitude, heavy load freight aircraft available to airlift supplies to Chiang Kai Shek’s -forces via the “Hump” route from China to Burma and India. The four-engine C-54 became the preferred airlifted when the Japanese retreat provided a lower-altitude Hump route to the C-47s, which we’re doing heroic work traversing what Hump pilots termed the Rockpile. However, during the peak years of the resupply route, C-46s were responsible for most of the Hump-topping.
Clayton Kuhles, a US adventurer, was tasked with leading the search operation
US adventurer Clayton Kuhles took on the mission to find the forgotten airplane after a request from the son of one of the passengers on the fateful flight. He claimed that no trace of the plane could be found. It was almost like it had vanished! This was his statement- “This aircraft was never heard from again. It simply disappeared.”
The terrain was too difficult, and some members of the search team even lost their life
An ethnic Lisu team of local guides helped Kuhles cross chest-deep rivers and camp at frigid elevations during the excursion. For example, three Lisu hunters died of hypothermia in the same location last year after being caught in an unseasonal September blizzard, while two others “barely escaped alive,” according to Kuhles. He further added that his guides and porters were “extremely apprehensive” about the high camp location. He said- “My Lisu guides and porters were very uneasy about our high camp location.”