Wreckage of an American plane found after 77 years missing

The wreckage of a World War II US military plane has been found in the remote Indian Himalayas 77 years after it crashed, after grueling searches that killed three pilots.

The C-46 was carrying 13 people from Kunming in southern China when it disappeared in stormy weather over a mountain in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the first week of 1945.

"We didn't hear anything about this plane after the accident. It simply disappeared," said Clayton Coles, an American adventurer who led the mission at the request of the son of one of the victims of the ill-fated flight.

The task took months and was undertaken by Coles and a team of guides from the local Lisu, as they roamed the depths of rivers and pitched tents at high altitudes in very cold temperatures.

Three guides died of hypothermia in the first phase of the mission while camping in conjunction with a snowstorm in September.

The team finally found the plane on top of a snow-covered mountain last month, where they were able to identify the wreckage by the plane's tail number.

No human remains were found among the wreckage.

Coles was tasked with the operation from Bill Shearer, the son of an officer who was on the plane when it crashed.

"All I can say is that I am very happy just to find out where the plane is. It is sad and joyful at the same time," Shearer told AFP by email from New York.

"I grew up without a father. All I can think of is my poor mother, who received the news of the loss of her husband and found herself alone with a 13-month-old child."

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