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The FReeper Foxhole Remembers Flying the Hump (1942-1945) - July 3rd, 2003
http://www.afa.org/magazine/1991/0391hump.asp ^ | March 1991 | C. V. Glines

Posted on 07/03/2003 12:04:19 AM PDT by SAMWolf



Dear Lord,

There's a young man far from home,
called to serve his nation in time of war;
sent to defend our freedom
on some distant foreign shore.

We pray You keep him safe,
we pray You keep him strong,
we pray You send him safely home ...
for he's been away so long.

There's a young woman far from home,
serving her nation with pride.
Her step is strong, her step is sure,
there is courage in every stride.
We pray You keep her safe,
we pray You keep her strong,
we pray You send her safely home ...
for she's been away too long.

Bless those who await their safe return.
Bless those who mourn the lost.
Bless those who serve this country well,
no matter what the cost.

Author Unknown

.

FReepers from the The Foxhole
join in prayer for all those serving their country at this time.

.

.................................................................................................................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

Our Mission:

The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.

The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.

If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.

We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.

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click on the books below.

Flying the Hump


When the Japanese closed the Burma Road, the route to China was over the Himalayas by air.


In mid-December 1941, in the wake of Japan's massive land, sea, and air offensive in the Far East and its attack on Pearl Harbor, the Allies had no doubts about the need to support China fully to keep it in the war. China's forces would tie down Japan on the mainland. China would provide bases for attacks on Japan. In any event, Gen. Claire Chennault's China Air Task Force, the "Flying Tigers," had to be supplied.


Burma Road to China was closed by the Japanese conquest of Southeast Asia (from ILN 1942/01/10)


Suddenly, in March 1942, supplying China became immeasurably harder. Japanese forces cut the Burma Road--the only overland path to China--and all land supply ceased.

The Allies came back with a response unprecedented in scope and magnitude: They began to muster planes and pilots to fly over the world's highest mountain range. The route over the Himalayas from India to Yunnanyi, Kunming, and other locations in China was immediately dubbed "the Hump" by those who flew it.

Though relatively short, the route is considered the most dangerous ever assigned to air transport. The reason is apparent from this description contained in the official Air Force history:

"The distance from Dinjan to Kunming is some 500 miles. The Brahmaputra valley floor lies ninety feet above sea level at Chabua, a spot near Dinjan where the principal American valley base was constructed. From this level, the mountain wall surrounding the valley rises quickly to 10,000 feet and higher.

"Flying eastward out of the valley, the pilot first topped the Patkai Range, then passed over the upper Chindwin River valley, bounded on the east by a 14,000- foot ridge, the Kumon Mountains. He then crossed a series of 14,000-16,000-foot ridges separated by the valleys of the West Irrawaddy, East Irrawaddy, Salween, and Mekong Rivers. The main 'Hump,' which gave its name to the whole awesome mountainous mass and to the air route which crossed it, was the Santsung Range, often 15,000 feet high, between the Salween and Mekong Rivers."



Pilots had to struggle to get their heavily laden planes to safe altitudes; there was always extreme turbulence, thunderstorms, and icing. On the ground, there was the heat and humidity and a monsoon season that, during a six-month period, poured 200 inches of rain on the bases in India and Burma.

Fifty Years Ago


If the US was to conquer such obstacles, it would have to build an organization to ensure the smooth flow of planes, people, and supplies. The seeds of such an organization already existed. On May 29, 1941--fifty years ago this spring--the US Army had created the Air Corps Ferrying Command. Out of this small organization grew the US Air Transport Command, under the command of Maj. Gen. Harold L. George.


"Flying the Hump, Moonlight, CBI" by Tom Lea. Pilots flying this treacherous route kept Allied supply lines open. (Army Art Collection


"It seems almost incredible," Gen. William H. Tunner remarked in his memoirs, "that up until three o'clock in the afternoon of May 29,1941, there was no organization of any kind in American military aviation to provide for either delivery of planes or air transport of materiel."

When the Japanese closed the Burma Road, the US devised an initial plan that called for sending 5,000 tons of supplies each month over the Hump into China as soon as possible. American C-47s delivered the first, small load of supplies in July 1942. It was a meager beginning. If the resupply effort was to be greatly expanded, airfields would have to be built, pilots would have to be trained, and transports would have to be manufactured and ferried to the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater.


Generals Stilwell (left) and Merrill. (DA photograph)


The air transport task in the CBI fell first to Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton, commander of Tenth Air Force. The Ferrying Command was to deliver seventy-five C-47s to the CBI, but some were diverted to support British forces in North Africa. Of the sixty-two that finally reached the theater, about fifteen were destroyed or lost, and many of the rest were out of service for long periods due to a shortage of parts and engines.

It was obvious that the theater air commander should not be responsible for a supply route reaching from factories in the US to destinations in China. On October 21, 1942, Air Transport Command (ATC) officially took over the task.

Operations under ATC began in India on December 1. The original small air transport unit was established as ATC's India-China Wing. As air transport activity increased, it became the India-China Division, comprising several wings. "Every drop of fuel, every weapon, and every round of ammunition, and 100 percent of such diverse supplies as carbon paper and C rations, every such item used by American forces in China was flown in by airlift," General Tunner said later.


Few aircraft are as well known or were so widely used for so long as the C-47 or "Gooney Bird" as it was affectionately nicknamed.


Tonnage flown across the Hump increased slowly. Thirteen bases were established in India and six in China. Curtiss C-46s gradually replaced the Douglas C-47s and C-53s. Consolidated C-87s, the cargo version of the B-24, and some war-weary B-24s were added. In December 1942, 800 net tons were delivered to China. In July 1943, 3,000 tons were delivered. The target was 5,000 tons per month, but Gen. Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese leader, wanted more. President Franklin D. Roosevelt personally ordered the target increased to 10,000 tons a month.



TOPICS: VetsCoR
KEYWORDS: burma; c46; c47; c53; china; chinaburmaindia; freeperfoxhole; japan; michaeldobbs; thehump; veterans; wwii
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf
Good morning!

Sorry for missing your fine threads this week .. was injured in a car accident on Sunday and I have been laying low at home most of the week. No permanent injuries but it hasn't been a pleasant week.

Looks like I have a lot of reading to do!

21 posted on 07/03/2003 9:20:35 AM PDT by Colonel_Flagg
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To: All
BTW, for those who have plans for the 4th, remember drinking and driving do not go toghether well and neither does drinking and boating. Take it easy this 4th of July holiday. We want everyone back in one piece.
22 posted on 07/03/2003 9:30:23 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: snippy_about_it
Good Morning, Snippy.
23 posted on 07/03/2003 9:46:41 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: Colonel_Flagg
Oh Colonel I'm sorry to hear that, glad you're gonna be okay though. Hope you're feeling better since you are posting.
24 posted on 07/03/2003 10:09:35 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: GATOR NAVY
Hi Gator Navy.

Some of the worst terrain in the world and yet American ingenuity managed to overcome it.
25 posted on 07/03/2003 11:00:05 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: Valin
1863 Battle of Gettysburg Pa ends, major victory for North



Toward The Angle
Brigadier Gen. Richard Brooke Garnett leading his Brigade of 5 Virginia regiments at Gettysburg, July 3rd, 1863



The high Tide
It was the "High Tide" of the Confederacy -- Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. It began with a long gray line of 15,000 troops arranged in "magnificent order" for a half a mile. Soon the ranks were shredded by shot and shell, and they shrank into small groups of men, gathered under tattered red banners. The most determined crossed the Emmitsburg Road and continued into the face of deadly Northern fire blazing from a stone wall on Cemetery Ridge. More and more fell until, finally, the great assault collapsed. It was the end of Lee's hope to end the war at Gettysburg.

26 posted on 07/03/2003 11:01:54 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: jriemer
Our Pleasure. Some great graphics there.
27 posted on 07/03/2003 11:05:47 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: Fiddlstix
Good Morning Fiddlstix. Listening to "Blue Velvet", Sigh!
28 posted on 07/03/2003 11:07:19 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: Johnny Gage
WOW! A Three-fer! Thanks Johnny.

Although the C-46 was a better plane it just didn't have the "charm" of the C-47.


29 posted on 07/03/2003 11:13:31 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: Colonel_Flagg
It's good to hear you came out without any permanent injuries. Still, that sure has to put a damper on your mood for the week.

Was your car involved? Did it survive?
30 posted on 07/03/2003 11:18:43 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: E.G.C.
Thanks for the reminder E.G.C. Sometimes we tend to forget the common sense things while we're celebrating.
31 posted on 07/03/2003 11:19:46 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: radu; snippy_about_it; LaDivaLoca; TEXOKIE; cherry_bomb88; Bethbg79; Do the Dew; Pippin; ...
Our Military Today
Welcome to Our Newest Citizens


Navy Seaman Oliver Cromwell Ganaden of Walnut City Calif., stands with his mother, Conchita, during a naturalization ceremony on the deck of the USS Constellation in Coronado, Calif, Wednesday, July 2, 2003. A total of 216 military personel from 42 countries took part in the ceremony to become U.S. citizens. (AP Photo/Tim Tadder)


U.S. Navy (news - web sites) Seaman participate in a naturalization ceremony on the deck of the USS Constellation in Coronado, Calif., Wednesday, July 2, 2003. (AP Photo/Tim Tadder)


A total of 216 military personnel from 42 countries took part in the ceremony to become U.S. citizens.on the deck of the USS Constellation in Coronado, Calif., Wednesday, July 2, 2003. (AP Photo/Tim Tadder)


Eduardo Aguirre, director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, from left, sits with Asa Hutchinson, Undersecretary of the Border and Transportation Security, Rear Admiral Jose L. Betancourt, Jr., and Michael Petrucelli, deputy director of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services on the deck of the USS Constellation during a naturalization ceremony in Coronado, Calif., Tuesday, July 2, 2003.


Navy Seamen Jose Morfin, Marco Relello and Jose Olivares, from left, joke about the photographs on their newly obtained naturalization certificates after a ceremony on the deck of the USS Constellation, in Coronado, Calif., Wednesday, July 2, 2003.


Navy Seaman Oliver Cromwell Ganaden, originally from the Philippine Islands, is congratulated by his mother Conchita during a naturalization ceremony on the deck of the USS Constellation, in Coronado, Calif., Wednesday, July 2, 2003.


32 posted on 07/03/2003 11:55:17 AM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: SAMWolf
Thanks SAM. Great pics of our new citizens.
33 posted on 07/03/2003 11:56:35 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: snippy_about_it

34 posted on 07/03/2003 12:04:34 PM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: GailA
Thanks Gail, that would look nice on a tree!
35 posted on 07/03/2003 12:05:26 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: SAMWolf
Wow, a dazzling set of posts, today, Sam. From the "Hump" to Gettysburg to D'Souza to new sailor-citizens. I love citizenship ceremonies, I always seem to get something in my eye.

1989 Jim Backus actor (Magoo, Gilligan's Island), dies at 76 of pneumonia

Jim Backus played a pilot in Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, driving a civilian twin engine job. His character was so funny. He always flew with an Old Fashioned in hand, as he put it, "its the ONLY way to fly"!

The story of the Hump reminds me of a saying I heard, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics. Those guys in the Airlift Command, especially on the Hump route, were sure pros.

36 posted on 07/03/2003 12:23:16 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: snippy_about_it
Check out this one...btw it has a BIG price tag to go with it tree
37 posted on 07/03/2003 12:32:01 PM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: GailA
Yikes!
38 posted on 07/03/2003 12:44:39 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: GailA
Afternoon GailA
39 posted on 07/03/2003 1:02:02 PM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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To: colorado tanker
Yep I remember "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"

If they left a comedian out of that movie it was because they were dead or weren't born yet.
40 posted on 07/03/2003 1:04:01 PM PDT by SAMWolf (My dad fought in World War II, it's one of the things that distinguishes him from the french.)
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