Flying The Hump

To honor the men who flew to support the men on the ground….

The Java Gold's Blog

The first massive airlift in history

One of the chapters in ‘The Java Gold’  is dedicated to ‘…flying the Hump…’as the ‘air bridge’ into China across the Himalayas soon became known. ‘It was the first massive airlift in history.

image The Himalayas as seen after take off from a field in Assam

‘The Hump’  started early in 1942, initially with just a handful of aircrew and airplanes. Most of these planes were hastily ‘converted’ civilian DC-3’s that had been ferried across the Atlantic, Africa and India by a Pan American subsidiary. Often the former civilian owner’s logo and lettering couldstill be seen shining through the hastily applied olive drab army paint.
The US 10th Air Force, ATC and CNAC attempted to carry 10.000 tons of cargo each month into the beleaguered Kunming area that was isolated after the loss of the Burma Road.

image Chabua airfield in 1944, with a view of…

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on March 18, 2017, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Flying the Hump cost many pilots their lives

    Liked by 1 person

  2. GP – thank you for re-blogging this. The Hump was an important but all-too-often overlooked part of the war in the Pacific.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As I wrote on the author’s blog: “Thank you for making us think about those who do the grunt work, the hard work, the work that is often taken for granted. The casualty rate was stunning”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unsung heroes. I learnt about these men for the first time through, I think, an earlier post by you. Glad to read more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I did a post on them a while back, but I thought it should be repeated for the newcomers. So little was known about the CBI – that’s what makes researchers such as yourself so important!!
      Thank you for dropping by, Hilary. Always a pleasure!


  5. Hi GP, we visited Kunming in 2008. We reached there via Chongqing where we visited the former residence of General Stillwell which is now the Flying Tigers Museum. I believe that is connected with this operation. Amazing flying skills. In a bizarre re-use, there is an art school at the back, where I purchased an artwork that takes pride of place in my (small) living room. It depicts a Miao woman (Hmong in the north of Vietnam) on her way to her wedding. There is something like 48 ethnic minorities in this part of China, each with their own culture distinct from Han Chinese. Kunming also has a fabulous flower market. A very pretty part of China. So good that these airmen could protect its people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very for giving us that view of the world. So little used to be known about that theater during the war, so it is great to know that their culture survived it all!
      I appreciate your terrific contribution, Gwen!!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. The fact that they couldn’t get ‘quality’ mechanics to go there says a lot! Working at night and terrible conditions, these guys all deserve recognition for what they did.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s total new and unknown to me” the flying hump” thanks for the information

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Goods share GP! You have a knack for writing history or choosing other great pieces to share. Kinda makes history alive than boring history books. Thanks and have a great Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was fascinated about the massive proportions of the first great air lift and it reminded me most likely of the second air lift, when in 1948 the Soviets cut off all rail and road connections to Berlin with the intent of starving out the city. They did not count on the determination of the US government. At the height of the airlift American transport planes were landing in Berlin every 15 minutes. Imagine to provide supplies for millions of people for almost an entire year. In view of this gigantic effort the Russians eventually gave up and dropped the blockade. Thank you, GP, for reblogging this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. An almost unbelievable achievement. It’s a very great pity that no campaign medals were ever issued for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • THAT is astounding, isn’t it?!! So little of that area is known not only to us, but when it was actually transpiring – it was a mystery! I agree fully, John – a great pity!!


  12. I’m kicking myself — I heard an interview on radio the other day when a fellow was talking about his father or uncle, who flew the hump. Now, I don’t remember where I heard it, or exactly when. In any case, it was as interesting as this post. Those men really were something.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wünsche dir ein schönes Weekend Gruß und Umarmung Gislinde


  14. Crossing the Himalayas in a civilian aircraft (albeit converted)–daunting.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. They did a great job, but it is sad that so many lost their lives in the process.
    As the article says, they were very much the ‘unsung heroes’ of the Air Force.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for sharing this fine tribute to all the brave men on land and above, GP Cox!
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend. x

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Interesting! One often forget that transports are crucial in a war

    Liked by 1 person

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