THE NORTHWEST AIR ROUTE TO ALASKA
The Air Transport Command's northwest route extended for a distance of 2,210 statute miles from the domestic terminus at Great Falls, Montana, to Anchorage, Alaska. This indeed understates the situation somewhat, since Great Falls itself was remote from the centers of aircraft production in California and along the Atlantic seaboard. Between Great Falls and Anchorage, the route's major bases were located at Edmonton (Alberta), Whitehorse (Yukon Territory), and Fairbanks (Alaska). Although Edmonton lies in the great cultivated plain of western Canada, Whitehorse, Fairbanks, and most of the lesser bases were set in the midst of a vast wilderness whose surface, heavily wooded, provided relatively few easily recognizable landmarks for the pilot flying contact. Especially between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, the terrain, though not comparable with the peaks of the Himalayan Hump, was rugged enough. Even in summer a forced landing in that area was hazardous. But it was the northern winter rather than distance or terrain which furnished the northwest airway with its distinctive hardships and dangers. Radio aids to aerial navigation, as they became available in sufficient quantity, helped, but the Aurora Borealis and related natural phenomena often so distorted the signals as to make them worse than useless. The winter's blanket of snow tended to blot out what visual signpost man or nature had provided for the harassed airman. Winter temperatures, which often fell below minus 50° Fahrenheit, and which passed minus 70° in the record-breaking winter of 1942-43, altered the characteristic properties of such common materials as rubber, antifreeze solutions, even metal, and of course all lubricants.
moment's contact of flesh with metal was painful, if nothing worse; ungloved hands froze in a matter of minutes. In the bitter cold, sustained activity out of doors was impossible; yet much of the work of operating a transport airline or an airway for the delivery of aircraft must be done outdoors.
As seen by the planners in December 1941, the wintry air road northwest was essential for supplying and reinforcing the pitifully small garrison of American forces in Alaska. Such was its principal occasion for being until September 1942, and throughout the war it continued to deliver to the United States' armed forces in Alaska aircraft and aircraft supplies. For three years, however, from September 1942 until September 1945, this airway's primary function was to deliver lend-lease aircraft, nearly 8,000 in all, to the aircrews of the Soviet Union, waiting at Ladd Field, Fairbanks.1
Originally, it had been supposed that the delivery of aircraft to the Soviet forces would occur not on North American soil but far within the U.S.S.R.2 Hence the name, ALSIB (Alaska-Siberia), by which the project for delivering aircraft over the northern route to Stalin's airmen was long known by the Ferrying Command and ATC. On at least one occasion General Arnold even offered to provide the transports and to operate across Siberia the transport service, without which aircraft deliveries could not be maintained.3 One who recalls the difficulties which the Air Transport Command—not always without fault—experienced in dealing with American theater commanders, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (initially responsible for the construction of several bases in Alaska),4 the Canadian Department of Transport (which at first undertook to build the necessary facilities along the Canadian segment of the ALSIB route),5and even its sister branches of the AAF may indulge his imagination in considering what might have been the result had the command actually attempted to run an airline and deliver thousands of planes within Soviet territory.
The planners in the Air Staff and in ATC headquarters were obliged to look beyond 1942 to the day when a vigorous offensive against Japan might be mounted. The value of Siberian bases for such an offensive was obvious. Planners hoped that AAF use of Siberian airfields in ferrying and transport operations might well facilitate their
use ultimately in a bomber offensive against the Japanese homeland.6Should the Soviet leaders refuse the preferred aid in Siberia, the transfer point could still be fixed, perhaps temporarily, at Nome or Fairbanks. As early as April 1942, Lt. Col. George Brewer, who surveyed the route for the Ferrying Command, recommended strongly the choice of Fairbanks rather than Nome. Nome was 533 air miles nearer Soviet territory but nearer also to Japanese bases. Fairbanks had better existing facilities, could be supplied more readily, and had some relative advantage over Nome in the matter of weather.7
Over a year intervened between the first proposal, in August 1941, that lend-lease aircraft destined for the Soviet forces be delivered by way of Alaska and the final decision that this should be done. From April 1942 on, proposal followed proposal and one negotiation succeeded another.8 The Soviet representatives were as difficult as usual to deal with, refusing today an offer which they had seemed to accept yesterday, only to revive it on the morrow. Yet it must be said that their objections were not wholly without grounds. Many airfields would have to be established and supplied if the planes delivered via Alaska were ultimately to reach the fighting front, no matter who served as their pilots. The ALSIB route offered substantial advantages over its existing alternates—the waterborne route to Archangel, along which German bombers and submarines took heavy toll, and the air-water-air route by way of the Persian Gulf, where greater distance and the abrasive qualities of wind-blown African soil lessened the life of planes and engines. Yet by those alternates, planes were already reaching the Soviet forces in some numbers. Deliveries could continue without any substantial new construction on the part of the U.S.S.R., with a minimum expenditure of time by Soviet ferry pilots, and without providing a basis for pressure to admit American personnel to Soviet territory. Furthermore, the use of the alternate routes did not affect Russo-Japanese relations, whereas there was a chance that the ALSIB project might supply the Japanese with a pretext for a premature act of war against the Soviet Union.9
But the United States was persistent,10 the Soviet need for aircraft was real, the advantages of the northern air route were apparent, and on 3 August 1942 the Soviet government agreed that it could be used. Within three weeks the AAF was to deliver fifty A-20's, twelve B-25's, forty-three P-40's, and fifty P-39's into Soviet hands at Fairbanks. These totals were soon revised downward when Maj. Gen.
Alexander I. Belyaev, chairman of the Soviet government's purchasing commission in the United States, indicated that the Siberian portion of the route was as yet unable to handle so many planes. Meanwhile, after a strenuous round of conferences and co-ordination between representatives of various agencies of the Air Staff, the Air Service Command, the Materiel Command, and the ATC, the advance guard of the aircraft started toward Great Falls. The first of these, five A-20's, reached Fairbanks on 3 September. Then without warning, on 19 September, Belyaev informed General Arnold that his government had determined not to utilize the ALSIB route after all, though it would accept such planes as had already reached Ladd Field. But this decision, too, was reversed, and the flow of aircraft to Fairbanks, halted for a fortnight, was started again. Soviet personnel had assembled at Ladd Field; Russian pilots received instruction on the American aircraft; and on 29 September the first planes accepted by the Soviet Military Mission in Alaska took off for Nome and Siberian points.11
The Winter of 1942-43
By that time the northern winter was at hand, with the program of route construction which the Ferrying Command had outlined in April and expanded in June still incomplete. Although U.S. engineer troops had been brought in to supplement the work of Canadian contractors at the Canadian bases, there was still much to do. Since June ATC personnel had been moving into the Canadian bases. Only in late August, however, were the first ATC representatives sent to Ladd Field, first Alaskan base to be so staffed. By the end of October the ATC's Ferrying Division had deployed some 686 men along the airway. Over half were serving at Canadian bases, principally Edmonton; most of the men who had been sent to Alaska were stationed at Ladd Field. These men found their new stations generally unready for heavy traffic and particularly unready for winter. The essential runways had been constructed, and in some cases given a hard surface, but buildings were insufficient to house even permanent party personnel; hangars and warehouses were incomplete or nonexistent. Troops would have to live in tents, "winterized" if they were fortunate, and supplies would have to be stored and aircraft serviced in the open or not at all. An ATC headquarters officer who inspected the route in September reported, moreover, that messes were poor,
recreational facilities nil, and morale low. The men faced a pioneering job for which most of them were quite unprepared by previous experience or training. And, though they could not yet know it, they faced the most severe winter which the area had experienced in a generation.12
Transport service along the airway was furnished under contract by Northwest Airlines, Inc., and Western Air Lines. Northwest had been operating over the route since March under the nominal supervision, first, of the Ferrying Command and, subsequently, of the ATC. After opening the route in the spring, NWA, aided by planes and men from Western and five other airlines, had done a heroic job of emergency air transport for the Eleventh Air Force and other elements of the Alaska Defense Command at the time of the Japanese attack at Dutch Harbor, 3-5 June. In late September, Northwest had fifteen DC-3 type transports assigned; Western, which flew from the Ogden Air Depot to Anchorage, had four. Canadian authorities, darkly suspicious of the intentions of American commercial airlines operating, under whatever pretext, north of the forty-ninth parallel, had insisted from the start that these operations be shorn of all commercial aspects and were impatient for their complete militarization at the earliest possible moment. Equally impatient for this consummation were some of the military personnel assigned to ATC and the Army Airways Communications System. Through the winter the jealousy was bitter between the carriers' personnel, who had small confidence in the technical skill and efficiency of the military men, and the soldiers, who suspected the airlines' men of serving the company, if necessary, to the disadvantage of their country. To the numerous other factors conducive to low troop morale was added the realization that airlines' employees, in addition to what the typical G.I. counted a most generous pay scale, received bonuses for service outside the United States. It is no wonder that the feeling between the airlines' employees and Uncle Sam's $50-a-month men led often to blows. Responsibility for communications was divided among NWA, AACS, the Signal Corps, CAA, the U.S. Navy, and the RCAF; the communications facilities themselves were far from adequate.13
In other respects, too, responsibility was divided. From June until October, Col. Leroy Ponton de Acre, commanding officer of the 7th Ferrying Group at Great Falls, was nominally in charge of the route,
under the over-all direction of his immediate superior, Col. William H. Tunner, head of the Ferrying Division, ATC. But channels were particularly involved. The Permanent Joint Board on Defense, Canada-United States, responsible for fundamental policy, had made numerous recommendations regarding the route and its construction. These recommendations, however, were not binding without an affirmative decision by the Canadian government. That given, any change in the details of air-base construction in Canada required the consent of the Department of Transport in distant Ottawa. The commanding officer of Ladd Field was responsible, not to Ponton de Acre or to any other ATC officer, but rather, through the XI Air Force Service Command, to the commanding general of the Eleventh Air Force and in succession to the commanding generals of the Alaska Defense Command and the Western Defense Command. When the Cold Weather Test Detachment returned to the base in October, the pressure on existing facilities was increased. The command relationship was somewhat simplified, however, when Col. Dale V. Gaffney, who headed the Cold Weather Test Detachment, returned to the position of base commander, for in the first of these capacities he was directly responsible to General Arnold.14
Meanwhile, ATC headquarters resolved to establish an Alaskan Wing, whose commander should have the authority usual on ATC's overseas airways. The wing was formally activated on 17 October 1942. Its first commanding officer, Col. Thomas L. Mosley, one-time commander of the Ferrying Command's Foreign Wing, set up his headquarters at Edmonton. His executive, Col. George E. Gardner, had recently been vice-president of Northwest Airlines.15
Colonel Mosley's assignment could be regarded as a challenge to a vigorous career air officer aged thirty-seven, but his assumption of command could be expected to result in no sudden miracles. In the critical matters of construction, supply, and even the procurement of personnel, he had to depend upon distant authorities.16 While his letter of instructions gave him operational control over transport aircraft, it did not authorize him to control their schedules or to exercise command control over their crews.17 To the extent that the carriers were not autonomous, they were responsible, until March 1943. to the Air Transportation Division at distant ATC headquarters rather than to the wing commander. On the other hand, one of the most competent investigators who visited the operation during
the winter gave both NWA and Mosley credit for wholehearted and effective co-operation.18 Mosley's control of the ferrying route was limited by the fact that its starring point, Gore Field at Great Falls, remained under the control of the Ferrying Division and of Colonel Ponton de Acre. Not until February did Mosley and the other ATC wing commanders gain command control of ferrying pilots while they were actually within the wing area.19
Nevertheless, during the winter there was some improvement along the northwest route. Thus an expert consultant to the Office of the Quartermaster General, who had found that "confusion reigned supreme," when he passed through Edmonton in May, August, and November, observed in late January 1943 that the situation had been "transformed in a truly miraculous fashion. . . . Colonel Mosley's ability, resourcefulness and untiring enthusiasm," he reported, "have created a machine out of confusion in a scant two months."20
As the winter weeks passed, one construction job after another was completed, and more of the needed equipment for cold-weather operations arrived. On the other hand, Fort Nelson and Fort St. John, where the Canadian Department of Transport's well-digging operations had lagged during the summer and autumn, went through most of the winter without any water, whether for drinking, bathing, or fire-fighting, except what the troops could haul from neighboring streams. At Galena, between Fairbanks and Nome, the wells were completed in due time, but the pumps did not arrive. At some of the lesser bases the food supply ran low in quantity and variety. Vienna sausage, redesignated by popular acclaim as "Yukon shrimp," was for a time staple at some northern stations, though some efforts were made to fly in fresh meat and milk. At some of the smaller bases a large proportion of the man-hours of labor available was spent in cutting, usually with hand saws, enough wood to keep the men reasonably warm.21 Everywhere the excessive cold of the winter months, as one ATC headquarters officer reported at the end of 1942, governed "every action, from the basic individual struggle to keep warm to the operation of airplanes—in itself, it creates the fight for existence; it tempers the most optimistic plans and reduces efficiency to a minimum."22 Col. Lawrence Fritz, General George's Assistant Chief of Staff, A-3, and somewhat of a cold-weather man himself,* logged about sixty hours of flying time while piloting a DC-3 type transport
* See above, p. 100.
on the route in January; he experienced breaks in refueling hose and trouble with synthetic-rubber hydraulic hose connections because of extreme cold.23 A less responsible person claimed that a pilot new to the route could follow it accurately enough by the trail of red left by leaking fluid from the succession of aircraft which had preceded him. Greases and oil became nearly solid when planes were left on the ground for any length of time. Coolant in the liquid-cooled P-39's tended to blow out and catch fire both on take-off and in the air.24
During the winter of 1942-43, at most of the stations the few men assigned could not even inventory the vast quantities of supplies which had been sent them. These stores, in the absence of warehouses, had been deposited as fancy or circumstance directed. Covered perhaps with tarpaulin, they had presently been buried under the snow. Thus a plane might stand idle at one of the smaller route bases—out of doors, of course, since hangars were long available only at Edmonton and Fairbanks—awaiting parts which might well be present, though not accounted for, under the blanket of snow. Most stations had as yet no personnel capable of doing much more for transient aircraft than to supply them with gasoline and oil or, with good fortune and much labor, to start their motors on a bitter winter's morning. When serious repairs were required, it was necessary to fly in not only the parts but also the mechanics to do the job.25
The wonder is that any planes got through. Yet the record shows that, by the end of March, over 400 lend-lease aircraft had reached Fairbanks. Furthermore, 369 had met the exacting requirements of the Soviet Mission there, had been duly accepted by the representatives of our rather difficult ally, and had been flown westward by Soviet pilots. The accepted planes included 106 A-20's, 34 B-25's, 151 P-39's, 48 P-40's, and 30 C-47's.26 Month by month, the score of lend-lease aircraft which reached Fairbanks ran approximately as follows:27
During the same period pilots of the Ferrying Division also delivered some 90 planes to the Eleventh Air Force in Alaska and 21 to the Cold Weather Test Detachment.28
The American transports on the Alaskan route were hard pressed that winter to take care of the quantities of men and cargo which had been designated for air shipment. Backlogs were a constant problem. While substantial amounts of materiel were moved for the U.S.S.R. and for elements of the Alaska Defense Command, the transports flew in men and supplies essential to the operation of the route as well as some materiel—like the set of band instruments sent to Northway, for instance—which should never have received air priority.29
Since August, Northwest Airlines, in addition to its work along the inland route to Alaska, had been serving the Western Defense Command by flights along the coastal route from Seattle to Anchorage. Because the planes assigned to the coastal route often flew inland under certain weather conditions, the wing asked that the operation be placed under its control. This change was made in January 1943, and at the same time, since NWA had its hands full with responsibilities inland, United Air Lines was brought in to take over the coastal route. Like its predecessor, United was permitted to fly inland when weather or other conditions required it.30
Still another peripheral transport service of Northwest Airlines finally came under wing direction in the spring of 1943. In the previous summer four light aircraft had been assigned to the Corps of Engineers to support the construction of the Canadian-Alaskan (Alcan) Highway and the Canol Project. These planes were flown by Canadian civilian pilots, but in July 1942 NWA was directed to place the pilots on its payroll and to maintain the planes. With the coming of winter the demands upon this service became increasingly urgent. Pressure from Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General of the Services of Supply, exerted through General Arnold and ATC headquarters, forced NWA to step up the number of flights, using a number of C-47 aircraft. On these flights, essential supplies were carried, usually from Edmonton, to the contractors and troops at work constructing the Canol pipeline, or the winter road which necessarily preceded the pipeline, from Normand Wells and Canol on the Mackenzie River to Whitehorse. At the latter point a refinery, dismantled in Texas, was being put together again. Finally, in March the entire air operation in support of Canol construction was made a responsibility of the Alaskan Wing, and the crews employed thereon were transferred to the wing payroll.31
The transports flying the wing's main line also aided in the construction and improvement of the Alcan Highway. Here, as well as in the support of the Canol Project, was a mutual relationship of considerable significance. The construction of the highway, which would take much of the burden off the airline, was assisted by the air movement of men and supplies for road-building. Supplies flown in by the NWA contract carriers, as well as some trucked up the highway, helped in the construction of the pipeline, which in turn was intended to supply fuel to wing transports, ferried aircraft, and highway trucks.
During the first months of 1943 it appeared to Colonel Mosley and to his superiors at Washington that the quantity of aviation gasoline required might be a matter of great moment, for this was a period in which most ATC headquarters plans were conceived on a grand scale.* In January the Alaskan Wing, following the Plans Division of ATC headquarters, was thinking in terms of a movement of 5,000 ferried planes a month and of the operation of from 100 to 150 transports. To handle such a volume of traffic, the wing, which that month handled 83 ferried aircraft, submitted a preliminary outline of a plan for constructing the necessary facilities, including a double line of airports. By February, however, the estimate of 60,000 ferried planes a year had been reduced to 7,900. The program of construction which ATC headquarters proposed to handle that more modest load was in May rejected by the Air Staff, on the grounds that the flow of Soviet aircraft over the route would probably not exceed 388 planes a month.32 Even that goal, however, required a substantial program of additional airway construction.
Meanwhile, ATC headquarters, needing a strong man to take charge of operations in North Africa, in March 1943 offered Colonel Mosley that assignment.33 At the same time, Colonel Gaffney, base commander at Ladd Field and outstanding Air Force authority on cold-weather flying, was asked whether he would be interested in taking command of the wing. Gaffney at once replied in the affirmative but requested that he be accorded better support from higher authority than his predecessor had received.34 Colonel Mosley left for his new post on 13 April, and Gaffney, following a period of consultation
* See above, pp. 39-40.
at ATC headquarters, assumed command of the wing on 9 May. After four months in his new assignment, he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general. As wing, and subsequently division, commander, he gave forceful direction to the ATC's activities in northwestern Canada and Alaska until April 1946, when the division's mission was transferred to the Continental Division of the Command.35
During the winter of 1942-43 the Alaskan Wing's personnel more than doubled in number. At the end of March 1943 the wing, by its own accounting, could muster some 240 officers and 1,497 enlisted men, a majority of them at one of the three major bases, Edmonton, Whitehorse, or Fairbanks. At Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, and Nome the ATC detachments ranged in size from 56 to 71 men. Still smaller ATC contingents were on duty at Galena, Big Delta, Tanacross, Northway, and Grande Prairie.36 By the end of September the military strength of the wing had doubled once more; 402 officers and 3,296 enlisted men were assigned. At the year's end the wing claimed a total of 5,438 officers and enlisted men, not counting several hundred Air Service Command troops who were on duty within the wing area.37 The assigned personnel included some 1,200 men who had passed through the Arctic Training School at Fort Buckley, Colorado. Northwest Airlines' employees along the route reached a peak of 948 in February but were down to 437 by the end of 1943.38
Much of the time and energy of ATC officers from station level to command headquarters during 1943 was spent in planning for the new construction considered essential to the fulfilment of the Alaskan Wing's mission. Even before any of the plans submitted that year had received the approval of the Operations Division of the General Staff (OPD), it was necessary to undertake preliminary negotiations with the Alaska Defense Command, the Canadian Department of Transport, the Permanent Joint Board on Defense, the Office of the Chief of Army Engineers, and its local representative, the Northwest Division Engineers at Edmonton. In these interchanges ATC officers sought to determine what agencies would be responsible for procuring and shipping the necessary supplies and equipment and for actual construction and what types of labor, American or Canadian, military or civilian, should be employed. The basic construction plans (Plans B and C), presented by ATC headquarters, and modified and sponsored by the Air Staff, were finally approved by OPD on 1 May and 17 June,
respectively, but that did not end all difficulties. The resultant War Department directives left the Alaska Defense Command and the Northwest Division Engineers no option but to undertake the work. Still, the ADC's personnel was limited, it had construction projects of its own, and often, because of shipping and priority difficulties, it lacked some of the equipment or supplies or manpower essential for doing a given job at a particular air base. Across the international border, it was still necessary to gain approval of the expansion program from the Permanent Joint Board on Defense and the Canadian cabinet. Even then the Canadian authorities expected to alter layouts which did not fit into their plans for the future development of the airfields.39
General Gaffney would no doubt still have won his popular nickname, "The Screaming Eagle of the Yukon," had he had no problems of construction to face. It is easy, however, to understand how even a much milder and more patient commander might have been tempted to indulge himself in an occasional outburst. The situation was assuredly one of prolonged frustration and friction. It was not, of course, a case of conspiracy against a perfect Air Transport Command. The Alaska Defense Command (redesignated the Alaskan Department in November 1943) did not always find ATC's requests or demands entirely reasonable. It is understandable, too, that the Canadian government, which supplied the land, which was to be the ultimate owner of the air bases, and which proposed to pay a major share of the costs of construction, should wish a final voice in their planning, should wish that the sites marked out by the RCAF for future expansion of its facilities should not now be utilized for other purposes, should prefer the employment of Canadian contractors to that of American civilians or the U.S. Army Engineers, and should fear the effect of American employment practices upon the local wage and price structure.40
In the end ATC substantially had its way, when construction work on the bases in Canada and also at Northway, Tanacross, and Big Delta was turned over to the Northwest Division Engineers. On the other hand, that agency was required to use Canadian contractors and laborers in the Edmonton area. From Fairbanks west, General Gaffney was obliged to depend upon the Alaska Defense Command. By the end of the year a substantial portion of the new work had been completed. Improved runways, taxi strips, parking aprons, hangars,
warehouses, repair shops, laundries, bakeries, mess halls, barracks, and latrines were put into service, one by one, and helped make it possible for the wing to carry a much heavier load in its second winter than it had in the first.41
By mid-summer 1944 the northwest route had achieved a large measure of maturity. Construction was all but completed. The division commander no longer lacked personnel and authority needed for the fulfilment of his mission; at the end of July, 949 officers and 8,347 enlisted men were assigned to his organization. During the summer of 1943 he had gained full command of Nome and the lesser Alaskan bases, Galena, Northway, Tanacross, and Big Delta; the service and overhead personnel at those stations had all been transferred to the Air Transport Command. In September 1943 Ladd Field, too, had been assigned to the ATC. Early in 1944 the acquisition of East Base at Great Falls, Montana, had given the Alaskan Wing effective control of the southern terminus of its principal route. A little later Air Service Command personnel performing maintenance and traffic duties came under the direct command of General Gaffney. Rotation was provided within the division, or even elsewhere within the ATC organization, of men long stuck at isolated bases along the route.42 Now that the remote likelihood of enemy attack, except perhaps at Nome, had long since passed, headquarters officers found time to concern themselves with setting up a program of basic military training for the men of the division. A "plush" mail and passenger service, with airline seats, was inaugurated between Anchorage and Minneapolis. More and more of the transport operation was run on a scheduled basis, with hot in-flight lunches for passengers. A specialized search and rescue organization, established in January, had reached a high level of flexibility and effectiveness. One of the most annoying aspects of summer duty in the north country was attacked by a vigorous program of mosquito control at the bases most seriously affected. Such amenities as built-in chests of drawers and clothes hampers now contributed to the comfort and presumably the morale of troops at some of the more remote bases. Even the preservation of secrecy concerning the operation seemed no longer essential; accordingly, the War Department's Bureau of Public Relations and ATC headquarters, which had long been harassed by reports, rumors, and queries concerning the ALSIB movement, made it and the whole mission of the Alaskan Division public property.43
The Ferrying Mission, 1943-45
The most important responsibility of the Alaskan Division continued to be the safe delivery of lend-lease aircraft to the Soviet representatives at Fairbanks. That such deliveries should be accomplished on schedule and in the agreed-upon-volume was a matter of serious importance to President Roosevelt personally; the pressure of his concern, exerted through Harry Hopkins and General Arnold, was felt at least once by the Air Transport Command.44 As route conditions improved, the task of handling the ALSIB aircraft became increasingly routine; it was fulfilled generally in a manner both satisfactory and unspectacular, though the record of total deliveries at Fairbanks shows considerable fluctuation, month by month:45
* Includes about twenty returned when lend-lease was discontinued.
Of the planes transferred to the U.S.S.R. at Ladd Field, over 5,000—a substantial majority—were fighters, nearly all being Bell aircraft, P-39 Airacobras, or the larger P-63 Kingcobras. The last of the P-39's were delivered in September 1944; the first of the P-63's had been turned over in June 1944. Until June 1943, however, A-20 light bombers had led the list, and the flow of these Douglas planes continued until July 1944. Nearly 100 more were delivered the following summer, in lieu of advanced trainers which could not then be supplied in the desired quantity. First and last, over 1,300 A-20's were transferred to the Soviet Mission at Fairbanks. Less important numerically, but continued throughout the ALSIB movement, was a steady flow of B-25's and C-47's, reaching a total of something over 700 of each.46 The relatively small number of types ferried over the northwest route lessened
the Alaskan Division's problems so far as maintenance was concerned. As mechanics of reasonably satisfactory qualifications were procured, it was possible for them to achieve a high degree of specialization in maintaining the ALSIB aircraft.
The basic factor governing the flow of aircraft was the succession of U.S.–U.S.S.R. protocols, in which the number and types of planes to be delivered to the Soviet Union were agreed upon. But agreements and resulting allocations could not bring about the delivery of aircraft which factory production lines had failed to complete. Once aircraft had left the factory, there were still other factors which could delay their arrival at Fairbanks. If factory production was erratic—end-of-month production surges were a frequent source of annoyance—the Ferrying Division could not always supply enough pilots to move the aircraft promptly. When modifications or winterization, elsewhere than at the factory, were required, extra delays might occur, Bad weather often delayed deliveries and led to their bunching, since single-engine fighters were normally cleared only for contact flying, as were two-engine craft whose pilots lacked instrument ratings. The ferrying pilots themselves sometimes dragged a foot; they tended to resist the Alaskan Division's policy requiring all ferry pilots to be on hand for take-off at 0700 or sunrise, whichever came earlier.47
At the end of the run the Soviet representatives had to check every aircraft and often rejected, pending further maintenance, those which fell below their exacting standards. Thus in the autumn of 1944 deliveries were reduced to the lowest figure in nearly two years. Actually, in spite of numerous difficulties, the usual number of planes had reached Fairbanks; the trouble lay in the fact that hundreds of P-63's were grounded there, at various points along the route, or between the factories in western New York and central Montana. And that was due to the Soviet Mission's refusal to accept any more of the planes without certain modifications, which experience had shown important, to strengthen the fuselage. Some 125 civilian mechanics from the Ogden and Sacramento Air Depots, together with inspectors from the Spokane Air Depot, 6 representatives of the Bell Company, and the necessary modification equipment, were flown to Nome and Fairbanks, where modification of most of the planes which had already entered the route was carried out. At Edmonton sixty-two planes were modified by the civilian employees of Aircraft Repair, Ltd., a local firm which, on occasion, had previously served the wing. The
work began on 19 and 20 October, and in less than two weeks the modifications were completed. Before that, however, the Soviet Mission refused to accept any more P-63's until a ventral fin had been installed on each. Since the fins could not be made available before 15 December, all movement of ALSIB P-63's from the factory was halted until word was received from Moscow, 9 November, waiving this requirement. Meanwhile, Alaskan Division officers feared that Soviet representatives would decline to accept aircraft on which winterization, requiring 300-350 more man-hours of work per plane, had been delayed by modification. In this case, however, the Soviet Mission agreed to settle for a minimum of winterization.48
In flying a typical ALSIB plane from factory to Fairbanks, the facilities of the Alaskan Division were essential. The task, however, was shared by the Ferrying Division, which supplied, and in most cases had trained, the pilots who did the flying.
Procedures for starting the flight of new aircraft from production centers, at first rather complex, were gradually simplified, particularly after May 1944. The key figures in the process were the Ferrying Division's control officers at the several aircraft factories. These officers were notified by Materiel (later Air Technical Service) Command representatives on duty at the same factories of the prospective availability of tested aircraft for flyaway. From the Aircraft Distribution Office in the Dayton area, they learned the destinations of those planes. At the same time they kept in close touch with the Ferrying Group which they represented and which supplied them with pilots possessing proper qualifications for ferrying that type of aircraft. Thus, when a new P-63 was turned over by the Bell factory at Buffalo to the resident Materiel Command representative and by him to the Ferrying Division's control officer, the latter dispatched it in charge of a pilot, normally one belonging to the 3d Ferrying Group, with headquarters at Romulus, Michigan. Stopping at a succession of domestic bases, the pilot would ultimately reach Gore Field at Great Falls, headquarters of the 7th Ferrying Group. There he usually delivered the plane and returned to his home base, with perhaps another ferrying mission en route.49
At Great Falls the aircraft received its final processing before leaving the States. If the checks given there by the 34th Subdepot revealed a need for maintenance, it was done on the spot. As a double check the Alaskan Wing, in March 1943, placed a detachment at
Gore Field to conduct inspections and give aircraft a final mechanical clearance, though the 34th Subdepot commander at Great Falls claimed that this was quite superfluous. The entire procedure came under Alaskan Wing control, however, in January 1944, when the subdepot came under the wing's jurisdiction. Clearance having been given, pilots or crews selected by the 7th Ferrying Group took over and flew the plane up the line. The number of stops en route varied greatly, depending, of course, upon the range of the aircraft, mechanical difficulties, and weather conditions. In October 1944, when prolonged bad weather and serious defects in the new P-63 complicated the picture, the median elapsed time between departure of ferried aircraft from Great Falls and their acceptance by the Soviet representatives at Fairbanks was thirteen days. This lag was considerably greater than during the summer months. It was to be much worse before it became better. Before taking off from Great Falls, aircrews were supposed to draw the Arctic clothing which the Alaskan Wing had designated as necessary for one who flew north—and might conceivably be forced down—in the winter. Until September 1944, they were briefed by personnel of their own group organization; thereafter representatives of the Alaskan Division assumed the responsibility. At Fairbanks ferrying pilots delivered their aircraft and returned to Great Falls. The civilian pilots of the contract airlines, who usually flew the ferrying crews back to Great Falls, were often accused of treating these passengers like so much baggage. Certainly, cargo was usually carried along with passengers. The transports were often inadequately heated and lacked oxygen or any real provision for the comfort and convenience of passengers. Meanwhile, at Ladd Field the processing which the ferried aircraft had received at Great Falls was virtually repeated. When Alaskan Wing personnel satisfied themselves that a plane was ready for delivery, there remained the checks performed by the Russians.50
At every step in the process described, there was room for friction. Briefing was not always as complete or as helpful as it should have been. Pilots complained of dirty sheets or none, of unwholesome food, of operations officers who insisted that a man push on, even when he thought it dangerous, because of weather or the mechanical condition of his plane, to do so. At some bases and at some periods maintenance personnel were co-operative and efficient; at others, quite the opposite. At the end of the line a man's first desire, naturally, was for food
and rest, but diligent priorities and traffic officers sometimes hurried him into the first southbound transport without adequate opportunity for either. In consequence the pilot often got back to Great Falls, considerably the worse for wear, and certainly not anxious to start out on a fresh ferrying assignment.51
On the other hand, the pilots were mostly young and often irresponsible. One after another, baffled by the intricacies of supply and too easily stopped by a refusal of suitable equipment, they flew north clad in light, short boots and regulation pinks. At times, certainly, pilots affected carelessness in dress and grooming, and at one time it was rumored in Alaskan Wing circles that at Great Falls a pool paid off to the pilot who grew the longest beard while on duty up the line. Pilots were prone to stay up late, especially at Calgary and Edmonton, and then to report too late for take-off in the morning. Perhaps most serious, from the point of view of those who thought in terms of the safe delivery of a maximum number of planes, many of the pilots were guilty of irregularities in flight procedure and others lacked experience in flying the particular type of plane being delivered.52
Such complaints as General Gaffney and his staff made regarding the ferrying pilots, and the responses of the Ferrying Division, were colored by Gaffney's repeated but unsuccessful proposal that the pilots be assigned to the wing, staged at various points along the route, and assigned to fly only relatively short runs of 500 to 750 miles, on which they might become genuinely expert. General Tunner, who commanded the Ferrying Division until the summer of 1944, resisted this recommendation of the Alaskan Wing commander, with arguments both good and bad and, in any event, with complete success. Nor did the friction end finally with the transfer of General Tunner to the India-China Division and the assignment of Brig. Gen. Bob E. Nowland to the command of the Ferrying Division. Meanwhile, deliveries continued. The accident rate, serious enough, fluctuated widely, was usually rather higher in winter than in summer, but in general tended to decline as the war progressed. Model for model, the percentages of accidents compared favorably with those experienced within continental United States.53
As the facilities of the northwest route were improved, the Soviet Union chose to have larger proportions of its lend-lease aircraft delivered by that route. Finally, in June 1944, Gen. Leonid G. Rudenko, Chairman of the Soviet Purchasing Commission in Washington,
asked that all aircraft called for in the 4th Protocol, arranged that month, be delivered by way of Fairbanks.54 Even so, there was only one month (August 1944) in which the number of planes delivered to the Soviet Union at Fairbanks exceeded the maximum of 388 forecast by the Air Staff in May 1943.*
The summer and autumn months of 1944 saw not only the peak of ALSIB ferrying but also the highest level of the Alaskan Division's transport operations. Total ton-miles flown by contract carrier and military crews for the division rose gradually from 1,070,956 in January 1943 to 3,087,348 in September 1944, though this record figure was only a little higher than those for July, August, and October of the same year. The best monthly accomplishment in 1945 was nearly as high—2,877,180 ton-miles in June.55
Much of these transport operations fell outside the approved Air Transport Command pattern of strategic air support to a military theater. To be sure, the emergency build-up following the Japanese attack on Dutch Harbor in June 1942, when passenger planes from seven airlines were hastily pulled off their regular runs to deliver the means of defense to forward bases near the Aleutians, showed how vitally air transportation might serve a hard-pressed theater commander.56 Throughout the war elements of the Alaska Defense Command (Alaskan Department) continued to receive mail, passengers, and some cargo, both routine and emergency, by means of ATC transports.57 A surprisingly small portion of the transport load (18.6 per cent of the Alaskan Wing's ton-mileage in March 1944, 6.7 per cent in June, and only 3.6 per cent in September of the same year) involved the transmission of personnel, equipment, supplies, and mail for the Soviet Union. A much larger portion of the traffic, particularly in the principal channel, Edmonton-Fairbanks, was devoted to maintaining the route itself. Much of it was direct company traffic: the return of ferrying crews, the shipment of supplies to Air Transport Command bases, or the shifting of ATC personnel from one station to another. Furthermore, most of the remaining lift served Army organizations which, during the last two years of the war, had
* See above, p. 165.
no more important mission than to support the ATC's airway to the northwest.58
The willingness of the Air Transport Command to initiate regular intratheater services to assist a theater commander is illustrated on a small scale by the Alaskan Wing's operations along the fog-ridden Aleutian chain. This service, which the Eleventh Air Force requested of ATC headquarters during the 1943 Aleutian campaign, was assigned to United Air Lines as contractor. Accordingly, UAL maintained during August and September the service from Anchorage to Adak to move high-priority passengers and mail. Over a year later, when it appeared that a large portion of the Eleventh Air Force's troop-carrier aircraft would be removed, ATC was asked to undertake regular transport operations on the Chain route. Though the troop-carrier organization did not leave, the ATC service, rendered this time by Northwest Airlines, was begun in January 1944, extended in July to Attu, and discontinued only in July 1945. The Canol operation, which grew to a peak in the last four months of 1943, only to disappear soon after the pipeline was completed in February 1944, may also be cited as an intratheater service.59
For its operations on the Canol route and for much of its search and rescue work, the Alaskan Wing used light C-64 (Norseman) planes, equipped with pontoons, skis, or wheels as season and circumstance dictated. After May 1945 the division had four C-54's engaged usually in non-stop military service on the coastal run, Seattle to Anchorage. On the main line, Edmonton-Fairbanks, which handled about as much traffic as all the other transport lines of the division put together, the major burden was carried from beginning to end by DC-3's. A few C-46's were assigned in January 1943, and more were expected to the consternation of wing headquarters. Those which came proved of little use, particularly in the Far North. After a time those which were not transferred out of the wing were restricted almost entirely to the relatively easy run between Edmonton and Minneapolis. The purely military operation never overshadowed that of the contract carriers in the Alaskan Wing as it did elsewhere. Even in the fall of 1944. the proportion of the total load which the military carried was less than a third. Thereafter it rose gradually, but only in August 1945. as hostilities came to an end, were the contract airlines withdrawn entirely from the routes of the Alaskan Division.60
Serving an inactive theater of operations and an ally whose receipts of lend-lease aircraft remained substantially constant, the Alaskan Division and the northwest route experienced no such astounding growth during the last months of the war as did the Pacific and India-China Divisions and even the European end of the North Atlantic route. Indeed, the story of the airway to the northwest can be briefly summarized: Begun under difficulties of climate and construction comparable with those experienced elsewhere, it struggled through a first hard winter (1942-43) but shortly acquired the necessary facilities and men to support a relatively steady flow of ferried and transport traffic. This it did with increasing efficiency. Throughout its career its commander and his associates worked with an air of expectancy, rooted in the prospect of a large expansion when the time should come for a final push against Japan. When that time came, however, Siberian air bases played no part in the final assault on Japan proper, and not even the B-29 strips built on the Aleutian chain were employed. As a result, the division's routine load continued to be handled in a routine fashion. When the end of hostilities brought an end to the transfer of lend-lease aircraft, the division wound up its affairs and sent its people home.
Contents * Previous Chapter (5) * Next Chapter (7)
1 Hist. Alaskan Division, ATC, Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 1-2.
2 Ltr., Lt. Gen. H. H. Arnold, CG AAF, to Rear Adm. W. H. Standley, 10 March 1942; memo for AC/S OPD from Col. H. A. Craig, AC/AS, Plans, sub: Cablegram To Be Dispatched to Admiral Standley, AAF Classified Files; memo for CG AAF from Brig. Gen. H. L. George, CG ATC, sub.: Possibility of Alaskan-Siberian Route, 22 June 1942; msgs., Pres. Roosevelt to Adm. Standley for Stalin, 17 June 1942, 23 June 1942; ltr. Arnold to Maxim Litvinoff, 29 June 1942. As late as the end of 1942, Maj. Robert M. Leylan, ATC headquarters specialist on the ALSIB movement, wrote with assurance, "Inevitably the ATC route will extend into Siberia proper, to the vicinity of Vladivostok and the interior of China. Russian approval is a matter of time." (ltr., Leylan to CG ATC, sub.: Report of Alaskan Route, 28 Dec. 1942).
3 Hist. Northwest Air Route to Alaska, 1942-45, p. 65, and documents cited in n.1. This study, prepared by Carr, Hist. Off of the Alaskan Division, was, with minor changes, submitted as a PhD. dissertation to the University of Minnesota, Oct. 1946, under the title "Great Falls to Nome: The Inland Air Route to Alaska, 1940-1945.".
4 Northwest Air Route, pp. 11-13, 18-19. For difficulties with CAA in Alaska, see ltr., Col. D. V. Gaffney, CO ALSW to CG ATC, sub.: CAA Operations in Alaska, 16 Aug. 1943.
5 Northwest Air Route, pp. 19-23. For difficulties with the Canadian government and particularly the Department of Transport, see ltr., Maj. Gen. H. L. George to Col. Thomas L. Mosley, CO ALSW, sub.: Complaint of Canadian Government with Respect to Construction of Various United States Facilities on the Northwest Ferry Route, 22 Feb. 1943, and incl..
6 Northwest Air Route, pp. 58-62.
7 R&R, AFADS to AFDMR, 14 Mar. 1942; memo for C.G FC from Brewer, sub.: Ferry Routes to Alaska—Report on Field Study, 30 Apr. 1942.
8 Northwest Air Route, pp. 54-55, 64-69.
9 Ibid., pp. 57-69, 61-64; msg. PO-218 [Col. Joseph A.] Michela, U.A. Air Attaché at Moscow to MILID, 16 May 1942.
10 For an analysis of some of ATC's reasons for preferring the Northwest ferrying route, see memo for Col. Crumline from Col. C. R. Smith, C/S ATC, 5 Aug. 1942.
11 Northwest Air Route, pp. 64-69; memo for CG ATC from Brig. Gen. T. J. Hanley, Jr., AC/AS, A-4, sub.: Delivery of Aircraft to the Soviet Government, 6 Sept. 1942, in MATS Hist. File; mimeographed paper, sub.: Discussions on the Establishment of the Alaska-Siberia Ferry Route (unsigned n.d.). in 361, ATC Central Files' ltr., Belyaev to Arnold, 19 Sept. 1942.
12 Northwest Air Route, pp. 76-78, 104-18, 142; memo for Col. L. G. Fritz, A-3 ATC from Maj. Emery M. Ellingson, Asst. A03 ATC, sub.: Inspection of Air Transport Command Facilities on Northwest Air Ferrying Routes (Alaska), 5 Oct. 1942; memo for All Military Personnel G-3 ATC from Lt. Col. Milton W. Arnold, Exec. Opns. Sec. ATC, sub.: Staff Conference on 28 Aug. 1942, 29 Aug. 1942. For a more favorable view by a Ferrying Division officer who was active from July until November in overseeing cold-weather preparations along the route, see ltr., Maj. Homer F. Kellems to CE FERD ATC, sub.: Official Report, Northwest Air Route, 9 Nov. 1942.
13 Northwest Air Route, pp. 30-35, 37-40, 43-46, 72-73; Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 139-41; memo for Fritz from Ellingson, 5 Oct. 1942; interview with Lt. Col. Arthur J. Larsen by Frank H. Heck, 7 Aug. 1942.
14 Memo for Col. C. R. Smith, C/S ATC from Lt. Col. Marlow M. Merrick, C Engr. Sec. ATC, sub.: Ferrying Operations to Alaska and Delivery of Planes to the Russians, 1 Sept. 1942; ltr., Col. T. L. Mosley, CO ALSW ATC to CG ATC, sub.: Unsatisfactory Construction along the Alaskan Route, 29 Dec. 1942; Northwest Air Route, pp. 73-75; Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 215-16.
15 Northwest Air Route, pp. 79-80; Admin. Hist. ATC, June 1942—Mar. 1943 p. 51.
16 Northwest Air Route, pp. 82-83, 142-43; memo for Gen. George from Lt. Col. Robert M. Love, DC/S ATC, sub.: Capt. Yaggy's Report on the Alaskan Route, to Feb. 1943.
17 Ltr., CC ATC to CO ALSW ATC, sub.: Letter of Instructions, 5 Oct. 1942.
18 Ibid.; Northwest Air Route, pp. 142-43; Admin. Hist. ATC, June 1942—Mar. 1943, pp. 96, 180-82; memo for Maj. Gen. H. L. George from Col. L. G. Fritz, AC/S, A-3 ATC, sub.: Alaskan Wing, 17 Jan. 1943.
19 Admin. Hist. ATC, June 1942—Mar. 1943, pp. 93-95, 188-89; Northwest Air Route, p. 79.
20 Ltr., H. Bradford Washburn, Jr., to Gen. George, 9 Feb. 1943.
21 Ltr., Capt. Edward E. Yaggy, Jr., to CG AAF, sub.: Findings and Recommendations regarding Status of Bases on Alaskan Wing of Air Transport Command, 2 Feb. 1943; memo for George from Fritz, sub.: Alaskan Wing, 17 Jan. 1943; interview with Larsen by Heck, 7 Aug. 1952.
22 Ltr., Maj. Robert M. Leylan to CG ATC, sub.: Report on Alaskan Route, 28 Dec. 1942.
23 Memo for George from Fritz, sub.: Alaskan Wing, 17 Jan. 1943.
24 Northwest Air Route, pp. 186-87.
25 Ibid., pp. 143-45; ltr., Leylan to CG ATC, sub.: Report on Alaskan Air Route, 28 Dec. 1942; ltr., Yaggy to CG AAF, sub.: Findings and Recommendations regarding Status of Bases on Alaskan Wing of Air Transport Command, 2 Feb. 1943.
26 Statistics on Delivery of Aircraft to Russia, Alaskan Route and South Route, 13 Feb.-30 June 1943, in MATS Hist. File.
27 Sum. of Ferried Aircraft Deliveries over the Northwest Route, Sept. 1942—Dec. 1943, prepared from ALSD Aircraft Status Rpts. It will be noted that the totals reported by this and the previous source are not in complete agreement..
29 Northwest Air Route, pp. 145-46; Hist. ALSD, Pre-Wing Period, pp. 212-20.
30 Northwest Air Route, pp. 148-50; Hist. ALSD, Pre-Wing Period, pp. 207-11.
31 Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 93-96, 122; Rich and Finnie, Canol (San Francisco, 1945), pp. 17-49, 62-185.
32 Northwest Air Route, pp. 120-21, 125-27; Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 258-60, 273-74; ltr., Mosley to Maj. R. M. Leylan, sub.: Increased Facilities To Handle Proposed Traffic over the Alaskan Route, 26 Jan. 1943.
33 Msg., unnumbered, [C.R.] Smith to Mosley, 11 Mar. 1943, in Leylan Cable Bk., MATS Hist. File.
34 Msg., unnumbered, Smith to Gaffney, 12 Mar. 1943; msg. 5662, CO Ladd Fld. to Smith, 13 Mar. 1943, both in Leylan Cable Bk.
35 Msg., ATC-3159, Smith to Mosley, 24 Mar. 1943, in ATC General's Log; Northwest Air Route, p. 86; ATC Daily Diary, Office of Program Monitor, 28 Mar. 1946.
36 Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, App. I, p. 95.
37 Ibid., pp. 47-48.
38 Ibid., pp. 48-50.
39 Northwest Air Route, pp. 119-34. Cf. documents in Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, App. III, esp. pp. 630-38, 645-46, 707, 766-68, 920-21.
40 Northwest Air Route, p. 133; Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 247-314, esp. p. 297, n. 19.
41 Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 194-95, 276-78, 295-315.
42 Hists, ALSD, July 1944, pp. 52-55, 76-78; Feb. 1944, p. 16; Mar. 1944, p. 29; Apr. 1944, pp. 39-40; Northwest Air Route, p. 93.
43 Hists. ALSD, July 1944, pp. 13, 1839-46, 63, 68, 82-83; Jan. 1944, pp. 5-8; June 1944, pp. 37-41.
44 Northwest Air Route, pp. 179-80.
45 Ibid., pp. 190-99.
46 Ibid., cf. Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 1-2.
47 Northwest Air Route, pp. 177-78, 191-93; Hist. ALSD, Sept.-Oct. 1944, pp. 4-6; Hist. Ferrying Div., ATC, III, 102-3; V, 277-79; VI, 342-49; Hists. ALSD, May 1944, pp. 2-3; Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, p. 176.
48 Hists. ALSD, Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 7-11; Sept-Oct. 1944, pp. 6-11.
49 Aircraft Allocation and Flow, June 1942—Aug. 1945, esp. pp. 82-86; Hist. FERD, V, 319; Hist. ALSD, Sept.-Oct. 1944, pp. 15-25.
50 Northwest Air Route, pp. 181, 193; Hists. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 172-75, 181-85; Aug. 1944, pp. 3-5; Sept.-Oct. 1944, pp. 4-7, 15-24, 63-65; Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 13-14.
51 Hist. FERD, V, 310-19; VI 441-42.
52 Ibid., III, 197-210; Hists. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 175-80; Feb. 1944, p. 2; Mar. 1944, p. 2.
53 Hists. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 172-74; Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 128-31; Hist. FERD, VIII, 210-15.
54 Northwest Air Route, pp 197-99.
55 Ibid., pp. 155, 159, 172; Hist. ALSD, Sept.-Oct. 1944, p. 26.
56 Northwest Air Route, pp. 37-41.
57 Hist. ALSD, Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 26, 47-49.
58 Northwest Air Route, pp. 171-72; Hists. ALSD, Mar. 1944, p. 2; June 1944, p. 6; Sept.-Oct. 1944, pp. 26-27.
59 Northwest Air Route, pp. 161-63, 165-69, 172; Hist. ALSD, Mar. 1944, p. 4.
60 Northwest Air Route, pp. 156-59; Hists. ALSD, Nov. 1942—Dec. 1943, pp. 85, 102, 114-16, 122-23, 130-33; Nov. 1944—Sept. 1945, pp. 27, 36-37, 42-43.