22 September 2013

First Ledo Road Convoy to Reach Kunming, China

Image size: 1600 x 1164 pixel. 456 KB
Date: Monday, 5 February 1945
Place: Kunming, Yunnan, China
Photographer: Unknown

US Army Corps of Engineers General Lewis A. Pick leads 113 vehicles of the first convoy to use the new Ledo (Stillwell) Road to reach Kunming. Leaving Ledo, Assam, India on January 12, 1944, they arrived in Myitkyina, Burma on January 15, where they were held up by Japanese resistance until January 23. Crossing the Chinese border at Wanting, China on January 28, they had traveled 1,079 miles to reach Kunming. A representative of every engineering company that worked on the Ledo Road accompanied the convoy. Pick was assigned to the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations in October 1943 and oversaw construction of the Ledo Road in India and Burma.  His driving force enabled the difficult task to be completed in 2½ years.  His men nicknamed the road "Pick's Pike".  After his return to the United States in 1945, he served again as Missouri River Division Engineer.  On March 1, 1949, President Truman appointed him Chief of Engineers.  Pick was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.  He died December 2, 1956, in Washington, D.C.


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