Historic convoy on the Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway was constructed during a time of turmoil. The Second World War was in full pitch and the Americans feared Japan would invade via the unprotected Alaskan coast. A route for transporting soldiers and supplies to the North became imperative.
Between March and November of 1942 a military road crew battled mosquitoes, hostile temperatures, failing equipment, and exhaustion as they carved the route from British Columbia’s Dawson Creek into Big Delta, Alaska, where it connected with an existing road into Fairbanks.
To mark the 70th anniversary of construction, a convoy of nearly 100 historic military vehicles will set out from Dawson Creek on August 4, 2012. The participants—mostly private collectors from the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Belgium, and Australia who have restored the equipment—will head north of British Columbia into the Yukon and Alaska, then back again, covering 6,600 kilometres over 27 days.
The trip is organized by the Military Vehicle Preservation Society. “Military vehicles were the backbone of the Alaska Highway construction project,” said author Stan Cohen in a MVPS release. “Building the road would not have been possible without more than 7,000 pieces of military equipment.”
The feared Japanese invasion never transpired but the Alaska Highway changed the North, allowing places like Dawson Creek and Fort St. John to flourish.
For more on the convoy see: www.mvpa.org.