CBI Roundup - THE HUMP

  When the history of the war in the CBI Theater is written, a glowing chapter will describe the deeds of the Air Transport Command's epic Hump-jumping operation. These photographs by Bill Vandivert, of Time, Life & Fortune, portray in part one of the typical flights over the rocky spine of the Himalayas from India to China. By spanning one of the most treacherous sectors in the history of flight with vital sinews of war the Hump fliers have done much to help China stoutly maintain its resistance to the Japanese, who seized the nation's seaports and blockaded the interior. Now the Ledo Road is also reaching out insistently toward a China recently isolated except for the ATC operation.

Pilots and crews check in at operations for a dawn take-off. Weather report is ice to 23,000 feet.
Cargo planes, carry everything from heavy machine lathes to artillery pieces to lead pencils.

G.I. trucks carry cargo vital to China's remaining in the war to and from airfields along monsoon-swept roads, often bogged down by mud.
Indian laborers bend their backs to construct hard standing on a dispersal area near a runway as a Hump-hopping transport plane taxis preparatory to taking off.

China-bound passengers board a transport plane somewhere in India for their ride over The Hump.
An industrious little P-40 fighter plane protects the lumbering transports hurdling the Himalayas.

A natural bridge, forming a hole large enough to hold a four-story house, is a landmark often photographed by Hump passengers.
Another landmark which helps pilots during flight is this Buddhist monastery perched on a Chinese mountain top.

Majestic Mountain Peaks Crowned With Snow Commune Serenely Under The Blue Canopy Of The Sky

Approaching a landing field in China a plane wings over a village, whose inhabitants now are so accustomed to the sight they seldom look up.
Coolies at a field in China unload another vital cargo in short order so that the plane may make the return trip in the quickest possible time.

Interior of a plane during flight. From 10,000 feet up, oxygen is needed. A cross-section of passengers might include Army personnel from privates to generals, civilian technical experts and diplomatic officials.
Plane crews report to the operations shack on the China side of The Hump, ready to make the return flight.


Original issue from the collection of C.B.I. Roundup Correpondent Al Sager, shared by CBI veteran Dave Dale.

Copyright © 2006 Carl Warren Weidenburner. All rights reserved.