Photograph of first truck convoy assembling at Ledo

U.S. Army. Via

Ledo is a village of the Assam region of northeast India that became significant as the railhead for a road across the Pangsau Pass into the Hukawng Valley of northern Burma and through Mytkyina to connect to the old Burma Road to China. This road, also known as the Stilwell Road, was conceived as a route for supplies for the Chinese armies and the American air forces in China. However, by the time the road was completed on 27 January 1945, it had become largely irrelevant due to American successes in the Pacific.

Construction of the road began in earnest in late December 1942. The first segment of the road, 103 miles (166 km) in length, ran across Pangsau Pass (summit at 4500' or 1370 m) to Shingbwiyang (96.202E 26.679N). The engineers reached the border with Burma, 43 miles from Ledo, on 28 February 1943, but then came virtually to a halt due to the difficulty of bringing in supplies and the onset of the monsoon. Only three miles were completed between the end of March and middle of August. Shingbwiyang was not reached until December 1943 and the connection to China was not complete until late 1944. By then the Himalayas airlift had become massive in scope, and the war ended before traffic over the Ledo Road could begin to approach the levels of the airlift.


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