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Posted 6/11/2008 Printable Fact Sheet

In the highly important capture of the Myitkyina airfield, Maj. (then Brig.) Gen. Merrill's Marauder's were supplied by air. A few hours after the Myitkyina strip had been captured, troop carrier planes were towing in gliders filled with Airborne Aviation Engineers and their specialized equipment. With 5 hours, using miniature bulldozers and graders, the engineers had the field in shape for use by heavy transports. During this operation and for weeks later the field was under constant fire from Japanese snipers, machine guns, and light artillery. Nevertheless, the Myitkyina strip became one of the busiest in the world. From May through October the air lift into North Burma by Maj. Gen. Davidson's Tenth Air Force totaled 98,823 tons. More than 75,000 men were flown in, and over 10,000 casualties evacuated.

While engaged in these operations, the Tenth Air Force also supplied air cooperation to General Stilwell's forces, the British 36th Division, and various Chinese units. Converted B-24's of the Seventh Bombardment Group also flew more than 1,500,000 gallons of aviation fuel from India to the gas-hungry Fourteenth Air Force.

This report was prepared by the Army Air Forces and is dated Feb. 27, 1945.

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