This week in the War, 16–22 November 1942: The opening of the Alaska Highway
The Alaska Highway [Public domain, author: Adrienne Elmore]
This week in the war, on 21 November 1942, the completion of the Alaska Highway (also called the ALCAN Highway
or the Alaska-Canadian Highway
) was officially celebrated on Soldier’s Summit.
Construction of the Alaska Highway, 1942 [Public domain]
The highway was built for the most part by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Construction began in March 1942 and the highway started in Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and headed north.
The highway was built for strategic purposes, following the attack on Pearl Harbour. Construction was further spurred on by the Japanese invasion of Kiska and Attu islands in the Aleutians.
When originally completed, the highway was over 1,700 miles long and was a challenging drive over rugged terrain.
The present-day Alaska Highway is now paved from end to end.