Oh what a night!

Here’s hoping your New Year’s is off to a better start!

Official caption: “New Years’ morning, 1945, found this Douglas C-47 cargo carrier of the 14th AF on a China Road after a moonlit landing.”

“U.S. Air force Number 3A00987. Print received 16 Feb 1945 from BPR (Air Forces Group) Stamped: Passed for pub., U.S. Army Press Censor.” NARA 342-FH_000382

Fighting the battle of “the Hump” just to get into the War, the Fourteenth Air Force’s work in the China Burma India Theater (CBI), from inheriting the Flying Tigers of Claire Chennault’s American Volunteer Group just after Pearl Harbor and morphing to the China Air Task Force (CATF) before becoming the full-fledged 14th AF in March 1943, then two years fighting the Japanese across the sub-continent are largely forgotten.

Nonetheless, as noted by the National Museum of the USAF:

Despite supply problems, the 14th Air Force grew from fewer than 200 aircraft to more than 700 planes by the end of the war. American airmen in China destroyed and damaged more than 4,000 Japanese aircraft during the war. They also sank more than a million tons of shipping and destroyed hundreds of locomotives, trucks, and bridges while helping to defeat the Japanese in China.

“… I judge the operations of the 14th Air Force to have constituted between 60 percent and 75 percent of our effective opposition in China. Without the (14th) air force we could have gone anywhere we wished.” – Lt. Gen. Takahashi, Japanese Chief of Staff in China.

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