Comments on Al-Can and Aleutians photos

I think this may be a way for people to more easily add their knowledge about the Aleutians War and building the Alaska-Canada Highway. Easier than what was originally posted on the Special Projects page Al-Can Highway and the Aleutians War, Alaska in WWII

The photos are hosted at Flickr, but only those with an account can comment there. Fortunately, a “newsreader” such as http://www.curiostudio.com/ Great News feed reader, can collect the comments on Flickr, along with the tiny images to which the comments are attached. This means anyone can comment here, but one can see the full-size photos there. I would advise you to open the links (click on the thumbnail pictures below) to the pictures on Flickr in a separate tab or window. In some cases, tech support has re-arranged the original comment or changed the titles, but the photos should still be there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
revised 2007-10-10
There is another way to view the photos as a set (but not the comments as posted below). Flickrleech.net provides a really nice way to view Flickr photos (please support his bandwidth). Any small picture can then be clicked on to view the actual Flickr hosted image and comments. Here’s the link

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Comment about Shemya Attu Agattu NGeo

Gruscana has posted a comment:

“National Geographic map, can be purchased. Attu and Shemya can be viewed in “more views”, all the way to the west in the margin”
theelderlies.wordpress.com/2006/07/12/charlie-king-builds…

Shemya Attu Agattu NGeo

8/27/2006 07:23 PM


Comment about River camp

csking has posted a comment:

The exposed barren slope on the right may be the same slope shown in the later photo titled “blasting.” If so, that picture may be incorrectly noted as having possibly been at the 1,040-foot Slim’s River crossing. On the other hand, this could be the same crossing which from this distant perspective makes the width of the river seem less than a thousand feet. Quien sabe?

River camp

8/27/2006 10:24 AM


Comment about Scan7281

csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

Scan7281

8/24/2006 05:31 PM


Comment about plank bridge, finished
csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects. This appears to be at the time of “draggin’ up” and on to the next camp.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

plank bridge, finished

8/24/2006 05:27 PM


Comment about Plank bridge, side view
csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects. This would appear to have been taken upon completion.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

Plank bridge, side view

8/24/2006 05:23 PM


Comment about plank bridge
csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

plank bridge

8/24/2006 05:05 PM


Comment about blasting, csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

blasting

8/24/2006 05:04 PM |


Comment about major river crossing

csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

major river crossing

8/24/2006 04:59 PM |


Comment about major river crossing

csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

major river crossing

8/24/2006 04:58 PM


Comment about major river crossing, blasting

csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

major river crossing, blasting

8/24/2006 04:57 PM


Comment about major river crossing, staging

csking has posted a comment:

One of several pictures that seem to be of the same construction project which may be the 1,040-foot Slim’s River Bridge noted in the record as one of the more time consuming projects.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Engineers during the construction of the AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

major river crossing, staging

8/24/2006 04:56 PM


Comment about Plane crash 1-a

csking has posted a comment:

From other reading I’ve done on how the route was determined, a lot of the flying was done by a guy personally contracted by the General in charge who flew along…one General Hoge (sp?) till he went on to notable successes in Europe after having been replaced. This pilot is described in the most stellar terms by the general. I didn’t read the whole narrative but I didn’t see any reference to his plane ever having crashed.

Plane crash 1-a

8/24/2006 04:46 PM


Comment about Plank bridge

csking has posted a comment:

Gruscana has added several more to the original two. I sent when I realized that they were almost certainly of the same project and would provide an interesting progression from the picture showing where they had decided to cross and the final convoy crossing the bridge and on to the next camp and project.

I can’t help but wonder what was next and remember the picture of the North River project (many miles and bridges later) in another picture that was done in the dead of winter. In line with that I remember the first time I heard Dad convey the universal sentiment contained in the saying, “things can always get worse.” I think his actual words were, “Things are never as bad as they seem,” as he tried to assuage some silly childhood concern.

Plank bridge

8/24/2006 11:15 AM


Comment about Plank bridge

csking has posted a comment:

Some of the pictures in this sequence, and out of sequence, could be of the construction of the 1,040 foot Slim’s River Bridge mentioned on page 12 of “Building the Road to Alaska.” Quoting from the document, “Few obstacles slowed construction except the major water courses, such as Slim’s River which required the 18th Engineers to build a 1,040-foot pile stringer bridge and the 340th’s bridge over the Rancheria River.”

Plank bridge

8/24/2006 11:09 AM


Comment about Canyon Creek Bridge, 1942

csking has posted a comment:

Picture #10 labeled “Canyon Creek Bridge” at another Internet site is apparently the same bridge.

Pictures are a subset of this site and accessible by clicking on the “Pictures” button:

www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/9977/

Canyon Creek Bridge, 1942

8/24/2006 10:46 AM


Comment about equipment, road grader

csking has posted a comment:

All the other pictures of abandoned equipment and ordinance are also interesting.

equipment, road grader

8/24/2006 07:16 AM


Comment about Bridges

csking has posted a comment:

Subsequent to my note above I found an authoritative reference to the number of bridges the 18th Engineers constructed in a U.S. Army historical called, “Building the Road to Alaska.” Page 128 of that document (page 12 of 19 by the Acrobat Reader page counter) states the following:

“The effort expended on bridges and culverts was significant — in the 95 miles fom the Aishihik River to Kluane Lake, the 18th Engineers built 225 stringer bridges, an A-frame at Aishihik, 2 pile stringer bridges, and 138 timber box culverts.” Quote is from the follwing (pdf file):

www.usace.army.mil/publications/eng-pamphlets/ep870-1-42/…

This, of course, is only the number of bridges and culverts constructed over that stretch of the highway.

Bridges

8/23/2006 06:54 AM


Comment about equipment, road grader

Gruscana has posted a comment:

There’s a picture of one of these, 60 years later on the Aleutians, Attu040601-024.jpg

equipment, road grader

8/21/2006 11:58 PM


Comment about The Williwaw Wail page 5

Gruscana has posted a comment:

There’s a photo of the Marston matting used for the airstrips (importance discussed in thesis), here
static.flickr.com/33/48492349_59c8572ed3.jpg?v=0
from the entire set of contemporary photos of Aleutians war sites.
WWII in the Aleutians (Set)

The Williwaw Wail page 5

8/21/2006 11:42 PM


Comment about Joe Longo

csking has posted a comment:

This barracks photo of another GI cleaining his M1 Garand was probably taken near the end of the war at Ft. Belvoir, VA after 18th Engineers returned to the states from Alaska and The Aleutians.

Notice what appears to be a shiney steel butt plate on the rifle which could indicate an upcoming parade review…possibly the last one.

Joe Longo

8/21/2006 08:49 AM


Comment about Pack Train Inn, Skagway

csking has posted a comment:

“Skagway is … considered the northern most point in Southeast Alaska, 80 air miles from Juneau and 110 road miles from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.”

From a history of Skagway as found on the Internet:

“1942 – Skagway is literally invaded by U.S. Army troops, who take over the railroad for a major supply route to build the Alcan Highway. The tracks are moved off Broadway and as many as 20 trains a day climb the pass. Over the next three years as many as 3,000 troops are stationed here. Vacant lots sprout rounded Quonset huts and H buildings. A pipeline is constructed along railway for fuel shipments.”

Pack Train Inn, Skagway

8/21/2006 08:38 AM


Comment about 60 below

csking has posted a comment:

Based on other photographs with notations, the guy on left appears to be William (Bob) E. Porter from Yazoo City, Mississippi and the other Stanwood A. Murphy from San Francisco.

Dad spoke a few times of the danger associated with even the most brief exposure of bare flesh to these temperatures. For my Brother and me the most frightening and memorable was his description of the dangers associated with going to the latrine.

A historical narrative I’ve seen recently stated that there was a low temperature recorded somewhere along the Al-Can during its construction of seventy below zero.

60 below

8/21/2006 07:11 AM


Comment about G McCalla, YT

csking has posted a comment:

G. McCalla, Yukon Territory, somewhere along the AlCan Highway during W.W. II. Photo taken my Father, Charles King.

I’ve gone back and looked in Dad’s photo album and found this man’s bold signature on the first page of three containing twenty-seven signatures and hometowns (some addresses and prepended four-digit phone numbers also…i.e., Mayfair 9139 for one Harry R. Nagel) of friends. The “G” is for George and his hometown is stated as “Phila – Penna.”

Interestingly, every signature is legible and in keeping with the standard handwriting techniques taught in school at that time…and probably to this day for that matter. I’d bet that sixty years later any such list of twenty-seven different signatures of men of this age group (in or out of the service and of any demographic) might reveal the actual names of fifteen to twenty.

G McCalla, YT

8/21/2006 06:12 AM


Comment about Canyon Creek Bridge, 1942

csking has posted a comment:

First of two pictures of the same bridge. Note the log cabins in the background of this one.

Canyon Creek Bridge, 1942

8/21/2006 05:15 AM


Comment about The Williwaw Wail page 5

Gruscana has posted a comment:

Williwaw. Williwaw is the [NOT] Aleut word for the violent, hurricane force winds in the region which can exceed 100 miles per hour.”

Weather as the Decisive Factor of the Aleutian Campaign, June 1942 – August 1943
A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE, 1993
CAROL A. WILDER, LCDR, USN
tinyurl.com/zmbs4

Not an Aleut word, according to Dr Lydia Black who knows.

The Williwaw Wail page 5

8/20/2006 09:33 PM


Comment about The Williwaw Wail page 5

csking has posted a comment:

The following is a short contextual definition of WILLIWAW as taken from what I believe is a U.S. Army historical narrative of the a landing on the Aleutian Island of Amchitka:

“Just surviving the weather on Amchitka was a challenge. During the first night ashore, a “willowaw” (a violent squall) smashed many of the landing boats and swept a troop transport aground.”

Internet address for the whole well written pictorial narrative entitled “Aleutians – The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II is as follows:

Aleutians – The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II

The Williwaw Wail page 5

8/20/2006 09:55 AM


Comment about Shemya2 (back)

csking has posted a comment:

Back side of the next photograph in series. I’ve recently seen a photograph posted by the son of another AlCan vet at another site that shows the hooch looking little ramshackle place that was the Shemya photo shop where this was no doubt developed and stamped.

photo and script by Tec V, Charles King, 18th Combat Engineers

Shemya2 (back)

8/19/2006 11:15 AM


Comment about White River, YT winter

csking has posted a comment:

I don’t know how wide or deep The White River is but it seems to me it would be difficult to overstate the difficulty of constructing almost any size bridge in what appears to be the dead of a Yukon winter.

Photo and script by Tec V, Charlie King, 18th Combat Engineers, AlCan Highway, W.W. II.

White River, YT winter

8/19/2006 11:05 AM


Comment about Handling logs for bridge

csking has posted a comment:

To the extent I ever wondered why Dad knew so much about this kind of equipment (winches, gin-pole trucks, cranes, etc.), these pictures answer the question.

Photo by Tec V, Charlie King, AlCan Highway construction, W.W. II

Handling logs for bridge

8/19/2006 10:54 AM


Comment about River camp

csking has posted a comment:

Judging from what appears to vehicles or an encampment on the other side of the river, this is no doubt a view of the point at which a bridge was to be constructed.

Photo by Tec V, Charles King, AlCan Highway construction, W.W. II.

River camp

8/19/2006 10:43 AM


Comment about Scan754

csking has posted a comment:

Picture one of two in a series — herewith showing the bridge under construction and then finished (or at least passable to vehicular traffic) in the second picture (next in this series…as it is now).

Photo by Tec V Charlie King, Alcan Highway construcion, W.W. II

Scan754

8/19/2006 10:37 AM


Comment about Scan7161

csking has posted a comment:

Not visible in this picture is what is likely chains connecting this series of vehicles together as they’re being pulled through the muck by the Caterpillar D-9 up front. I’ve zoomed in on this picture to see if the driver of the cat is my Dad, Charlie King. It’s indeterminable but it probably is with the photo taken by a friend in the truck…somewhere on AlCan Highway during W.W. II.

Scan7161

8/19/2006 10:29 AM


Comment about Scan7321

csking has posted a comment:

From a recently read a transcription of an interview of Brigadier General William M. Hoge (one of the Commanding Generals of the Alaska Highway project), he states that their original road cutting methodology that called for a 100 foot wide clearing through the forests for the roadway was too wide because it let too much sunlight in which allowed the muskeg or permafrost to melt. The problem wasn’t immediately apparent and discovered only after the road was found to be impassable on a return trip days or weeks later. Even after the road clearing width had been reduced to twenty-five feet they still had to lay the cleared trees down in a corduroy fashion in some places.

The Hoge interview address is: (pdf file)
www.usace.army.mil/publications/eng-pamphlets/ep870-1-25/…

Scan7321

8/19/2006 10:19 AM


Comment about Shemya3

csking has posted a comment:

Dad spoke of Agatu also but I think only as an island he saw from a distance.

Shemya3

8/14/2006 09:29 AM


Comment about Shemya2 1944

csking has posted a comment:

Backside noted by Tec V Charlie King:

Shemya, Aleutian Island, 1944
8/14/06 (Dad’s birthday)

Shemya2 1944

8/14/2006 09:27 AM


Comment about California Training

csking has posted a comment:

Tec 5 Charlie King 18th Engineers in training or on maneuvers in Calfornia before deployment to Canada and Alaska for construction of the AlCan Highway. Date would be between late 1941 to 5 April 1942 which his papers say was departure date for Canada (arrived 13 April). From other photos I know that one camp where training took place was Camp Hunter Ligget in California.

California Training

8/10/2006 07:02 AM


Comment about Plane crash 1-c

csking has posted a comment:

Thrid of three pictures of this scene taken by Charlie King during the construction of the Al-Can Highway or in the Aleutians during W.W. II. I was never told anything about these photos and they weren’t annotated in any. The plane was probably used as an observation or survey platform for determining the course the highway construction would take.

Plane crash 1-c

8/1/2006 06:16 AM


Comment about Plane crash 1-b

csking has posted a comment:

Second of three pictures of this scene taken by Charlie King during the construction of the Al-Can Highway or in the Aleutians during W.W. II. I was never told anything about these photos and they weren’t annotated in any. The plane was probably used as an observation or survey platform for determining the course the highway construction would take.

Plane crash 1-b

8/1/2006 06:15 AM


Comment about Plane crash 1-a

csking has posted a comment:

First of three pictures of this scene taken by Charlie King during the construction of the Al-Can Highway or in the Aleutians during W.W. II. I was never told anything about these photos and they weren’t annotated in any way. The plane was probably used as an observation or survey platform for determining the course the highway construction would take.

Plane crash 1-a

8/1/2006 06:14 AM


Comment about Bishop’s Lodge wedding

csking has posted a comment:

Bishop’s Lodge is north and east of Santa Fe, New Mexico. I believe the other couple is the soon to be married Joe and Mary Staley.

Bishop's Lodge wedding

7/24/2006 06:13 PM


Comment about Fwd: Charlie’s photos (a couple more)

csking has posted a comment:

Unknown location in the building of the Al-Can Highway. My Dad, Charlie King, may be driving the cat or he may be the one taking the picture. I believe I’ve seen this very location recently in a documentary or another picture set of the times. Location is probably easily identifiable by anybody highly familiar with the highway. It could be on Lake Kluane.

Charlie's photos (a couple more)

7/20/2006 06:17 AM


Comment about CKing, The Williwaw Wail page 5

csking has posted a comment:

One page from an 18th Engineers news sheet. It is readable if you click on the “All Sizes” button at top and view at the “Original Size.”

From Charlie King’s W.W. II momentos discovered by me in 2005.

CKing, The Williwaw Wail page 5

7/19/2006 12:41 PM


Comment about Fwd: Charlie’s photos (a couple more)

csking has posted a comment:

War time grim humor during construction of the Al-Can Highway…dehumanizing / disparaging / humiliating the enemy. Not, however, the enemy they would face later on Attu in the Aleutians. Kinda’ makes you wonder if they even knew which enemy the highway was intended to defend against.

Charlie's photos (a couple more)

7/19/2006 12:13 PM


Comment about Charlie King

csking has posted a comment:

Charlie King – photo from about 1957 or 1958.

Charlie King

7/19/2006 11:57 AM


Comment about Jean Roseberry (King)

csking has posted a comment:

My Mother, Wanda Jean Roseberry King, in either her Junior or Senior year of High School. Only a couple of years before meeting my Father, Charlie King.

Jean Roseberry (King)

7/19/2006 11:55 AM


Charlie's photos (more 9...)

7/19/2006 11:52 AM


Charlie's photos (more 9...)

7/19/2006 11:51 AM


Comment about Fwd: Charlie’s photos (more 2)

csking has posted a comment:

From Charles King’s war time photo album. On the left is probably from maneuvers in Calfornia before going to Alaska and the on right probably in Washington DC just prior to separation.

Charlie's photos (more 2)

7/19/2006 11:46 AM


Comment about Fwd: Charlie’s photos (a couple more)

csking has posted a comment:

Sled dog – Al-Can Highway during W.W. II. Photo by Charlie King, 18th Engineers. Judging from the dog’s tail he’s not all that pleased.

Charlie's photos (a couple more)

7/19/2006 10:07 AM


Comment about Fwd: Charlie’s photos (more 3)

csking has posted a comment:

Either Les ? or Stanwood Murphy writing letter, duty sheet, or the like during W.W. II on Alcan Highway or Aleutians.

Charlie's photos (more 3)

7/19/2006 10:02 AM


Comment about Fwd: Charlie’s photos (more 3)

csking has posted a comment:

Duck Hunting – Stan is Stanwood Murphy from San Francisco. Dad said he was from a wealthy family. I did a search for him for Dad on the Internet and was able to find out an impassive and disinterested family member that he had passed away many years ago. Somewhere in Alaska during W.W. II. Photo by Charlie King – 18th Engineers.

Charlie's photos (more 3)

7/19/2006 09:56 AM


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4 Responses to “Comments on Al-Can and Aleutians photos”


  1. 1 Karen Blackwell 2007 October 9 at 1:16 pm

    I found these photos very similair to my step father’s. His name is John Paxton and he too was in the 18th corp of engineers. I am working on getting his pictures posted on a web site. Thank you for sharing your photos.

  2. 2 Charlie King 2007 October 9 at 5:29 pm

    Thanks for looking. Write when you get them posted. Also, anyone else interested in this project, comment here or email chaskATaolDOTcom

  3. 3 bob 2008 February 6 at 5:41 am

    The charlie king photo are great. Is there a possibilty of purchasing a set. My girlfriends father was with the 18th engineers and he worked on the Alcan Highway. He would love to see some of the memory he has thru your photos.

  4. 4 tomie o Davis 2009 February 10 at 4:09 pm

    My dad tomie davis also serve with the 18th combat engineers on the alcan highway and inthe aleutian islands during ww2. He would like to comunicate with anyone that was with the 18th. He can be reach at my e-mail adress richarddrld @ aol .com thank you his son R L davis


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