I originally started this morning’s post on the SeaBees, but ran across some information that until now was unknown by me….and I’m thinking a lot of other people as well.
In the example above, we see foodstuffs being prepared for shipment to the Soviet Union under the program of “Lend-Lease”. America served as the “Arsenal of Democracy” and shipped out arms, food, munitions and other supplies to the Allies throughout the Second World War, coming to an end in the fall of 1945. Supplies were mostly shipped in massive ship convoys to the needed destinations.
The part you might not know is the Aleutian connection that was one of those destinations. Late in the war, in 1945, these islands were home to various operations including Hula, Hula-Two and the ASLIB.
The Hula Operations
Arranged in the Eastern part of the Aleutians, Cold Bay was home to Navy Town, which consisted of various buildings including a hospital and airfield. This site also served as the primary location for Hula-Two, where Russian crews were training on US Navy ships turned over to them via Lend-Lease. Says LOC:
“…Vessels arriving from West Coast ports were transferred here to Russian crews that had received at Cold Bay their shakedown training in anti-submarine warfare, radio, radar, gunnery, and other shipboard activities. ….”
Now comes ASLIB
Besides the Hula Operations, there also exists a little known fact that there was during the war an air route from Alaska to Sibera. Says Air & Space Power Journal in their review of the title, The Alaska-Siberia Connection: The World War II Air Route:
“…Added to this situation was the inherent difficulty of the Alaska-Siberian delivery (known as ALSIB throughout the war). Not an easy operation, the ALSIB run consisted of a series of flight legs flown by American pilots starting in Montana, working their way through western Canada, and finally arriving in Alaska. There, the aircraft were transferred to the Soviets, whose aircrews flew them on through Siberia and Russia to the eastern front. ….”
According to the review, many thousands of needed aircraft were delivered this way. I’ve tried to assemble some links below that will help illustrate this and add some more information, but there is potential for more to be found. A great topic for a Monday!
Have a great day, see you tommorrow!