March 1944 - August 1944
A 10 year old Chinese Soldier at Myitkyina airfield 1944
American and Chinese forces supported by Kachin Rangers captured Myitkyina after a grueling 5-month long siege that began in March 1944. American forces included the famed "Merrill's Marauders". Both sides suffered a total 7,000 men dead or wounded. The Japanese had put up a fierce defense against almost impossible odds. The Japanese commander, Maj-General Genzo Muzikami committed suicide after finally evacuating the town in early August 1944. The capture of Myitkyina (and Mogaung around the same time) allowed the Allies to open the new Ledo Road linking India and China.