28 January 1945
Ledo or Stillwell Road
people Chiang Kai-shek Joseph 'Vinegar Joe' Stillwell
On 28 January 1945, the Ledo or "Stillwell Road" was opened. The Road connected Ledo in Assam to Kunming in Yunnan. The Allied lifeline to China was built by thousands of African-Americans in what was one of the epic engineering feats of World War Two. The road was named for General "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell, Commander of the China-Burma-India Theatre. This is a photograph of him with Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek, taken at Flagstaff House in Maymyo (now destroyed) in April 1942 by the legendary Life Magazine war photographer Clare Booth-Luce. Chiang and Stillwell would later fall out, and in 1944 Chiang had President Roosevelt remove Stillwell from his command. We often forget the great world events that have taken place on Burmese soil.