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History Presentation Flying the Hump – Across the Himalayas February 18, 2023
In WWII, the India-China Airlift, known as “Flying the Hump”, was the highest loss, highest risk air transport mission of the war. Pioneering aviators flew thousands of tons of gasoline and materiel across the highest terrain on earth to supply U.S. Army Air Forces’ fighter and bomber bases deep in the interior of China. The “Hump” was the range of Himalayan Mountains, some over 25,000 feet, that separated India from China. The route became known as the aluminum trail for all the crashed aircraft located along the route.
Many missions supported the early B-29 Superfortress bombing missions from China against the Japanese home islands. The aircraft were flown by pilots of the 10thAir Force and XX Bomber Command. Frank Martin flew 66 missions over the Hump following his prior pioneering flights delivering B-17 bombers to the 8th Air Force in Europe over the North Atlantic.
On Saturday, February 18th, at 11:00 am Colorado author Fred Martin will make a special presentation at the museum about his father’s exploits flying “Hump” missions. After the war, Frank Martin became Vice President of the Cessna Aircraft Company and was inducted into the Kansas Governor’s Aviation Hall of Fame. Fred Martin will present a sweeping view of the history and context of the India-China Airlift as described in the eye-witness accounts of men who flew the missions.