First Allied convoy reaches Kunming, China, over the Ledo Road, during World War II
Kunming China Date:1945, February 4 Duration:3 min 18 sec Sound:Yes
U.S. military trucks, part of a convoy of 113 vehicles, led by Brigadier General Lewis Andrew Pick, are seen traversing the Ledo Road (aka the Stilwell Road) approaching their final destination of Kunming, China, on February 4, 1945, during World War 2. (They departed Ledo, India, on January 12, 1945, traveling a distance of 1,079 miles.) (Narrator gives distance as 1,044 miles.) View from an overflying airplane shows the long column of trucks on the road below. View from the ground, of the convoy reaching the city gates, where it halts as General Pick and his staff proceed through the gates to a speaker's platform set up in a covered pavilion displaying American and Chinese flags, and pictures of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. General Pick and staff are introduced by Chinese General J.L. Wong who, speaking in English, celebrates this first convoy over the Ledo Road, and points to a banner containing four Chinese characters that spell out "The Road to Victory." General Pick takes the podium, shakes hands with General Wong, and accepts the banner from him. Camera shows the area completely filled with Chinese troops, witnessing the ceremony, including many sitting atop a nearby roof. General Pick speaks briefly, accepting the banner on behalf of the convoy members. He then leaves accompanied by the Governor of Yunnan Province, China. Officers cut a ceremonial ribbon across the road at the West Gate of the city, and the convoy is led into the city by two Chinese soldiers on motorcycles. Chinese spectators line the way and celebrate with firecrackers and cheers, as General Pick passes, standing in a jeep, displaying the Amercan flag and with the Chinese "Road to Victory" banner in its back seat. views of the convoy trucks proceeding through the city. Closeup of one, with a painting of the road, and snow capped mountains, and "First Convoy over the Ledo Road" and "Pick's Pike Life Line from India to China" painted on its canvas cover. A sign over one of the shops along the road reads in Chinese and English, "Welcome First Stilwell Highway Convoy." Views of troops waving from the trucks and Chinese citizen spectators crowding the sides of the road to watch.
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