The Alaska Highway and My Journey

In 1942 the United States Army Corps of Engineers built 1500 miles of pioneer road from Dawson Creek, British, Columbia to Delta Junction, Alaska.  They built it through the most difficult geography and climate in North America, and they did it in just 8 months.  My father served in the 93rd General Service Engineering Regiment, one of seven regiments that accomplished that monumental task.

I am fascinated by the experiences and stories of the thousands of ordinary men who built the extraordinary road. The 93rd was one of three segregated, black regiments on the project.

My dad was a very young, middle class white officer.  I am fascinated by the black men who surrounded him.  They endured this as a team.  There must have been a relationship, friendship even.  More broadly, I’m fascinated by the role of thousands of black men in that titanic effort.

Segregated, miserably mistreated by an institution with racism at its very core, they forged ahead through bone cracking cold, foot sucking mud, swarming mosquitoes and every kind of hardship to make the road happen. And for decades their role in that epic story was all but completely scrubbed from the public history.

When the Corps descended on British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska, no one in that isolated part of the world had any idea what was coming.  Life there would never be the same.  The Corps brought good things, but it also brought terrible things.  I am fascinated by the impact on those people and their world.

Finally, 1942 was a long time ago.  I connect to that world through my father who is no longer with us–through his letters to  my mother and his photo albums.  And I’ve managed to find just a few people whose fathers or husbands were also there.  I’ve even found one wonderful man, still living, who actually served with my father.  I’ve also found a few people in British Columbia and Yukon who were there or whose family histories include that time.

But the faces in those old black and white photos haunt me–especially the black faces.  I want to find them or their daughters or their sons–or their granddaughters or their grandsons.  I want to share with them what I know.  And I want to learn what they know.  We have that vanished world in common.

So I offer this website.  It is intended as a loosely organized, sprawling framework, dedicated to my ghost regiment–the 93rd–but leaving room for whatever and whoever’s memories and information it might attract.

Please contact me if you have more information about the 93rd and 340th Engineer Regiments.

Welcome!

Christine Timberlake McClure

Daughter of 1Lt. Turner “Timber” G. Timberlake, H&S Company, 93rd Engineer Regiment

 

 

Ordinary Men Build A Legendary Road