Flying the Hump

Pilots and their crews who served in the CBI, flying bombing and transport missions from India to Burma or China, faced enormous obstacles, starting with the Himalayas, the world’s tallest mountain chain. Once the planes reached Burma, the jungle offered its own challenges for navigating and landing. And there was always the threat of enemy ground fire and pesky Japanese Zeros.

Featured Story: Charles Deane Evans

“It was a time for me of urgent effort, sometimes terror, at other times utter boredom, and occasionally unmatched exhilaration.”

(Memoir, page 3)

In 1940 Charles Evans was a college student fascinated with flying, so he signed up for an air cadet program. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Evans was, in one day, drummed out of the air cadets and given a commission in the Army Air Corps. He flew a P-40 in a Pursuit Group that monitored the skies over New England, serving with legendary pilot Philip Cochran, the model for Milton Caniff’s comic strip character Flip Corkin. Like Cochran, Evans would serve in the China-Burma-India Theater, piloting a P-40 on bombing and strafing missions over Burma. After 17 months and 59 missions, he was given the choice of staying longer with a promotion or returning home. He chose the latter, looking forward to a real honeymoon with his wife, to whom he’d been married only four months when he shipped out.