Flying the Hump

China's Wings coverPioneering the Hump route over the eastern spur of the Himalayas in late 1941 and 1942 certainly has to be considered the China National Aviation Corporation’s capstone achievement from its two decades of service in the Far East, and its myriad adventures on the Hump comprise one whole part of my book, China’s Wings.

Here are three photos of the Hump taken by CNAC pilot Jim Dalby, and one of a bunch of CNAC veterans at their 2002 reunion:

There are a lot of great Hump-related items on the internet I’ve stumbled across, and I thought I’d link to a few of them:

A great Flickr photostream of World War II: China-Burma-India theater related photos.

A WWII newsreel piece about flying the Hump on YouTube, and a modern video showing a DC-3/C-47 engine start.

Here’s a video of an old B-24 pilot describing some of his experiences on the hump. (I think he was probably flying a C-87, the cargo version of the B-24.)

This one shows a C-46 commando landing and taking off in the Northwest Territories.

Shifting to the written word, here’s an article about the Hump in Air Force magazine, and here’s a scan of the article Teddy White wrote about it in the September 11, 1944 issue of Life, which has some great pictures.

All of the record holders for number of Hump trips are CNAC pilots, and I was fortunate enough to interview the two guys who flew it the most while writing China’s Wings. On the left, that’s Dick Rossi, who set the record at 715 trips; on the right is Pete Goutiere, in second place with 680 trips.

Those are incredible numbers, especially considering that for much of the war, the Air Corps considered 100 Hump trips to be a full tour of duty.

China's Wings cover



  1. Dear Gregory Sir,
    I read few lines of related flying of hump.which is great imagine sir,I also one of the greatest part of your book.When in 1942 of WWII.the two pilots of American JOE N RIDGE were survived by our grandfather lt.Dayno Romat in route towards Burma.While i get information from one of editor that you have mentioned some related accidents of the air crash.but,still i am not getting specified of the,may i able to know from you about this matter of air crash of our place.

    Eringso Romat
    Tezu.Lohit Dist.Arunachal Pradesh.792001

    1. Dear Eringso Romat: How fantastic to hear from you! Would you like me to email you the relevant chapters of my book? I’d be delighted. Thanks for taking the time to make contact. Best regards, Greg

      1. Dear Gregory Sir, I really delighted to see your responds in my fact,i need some specified materials by your book”CHINA WINGS ” In that book you had mention the air crash accident in our place of 1942 were the Joe and Ridge pilots were survived by our Grandfather late.Dayno a grand son of late.Dayno Romat,i want to know and email from you about the matter which is most important and supporting material for me if you kindly to mail me in your book of China Wings.Sir,i shall really be thankful if you kindly help me and emails about the matter.

        with warm regard
        Eringso Romat
        Vill- Bhaw
        Anjaw District-792104
        Arunachal Pradesh.India

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *