World War II (detail from Pearl Harbor photo)

Drivers and Flyers

U.S. military services operated a transportation network within the United States, across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and within war zones. Trains, ships, and aircraft—many flown by Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs)—provided essential connections. Trucks and their often weary, bone-rattled drivers were the last links in the logistical chain. Nearly 6,000 trucks, with mostly African American drivers, supported the Allied advance toward Paris in the summer and autumn of 1944. In an operation dubbed the Red Ball Express, they transported almost 500,000 tons of supplies in three months.

The Red Ball Highway in France, 1944
U.S. Army transport trucks
Loading a transport truck
WASPs in training

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