World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF THE PACIFIC: That Damn Bridge

U.S. and Australian flyers confronted a confounded, apparently indestructible, inanimate object. In their bombing and strafing attacks on the Japanese supply line over the New Guinea mountain trail, they concentrated on its most vital link: the Wairopi* Bridge on the other side of the mountains. Spanning the swift-running Kumasi River, the crude wire-rope bridge, reinforced by wooden pilings, foiled all attempts to down it.

General MacArthur's communiqué first announced the destruction of the bridge on Sept. 23. By the next day the bridge had evidently been rebuilt, because it was reported "hit and damaged." Wairopi stayed out of the news...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!