Could a subarctic wilderness airway traversing northwestern North America and the breadth of Russia be used to deliver thousands of warplanes? The needs of the beleaguered WW II ally demanded the attempt, despite the brutal climate, primitive facilities and wild terrain. This book describes the delivery of 8,000 aircraft to Russia over a little-known airway that extended from the US through northwestern Canada to Nome, Alaska. The airway was cruel on man and machine as the twisted wrecks of fallen warplanes littering forest and muskeg bear testament. Warplanes to Alaska is a tribute to the hundreds of men and women who toiled in the harshest of climates to help decide the outcome of World War II. The author interviewed scores of Canadian, Russians and American veterans and acquired hundreds of photos in an effort to fully recount this amazing part of history. Details of the Russian portion of the airway and their military operations, long hidden by an impenetrable veil of official secrecy, are revealed here for the first time. Warplanes to Alaska will engage anyone interested in WWII, aviation or northern history.
Blake Smith's fascination with aviation goes back to early childhood when he and his father would visit local airports. The sights, sounds and smells of those experiences were intoxicating to him and have led to a lifelong love of aviation.