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The William Whitfield Alaska Highway Memorial

Morley Lake, BC (Alaska Highway Km 1202)



Northern Highways - Alaska, the Yukon & northern British Columbia

The History of the Alaska Highway (Alcan)

Alaska Highway Graves & Memorials


    In my constant quest to locate sites that are significant in the history of the Alaska Highway, I find some gems that are all but unknown except to a few locals. One of those, accessed by a short road at Km 1202 of the Alaska Highway, is a memorial to William H. Whitfield, Staff Sergeant with "H&S" Company, 340th Engineer Regiment, U.S. Army, who died near here on December 18th, 1942. I've been unable to discover the cause of his death. William Whitfield death notice, 1942

    The brief death notice seen to the right appeared in the Corvallis Gazette-Times of Corvallis, Oregon, on December 26, 1942.

    The book "Lower Post or Freeze: 340th Engineer Regiment on the Alaska Military Highway, 1942-1943" is now one of the rarest of books about the Alaska Highway. Published in 1944 for members of the regiment, it was dedicated to Staff Sergeant Whitfield and 3 other members of the unit who died during their Alaska Highway service - Max Richardson, Private Ben J. Livingstone, and Private Frank H. Semmels, Jr.











The photos were all shot on April 24, 2016. Click on each to greatly enlarge it.

Aerial photo of the Morley Lake Recreation Site and William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
This aerial image from Bing will help you understand the location of the site - we have added the important locations. Click on the image to enlarge the captioned image, and then proceed to an interactive Bing map (which doesn't have the locations marked).

Morley Lake Recreation Site, Alaska Highway
The road down to the the Morley Lake Recreation Site is narrow and there's no large turning place at the lake, so it isn't suitable for large vehicles. There is, however, a fairly large parking area at the highway. The shoulder of the highway is just barely wide enough to park a rig on if you have a towed vehicle, and isn't recommended. At the Morley River Recreation Site 2 km to the north, there is lots of room to turn around, and unhook so you can bring your toad down.

Morley Lake Recreation Site and William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
The sign at Morley Lake doesn't make it clear, but the camping area is to the left, the memorial to the right. A trail leads up a hill into the open pine/spruce forest, but disappears long before reaching the memorial.

Morley Lake Recreation Site, Alaska Highway
The Morley Lake Recreation Site is rustic, and camping spots are not delineated in any way, but will probably hold about 10 camping groups. There are outhouses, and a few picnic tables.

Morley Lake Recreation Site, Alaska Highway
I've just begun to explore the many trails from the camping area, some of which are excellent and appear to be well used. This one climbs up what I expect is a glacial esker to the north along Morley Lake.

William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
The memorial can be seen in the centre of the photo, close to the lake.

William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
Approaching the memorial from the back.

William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
The memorial seen from the lake. The base is a 5-pointed star, the emblem used on the military vehicles working on the highway.

William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
In Memory of William H. Whitfield
19005873
Staff Sergeant, 340th Engineers, U.S. Army
Born - Dec. 30, 1918
Died - Dec. 18, 1942
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." Psalms 37:23

William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
The memorial seen from the beach of Morley Lake to the south.