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Alaska Highway Graves & Cenotaphs

Northern Highways - Alaska, the Yukon & northern British Columbia

The History of the Alaska Highway (Alcan)

    As you drive along the Alaska Highway in comfort today, it's difficult to imagine that the initial track could have been built in 6½ months - construction began on April 11th, 1942, and the final gap was closed on October 25th. In the harshest of conditions, punching through some 1,700 miles of wilderness was a project often compared to the building of the Panama Canal. Given the speed of construction and the often-brutal conditions, it's quite remarkable that there were relatively few deaths.

    Although, strangely, no official list of deaths during the construction period has ever been published, the best guess seems to be that there were about 30. Today, 4 sites honour 15 of those soldiers. Each of the links below goes to a full illustrated description of the site, which are listed in order from south to north along the highway.

Alaska Highway Km 58.4 (Taylor, BC)

Veterans and Alaska Highway Memorial

In 2000, a memorial garden and cenotaph were dedicated as a veterans memorial generally, and to the 341st Engineers, who were stationed there in 1942, specifically.

Charlie Lake Memorial, Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway Km 82.4 (Charlie Lake, BC)

Charlie Lake Memorial

On May 14, 1942, 4 members of the 341st Engineer Regiment, and 8 members of the 74th Engineer Company (Light Pontoon), U.S. Army, were drowned when their boat sank. Five other soldiers were rescued.

William Whitfield Memorial, Alaska Highway
Accessed from Alaska Highway Km 1202 (Morley Lake, BC)

Staff Sergeant William H. Whitfield

"H&S" Company, 340th Engineer Regiment, U.S. Army

Died December 18, 1942

, Alaska Highway
Alaska Highway Km 1212.2

Corporal Max Richardson

"F" Company, 340th Engineer Regiment, U.S. Army

Died October 17th 1942

Accessed from Alaska Highway Km 1279.1 (Quill Creek )

First Lieutenant Roland Small

"F" Company, 18th Engineer Regiment, U.S. Army.

Died August 9th, 1942