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June 29, 2017

Alaska pays tribute to thousands of black soldiers who helped build 1,500-mile highway during WWII

  • Segregated black soldiers endured mosquitoes, boggy land, permafrost and minus 70-degree temperatures.
    Associated Press

    Office of History, Headquarters, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers [enlarge]
    Black soldiers worked to free a Caterpillar D4 bulldozer stuck in the mud during construction of then-named Alcan Highway.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Leonard Larkins and nearly 4,000 other segregated black soldiers helped build a highway across Alaska and Canada during World War II, a contribution largely ignored for decades but drawing attention as the 75th anniversary approaches.

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