- May 2017
Northwest Staging Route
The Northwest Staging Route was an airfield between Alaska and Alberta. The airfield was used for military personal to transfer supplies from Canada to Alaska in World War II (Christie). The string of airfields along the Northwest Staging Route were responsible for great contributions to the North American war effort. The earliest records of the Northwest Staging Route are from a survey by the Canadian Department of Transportation in 1935, but the Northwest Staging Route only consisted of a few airstrips by the 1940s. The Route was not used until right before the attack at Pearl Harbor. After the attack, America greatly increased their work on the Route and prepared the airfields due to fears that the Japanese would attack Alaska. The first few tests of the Northwest Staging Route airfields were unsuccessful and several planes were crashed in the process. The airfields were undeveloped and the pilots untrained. The Canadian government attempted to fix the Staging Route alone, but received pressure from the United States. Canada and the United States worked together on improving the airfields in 1943. Overtime, the Canadian government feared permanent United States presence along the Route. The two governments eventually came to an agreement where Canada would reimburse the United States for any permanent improvements to the airfields. At the conclusion of the war, the United States ceased military action in Canada. Canada then struggled with documentation of aircraft along the Northwest Staging Route, which was resolved after a conference with American air force members in August of 1943.
Reference: Christie, Carl A. "The Northwest Staging Route." Homefront in Alberta - The Northwest Staging Route. Accessed May 03, 2017. http://wayback.archive-it.org/2217/20101208171343/http://www.albertasource.ca/homefront/feature_articles/northwest_staging_route4.html.