Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines 89.9 Chadbourn
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Forgotten Heroes: The Soldiers Who Built the Alaska Highway


When they got married, Weaverville residentsDennis and Christine McClure never dreamed they would write a book together. That was before they learned the harrowing tale of the construction of the Alaska Highway during World War II. The U.S. government feared an invasion from the north by the Japanese and needed a way to get troops and supplies to Alaska in eight months. Commanding Army officers were reluctant to hire black regiments for the project, but they needed the manpower. The result was a group of black soldiers working under the Army’s version of Jim Crow who faced unfair treatment and neglect on top of an already-demanding job.

Aside from systematic racism, the unstable terrain caused by permafrost and muskeg made building in Alaska incredibly risky and challenging for troops who had never set foot there before. Host Frank Stasio speaks with the McClures about their new book, “We Fought the Road” (Epicenter Press/2017), and their process interviewing veterans about some of their most painful memories. The McClures will be reading from their book at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville on Sunday, Jan.28.

Stay Connected
Robert is a journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker in the Triangle. He grew up in White Lake, a rural resort community in southeastern NC. The tales he heard about White Lake as a child would become the topic of his UNC-TV historical documentary, White Lake: Remembering the Nation's Safest Beach. In May 2017, he received a bachelor's degree in interactive multimedia from the Media and Journalism School at UNC-Chapel Hill with a minor in religious studies.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
Related Content