We Happy Few

They braved the highest mountains in the world, terrible weather, Japanese fighters, and routine equipment malfunction to supply troops during World War II. This month they met for the last time, reports the Associated Press. The pilots who flew the notorious “Hump,” airlifting supplies over the Himalayas from India to allied forces in China, have met up every year since 1946. With the average Hump pilot now 90 years old and with only six attending this year’s reunion at JB Charleston, S.C., the decision was made that it would be their final gathering. Nonetheless, the sextet, still spry and animated, enjoyed the fellowship at this year’s gathering. “Every time we meet, the Himalaya Mountains get higher, the weather gets worse, and there are more Japanese fighters,” joked 91 year-old-pilot Tex Rankin. (For more on the famous air bridge to China, read Over the Hump to China from Air Force Magazine’s archives.)