Four months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1942, Clayton French, a 22-year-old African-American engineer stationed in Camp Livingston, Louisiana, is ordered from his bed and barracks and put on a train with hundreds of other African-American soldiers. After nearly two weeks on a train with no idea of its destination, it turns out that 4,000 African-American soldiers are to be employed, along with thousands of other white American soldiers, in the construction of the 1,500-mile Alaska-Canada Highway. Passing through northern British Columbia and Yukon en route to Alaska, the Alaska-Canada Highway was ordered built to defend against a possible invasion by Japanese forces through Alaska. The highway brought thousands of African-American soldiers for the first time into the far north of Canada and Alaska, where they inalterably changed the social and physical landscape of northern Canada and Alaska.
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