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Pai Bridge

The bridge over the River Pai is often cited as the most conspicuous evidence of the presence of the Imperial Japanese Army
in Thailand during WWII. Unfortunately the statement is in error, as is much other information about that period . . . .

Lanna-ww2

Japan in Northwest Thailand during World War II

N19°54
E99°50[1]
Chiang Rai (Th: เชยงราย / Jp: チェンラーイ )
USAAF Aerial Photo Intelligence
Page 1 of 1

Major transport hub[2]

 

Text Notes

 

Flight reports here record aerial photo coverage of Chiang Rai by only the 21st Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (21PRS); however no actual photos by the 21PRS have apparently been released. Single instances of other coverage exist, in the form of two actual dated photo sets probably taken by the RAF. See Williams-Hunt Aerial Photomosaics of Chiang Rai. On that page, Photomosaic No. 1 provides an example of aerial photo coverage of the general Chiang Rai area on 05 October 1944. In the absence of hardcopy 21PRS photos, that photomosaic must be assumed to be typical. Location maps for the Chiang Rai Landing Ground are available here.


15 November 1943

Aerial photos of the Chiang Rai area were taken this date apparently by the RAF. See Photomosaic No. 2.  


07 February 1944

Pangiu is today's Pa Ngiu (N19°18 E99°31), located on current Thai Route 118 (roughly half-way between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai):

Chiang Mai-Pangui aerial 07 Feb 1944[3]


The pass is in the area of the border between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai Provinces (N19°04.00 E99°22.50) about 35 km southwest of Pa Ngiu (noted just above) on current Thai Route 118:

Chiang Rai aerial 07 Feb 1944[4]


09 February 1944

aerial photo mission 440209[4a]


24 February 1944

aerial photo mission 440924[4b]


04 March 1944

aerial photo mission 440304[5a]


12 March 1944

To clarify: the town's police station (assumed to be centrally located in the town) was located at ~N19°54.70 E99°49.95 while the airport's runway intersections were located about 3.4 km south at ~N19°52.90 E99°49.60:

aerial photo mission 440312[5b]


14 March 1944

aerial photo mission 440314[5c]


24 April 1944

aerial photo mission 440424[5d]


29 May 1944

aerial photo mission 440529[5e]


16 September 1944

440916 aerial photo order[6]


05 October 1944

Aerial photos of the Chiang Rai area were taken this date apparently by the RAF. See Photomosaic No. 1.


26 October 1944

Chiang Rai aerial 26 Oct 1944[7]


The road connecting Chiang Rai and Phayao is current Thai Route 1 (in WWII known as the Phahonyothin Road), forming part of the land transport connection between the rail station at Lampang to the south and the border town of Mae Sai to the north:

Chiang Mai-Payao tri-met 26 Oct 1944[8]

Tri-met: see definition.


02 November 1944

This and subsequent aerial-photo assignments always specify both the town and the airport at Chiang Rai:

Chiang Rai aerial 02 Nov 1944[10]


27 November 1944

Chiang Rai aerial 27 Nov 1944[11]


05 January 1945

Chiang Rai aerial 05 Jan 1945[13]


13 January 1945

Chiang Rai aerial 13 Jan 1945[14]

 

Revision List
Rev
Date
Description
0
2012 Dec 05
First published on Internet.
1
2013 May 26
Several missions added plus text.

 

 

 

See Key for interpreting page content.

Revision list. See bottom of Text column on this page.

1.^ Source: Google Earth fix on apparent center of town.

2.^ Stationing needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.^ Identification and coordinates of modern village per getamap.

Document: 21st Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (hereafter 21PRS) Report Mission No. 14/6 A, 07 Feb 1944 (USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0155).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.^ Coordinates per Google Earth.

Document: ibid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4a.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 14/9 A, 09 Feb 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0152). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4b.^   21PRS Report Mission No. 14/23 A, 24 Feb 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0122).

 

 

 

 

5. (deleted).

 

 

 

 

 

5a.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 51, 04 Mar 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0108).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5b.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 15/3 A, 12 Mar 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0095).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5c.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 44, 14 Mar 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0093).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5d.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 62, 24 Apr 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0053).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5e.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 79, 29 May 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0010).

440529-USAAF-A0878-p-0010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.^21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 115, 16 Sep 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0441).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 133, 26 Oct 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0552).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 133, 26 Oct 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0552).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. (deleted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 139, 02 Nov 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0568).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 4 MA 170, 27 Nov 1944
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0621).

 

 

 

 

12. (deleted).

 

 

 

 

 

 

13.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 5 MA 4, 05 Jan 1945
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0815).

Note that form is incorrectly dated with 1944, not 1945: the first digit of the report number 5 MA 4 confirms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14.^ 21PRS Report Mission No. 5 MA 9, 13 Jan 1945
(USAF Archive microfilm reel A0878 p0807).