Pai Bridge

The Pai River bridge is often cited as the most visible evidence of the presence of Japan's Army in Northern Thailand during WWII.
But the bridge was actually built after the war. This website attempts to correct that misconception and others about the period.


Japan in Northwest Thailand during World War II


Mae Hong Son[2] Airstrip
(Th: สนามบินแม่ฮ่องสอน / Jp: メーホンソン 滑走路 
page 1 of 6

Route 1095
Station 213


Text Notes

The Mae Hong Son Airstrip was included in airmail routes in Northwest Thailand in 1941:[3]

1941 Thai Air Routes

The air facility at Mae Hong Son grew during the war from a single runway to include a second, shorter "crosswinds" runway. Both are shown below in red, superimposed on a current terrain map which shows the airport today:[4]



Continued on next page


Revision List
0 2012 Jun 10 First published on Internet
1 2012 Jul 03 Many changes on p 0x which was then divided into pp 02 & 03
2 2012 Jul 11 pp 02 & 03 divided into pp 02-06; refs updated; Jagan opinion added.
3 2012 Dec 16 p 05: added 17 Feb 1945 21PRS aerial photo flight report.




See Key for interpreting page content.

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

Bibliography supports notes.

1.^ Coordinates are per Wikipedia

2.^ Mae Hong Son: also rendered Mehongson, Mehohngsohn, Mehongsawn, Me-hohngsohn, Mehonnggsohn (to add confusion, prior to 1938, the town was called Muai To (ม่อยต่อ) (Wikipedia: Mueang Mae Hong Son District)).

3.^ "Terrain" map from  Nations Online Project: Searchable Map and Satellite View of Thailand using Google Earth Data; accessed 20 May 2012. Annotations by author combine information from Young, Edward, Aerial Nationalism (Washington: Smithsonian Institute, 1995), p ix, and A Survey of Thailand (Siam), (Washington: US War Department, March 15, 1941) p 101, "Civil Air Routes (Jan 1940)", (USAF Archive Reel B1750, p1823). The two routes with dotted lines are only from the latter source and are there commented as "proposed".

See January 1940 Civil Air Routes on next page.

4.^ "Terrain map", ibid. Overlay based on Airfield Report No. 32, Mar 1945, aerial photo "Mae Hong Son Landing Ground", unnumbered page (USAF Archive microfilm reel A8056 p 53).

See 06 February 1945 entry on page 6.