National Geographic : 1945 Aug
China's Hand-built Air Bases Chinese, Hammering Rock, Turn the Good Earth into an 8,700-foot Runway Aimed at Japan In 1944, China recruited 500,000 laborers to build bases for the American B-29's. They drained rice fields, quarried paving stones; in 90 days they completed four large fields and six small ones in the Chengtu area. Their achievement rivaled their ancestors' construction of the Great Wall. U. S. Army Air Forces, umcial For Bulldozers They Use Water Buffaloes; for Power Shovels, Their Bare Hands So limited were work animals that they were put on long-distance hauling. For short trips, men carried stones on shoulder yokes; some pushed them in wheelbarrows and rickshas. One base swarmed with 150,000 laborers.