This documentary story of the crossing of the Burma Road was filmed by Reverend Charles Meeus, a Belgian, Catholic secular Priest who became a Chinese citizen at the age of 20 in order to better perform missionary work. He also became an Army contract chaplain and was assigned to the 301st Air Depot Group (the 69th DRS was one of many squadrons comprising the 301st.) After the war, Meeus returned to the U.S. Because all of the 69th trucks and vans were manufactured by General Motors (GMC), he thought they might be interested in seeing how their vehicles performed and delivered the original film to them. GMC was so impressed with the film that they converted it to color and added a narrator to tell the story. GMC gave one copy of the converted tape to Meeus and presented him with a new, outfitted panel truck. GMC retained the only other known copy. Meeus returned to China prior to the communist takeover and gave his copy of the film to a U.S. Merchant Seaman (Bob Bartlett), with instructinos to pass the film to Captain Norman Burke, the Commanding Officer of the 69th DRS. Unfortunately, Bartlett lost CPT Burke’s address and could not recontact Meeus after the communists seized control of China. However, fate interviened around 1968 when Bartlet accidentally located Burke and transfered the tape to him 19 years after receiving it from Meeus.
One of the last known copies of the tape has now been digitally restored and both versions are now available on a DVD for everyone can enjoy!