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A Tribute To My Dad
WARREN WEIDENBURNER
April 16, 1921 - July 20, 1994

United States Army Veteran of the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II


 U.S. Army Service Ribbons
 Sgt. Warren Weidenburner, USA

  My Dad never talked much about his years of service in CBI (to me or to anyone) and I never pressed much to hear about them.   Unfortunately he passed ten years before I began work on these pages.   As a result, as I compiled these pages as a tribute to him, I had mostly only images to tell the story.   The images do however tell a story. The story is not of a soldier, but of a working man who happened to spend three years of his life working for the U.S. Army.

  Dad was a Sergeant stationed at Headquarters Company, Advance Section 3 in Ledo, Assam, India from 1943 to 1945.   The mission was to supply the Ledo Road Engineers and Mars Task Force by air.   Dad worked in the office of an air supply warehouse where supplies were prepared for air drop to Ledo Road engineers and combat troops operating in forward areas.

   Dad went to India in 1943 as part of the "4201 Shipment" of Quartermaster, Engineer, Ordnance and Medical personnel for the Ledo Road project.   That project was part of the larger U.S. Army Services of Supply effort to keep China supplied and in the war against Japan.   More about his time in CBI remains to be discovered . . .


  SCROLL DOWN TO CONTINUE




  My Dad in CBI
 Dad at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, January 1943
Fort Devens, Massachusetts, January 1943

  Never having sat down to discuss his war experiences, there is very little I know about Dad's time in CBI.   What I do know about his Military Service is that he was a Sergeant at Headquarters Company, Base Section 3 in Ledo, Assam, India.   Base Section 3 was responsible for building the Ledo Road and supplying troops in Burma.
   Although he received Quartermaster training in Depot Supply and his discharge is signed by a Lieutenant Colonel in the Quartermaster Corps., there is no indication that he was in the Quartermaster Corps.   He did work in the Services of Supply (SOS) which was created to deliver lend-lease aid to China and supplies to the troops in Burma.   His Separation Record indicates that he "Worked in an Air Supply Office; Supervised and operated the enlisted personnel of the office."   Dad's area coordinated air-drops to the Ledo Road engineers, Merrill's Marauders and the Mars Task Force.
   I know he had Malaria during his first year in CBI as his Christmas V-Mail for 1943 was from the 48th Evacuation Hospital.   After returning to the United States in 1945 his discharge was delayed about a month by an appendicitis attack (on the way to a University of Virginia football game) and appendectomy.

   Included in Dad's Tribute is a brief history of people, places, and events in the CBI Theater.   After visiting this site you should have a basic understanding of the CBI Theater.   Links at the end will take you to other sites which will help broaden that knowledge.

  This site is dedicated as a remembrance to ALL who served in World War II's Forgotten Theater.   Thank you for taking the time to visit.



  Greeting


Order to Report for Induction     Click image to view complete enlarged document





  United States Army Service Record  1942-1945

    Sgt. Warren Weidenburner 32 557 327
    HQ Company Base Section, APO 689
    San Francisco, California


    Inducted into the Army 22 September 1942 at Linden, New Jersey.

    Entered Active Service 6 October 1942 at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

    Departed California for India 20 January 1943 and arrived Bombay 3 March 1943.

    Stationed at Headquarters Company, Base Section 3, in Ledo, Assam, India.

    Served 2 years, 6 months, and 1 day in the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI).

    Departed Calcutta for the United States 21 June 1945 and arrived Newport News 20 July 1945.

    Mustered out 27 October 1945 at Camp Lee, Virginia.

    Served a total of 3 years, 1 month, and 6 days in the U.S. Army.




  The China-Burma-India Theater
 CBI Theater Sections
Ledo, Assam, India where Dad served was headquarters for northern Burma operations and the Ledo Road.

 
The Forgotten Theater
  
   Officially established 3 March 1942, the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations (CBI) is often referred to as the Forgotten Theater of World War II. The  CBI Insignia European, Mediterranean, and Pacific theaters received more supplies, more manpower, and more publicity than did CBI. Of the 12.3 million Americans under arms at the height of mobilization, only about 250,000 were assigned to CBI and comparatively few Americans were in combat in China, Burma, or India. CBI was important however to the overall Allied war effort because of early plans to base air and naval forces in China for an eventual assault on Japan. Allied forces, mostly British, Chinese, and Indian, also engaged large numbers of Japanese troops that might have otherwise been used elsewhere. America's major contribution in CBI was war materials and the manpower to get it to where it was needed. Army Air Forces flew supplies to China while Army Engineers built the Ledo Road to open up a land supply route. Except for stories of "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, Merrill's Marauders, and a few others, CBI did not often make headlines in the newspapers back home. The early importance of CBI quickly faded as the war progressed. Thus the Forgotten Theater label that remains to this day.


 CBI Theater Sections
Map shows boundaries revised as the war progressed

  

General Joseph W. Stilwell
 
   Born 1883 in Palatka, Florida and raised in Yonkers, New York, Joseph Warren Stilwell served in the U.S. Army for 42 years. Nicknamed "Vinegar Joe," in part for his blunt candor, he was known for his willingness to share the hardships of the common soldier.  General Joseph W. Stilwell (TIME cover) A 1904 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Stilwell served in World War I as an intelligence officer for the Fourth Army Corps and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his outstanding achievements. Stilwell was the military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Peking from 1935 to 1939 and became fluent in Chinese. Named chief of staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in 1942, Stilwell was the senior American military commander in the China-Burma-India theater during World War II. When Japan forced the Allied withdrawal from Burma in May 1942, Stilwell led a group of some 100 soldiers and civilians on a daring 140-mile march through the Burmese jungle and safely into India. Stilwell received his fourth star on Aug. 1, 1944, the same month Allied troops reclaimed northern Burma. The Burma Road was officially reopened in January 1945 and Stilwell was relieved as commander of CBI. After briefly commanding the Tenth Army in Okinawa, he returned to the United States. In 1945 Stilwell was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Oak Leaf cluster of the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1946 he was appointed commander of the Sixth Army in charge of Western Defense Command. He died 12 October 1946 in San Francisco, California. Read more about General Joseph W. Stilwell.



 Northern Burma
The Ledo Road was built by American Engineers who called it Pick's Pike after General Lewis A. Pick. It was intended to bypass the cutoff portion of the supply line to China. After completion it and the upgraded portion of the Burma Road were renamed Stilwell Road after the American Commanding General Joseph W. Stilwell.

 
The Ledo Road
 
   The United States began to help China defend itself even before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lend-lease aid began in April of 1941 and in June the American Volunteer Group (The Flying Tigers) was sent to fly missions against the Japanese. Because of Japanese advances in China, Indochina, and Burma, getting lend-lease supplies to China proved difficult. The Japanese had essentially blocked all access to Chinese ports. By May of 1942 Japan had cut the Burma Road supply line and occupied most of Burma. The Burma Road was built by the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese War. It ran from Kunming, China to Lashio in Burma. Lashio was the railhead of a line from Rangoon. War supplies landed at Rangoon were transported by rail to Lashio and then over the Burma Road to Kunming. With Rangoon blocked, an alternative supply route was needed. General Stilwell's operations officer, Lieutenant Colonel Frank D. Merrill  Milepost 0.00 of the Ledo Road in Ledo, Assam, India recommended building a road from Ledo, Assam, India, across northern Burma to link up with the Burma Road. Ledo was chosen because it was close to the northern terminus of the railroad from Calcutta, and was at the northern end of a caravan route out of Burma.
   Winston Churchill called the project "an immense, laborious task, unlikely to be finished until the need for it has passed." The proposed route went through some of the toughest terrain in the world. Northern Burma included jungle covered mountains and swampy valleys. The mountains were formidable land barriers reaching heights of eight to ten thousand feet. The valleys were tropical rain forests where clearings were really swamps covered with elephant grass 8 to 10 feet tall. Add to that leeches, malaria bearing mosquitoes, typhus carrying mites and a six month monsoon season averaging 140 inches of rain. All complicated by the presence of a veteran Japanese force.
   Chinese troops would face the Japanese force in the North Burma campaign. To support them General Stilwell organized a Service of Supply (SOS) under the command of General Raymond A. Wheeler, a career Army Engineer who had won recognition as a road builder in the Argonne Forest campaign of World War I. Wheeler established Base Section 3 at Ledo and construction of warehouses, barracks, a hospital, and base roads was begun. SOS was responsible for construction of the road in India and Burma which began on 16 December 1942.
   On 28 February 1943 the Ledo Road reached the India-Burma border. In March, early monsoon rains poured down. The engineers were constantly wet, equipment skidded off into ditches, and even pack animals could not transport needed supplies. Airdrops became necessary to supply the road builders. Progress on the road was slow.
   On 17 October 1943, General Wheeler placed General Lewis A. Pick in charge of the road building effort. Pick had been in charge of the Missouri River Basin project and knew that drainage was the most important part of road building.  General Pick consults bulldozer operator on the Ledo Road Due to the monsoons, the road had developed into a drainage project and "drainage was his business". Pick stated the road was going to be built, "rain, mud, and malaria be damned". Pick's driving force and the end of the monsoons allowed the road to be moved ahead at about a mile a day by November 1943. Progress slowed again, this time due to Japanese resistance. Besides the land and weather obstacles, the Engineers also had to deal with the Japanese. The road project was a balancing act between construction and warfare. As it pushed ahead the Japanese had to be forced back. Much of the offensive was led by General Stilwell commanding Chinese troops. Merrill's Marauders also pushed the Japanese back. After successes and setbacks, Myitkyina was finally taken 3 August 1944.
   Road construction proceeded with Chinese engineers out front, clearing a trace, followed by American engineers bulldozing the roadbed. Next an Aviation battalion cleared the right-of-way to a width of one hundred feet. Other companies were responsible for grading the road, placing culverts, and constructing the necessary bridges. Finally, gravel was spread for the final road surface. The completed road also had to be maintained. There were constant washouts, mudslides, and other problems, mostly due to the monsoons. Engineers worked to correct the problems and keep the road open.
   By early January 1945 the 465 mile long Ledo Road had been linked to the old Burma Road to complete the 1,079 mile land route to China. General Pick led the first convoy on 12 January 1945 from Ledo to Kunming China. Along were reporters and members of units that had built the road. The convoy reached Kunming on 4 February 1945.
   On 20 May 1945, Pick formally announced completion of the Ledo Road, calling it the toughest job ever given to U. S. Army Engineers in wartime. At the suggestion of Chiang Kai-shek it was renamed Stilwell Road, but was known to the engineers who built it as "Pick's Pike". Presently both the Ledo and Burma Roads are mostly in a state of disrepair, having long ago lost their importance. Some parts are in use and being upgraded. One part of the Ledo Road goes through Burmese jungle "uninhabitable by humans" and is now a wildlife refuge. Read More about and View a Slide Show of the Ledo Road.


 
American Supply Services
  
   For the American supply services, their performance in the CBI Theater represented their finest hours. The tremendous distances, the difficult terrain, the inefficiencies in transport, and the complications of Indian politics presented formidable obstacles to efficient logistics.  Insignia of the Quartermaster Corps. Nevertheless, by early 1944, American logisticians had developed an efficient supply system whose biggest problem was the time needed to ship material from the United States. The supply services expanded the port capacity of Karachi and Calcutta, enhanced the performance of India's antiquated railroad system through improved maintenance and scheduling, and developed techniques of air supply to support Chinese and American forces in the rugged terrain of North Burma. Lend-Lease supplies shipped from the United States arrived in Calcutta and Karachi, were then loaded on rail cars, and sent north. In Ledo, supplies were sorted and warehoused until needed. Supplies were then flown over The Hump to Kunming, China or air-dropped to front line forces in Burma. Despite the skepticism of the British and other observers, American engineers overcame the rugged mountains and rain forests of North Burma to complete the Ledo Road which, joined to the old Burma Road, together named Stilwell Road, reopened the line to China. Completion of the Ledo Road allowed war materiel and other supplies to be trucked to China, relieving the Air Transport Command of the difficult task of flying everything over The Hump. Read more about Supplies for the Troops in Burma.
  

 
The Hump
  
 The Himalayas    Japanese occupation of Burma in 1942 had cut off the Burma Road, the last land route by which the Allies could deliver aid to the Chinese Government of Chiang Kai-shek. Until the Burma Road could be retaken and the Ledo Road completed, the only supply route available was the costly and dangerous route for transport planes over the Himalayas between India'a Assam Valley and Kunming, China. This route became known as the Himalayan Hump or simply The Hump. While the route kept the transports relatively free from enemy attack (Enemy action destroyed only seven aircraft, killing 13 men) it led over rugged terrain, through violent storms, with snow and ice at the higher altitudes the planes flew over the mountains. Flying the Himalayan Hump would turn out to be some of the most dangerous flying in the world. Over the course of action there were 460 aircraft and 792 men lost. Still, the operations were a success. There were 167,285 trips that moved 740,000 tons of material to support Chinese troops and other Allied forces. Read more about Flying The Hump.
  
 Route over The Hump
Map showing military airlift route over the Himalayas between Assam, India and Kunming, China, known as The Hump.
Also shown is the planned route of the Ledo Road to connect to the Burma Road. The shaded area is Japanese occupied Burma.


 
Merrill's Marauders
  
 Merrill's Marauders    The Marauders, named after their commander Brigadier General Frank D. Merrill, officially the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) and code named GALAHAD, were 3,000 volunteer soldiers who marched and fought through jungles and over mountains from the Hukawng Valley in northwestern Burma to Myitkyina on the Irrawaddy River. In 5 major and 30 minor engagements they met and defeated the veteran soldiers of the Japanese 18th Division. Operating in the rear of the main forces of the Japanese, they prepared the way for the southward advance of the Chinese by disorganizing supply lines and communications. The climax of the Marauders' operations was the capture of the Myitkyina airfield, the only all-weather strip in northern Burma. The 5307th Composite Unit was disbanded in August, 1944. Members of the Marauders, along with Chinese units where then formed into the Mars Task Force. Read more about Merrill's Marauders and a biography of  Frank D. Merrill.
  

 
Supplying Merrill's Marauders
  
   Normal methods of supply were impractical for a highly mobile force operating behind the enemy's forward defensive positions. Any attempts to maintain regular land supply lines, even if adequate roads had been  C-47 Transport over CBI available, would have greatly reduced tactical mobility and would have made secrecy impossible, contradicting the express purposes of the operation. Air dropping of food and munitions was adopted for the long-range-penetration missions of the Marauders.
   Bamboo warehouses at Dinjan, 32 miles west of Ledo, were made available to the Marauders. Good air strips were nearby at Chabua, Tinsukia, and Sookerating. Arrangements were made for coded communication from General Merrill's headquarters to Dinjan through Combat Headquarters at Ledo. Eventually the base at Dinjan monitored all messages from General Merrill to Headquarters, thus eliminating the loss of time involved in relaying requisitions. Standard units of each category of supplies, based on estimated requirements for 1 day, were packaged ready for delivery. Requisitions were submitted on a basis covering daily needs or were readily adapted to this basis. At the beginning of the Marauders' operation the 2nd Troop Carrier Squadron and later the 1st Troop Carrier Squadron carried the supplies from the Dinjan base to forward drop areas. They dropped by parachute engineering equipment, ammunition, medical supplies, and food from an altitude of about 200 feet; clothing and grain were dropped without parachute from 150 feet. They flew in all kinds of weather. During March alone, in 17 missions averaging 6 to 7 planes, they ferried into the combat area 376 tons of supplies.
 Packing supplies for air-drop    Where no open space or paddy field was available for the drop, it was necessary to prepare a field, but in the majority of cases the route of march and the supply requirements could be so coordinated that units were near some suitable flat, open area when drops were needed. This was an advantage, not only because it relieved the troops of the hard work of clearing ground, but because it enabled the pilots to use aerial photographs and maps to identify their destinations. The packages, attached to A-4 and A-7 parachutes, weighed between 115 and 125 pounds. Containers of this size were easily manhandled. As soon as they reached the ground, two of them were loaded on a mule and transported to a distributing point in a relatively secure area. There they were opened and the men filed by, each one picking up an individual package of rations or ammunition. Rations, wrapped in a burlap bag, contained food, salt tablets, cigarettes, and occasionally halazone tablets for purifying drinking water.
   Careful planning, supplemented by speedy adoption of lessons learned from experience, paid big dividends in terms of efficient operation of the air supply system. About 250 enlisted members of the 5307th, including packers, riggers, drivers, and food droppers, were responsible for the job; everyone realized the importance of his role and felt a personal obligation to get the supplies to his comrades in the field at the time and place and in the quantities required. The high degree of mobility and secrecy which resulted from air supply was one of the chief reasons for the success of the Marauders.


 
India-Burma
  
   In the spring of 1944 the Allies were finally able to attempt the reconquest of Burma. A force under General Stilwell fought down the Hukawang Valley and reached the vicinity north of Myitkyina, a key communications center and Japanese stronghold, in May 1943. Meanwhile, Merrill's Marauders had circled and were attacking Myitkyina from the south. Japanese resistance and the onset of the monsoon season in June delayed completion of the operation until August. As another phase of the spring offensive, a British force (the "Chindits") under British Major General Orde C. Wingate had made a successful airdrop near Kotha in March and proceeded to disrupt Japanese communications in central Burma. At the same time, farther to the south, a British Commonwealth force inflicted a considerable defeat on Japanese forces defending against a drive on Akyab, a port of the Bay of Bengal.  Moon Over Burma Meanwhile, in western Burma, the Japanese had launched a powerful, and very nearly successful, counterattack toward Imphal and Kohima in eastern India. The British made a last-ditch stand in the vicinity of Kohima and, when reserves arrived, won a decisive victory at the end of June 1944. As the monsoon broke, the decimated Japanese force was in disorderly retreat back into the Jungles of Burma. By late summer of 1944 the Allies had cleared northern Burma, permitting construction of the Ledo (or Stilwell) Road and a fuel oil pipeline from India to China. Operations in Burma during the last year of the war were largely a British show. Actually, the British were more interested in recovering Singapore than in taking Burma or helping China, but American control of lead-lease, combined with an American policy that continued to back Chiang Kai-shek more or less dictated the reconquest of Burma. The British would have preferred to accomplish the reconquest of Burma from the south, beginning with a seaborne assault on Rangoon, but demands on shipping for European and Pacific operations precluded such a plan. Consequently, the British attacked from India across the Irrawaddy River to Mandalay and then south to Rangoon. They experienced tremendous difficulties because of the terrain and the resistance of crack Japanese troops. Supply by air was essential to the success of operations. Mandalay was captured after a prolonged fight in mid-March 1945. From then on progress to the south was relatively fast, and the reconquest of Burma was completed for practical purposes with the capture of Rangoon on 3 May 1945. Except for five Chinese divisions and a mixed American and Chinese brigade known as the Mars Task Force (replacing "Merrill's Marauders"), Allied forces in Burma consisted of British and British Commonwealth forces. Read more about India-Burma.
  

 
20th General Hospital
  
   After almost eight months of training at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, the unit consisting of nurses and enlisted men headed to San Francisco. They boarded the USS Monticello, as did my Dad, and on 20 January 1943 departed for India. After 42 days at sea with brief stops in New Zealand and Australia, they made their way to Ledo, finally arriving 21 March. Ledo, a tiny railroad town surrounded by the virgin jungle on the fringe of the tea plantations in the Assam region of northeast India would be home for the foreseeable future.  Entrance to the 20th General Hospital The mountainous border with China was to the north and Burma (now Myanmar) lay on the east. At this time the Japanese invasion of China had forced the Chinese government into the interior, with Burma offering the only possible route of land communication between the Chinese and the Allies. To reopen communications with the Chinese, General Stilwell chose Ledo as the western terminus of his road into North Burma, to be built with the engineering and organizational skills of General Lewis A. Pick. As a huge military installation sprung up at Ledo, the 20th General Hospital took on the mission of providing medical care for the American-Chinese forces fighting the Japanese in Burma as well as for men constructing the Ledo road. The hospital was constructed on higher ground around a former polo field. Native structures called "bashas" housed the hospital and its patients, nurses, doctors, and enlisted men. These bashas had dirt floors, sometimes covered with bamboo matting, and leaky roofs of palm leaves. There were no lights and very few outlets for water. In this area of heavy rainfall, malaria and bacillary and amoebic dysentery were constant; leeches and mites presented even more dangers than the snakes, tigers, elephants, bears, bison and rhinoceroses. In India doctors had to deal with battle casualties in an environment that not only made medical treatment difficult, but actually added to the problems. Check in to the 20th General Hospital.



  Dad Crosses the Ocean

 USS Monticello (AP-61)
 
 Monticello (AP-61)
  
This is the USS Monticello, the ship my Dad was aboard for the trip to India.  It left New York on 25 December 1942 for India via California.  Dad met it in Wilmington, California (Los Angeles Port of Embarkation) after traveling from Fort Devens, Massachusetts by train.  It sailed for India at 0800 on 20 January 1943 and made 3-day stops at Wellington, New Zealand (0810 on 6 February) and Fremantle, Australia (1100 on 17 February) before reaching Bombay at 1400 on 3 March 1943 after a voyage of 14,177 miles and almost six weeks at sea.  The ship was berthed at Ballard Pier at 1330 on 4 March and troops debarked the following day. Read a Diary of the crossing or more about life aboard a World War II Troop Transport.




 Monticello underway

Monticello underway on 15 September 1942 following refitting at Philadelphia Navy Yard


 Wellington, New Zeland

Unknown ship in Harbor at Wellington New Zealand


 Fremantle, Australia

Unknown ship at pier in Fremantle, Australia


 Monticello underway

Monticello underway on 15 December 1943 near San Francisco


 Monticello as Conte Grande  Monticello as Conte Grande
  
Shown here before and after the war, USS Monticello was originally and ultimately the Italian liner Conte Grande.

Commissioned USS Monticello (AP-61)   16 April 1942   (Dad's 21st Birthday)






 Map of crossing to India
  
Approximate route Dad traveled aboard USS Monticello from Wilmington, California to Bombay, India
The International Date Line was crossed on 3 February. Total sailing time was 42 days.   
  



    
  Crossing The Equator
 
 Domain of Neptunus Rex   
  
Crossing the Equator 26 January 1943. Read about the Neptunus Rex ceremony.



    
  Arrival in India and on to Assam
  
The arrival of the Monticello was documented in photos by CBI Roundup and a story published in the April 8, 1943 issue. Censorship prevented details from being disclosed, but another soldier on board recounted the journey:
Monticello Arrives in Bombay.





  Why CBI
Dad's service in the Army was directly related to the building of the Ledo Road...

  "On December 8, 1942, President Roosevelt gave the Ledo Road his own blessing and accorded it a priority second only to that enjoyed by the North African campaign, then in progress.  Marshall promised Stilwell that he would allot him six thousand more troops (including the 330th Engineer General Service Regiment and several hospital units) and sixty-three thousand tons of supplies for early shipment to India for the road job.  The troops, scheduled to sail from the west coast in January 1943, would reach India in March or April, with the supplies following in about a month.  The curtain was going up on the greatest road show in history."

  "The 48th Evacuation Hospital arrived at Camp Anza, California from Fort Devens, Massachusetts, on the night of 10-11 January 1943.  Here were assembling the units of the 4201 Shipment.  These included the 20th General Hospital, 73rd Evacuation Hospital, 478th Quartermaster Regiment, 151st Medical Battalion, 330th Engineer Regiment, 21st Quartermaster Regiment (colored), 7th Ordnance Battalion, and several small separate depot companies.  These 6000 odd souls, male and female, white and colored, embarked on 19 January; and the transport left Wilmington, California harbor at 0800 hours, 20 January.  Bombay was reached on 3 March.  From there the units were shuffled across India, via Poona, Deolali, or Ranchi."

While President Roosevelt was giving his blessing to the Ledo Road project, Dad was at Fort Devens receiving Quartermaster training in Depot Supply.  Although it is unlikely that he knew it at the time, he would become a member of one of the small depot companies mentioned.  Soon he would be on a train crossing the country headed for California.  He would be part of the "4201 Shipment" headed for India and eventually Ledo in Assam and "the greatest road show in history."  As planned, the USS Monticello left from the West Coast on 20 January 1943 and reached Bombay in March.  Dad crossed India by way of Deolali and reached Ledo on 21 March 1943.  More than two years later on 20 May 1945, the Ledo Road was officially opened as "Stilwell Road."  Dad left India the following month as the curtain fell on "the greatest road show."







  Photos from Assam

 Assam
Home for two and a half years

SCROLL DOWN OR CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW NEXT





 Assam   
Artie Christel and Dad. Half-way around the world and stationed with another guy from Linden!





 Assam   
Dad wrote: "How do you like our little bench and wash stand? Capacity is six to a tent, ours had five."





 Assam   
Artie Christel on left, Dad crouching, others unidentified. These are most likely the 5 tentmates.





 Assam   
Artie Christel, Bob Kaplan from New York, and Dad. "Artie is washing clothes".





 Assam   
Taking a break catching up on war news





 Assam   
Dad with unidentified buddy





 Assam   
Long Johns for the cool nights





 The lister (water) bag   
The lister bag (drinking water)





 Assam   
Artie, unidentified buddy, and Dad





 Assam   
Evidence that living in the jungle does not put weight on!





 Camp   
A "Basha" under construction






 Camp   
Inside the Basha under construction. Later used as barracks.






 Camp   
"Here's a picture I like. You can see where we're situated, high in the hills."






 Camp   
Natives digging a drainage system for the coming heavy rain during the monsoons






 Camp   
The theater made of bamboo. The small shack on the right is the projection booth.






 Camp   
"Many a night we sat through drenching rain to watch the show - I'll never forget."






 Camp   
Water supply: A bamboo water line that ran two miles down from the mountain.






 Camp   
"Note the bulletin board at left and the design on the Basha at right - The natives are good at that."






 Dad   
"The Assamese Kid"






 India
Dad's in the center, others and location are unidentified.






 Calcutta   
Calcutta 1943 with unidentified buddy.






 Grand Hotel Calcutta   
The Grand Hotel, Chowringhee Road, Calcutta. It housed 2000 troops during the war.






 Calcutta   
Outside the Grand Hotel Calcutta.






 Dad   
Dad at work in Ledo headquarters in 1945



  Stories from India
  There are not many stories to tell. Dad wasn't one to sit around telling war stories. The little we got came from brief anecdotes, usually during or after Sunday dinner. He would be reminded of something and tell a couple of sentences worth of story. Nothing special, just little insights into his time in India. These are a few we remember, along with some background...
  
Troop Ship  
 Troop Ship in port   This one was not a great story for dinner time. It was mostly about rocking and rolling on a ship, stuck below with thousands of others, most of them taking turns getting seasick. You can imagine conditions aboard a ship built to carry about 800 and carrying up to ten times that many. He did learn to play Poker however! Cards in one hand, bucket in the other. When they got to New Zealand he thought it was the most beautiful place on earth... THEY GOT TO GET UP ON DECK! They also got to stretch their legs marching through the streets of Wellington.

  
Water Buffalo  
 Water Buffalo   I guess even the Services Of Supply had to shop locally on occasion. Dad told us they sometimes ate Water Buffalo. How was it? NOT VERY GOOD! What did it taste like? PUT YOUR SHOE IN YOUR MOUTH AND CHEW! Transporting supplies, especially fresh food, from the United States to India was difficult and took more than a month. Then there was the climate. Ice was an unheard of commodity in the region. On the other hand, Water Buffalo were common in the area, used for everything from pulling plows to the main course!



My Assam Dragon  
 My Assam Dragon III   Dad mentioned seeing this plane. I think he was taken with the name. Probably everybody was as it most likely was an accurate description of how they all felt. Pilots and crews named their plane and decorated the nose, usually with a pin-up girl painting. Sometimes different crews came up with the same or similar name. If they received a new aircraft it often would be named the same with an added II or III to show it was their 2nd or 3rd plane. Shown at right is a picture of a B-29 Bomber named My Assam Dragon III.


Head Hunters  
 Naga tribesman   Dad witnessed a demonstration by head hunters. Luckily the demonstration was only with a snake. I guess not so lucky for the snake, its head came off with just the flick of a wrist! The natives were of the Naga Tribe of Assam and northern Burma. Like most headhunters, the Naga tribesmen prized heads as trophies. During World War II they worked with the Allies and many Japanese heads became trophies. The Naga practiced head-hunting until 1958 which earned them both the curiosity and stigma of the outer world. In 1963, Nagaland became an official state of India.

Missed Flight  
 C-46 Over The Hump   Dad was to fly somewhere. Not sure to where or why. At the last minute he was bumped by another soldier. He later learned that the plane crashed and no one survived. Most Air Transport losses of men, materiel, and aircraft were due to the harsh flying conditions, rather than enemy action. Shown at right is the Curtiss C-46 "Commando" Transport flying The Hump. Less well known then the famous C-47, it flew more supplies over The Hump than any other aircraft.



  Mail Call
 Camp Deolali card
Camp Deolali, India. 9 March 1943. One week in India.

   Camp Deolali is located in western India, about 100 miles northeast of Bombay.  During World War II it was used as a transit camp for soldiers arriving in India and awaiting assignment in the CBI Theater.  Deolali also has an unusual claim to fame.  During the 19th century it was a rest camp where British soldiers who had completed their tour of duty were sent to await transportation home.  It was a long wait, often many months, before they were to be picked up by ships to take them to England.  Consequent boredom, and heat, turned many a soldier insane, and the word Doolally was coined.  At first the term was used in the form He's got the Doolally Tap, from the Sanskrit word tapa, meaning heat or fever.  Later, it became To Go Doolally, meaning insane, eccentric, or at least very odd.  Go Doolally and get the Doolally Tap.  
 
 
 
 Reverse side of postcard
The blanked-out word is most likely Doolally which was the common (and wrong) English spelling of Deolali.
This card was actually sent to the Linden Observer and may have been published.
 
 
 
 
Greetings from India   1943 Victory Mail
 
 V-Mail

 
  Note the Return Address: 48th Evac. Hospital, Malaria for Christmas 1943.
  84% of American Servicemen had Malaria during their first year in CBI.
 


Cpl. W. Weidenburner
48th Evac., Hosp. APO 689
Postmaster, New York, N. Y.
18 Nov., 1943

Mr. Joseph Weidenburner
213 East Blancke Street
Linden, New Jersey



  From the diary of Colonel John M. Tamraz, Services of Supply Surgeon and 2nd highest ranking medical officer in CBI:
First of all I visited the 48th Evac. Hosp. This hospital is inactive (reserve) they have a camp just off the Assam Truck highway, about 1 mile from Margherita, between the latter town and Digboi. The Personnel live in Bashas and tents. It consists of 47 officers, 53 nurses and 235 Enlisted men.
Read more of the Colonel's diary.   
  


Merry Christmas from India   1944 Victory Mail
 
 V-Mail

 
  "And a Happy New Year, old timer.  Love, Warr"

 


Sgt. W. Weidenburner - 32557327
Hq. Co. Adv. Section 3
APO 689 %PM, New York
Nov. 9, 1944

Mr. Joseph Weidenburner
1586 York Avenue
New York City, New York



The V-Mail System
 
 V-Mail Form

  This is the form used by servicemen and family back home to send mail to each other. Once received by the Post Office it was photographed and transferred to microfilm with other forms addressed to the same area. One microfilm could hold hundreds of letters, resulting in weight savings for the transport planes carrying mail. At the destination the film was developed, the letters recreated and then delivered to the recipient.
Learn more about World War II Victory Mail.



 V-Mail
A closer look at the V-Mail logo shows the dot-dot-dot-dash Morse Code for the letter V indicating Victory.



 Censor's Approval Stamp
Most of the pictures of India were sent by Dad to his Father and had to pass the censors.
 
 
 
 
Christmas Greetings Card
 



A more traditional Christmas Card although with a CBI theme.
Christmas 1943 or 1944.  
 
 
  Wit and Wisdom
 
Mystic India
 
Land of charm - and mosquito bites,
Cobra, lizard and deadly krites!
Moonlight and sun - and heat exhaustion,
Walk at night with plenty of caution!
Cool whispering breezes - and then the gale,
With thunder, lightning, and plenty of hail!
A gentle rain - and then all too soon,
The endless, ceaseless, moldy monsoon!
Weird music - and a jackal's howl,
When he and the hyena go out to prowl!
Flowing rivers - and contaminated well,
Germs that make you sicker than....!
Lovely butterflies - irritating ants,
Especially those in the seat of your pants!
Majestic buildings - and coolie's novel,
Dirt you can't move without a steam shovel!
Haunting perfumes - and nauseating stench,
If you take a deep breath your stomach will wrench!
How about the Jap and his bombs out of the blue,
Hell, I forgot that he's here too!


MARTHA J. WRATNEY - Red Cross
 
 
 

The Soldier Didn't Say A Word
 
Three friends were sitting around a bar, each one smoking a big black cigar,
And each one's eyes were filled with tears,
Each one had decided to go to war, to keep the Japs from his back door,
But, each by some unearthly chance, had joined up in a different branch.

The Marine rose on unsteady feet, his eyes were filled with conceit,
When the war is over we'll meet again, and I'll tell you stories of real fighting men,
The Sailor smiled; you will learn, when you hear upon my return,
The Soldier didn't say a word and acted as he hadn't heard,
I'll never brag or boast, my men until I'm sure I'm home again.

They made a farewell parting bet, one that they would never forget.
The one whose story was the best the beers would be paid for by the rest.

The war was over and they came back drinking beer in the same old shack.
The Marine with ribbons on his chest, rose to his feet before the rest,
I saw action in the South Seas and shot Japs right out of the trees,
I downed them like a bunch of fleas, now beat that if you please.

The Sailor rose with a great big smile and laughed at the Marine for a while.
Friends, he said, I really saw the flight,
In Italy, England and the Reich, I killed Germans to my delight
But you would lose your appetite, if I told you of every fight.

The Soldier didn't say a word, and acted as though he hadn't heard,
Then he hit the bar with an awful slam, and said,
I WAS IN BURMA AND ASSAM.

The Marine jumped up, the Sailor too,
"Brother, we owe the drinks to you."
For each one heard and knew too well that
THERE SAT A MAN RETURNED FROM HELL.


Author Unknown
 
 



 Click to take a flight on YANK's Magic Carpet
The staff of the China-Burma-India edition of  YANK - The Army Weekly
created a souvenir booklet for soldiers to take or send home.
 Learn more about YANK - The Army Weekly
Take a flight on YANK's Magic Carpet
 
 
 

Conversation Piece   (The Ledo Road)
 
Is the gateway to India at Bombay
Really as beautiful as they say?

Don't rightly know, Ma'am. Did my part
Breakin' point in the jungle's heart;
blasted the boulders, felled the trees
with red muck oozin' around our knees;
Carved the guts from the Patkai's side,
Dozed our trace, made it clean and wide,
Metalled and graded, dug and filled:
We had the Ledo Road to build.

Well, surely you saw a burning ghat,
Fakirs, rope tricks and all of that.

Reckon I didn't. But way up ahead
I tended the wounded, buried the dead.
For I was a Medic, and little we knew,
But the smell of sickness all day through,
Mosquitoes, leeches, and thick dark mud
Where the Chinese spilled their blood
After the enemy guns were stilled:
We had the Ledo Road to build.
Of course, you found the Taj Mahal,
The loveliest building of them all.

Can't really say, lady I was stuck
Far beyond Shing with a QM truck
Monsoon was rugged there, hot and wet,
Nothing to do but work and sweat
And dry was the dust upon my mouth
As steadily big "cats" roared on south,
Over this ground where Japs lay killed:
We had the Ledo Road to build.

You've been gone two years this spring,
Didn't you see a single thing?

Never saw much but the moon shine on
A Burmese temple around Maingkwan,
And silver transports high in the sky,
Thursday River and the swift Tanai,
And Hukawng Valley coming all green,
Those are the only sights I've seen.
Did our job, though, like God willed:
We had the Ledo Road to build.

Sergeant Smith Dawless - Ledo, Assam, India, 1943

View this poem Full Screen or Other Verses by Smith Dawless.




The Kohima Epitaph
 
  When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
  For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.

 (Appears on a monument erected at the British military cemetery at Kohima, Assam, India,
  in memory of those who died in World War II's largest Asian land battle near there in 1944)


Read about The Kohima Epitaph  
 
 
  The Voyage Home


   USS General William F. Hase (AP-146)
 USS General William F. Hase (AP-146)
This is the ship my Dad sailed on for his return trip to the United States. She arrived Calcutta, India, 14 June 1945,
embarked 2,500 homebound soldiers, then sailed 21 June 1945 for the United States via Ceylon and the Suez Canal,
arriving Pier 8 at Norfolk 20 July 1945. More about USS General William F. Hase.



   Counting the days...  
  
         A USS Hase crew member's account of Dad's 30-day Voyage Home in 1945

               21 June - Left Calcutta India and started down the Hooghly River to the Bay of Bengal
               23 June - Finally hit the open sea of the Bay of Bengal
               25 June - Arrived in Trincomalee Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
               26 June - Left Trincomalee, Ceylon, homeward bound
                 2 July  - Entered the Gulf of Aden
                 3 July  - Passed from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea
                 6 July  - Arrived in Suez, Egypt. Anchored. Received mail. Then entered the Suez Canal
                 7 July  - Arrived in Port Said at the end of the Canal
                 8 July  - Left Port Said (entered the Mediterranean)
                 9 July  - Passed Sicily
               10 July  - Coast of Algiers in sight off port side all day
               12 July  - Passed Rock of Gilbraltar (into the Atlantic Ocean)
               20 July  - Arrived in Newport News Virginia
  
           Although it is nice to read now, this crew member was breaking an important rule.
           Keeping diaries or journals was forbidden because of the chances of one falling into
           enemy hands and endangering this or future sailings. The rule may have been relaxed
           at this point since this trip took place after V-E Day, 8 May 1945.
  

  
 Map of return home
  
Approximate route Dad traveled aboard USS Hase from Calcutta, India to Newport News, Virginia   
  
  
 
 USS General William F. Hase (AP-146)
Another view of the USS Hase. Unlike Monticello, this ship was built in 1944 specifically as a Troop Transport and
served through the Korean War. The Navy designation "AP" stands for Auxiliary Passenger, or Troop Transport.   



 
 USS General William F. Hase (AP-146)
Another view of the USS Hase returning more CBI Veterans home in 1946.




 Berth Assignment   
  
So you don't get lost on the ship.



 Carry Me Back   
  
Cover of the program from the show aboard USS Hase.



  
 Program
  
Not quite Bob Hope.



 Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation
 Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation
Ships at the Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia) Port of Embarkation.
The Hase and Dad arrived here July 20, 1945.



 N&W Railroad shuttle   
Trains carried returning soldiers to Camp Patrick Henry then it was on to Camp Lee for separation.




 Around The World
 Map of both voyages
The journey home completed Dad's circumnavigation of the world!   
  
 
  Welcome Home!

 Welcome Home   
  
Cover of General Information Pamphlet for Camp Patrick Henry.





 Camp Patrick Henry General Information

 Camp Patrick Henry General Information
  
If you read this it seems there was no time for anything!



    
Camp Patrick Henry Map
 
 Camp Patrick Henry   
  
Special Service Guide Map of Camp Patrick Henry.



    
Welcome Home Dinner
 
 Welcome Home Dinner Ticket   
  
Two and a half years in the jungle entitles you to a free meal!



    
Another Welcome Home
 
 Another Welcome Home
  
"Loose Lips Sink Ships" no longer applies.




  Dad’s CBI Timeline

  This timeline helps to put Dad's service in the Army into better perspective by overlaying it with other events in the China-Burma-India Theater and in World War II in general. Events in Dad's military service are indicated in blue. His birthdays are marked in red and help indicate the passage of five years of a man's life.

 

1941

  29 JAN - SECRET TALKS WITH BRITISH TO CO-ORDINATE WAR POLICY

  08 FEB - ROMMEL HEADS AFRIKACORPS TO TUNISIA

  11 MAR - LEND-LEASED ACT SIGNED

  16 APR - DAD'S 2Oth BIRTHDAY

  14 MAY - BRITISH REINFORCEMENTS ARRIVE IN SINGAPORE

  14 JUN - U.S. FREEZES GERMAN AND ITALIAN ASSETS

  10 JUL - FIRST FLYING TIGERS DEPART SAN FRANCISCO

  26 JUL - U.S. FREEZES ALL JAPANESE ASSETS

  16 AUG - ANGLO-SOVIET EXCHANGE AGREEMENT SIGNED

  07 SEP - JAPANESE FINALIZE PEARL HARBOR ATTACK PLAN

  16 OCT - TOJO COMES TO POWER

  26 NOV - JAPANESE FLEET SETS SAIL FOR PEARL HARBOR

  07 DEC - JAPANESE ATTACK PEARL HARBOR

  08 DEC - UNITED STATES DECLARES WAR ON JAPAN

     DEC - UNITED STATES OFFICIALLY ENTERS WORLD WAR II



1942

     JAN - JAPANESE INVADE BURMA

     FEB - JAPANESE INVADE SINGAPORE

  03 MAR - CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER ESTABLISHED

     MAR - SERVICES OF SUPPLY (SOS) ESTABLISHED

  06 MAR - JAPANESE TAKE RANGOON

  02 APR - INDIA-BURMA CAMPAIGN BEGINS

  16 APR - USS MONTICELLO COMMISSIONED

  16 APR - DAD'S 21st BIRTHDAY

  18 APR - DOOLITTLE RAIDERS BOMB TOKYO

  04 MAY - STILWELL RETREATS FROM BURMA

     JUN - BATTLE OF MIDWAY

  04 JUL - CHINA DEFENSIVE CAMPAIGN BEGINS

  06 JUL - FLYING TIGERS BECOME PART OF CHINA AIR TASK FORCE

     AUG - MARINES LAND ON GUADALCANAL

  22 SEP - INDUCTED INTO U.S. ARMY AT LINDEN, NEW JERSEY

  06 OCT - ENTERED ACTIVE SERVICE AT FORT DIX, NEW JERSEY

  05 NOV - MERRILL PROPOSES ROUTE OF LEDO ROAD

     DEC - PROMOTED TO CORPORAL AT FORT DEVINS, MASSACHUSETTS

  16 DEC - CONSTRUCTION OF LEDO ROAD BEGINS



1943

  10 JAN - ARRIVED CAMP ANZA, CALIFORNIA

  20 JAN - DEPARTED FOR INDIA ABOARD USS MONTICELLO

  26 JAN - CROSSES THE EQUATOR

  28 FEB - LEDO ROAD REACHES INDIA-BURMA BORDER (36 miles)

  03 MAR - ARRIVED BOMBAY

  09 MAR - CAMP DEOLALI

  21 MAR - ARRIVED LEDO

  16 APR - DAD'S 22nd BIRTHDAY

     MAY - AXIS POWERS SURRENDER IN NORTH AFRICA

     JUN - PROMOTED TO SERGEANT

     JUL - MUSSOLINI OVERTHROWN

     AUG - SOUTHEAST ASIA COMMAND (SEAC) ESTABLISHED

     SEP - ITALIAN CAMPAIGN BEGINS

  17 OCT - GENERAL PICK PLACED IN CHARGE OF ROAD BUILDING

  31 OCT - MERRILL'S MARAUDERS (GALAHAD) ARRIVE IN BOMBAY

  18 NOV - V-MAIL FROM HOSPITAL

  27 DEC - ROAD REACHES SHINGBWIYANG (117 miles)



1944

     JAN - ALLIES LAND AT ANZIO

     FEB - MASSIVE ALLIED BOMBING OF GERMANY BEGINS

     MAR - GERMAN TROOPS OCCUPY HUNGARY

  03 MAR - ONE YEAR IN CBI

  16 APR - DAD'S 23rd BIRTHDAY

  17 MAY - ALLIES TAKE MYITKYINA AIRFIELD

  06 JUN - D-DAY ALLIED INVASION OF OCCUPIED FRANCE

  06 JUN - USS HASE COMMISSIONED

  26 JUL - MARS TASK FORCE CREATED

     JUL - AWARDED GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL

  03 AUG - ALLIES TAKE MYITKYINA

     SEP - ALLIES ENTER GERMANY

  18 OCT - STILWELL REPLACED BY GENERAL ALBERT C. WEDEMEYER

  27 OCT - CBI THEATER SPLIT INTO CHINA AND INDIA-BURMA THEATERS

     OCT - ROAD WITHIN 80 MILES OF MYITKYINA

  13 NOV - CBI THEATER INSIGNIA/PATCH APPROVED

  15 DEC - ALLIES TAKE BHAMO

  15 DEC - WORLD WAR II DEMOBILIZATION PLANS ADOPTED



1945

  12 JAN - FIRST CONVOY DEPARTS LEDO

     JAN - SIGNAL CORPS PHOTO

  28 JAN - INDIA-BURMA CAMPAIGN ENDS

  28 JAN - STILWELL ROAD NAMED

  04 FEB - FIRST CONVOY ARRIVES KUNMING, CHINA

  03 MAR - TWO YEARS IN CBI

  07 MAR - ALLIES TAKE LASHIO

  20 MAR - ALLIES TAKE MANDALAY

  12 APR - PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT DIES

  16 APR - DAD'S 24th BIRTHDAY

  03 MAY - ALLIES TAKE RANGOON

  04 MAY - CHINA DEFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ENDS

  08 MAY - VICTORY IN EUROPE (V-E DAY)

  12 MAY - ASR SCORE COUNT END

  20 MAY - STILWELL ROAD OFFICIALLY OPENED

  21 JUN - DEPARTED CALCUTTA FOR THE UNITED STATES ABOARD USS HASE

  20 JUL - ARRIVED NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA

  06 AUG - ATOMIC BOMB DROPPED OVER HIROSHIMA

  09 AUG - ATOMIC BOMB DROPPED OVER NAGASAKI

  15 AUG - VICTORY OVER JAPAN (V-J DAY)

  02 SEP - JAPANESE SIGN INSTRUMENT OF SURRENDER

  27 OCT - HONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM U.S. ARMY AT CAMP LEE, VIRGINIA

     NOV - NUREMBERG TRIALS BEGIN

     DEC - SENATE VOTES TO JOIN UNITED NATIONS



1946

     JAN - TOKYO WAR CRIMES TRIALS BEGIN

     FEB - BEGINNINGS OF THE COLD WAR

  02 MAR - ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN ENDS

     MAR - MILITARY USE OF STILWELL ROAD ENDS

  16 APR - DAD'S 25th BIRTHDAY

     APR - CHINESE CIVIL WAR RESUMES

     MAY - IRON CURTAIN DESCENDS ON EUROPE

     JUN - REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT ORGANIZED IN ITALY

     JUL - BIKINI ATOLL ATOMIC BOMB TESTS

     AUG - GREECE VOTES RETURN TO MONARCHY

     SEP - VIETNAM DECLARES INDEPENDENCE FROM FRANCE

  12 OCT - GENERAL JOSEPH W. STILWELL DIES

     NOV - ENIAC WORLD'S FIRST ALL-ELECTRONIC COMPUTER

  31 DEC - PROCLAIMED END OF HOSTILITIES - END OF WORLD WAR II


 
1941  |  1942  |  1943  |  1944  |  1945  |  1946  |  World War II Timeline


  Rank


OCT 1942  Private DEC 1942  Corporal JUN 1943  Sergeant OCT 1945




  Uniform
Dad's Original Uniform Jacket
 Dad's Uniform Jacket
 
Dad's uniform jacket at the time of his discharge from the Army.   
  
  


 Dad's Uniform Jacket
Dad's nickname "BING" (he had a deep voice like the famous Mr. Crosby) can be seen here inside his jacket.


 Dad's Uniform Jacket
Buttons with Army emblem


 Dad's Uniform Jacket
Ledo Road Shoulder Insignia


 Dad's Uniform Jacket
World War II Discharge insignia


 Service Stripes
Army Service Stripes. Each small stripe represents
six months overseas service (30 months are indicated).
The larger stripe represents three years honorable service.



 Ribbons and Medal
Original Service Ribbons and Good Conduct Medal.
Note the Bronze Service Stars on the right-hand ribbon.
They indicate participation in campaigns:
 India-Burma      02 APR 1942 - 28 JAN 1945
 China Defensive 04 JUL 1942 - 04 MAY 1945



CBI Patch

 CBI Shoulder Patch
  
Worn on left sleeve by Army personnel serving in the CBI Theater of World War II.
The left-hand star represents China and is actually the sun surrounded by 12 points
for each hour in the traditional Chinese day. The right-hand star symbolizes the "Star
of India". The red, white, and blue represent the United States. Worn since 1942 it was
officially adopted on 13 November 1944. View variations of the CBI Patch.



Ledo Road Patch

 Ledo Road Patch
  
Worn on right sleeve by Army personnel serving on the Ledo Road.
The winding road proceeds through Burma to China (represented by the sun).
The three stars represent the three countries involved: China, Burma, and India.
Approved for local wear only. View variations of the Ledo Road Patch.



World War II Honorable Discharge

 Honorable Discharge Patch
  
  
Worn above the right breast pocket by Army personnel having been Honorably Discharged
from the Service in World War II. It allowed the uniform to be worn for 30 days after discharge
due to clothing shortages and also indicated the soldier was not AWOL.
It is more commonly known as The Ruptured Duck.


 Uniform reproduction
More about Dad's Uniform Jacket

 This diagram depicts Dad's uniform jacket at the time of his discharge from the Army. Added are standard "U.S." insignia on the right collar and Army Service Ribbons above the left pocket. This is a typical U.S. Army World War II era enlisted man's jacket.

  There are no Distinctive Unit insignia or Unit Crest on the lapels, and no Branch insignia on the left collar. This is because Dad was not attached to any specific unit. The Services of Supply (SOS) in CBI was not a distinct unit but rather a group of many units comprised of many branches of the Army. It had no insignia or markings of any kind.

  On the right uniform sleeve (left side of image) is the Ledo Road insignia (stars on red field variation), representing the Previous Overseas Parent Unit. On the left sleeve are the CBI Theater insignia representing Current Parent Unit, Overseas Service Bars (each representing six months overseas service for a total of 30 months), and Service Stripe (representing three years honorable service). On both sleeves are Sergeant rank stripes.

   Above the right breast pocket is the World War II Honorable Discharge emblem. Above the left breast pocket are Good Conduct, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign, and World War II Victory Service Ribbons.


  Original Military Documents


 Honorable Discharge  Enlisted Record and Report of Separation

Click on document to view detail




 Separation Qualification Record  Separation Qualification Record (reverse side)

Click on document to view detail




As far as I know, Dad always carried this laminated Honorable Discharge and Separation Record in his wallet.


More about information in Dad's Military Documents  
 
Keeping Score - The ASR

   The ASR or Advanced Service Rating Points System found on the Enlisted Record and Report of Separation was used to determine a soldier's eligibility for discharge. The higher the score, the closer one was to going home. At the end of the war in Europe, 85 points were required for discharge. This was later lowered to 75 as demobilization continued and finally reached 60 in November 1945. Many found the system confusing and it did not apply to all servicemen. For example, pilots went home after 25 combat missions regardless of points accumulated, although they still remained in the service.
 
  The points were awarded as follows: 1 point for each month served in the Army, 1 point for each month served overseas, 5 points for each campaign star worn on theater ribbons, 5 points for the first and each award received such as Distinguished Service Cross, etc., and 12 points for each child at home under 18 years of age (up to 3 children). Points were awarded for months served between 16 September 1940 and 12 May 1945.  
 
  According to his records, Dad's score was 70 as of 2 September 1945 (the day the Instrument of Surrender was signed by the Japanese). He was in the Army from 6 October 1942 until 27 October 1945. Since the Army stopped counting on 12 May 1945 this is actually 31 points. He was overseas from 20 January 1943 to 20 July 1945. This was worth 29 points. His Asiatic-Pacific Service Ribbon has 2 stars which were worth 10 points. 31 + 29 + 10 = 70.

  More about the Points System.


No Time Lost Under AW107

   Dad's Enlisted Record and Report of Separation indicates NO TIME LOST UNDER AW107, which is more commonly known as AWOL - Absent Without Leave. Although the implication of AWOL is generally not good, this was not necessarily the case. A soldier might have been delayed traveling between military assignments and this would count towards AW107. If any days were indicated, they had to be made-up before discharge. Dad did not have to make up any time prior to discharge.  


Lapel Button Issued

 National Defense Lapel Button  National Defense Lapel Button
  
  The National Defense Lapel Button (original, left; plastic replica, right) was issued to personnel having been Honorably Discharged from the service. It was not intended for uniform wear but rather on civilian clothes. Dad's separation record indicates "Lapel Button Issued." It is more commonly known as The Ruptured Duck.


  Medals
 
 
  Good Conduct  
 
 Good Conduct Medal
 
 
The Good Conduct Medal is awarded for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active Federal Military service. It is awarded on a selective basis to each soldier who distinguishes himself from among his fellow soldiers by exemplary conduct, efficiency, and fidelity throughout a specified period of continuous enlisted active Federal military service. The immediate commander must approve the award and the award must be announced in permanent orders.
Dad received this medal July 1944.  
 
 
 
  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign  
 
 Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
 
 
The Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal was awarded to personnel for service within the Asiatic-Pacific Theater between 7 December 1941 and 2 March 1946. The ribbon design was approved on 24 November 1942. The yellow ribbon has white and red on each side to represent the Japanese colors. The center blue, white, and red stripes are taken from the American Defense Service Medal ribbon and refers to the continuance of American Defense after Pearl Harbor. The design of the medal was not approved until 1947.
Dad received the service ribbon and two service stars but not the medal since it was issued after he was discharged.  
 
 
 
  World War II Victory  
 
 World War II Victory Medal
 
 
The World War II Victory Medal was awarded to all military personnel for service between 7 December 1941 and 31 December 1946. The Medal was approved on 5 February 1946. The rainbow colors on each side are taken from World War I Victory ribbon.
Although qualified, Dad did not receive the ribbon or medal since they were issued after he was discharged.


See all U.S. Military Service & Campaign Medals.





  Air Drop Planning for the Mars Task Force


AIR SUPPLY DEPOT WHERE SUPPLIES WERE PACKED FOR THE MARS TASK FORCE  (JANUARY 1945)

Seated, left to right,  Lt. James Savage,  Sgt. Warren Weidenburner.  Standing, left to right,  Brig. Gen. Robert M. Cannon, Chief of Staff, IBT,  Capt. Robinson, Air Supply Operations officer,  Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan, India-Burma Theater commander,  Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Pick, Ledo Road commander.






About The Photograph

The photograph has the Signal Corps. symbol on the front bottom right and has Signal Corps. markings on the back. The photo was taken and processed by the 164th Signal Photo Company (assigned to CBI). The names of the subjects are handwritten on the back as shown below:



My father, Lieutenant James Savage, and General Lewis Pick are the only personnel I am able to confirm as being in the photograph. My parents visited Lt. Savage in Virginia (I believe) after the war. The identities of the others standing to General Pick's right are not confirmed. From research I believe I have correctly identified them as shown in the caption. The general at center appears to be General Dan I. Sultan, based on facial features, and not General Wheeler. Captain Robinson may have been Air Supply Operations officer.

I am still seeking further information about the photograph.

Please contact me if you can help identify the other men in the photo or have any additional information.



More information from the photograph



"Processed by the 164th Signal Photo Co. Laboratory Production Hq."
Also indicated is "IBT" (India-Burma Theater) and "No. 153".





  "WHEN AUTHORIZED FOR PUBLICATION  CREDIT MUST BE GIVEN  PHOTO BY U.S. ARMY SIGNAL CORPS"



 Quartermaster Corps collar pin  Quartermaster Corps Insignia
Lt. Savage's collar pin indicates he was a member of the Quartermaster Corps.


 General Staff Insignia on hat
Officers hats insignia similar to one still in use today.


 Brigadier General Insignia on hat  Brigadier General Insignia
General Pick's hat indicates he was a Brigadier General (one star) at the time of the photo.



  Memorabilia


U. S. Military Script
 
 U. S. Script
Look again, It's a paper nickel !!











 U. S. Script











Japanese Currency from Occupied Burma

 Japanese-Burma Currency











 Japanese-Burma Currency











 Japanese-Burma Currency











 Japanese-Burma Currency











Coins from World War II India

 Rupee  Anna
During World War II, India was part of the British Commonwealth. Thus the King George coins.


















Souvenir Pillow Case









Hand made souvenir from the Taj Mahal










Religious books provided by the Army





  Veterans Associations


China-Burma-India Veterans Association


 Magazine  Magazine

These CBI Veterans publications were always at hand in the magazine rack.





Garden State Basha

 Press Release

  In 1978 after many years of attending functions of the Delaware Valley (Pennsylvania) Basha of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association (CBIVA), Dad helped organize a Basha for New Jersey. It was named the "Garden State Basha". Dad served as commander from 1979 to 1981.



 Basha Formation Letter

  Minutes from Organization Meeting for Garden State Basha



 Basha Formation Letter

  Minutes from Dinner and Installation Meeting



 Basha Formation Letter  Basha Formation Letter
  Program from Dinner and Installation Meeting   (Click to enlarge)



 Basha Charter

  The charter for The Garden State Basha of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association




 Letter from Basha Commander


  At the end of his service as Commander, he thanked everybody, especially my Mom.




 Basha Commander Plaque

  And they thanked him.




 Dad
Garden State Basha Salutes Warren Weidenburner
By Robert Abrams
(CBIVA Sound-off, Summer 1991)

  The Garden State Basha presented a wreath at the Fifth Annual Memorial Service on May 25 at the Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown, N.J., in honor of departed CBI veterans. Garden State was one of over 50 organizations that presented wreaths at this service. Presenting the wreath were Commander Robert Abrams and John Stell.

  The 13th Anniversary Dinner Dance, held June 8, honored both the newly-elected officers and one of the basha's founders, Warren Weidenburner. Warren was saluted by past basha commander and co-founder Ross Miller, who described the work done by him and Warren in getting this basha started. Also speaking was P/C Robert Kohler, who thanked Warren for his roll in the life of the basha. He told him how much the basha had meant to the members through the years, the friendships that have been made, the many good times the members have had together.

  Commander Abrams volunteered that Warren is a gentleman in every sense of the word, a man of many good deeds, one who never boasts of his accomplishments, always a true friend. Abrams called the members in attendance to attention, called for a hand salute to Warren which lasted for a minute and concluded with the toast: "Warren, this is our salute to you as a true friend and an honored basha member."




 Garden State Basha  Garden State Basha  Garden State Basha  Garden State Basha  Garden State Basha

The passage of time dwindled its membership and the Basha held its last official meeting long ago.
The China-Burma-India Veterans Association ceased to function in September 2005.



 Basha Banner
The banner of the Garden State Basha of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association.
It now hangs at the New Jersey Veteran's Home, Paramus, New Jersey.







Glenn E. McClure signed my father's copy of his book about Casey Vincent, FIRE and FALL BACK.


"For Warren Weidenburner -
Who was there, and remembers well how it was there - particularly on the Ledo Road - in Myitkyina - etc.
"






 CBIVA member decal




 CBIVA member decal




  Besides the Army . . .

 Dad and me   Warren Weidenburner was born on April 16, 1921 in Astoria, Queens, New York, the younger of two sons of Joseph and Dorothy (Froehlich) Weidenburner. When he was about a year old, the family moved to Linden, New Jersey, where he lived for the rest of his life.  ♦  He graduated from Linden High School in 1939. Because his brother was already in college and there was no money to send two, he  Warren Weidenburner worked at various laborer jobs. These included the General Motors plant and Cities Service terminal. At the time of his induction into the Army he worked for Dupont (Grasselli Chemical Co.) as a leadburner's helper.  ♦  Following return to civilian life he returned to work at Dupont. He met and married the former Frances L. Kapitan. They became the parents of three children: Diane, Carl Warren and Jill. They have one grandson, Joseph Russell Weidenburner.  ♦  He worked for many years at the Tremley Point Terminal of Sinclair Refining Company, which was eventually sold to Standard Oil of Ohio and subsequently British Petroleum (BP). He served as President of the local Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union. He began as a Gauger with Sinclair in 1957 and retired in 1985 from BP as Assistant Plant Superintendent.  ♦  He was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church, Cranford, New Jersey. Previously, as a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Linden, New Jersey, he had served as President of the Congregation and also as Financial Secretary. He was a member of Cornerstone Lodge #229 F&AM, Linden, New Jersey.  ♦  In 1978, after many years of attending functions of the Delaware Valley (Pennsylvania) Basha of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association, he co-founded the Garden State Basha, serving as its Commander from 1979-1981.  ♦  He died on July 20, 1994 at the age of 73. A good husband, father, man. He is missed by all who knew and loved him.


  Before and After the Army
 Just a baby
Just A Baby! (1922)

SCROLL DOWN OR CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW NEXT OR
VIEW AS SLIDE SHOW




 Dad at age 5 (1926)

Dad at age 5 Nice bicycle! (1926)






 Dad on pony

Pony Ride






 Dad with his dog Duke

Dad with Duke






 Dad and his family

The Joseph Weidenburner Family (Dorothy, Chester, Warren, Joseph)






 Junior HS Graduation 1935

Junior High Graduation (1935)






 High School Gradustion 1939

Linden High School Graduation (1939)






 Newark Evening News Pearl Harbor Headline

December 8, 1941






 World War II Poster

1942 - 1945






 Post-war vacation

Post-War vacation (1946)






 Wedding

Dad marries Frances Laura Kapitan (September 18, 1948)






 Dad, Mom, and Diane

Mom, Dad, and Diane (1951)






 Our family 1963

The Warren Weidenburner Family (Warren, Diane, Frances, Jill, Carl) November 1963






 Our family ~1965

Here we are again In Living Color






 Dad and Mom 1973

Mom and Dad (1973)






 Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad






 Mom and Dad with grandson Joseph 1985

With grandson Joseph (1985)






 Mom and Dad

Mom and Dad (1991)



  In Memoriam



 Casket Flag
    "This flag is presented on behalf of a grateful nation
and the United States Army as a token of appreciation
for your loved one's honorable and faithful service."

POINT TO FLAG TO PLAY 'TAPS'





 
 Support the National World War II Memorial






 Honoring Dad's Memory






 National World War II Memorial
National World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.





 Garden Memorial based on The Ruptured Duck
World War II Victory garden memorial





 Garden Memorial based on the CBI insignia
CBI Veteran garden memorial





 Final rest
Forever a U.S. Army Veteran of CBI





 Warren Weidenburner
WARREN WEIDENBURNER
1921-1994











 United We Stand

Copyright © 2003-2018
Carl Warren Weidenburner


LOVE and THANKS to...
Christine for her support and understanding
Mom, Dede, and Jill for their help
Dad for making it all possible



Questions or comments to
 carlweidenburner@gmail.com 





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Online since August 15, 2003


Sincere thanks to S. Neal Gardner for colorizing Dad's Army portrait.





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