MARS BACK IN ACTION
Dug in on a ridge controlling a curve in the Burma Road, Yank Infantrymen of the Mars Task Force block the enemy
escape route after a forced march over the mountainous jungle in a flanking movement that trapped the Japs to the
north in the Wanting-Namhkam area.
GENERAL SULTAN'S HEADQUARTERS, BURMA - Mars Task Force, blacked out by security
since its first strike against the Japs at Tonkwa in December, was again highlighted in official
Skillfully moving his Yank Infantry and Artillery eastward in the shifting pattern of North Burma
jungle war, Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan maneuvered them across the old Burma Road, 30 miles south of Mongyu, junction
of the Ledo and Burma Roads.
Since early January they have chewed up remnants of the enemy in flight from Allied victories at Namhkam and Wanting
along the supply route from India to China.
In the 300-miles foot race from the Tonkwa area to cut off the Japs in the northeast corner of Burma,
the Men of Mars made long, arduous forced marches, often cutting paths through the jungles for their rugged Missouri
mules, carrying 75mm pack howitzers.
The Japs scented danger shortly after the Americans reached the area. They soon attacked the positions
taken up by Brig. Gen. John P. Willey's force, one day with four tankettes which were knocked out by accurate artillery
Later, a column of 350 Japs retreating from the north down the Burma Road stumbled into an "artillery
ambush." Caught in the murderous fire of the Marsmen, firing salvo after salvo over open sights, the column was
Since that day of slaughter, the Japs have sent small but determined forces hill-climbing to the
crest of 4,000-foot peaks in desperation efforts against strong Yank positions and scores have perished. In the
boldest attempt to dislodge a road block, 50 of the enemy reached the perimeter, but were wiped out.
With elements of the First Chinese Army in Burma and the Chinese Expeditionary Force on the Salween
River front applying pressure from the north, the Japanese are said to be breaking up into small elements, abandoning
heavy equipment and striving to escape around the road block through jungle trails. The number of enemy trapped
between the Men of Mars and the India-China supply route is estimated at around 750.
Supplies are being parachuted to the Men of Mars by Troop Carrier planes of the 10th Air Force in
disregard of Jap ground fire.