NEW PLAN OF A TACK
Virginia Mayo curls up comfortably on the tack sent her by a bunch of Army lads who chose her as their favorite
pin-up girl. The bulletin board explains why she was named for the honor of "sitting on a tack."
Two Years Ago
NORTHERN BURMA - Monday - May Day - was the second anniversary of the start of Lt. Gen. Joseph W.
Stilwell's final exodus from Burma.
Two years ago this week, Stilwell looked sardonically at those around him and declared, "I'd like to
be leading a Communist parade - down with everything."
A little later, he said tersely, "Let's get the hell out of here." The final retreat had started.
Twenty-one days later, his weary, ragged, polyglot band of 114 Americans, British, Anglo-Indians,
Indians and Burmese nurses walked into Imphal. Stilwell met the press at Manipur Junction and observed wryly:
"We got the hell licked out of us. We took a hell of a licking."
Today the picture is reversed. Stilwell is enjoying the satisfaction of leading Chinese-American
forces back into Burma. They are following the old skeleton-lined trail over which some of Stilwell's Chinese
retreated in 1942. Their tails are up, they are cocky and they are on the march to re-open land communications with
Hard on their heals is serpenting Brig. Gen. Lewis Pick's Ledo Road, which one day will carry vital
tonnage necessary to the Chinese Army and the 14th Air Force in China.
In addition, the British are advancing on the Arakan, are containing a large force of Japs around
Imphal and the Eastern Fleet has struck a stinging blow at Sumatra that suggests that it is ready for major action.
Times have changed.
Stilwell's statement was characteristic of his earthy approach:
"This is just another day to me. We are sawing wood and learning, meanwhile stretching our shoestring
as far as it will go. We haven't much to boast about - the Japs ran us out of here a damn sight faster than we're
coming back. It's a long road yet, with a lot of hard work. We have gone far enough, though, to know that we are right
about some things. We know the Chinese soldier can take the Jap if he has a decent chance, and as for the Americans -
you know how you feel about our own people. We're this far along only because of the cheerful hard work of everybody
on the team - fliers, truck drivers, radio men, bulldozer men, pontoon men,
food packers, and all the rest, plus the guts of the Chinese and our own handful of doughboys.
"The Japs are putting up a tough fight and we are going to have setbacks, but I can promise you that
you will all be in here swinging 'til we get to where we're going."