Vol. 3 No. 43 Delhi, Thursday, June 28, 1945 Reg. No. L5015
Roundup Staff Article
Uncle Joe Stilwell has returned to the grim but satisfying business of killing Japs - as Commanding General of the U.S. 10th Army, which this week annihilated the remnants of enemy opposition on bloody Okinawa.
Okinawa's soil today contains the mortal remains of Lt. Gen. Simon Boliver Buckner, Jr., the colorful commander who led the new 10th Army ashore last Easter Sunday. In their last hour of military triumph, G.I.'s and his ranking officers reverently buried the general beside the men of the Seventh Division.
The nation applauded the move that placed four-starred Uncle Joe in command of the 10th Army. Said the New York Times:
"In any case, the American public will be glad to see him at the front again. The affectionate name his soldiers gave him cannot disguise the soundness of his character, his high abilities and if he doesn't mind, a certain ornery sweetness in his disposition."
There was considerable speculation on the possibility of Stilwell leading an attack upon the Chinese coastline. New York's PM summed up this surmise by stating: "Uncle Joe is on the road back to China. As head of the 10th Army, he likely will spearhead the Allied landing on the China coast - territory and terrain he knows as well as soldiers know his rough tongue and his soft heart. To Stilwell for his past accomplishments and future victories, Hats off!"
Stilwell declared at his recent conference with Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Manila that he was convinced there was no crackup of Japanese morale and that the enemy would have to be beaten on the Chinese mainland as well as in the home islands before giving up their invaded possessions.
MacArthur's appointment makes it a virtual certainty that Stilwell will be one of the top commanders in the battle for Japan. His new post will give him the long-sought opportunity for revenge for the "hell of a beating" inflicted upon his Chinese and American forces with whom he was forced to walk out of Burma in 1942.
While in Chungking and India, Stilwell helped plan and carry out the liberation of North Burma and the building of the Ledo Road which later took his name.
Subsequent differences of opinion with Chiang Kai-shek led last October to Uncle Joe's recall to Washington where he was given command of Army Ground Forces.
Stilwell carried out his job with AGF with determination and spirit, bit no one doubted that it was his prayer to be returned to a combat assignment against the Japanese.
The death of Buckner brought to 34 the number of U.S. generals lost from all causes in action thus far in World War II, including four lieutenant generals. Shortly after the 10th Army Commander was killed, Brig. Gen. Claudius M. Easley, assistant commander of the 96th Infantry Division on Okinawa, also died in action.
Theater Chief Praises Record Of I-B Troops
Lt. Gen. R. A. Wheeler, India-Burma Theater Commander, speaking over the fifteen stations of the Army Radio Network in India and Burma, Tuesday issued the following statement to his command:
"I am glad to be in the India-Burma Theater again among so many old friends. It makes me happy to be back with the troops I had to leave in October, 1943, when I relinquished command of the Services of Supply to assume duties in the newly-formed Southeast Asia Command.
Great progress has been made under the inspiring leadership of Gen. Stilwell and Gen. Sultan. I am proud to follow in their footsteps. The Burma campaign has been brought to a successful conclusion. The Stilwell Road and the pipeline have been built. Air tonnage over The Hump has been pushed to about 50,000 tons a month. Telephone and telegraph communications have been constructed linking China to India.
Our mission has not changed. We are part of the team whose aim is the defeat of the Japs. The role assigned to us is that of supplying China. We must get the maximum military supplies to China in the minimum time. This we will do.
Some of you are wondering if the change in Theater commanders will make any difference in your going home. It will not. I will continue the policy of getting you men home as soon as you can be spared from your jobs and as fast as there is transportation to carry you.
You men of the India-Burma Theater have made an enviable record. I know that I am taking command of a Theater whose troops have been tried and proved. We are going to keep an ever increasing volume of supplies rolling over the lifeline to China, where they can be used to blast all hopes of the Japs and contribute our share in the final drive toward our inevitable victory."
Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan, on his departure from the India-Burma Theater this week, extended this message to all officers and men in I-B:
"In no command have I ever seen greater loyalty, devotion to duty, willingness to work and fight under extremely adverse conditions.
"We have been entirely successful in all our combat missions, as the Jap knows to his bitter sorrow. Working as a team with our British and Chinese Allies, the men of the India-Burma Theater have made a record which has not been excelled in any other theater.
"I am leaving the Theater and my friends here with many regrets. Good luck and God bless you all."
War is tough and they play it rough,
As they have since long ago
And a flyer knows that his vicious foes
Are trying to lay him low
So he's on his guard when he's fighting hard
Because he expects the blow
But what can he do when he's trusting you
And he finds that his faith's misplaced
When he's flown through a hell of shot and shell
The toughest he's ever faced
And he does get by and he still can fly
And he heads for the spot he's based?
Then an engine spits and another quits
Though he leans on the throttle stops
And the boosters whine but a dirty line
Is the cause of his failing props
He may pull his hair in a wild despair
But he loses his speed and drops
His buddies camp on the taxi ramp
Til their share of the chow is burned
But that very crew is overdue
While the rest of the group returned
He left his flight and he dropped from sight
Is all that his comrades learned
And prepare for a good night's sleep?
Can you close your eyes and with gusty sighs
Imagine you're counting sheep?
Is your conscience clear as the kind of tear
That mothers should never weep?
Or are you the guy who is glad to try
A trick that he learned from Joe.
Who will start a test and then skip the rest
Because no one will ever know
Who can pull a bluff when the job is tough
And the right way is too damned slow?
Let your memory range to that engine change
When you ran out of cotter keys
When you cursed "Supply" and the other guy
And you thought that your - would freeze
You said "What the hell, they can never tell
'Cause it is something that no one sees."
Then come with me and I'll let you see
A tent where the echoes play
Where a shoe and pail and the morning's mail
Have laid since the other day
Where the stove is cold and the blankets rolled
For someone to take away
You might say in an offhand way
"Now who in the hell lives here?"
You'd spit on the ground and look around
To see if they left some beer
"Why was I sent to an empty tent
By a soldier who acted queer?
Is that why your cheeks have paled?
Brother, you knew this absent crew
Who flew where the rockets wailed
Your eyes grow round, you're on hallowed ground,
The home of the men you failed.
It wasn't the smash or the blinding flash
Of ack ack that hit their mark
Or losing their way on a story day,
Or pilotage after dark,
Or crossed controls or barrel rolls,
Or fire from a static spark.
It was done by a lad who knew how bad
A dirty line can be
But he wanted to go to the picture show
So he didn't have time to see
'Twas a lazy hand on their own hardstand
That sided the enemy.
If there comes a day, as well it may,
When your ship is not with the rest
Can you tell their friends, when the mission ends,
While you stand in the eagle's nest
"If they don't come back, it must be the flak;
By God, I did my best."
- LT. MARSHALL L. LEVIN
|T/5 Charles Harding recently returned from a 36-day trek in the Burma jungle, searching for American dead after an air crash. Here he is after arriving back at an American base.|