Martha Vickers sings her cheers for the Red, White, and Blue in commemorations of Independence Day in Hollywood.


Roundup Staff Article
  There were hundreds of minor injuries in the U.S. from fireworks on the Fourth of July, but in monsoon-struck Assam the crackers the boys had gathered failed to go off due to the high humidity and dampness.
  President Truman set the example for Americans, both at home and abroad. He remained at his desk and issued a statement asking Americans to "honor our nation's creed of liberty."
  At overseas military installations it was a day of relaxation where conditions permitted. At Chabua, Assam, some organizations had a half holiday and played volleyball and basketball when the monsoon rains slackened. Firecrackers fizzled in the high humidity. Dispatches from Chabua described it as a safe holiday.
  At Ledo, military personnel were excused from duty wherever possible. Maj. Gen. Lewis Pick, recently returned from the States, addressed thousands of troops at the 20th General Hospital. A special pageant was organized for bed patients in the wards.
  Troops were assembled for parade at the 69th General Hospital. A Red Cross girl astride a white horse led the parade of soldiers, with 2½-ton trucks covered with floats winding up the parade.
  G.I.'s along the Stilwell Highway received food, drinks and music from canteens and all available bands.
  In Calcutta and Delhi there were no parades or formal celebrations. G.I.'s in Calcutta obtained some fireworks but were stopped by the MP's when their skyrockets carried sticks which began to drop in the streets. Delhi had a night carnival at Irwin Stadium at which many British troops were guests. They guzzled coke and gobbled hot dogs in true Yankee style.
  The largest and showiest display in the Theater was at 10th Air Force Headquarters. Before assembled British and Indian brass and officialdom, pilots demonstrated dive-bombing, rocket-bombing, low-level bombing, machine-gunning, strafing and firing of 20mm cannon from the air.
  Target planes sent aloft for the demonstration were "brought down" by ack-ack batteries.

 IBT Roundup
Vol. III   No. 45              Delhi, Thursday,  July 12, 1945              Reg. No. L5015

Old Trunk Line
Now Vital Link
By Sgt. JOHN McDOWELL   Roundup Staff Writer
  LEDO, ASSAM - I've just returned from a two-mile hike along the biggest little supply line in the India-Burma and China Theaters of Operation.
  The supply line extends through a labyrinth of tunnels nearly eight miles into the side of a jungle-matted mountain. Traffic along the line consists of chains of squat, wooden gondolas, powered by cable-drive, which carry ton after ton of coal from the depths of the primordial Assamese earth to supply the American fighting machine.
  For 70 years prior to World War II, the British worked the rich Assam coal deposits, building a rail line from Calcutta to carry the precious fuel to the outside world and bringing mining experts from the coal-producing centers of England to manage the mines and train Indian technicians.

  Today, the rail line which once hauled coal and tea from Assam and brought back civilian luxuries and everyday necessities for those whose job kept them in the jungle on the "edge of nowhere" is now the vital link in an American supply line which stretches 14,000 miles from the United States to ever-growing war depots in the interior of China.
  And the coal mines of Assam are diverting 80 percent of their production to this American supply line and to American installations. Working on a round-the-clock schedule, the mines have upped production 30 percent during the war years to an annual figure of 270,000 tons.
  The fuel powers the trains which bring war materials from the docks of Calcutta to Hump cargo plane bases in Assam or to convoy assembly depots in Ledo at the beginning of the Stilwell Road.

  It powers the Brahmaputra riverboats which carry troops and supplies up that great inland waterway to the beginning of the meter-gauge rail line in Assam. It fires the boilers which run the generators, the laundries, the ice plants in hundreds of American Army installations in India and Burma. It fires the stoves in countless G.I. kitchens.
  This was the story - the story of the supply lines that reaches into the heart of a mountain to bring fuel to a military lifeline that extends halfway around the world - that brought Sgt. Frank Shearer, Roundup photographer, and me to the grimy office of one of Assam's largest coal mines early this rain-tinged morning.
  We were met at the office by A. G. G. Maltby, general manager of the mine who greeted us with a chuckle and said, "So you want to make a trip into the mine. It's bloody hot, you know. Bloody uncomfortable. You'll sweat like bloomin' pigs."

  A South Wales coal miner with 19 years' service in Assam behind him, Maltby is as huge as the mountain he mines. This morning he was dressed in a tattered undershirt covered with an open jacket, khaki shorts, heavy boots and British Army leggings and a steel mine helmet that balanced above his large florid face like an inverted saucer.
  We followed Maltby into the main mine tunnel, stumbling along the narrow cable car tracks in the path of dim light from our small miner's lanterns. For a quarter-hour the going was easy. The tunnel was broad and high and reinforced with brick and steel and timber.
  As we got deeper into the mountain the air become more humid. Moisture dripped from the arched brick ceiling, and as our lamps cast eerie shadows in the gloom, bats stirred in dim crevices.
  The broad brick and steel-reinforced section of the tunnel ended abruptly and we entered a section scarcely five feet high where rough, blasted rock walls funneled sharply down to the edge of the tracks. Heavy timbers supported the tunnel here and as we pushed forward at an awkward crouch, we received more than one bump on the head by forgetting to duck low0hanging support beams.

  Suddenly the cable which ran up the center of the tracks became taut and started to hum. "A load of coal is coming out," Maltby said. "We'd better get clear of the tracks."
  A few yards further on we came to an indentation cut into the side of the tunnel. We crowded into the opening. The humming became louder then was replaced by an increasing clatter. Then from the black recesses of the tunnel a chain of 15 or 20 small wooden gondolas which the British call "tubs," flashed into the radius of our lamplight with their cargo of coal. An Indian miner, clinging to the last tub, blinked in the sudden light, then disappeared in the blackness which lay between us and the outside world. The clattering diminished, replaced by the humming which gradually became fainter. Then all was silent. The cable slacked. The chain of tubs had reached the unloading point outside.
  An hour after entering the tunnel we reached the marshalling yards, two miles into the mountain. Here, for the first time, we realized the magnitude of the network of rail lines necessary to bring the coal to the surface.
  From the marshalling yards, lighted by powerful lamps, tracks branch out from their converging point into a series of sub-tunnels. In each of the sub-tunnels smaller marshalling points are located in areas where jigs (connecting shafts between levels) lead up to higher levels of the mine.

  The various levels of the mine, which step up toward the top of the mountain, are connected with the main marshalling yards by cable lines which ease the loaded tubs down the steep jigs to the main yards and pull up empties to be loaded.
  Thus, the main marshalling yards is the nerve center of the mine. It is here that loaded tubs from all working sections of the mine are formed into chains of up to 25, hooked to the cable and pulled to the outside. And it is here that chains of empty tubs from the outside unloading point are broken up and dispatched to various points in the mine, ready for reloading.
  In all, the transportation network in the mine is comprised of approximately 16 miles of trackage and nearly the same amount of cable.
  Long years of working in the mine's low tunnels had formed Maltby's posture into a permanent stoop. Even when standing upright his torso, neck and head leaned forward as if he were constantly on the verge of plunging into the darkness of a low-timbered mine passageway.

Fuel Powers
River Boats 

  But Shearer and I were unconditioned to life under the earth. By the time we reached the marshalling yards we were soaked with perspiration and our legs and backs ached from walking through the low-ceilinged tunnel in an unaccustomed crouch. And we still hadn't seen a miner at work.
  But when Maltby reminded us that the going was "bloody well tougher" before we got up to the actual mining operations, we could last as long as the big Welshman.
  Maltby's prediction of "tough going" soon proved to be a choice example of British understatement. We walked along one of the sub-tunnels to a jig which led up into the mountain at a 70-degree slope. The cable leading up the jig was moving slowly and Maltby motioned us back from the jig entrance.

  "A tub's comin' down," he warned. "Sometimes the blasted cable breaks and there's bloody hell to pay. Had a man killed here last week."
  We got back. Way back. Slowly the loaded tub inched down from the jig to the mine level and rolled to a stop. Natives uncoupled the cable and hooked it onto an empty tub. One workman struck a steel gong a sharp blow. At that signal, the cable tightened and the empty tub was pulled up into the black mouth of the jig. Other natives pushed the loaded tub down the tracks toward the main marshalling yards.
  When the cable had slacked again, indicating that the tub was uncoupled at the next level, Maltby rang the gong three times. "That's a warning that we're coming up the jig," he said. "Otherwise we bloody well might find ourselves face to face with a blinkin' tub coming down."

  The jig seemed almost perpendicular. It stretched up into the mountain for more than 200 yards like a dark, narrow gopher hole. Crude steps were cut in the coal floor of the jig beside the tracks. We clawed our way up the jig, stopping every 40 or 50 yards to gasp for breath. The humid temperature of 85 degrees which we had cursed on the main mine level seemed cool in retrospect. The temperature in the jig, Maltby told us, was approximately 90. It became even hotter as we got farther into the mine.
  That was just the beginning. At the top of the jig we paused for breath, then stumbled along the timber-supported tunnel of the second level, passing through a series of iron doors which mark the midway point in the mine's ventilating system. Fresh air is drawn into the mine through the main tunnel which we had followed. Stale air passes out of the mine through another series of tunnels. Beyond the last of the iron doors, we found ourselves in the stale air portion of the ventilating system. The air was heavy and breathing was difficult. Water, tinged heavily with sulphur, lay in pools along the floor of the tunnel.

  We struggled up three more jigs, varying from 30 to 100 yards in length, before reaching the level where Bhutan miners were working a large pocket of coal. Bhutans, short, muscular men from India's north frontier country, and Nepalese make up the majority of the mine's 2,000 native workers. Their pay is two rupees per nine hour work day.

Miner's Ages
Average 26  

  Average age of the miners is 26, although some of the sirdars (mine superintendents) have spent most of their lives in this one mine. The four head sirdars have spent an aggregate of 130 years in the mine. Mussa, a white-haired, gnome-like old man is the veteran with 40 years service. Pahala has spent 34 years in the mine and Kesoo and kali Bose have records of 30 and 26 years respectively.
  We had to crawl on all fours up a narrow tunnel, know as a chauri, to reach the pocket where the miners were at work. The pocket was approximately 50 yards in diameter and the ceiling was better than 30 feet high. The coal, Maltby explained, is blasted off the walls and ceiling of these pockets with charges of dynamite. Some pockets are as large as 75 to 100 yards in diameter with 100-foot ceilings.
  As we stood on the edge of the pocket, watching the Bhutans work the coal in the light of two giant lamps, a trickle of coal dust sifted down from the high ceiling. "Cabadar!" one of the miners shouted. In an instant the miners scattered to the edges of the pocket and in their wake a shower of coal thundered down from the ceiling and echoed in the silence as it fell where the miners had been working.

  "Could have been damn well serious," Maltby said when the excitement died down. "Good thing these miners develop an uncanny instinct. When the one Bhutan saw the dust filtering from the ceiling he knew what was coming and shouted the warning - cabadar, which means 'clear the bloody hell out.'"
  The trip back was fast and comparatively easy. Leaving the 98 degree heat of the coal pocket, we picked our way cautiously down jigs which had been closed to rail traffic two weeks earlier by a series of cave-ins. In places we had to squeeze through narrow spaces between collapsed timbers. When we reached the main level, Maltby said, "I brought you back that way so you could see one of the mine's danger areas."
  It may have been a danger area, but it was a short-cut. We didn't complain.
  We rode back from the main marshalling yards to the outside world in empty tubs. It was a weird trip. Crouching low in the tubs so our heads would clear the low ceiling and timbers of the tunnel, we trained our lamps on the sides and ceiling of the passageway. The chain of tubs clattered down the tracks at eight miles per hour, but in the close confines of the tunnel it seemed as if we were careening along at a mile a minute at least.

  Suddenly pale traces of daylight drowned the light from our lamps and then we were on the outside, half-blinded in the unaccustomed light of day.
  The chain of tubs left the jungled mountain behind. We passed a large corrugated iron factory building where small coal (coal dust) is mixed with pitch, lime and spoiled rice and molded into brickets which are utilized as fuel by Army installations. We passed tattooed Bengalese women shoveling coal or carrying it in large baskets on their heads. Then we came to a stop at the unloading shed where the newly-mined coal was dumped from the tubs onto conveyor belts.
  As the coal passed down the long conveyor belts, Indian women picked out the slag. The coal was then sifted and loaded into large railway cars, ready for delivery to the United States Army.

In the picture above left is shown the completely wrecked bridge near Warazup, Burma, after a record monsoon flood of the South Hogaung River lashed over Stilwell Highway. Working with speed and efficiency, Engineers erected a temporary ponton bridge and reopened the Road for traffic to China. Ponton floats used in the bridge are shown on right.


  The India-Burma Theater Replacement Service announced the following figures for the month of June on returnees to the United States.
  On redeployment or points a total of 2,370. Of this figure, 2,032 were enlisted men and 338 officers. One thousand eight hundred and forty-one had already left the Theater as of July 9.
  On Temporary Duty or furlough a total of 137. Forty were officers and 97 enlisted men.
  On Rotation, 1,175. Officers numbered 198 and enlisted men 917.
Uncle Joe Says Issue Settled

  OKINAWA - (UP) - Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell told his troops of the 10th Army on Okinawa this week that the issue in the Pacific is no longer in doubt and "I hope and trust to see you all back where you want to be next July 4."
  In his first candid talk to his men since taking command after Lt. Gen. Simon Buckner was killed, Uncle Joe said, "The harder we pour it on now, the sooner we'll all get home.
  "This has been a tough fight. Nobody but the men who have fought in it can possibly realize just how tough. It has also been a very satisfactory fight, but no one who wasn't in it can possibly feel the same satisfaction as the men who were.
  "That's where the soldier has it all over the rest of the world. He belongs to a select group which has had a first-hand knowledge of war.
  "For that reason I'm not going to wave my arms around and get off a lot of baloney about your heroic deeds and glorious victories and what not. You'd just say 'Horsefeathers,' or worse, and shut off your radios.
  "All I want to do is remind you of the satisfaction you all feel. You've stood up to your work and done in your time what all real Americans found the guts to do in our past wars from Revolution on."

Commercial Radio Plug Featured Even On Armed Forces Stations
  By SGT. ART HEENAN   Roundup Staff Writer
  Radio executive and advertising agencies need have few worries that when the millions of overseas servicemen return home they will disgustedly turn off commercial plugs, with the comment that they have grown used to hearing the best of programs without having to listen to an announcer tell of the benefits of Nine Star Headache tablets.
  At least that is the opinion of Theater Radio Officer Lt. Robert F. Black, who heads the India-Burma network of the U.S. Armed Forces Radio stations.
Here are some of the radio wallahs at VU2ZY, New Delhi. From left to right: Betty Barr of ARC, Pvt. Bob Greene, S/Sgt. Mike Meshekow. In the rear are script writer T/5 Jack Krutscher and Cpl. Jim Davis.  They are rehearsing a show entitled, "How Can a G.I. Get a Date With a Red Cross Gal On Off-Duty Hours?"

The U.S. Armed Forces radio station at Myitkyina, Halfway House, is located in an old Buddhist Temple.  Set up at a time when the Japanese were still active around Myitkyina, it started broadcasting while the odor of combat still lingered over the town.  From left to right, Pfc. Max C. Fink, T/5 Lloyd C. Webster, Lt. Alvin J. Davis and T/5 Charles R. Purnell.

  Black explains it very logically. "Actually on our programs we devote almost as much time to commercial plugs as is inserted back in the States. But instead of telling the virtues of a cough medicine or some other product, we advertise Army objectives, like conservation, savings, preventive medicine, CIC and USAFI. So you see, although the soldier may not know it or be conscious of it, he's still getting his advertisements along with his entertainment."

  The India-Burma network has expanded to 16 stations. From Karachi, the chain includes Delhi, Agra, Calcutta, Lamanirhat, Bangalore, Gaya, Tezgaon, Jorhat, Misamari, Kandy, Ledo, Chabua, Shingbwiyang, Myitkyina and Bhamo. This network has grown from the original station, started at Delhi, Mar. 21, 1944.
  Although it is called a network, actually it is one by courtesy only, since a network implies connected units, all capable of carrying the same program at the same time over leased wires. The India-Burma network gets around this angle by recording programs in advance; for example, a speech by the Theater Commander, and having all the stations broadcast it at the same time.
  There has been at least one time when some of the stations did function as a network. As explained by S/Sgt. Mike Meshekow, who is program and distribution supervisor for the Theater, a line was hooked up to include all stations between Calcutta and Bhamo, and a report of the recent Calcutta fights card broadcast to the advanced areas.

  Men well known in radio civilian life are now over here, giving their all to the G.I.'s through the courtesy of Selective Service. Among them are Pvts. Bob Greene, well known with CBS before the war as a newscaster on the West Coast, James W. Woodruff, and Les Damon.
  Greene is probably the outstanding announcer over here. He is kept in Delhi as a show piece for the Allied brass hats, who are constantly complimenting the Army Radio station on his ability. Sometimes Greene wistfully sighs he would like to have a chance at doing some broadcasting in other spots, but he's such a good museum curio he has as much chance of getting out of Delhi as I have of getting out of the Army.
  Woodruff owns a supervising interest in three radio stations in Georgia, located respectively at Columbia, Atlanta, and Albany. He is Facetiously known among the radio boys as "Chief Wallah of the Georgia Chain Gang." Woodruff is stationed as program director at Karachi.

  The third T/O victim is Damon, who was best known for his characterization of "The Thin Man" over networks in the states. He is now sweating it out in Burma.
  We don't want to miss mentioning one of the radio pioneers over here, S/Sgt. Chuck Whittier. "Ole Chuck" as he is known to the boys in the back room, had just returned to Delhi after setting up the Myitkyina station at a time when the boys were still ducking into foxholes from Jap nuisance raids.
  "Ole Chuck" immediately had to put his frazzled nerves on the air to re-broadcast a baseball game. He was cracking his ruler imitating batting practice and going to town in good style on preliminary announcements when he went into a dramatic version of how the mayor had thrown out the first ball.

  Not knowing the name of the mayor, he had looked it up in the World Almanac, which was not a recent edition. So he told with many a verbal flourish, how His Honor had astonished the masses for the ninth time, by whipping over a ball that had fairly burned the ozone. Whittier didn't know it, but that particular mayor had been dead for a year, victim of a glider crash. But he heard about it later from indignant natives of that particular city.
  There are many others, enlisted men and officers alike, who are keeping the airwaves loaded with music, news and drama from home. The programs are the cream of the radio talent back in the States and are shipped over here in record form for distribution throughout the Theater.
  Being curious about just what programs are best-liked, we queried Maj. P. D. Guernsey, head of the Theater Research Unit. This unit recently conducted a Theater-wide poll of a representative cross-section to find
TypeMuch TimeNo Time
News Broadcasts
Sweet Popular
Dance Music
Hot Jive and
Swing Music
Sports Broadcasts48%5%
Drama and Radio Plays25%17%
Religious Music21%9%
Concert and
Classical Music
Western or Hill
Billy Music
just what the I-B soldier liked best on the radio and what he regarded as stinkers.
  News broadcasts rated first. Then came in respective order sweet, popular dance music; hot jive and swing music; sports broadcasts; drama and radio plays; religious music; concert and classical music; and last, western or hillbilly music.
  Breaking the figures down, we find that 78% of the men polled stated news broadcasts "should get a lot of time." Only two percent said news should get no time at all.

  To eliminate a lot of verbiage, we will show you how one phase of the poll was conducted. Then you can see how the majority of your neighbors think about radio programs in general. First column shows type of program, second column shows percentage saying each type of program should get a lot of time, and third column shows percentage saying each type of program should get no time at all.

Nurse ‘Eavesdrops’

  1351st AAFBU - M/Sgt. Fred Friendly, the only G.I. correspondent from India-Burma to cover the European war, gave a 45-minute talk about his experiences to the G.I.'s at this Bengal Wing Headquarters base.
  Among other things, he told several lusty stories about Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. Before relating one of them he asked, "Are there any women in the audience?"
  No answer.
  So he went ahead with the tale of how Patton had stopped in the middle of a Rhine River bridge, and while 75,000 G.I.'s watched, answered one of nature's calls.
  The story brought a roar of laughter. But among the low male tones could be heard a loud and high feminine one. The laughter stopped abruptly, and all eyes turned to a corner of the outdoor theater where an Army nurse sat camouflaged in a pair of slacks and a G.I. shirt, shrinking back in her chair.


  Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Pick, builder of the Stilwell Road, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by Lt. Gen. R. A. Wheeler, commanding general of the India-Burma Theater, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service as commanding general in charge of construction of the all-weather road to China.
  Pick received the award during a brief stop-over at India-Burma Theater Headquarters enroute to resume command of Advance Section headquarters in Ledo after a short leave in the United States.


  WASHINGTON - (ANS) - Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan, former India-Burma Theater Commander, was nominated by President Truman this week for Inspector General of the Army with permanent rank of major general.
Col. Harold Donnelly New I-B Chief Of Staff

  New Deputy Chief of Staff of the India-Burma Theater is Col. Harold C. Donnelly, according to an announcement this week by Theater Commander Lt. Gen. R. A. Wheeler.
  Donnelly succeeds Col. Dean Rusk, who has returned to the United States.
  The new Deputy Chief of Staff was executive officer to Wheeler in his capacity as Principal Administrative Officer at SEAC.
  He came to this Theater in May, 1944, being a member of the Planning Section of Delhi Headquarters until he moved to SEAC in December, 1944.

Former Mars Soldier Presented With DSC For Burma Heroism

  CALCUTTA - Cpl. Pierce W. Moore, Trafford, Ala., was presented with the Distinguished Service Cross last week at Camp Kanchrapara for "Extraordinary heroism" in leading a squad which knocked out two Japanese machine gun pillboxes.
  The modest, 20-year-old Alabaman was a member of the 124th Cavalry unit serving with Mars Task Force, and was leading a patrol squad of a combat platoon on February 4 when ambushed. The Japs opened fire with mortar and grenades on a hillside, bracketing the squad with shrapnel.
  Seriously wounded and torn by shrapnel about the face and legs, Moore disregarded his wounds and personally led his squad in attacks on two machine gun pillboxes, knocking them out. This action enabled the platoon to make an orderly withdrawal.


  ALONG THE STILWELL ROAD - In building the ABC section (Assam-Burma-China) of the world's longest military pipeline, some of the world's most difficult terrain was encountered and conquered. And one of the most difficult problems was putting the pipe over deep gorges and turbulent mountain streams.
  Pipe was submerged in the rapids of wide rivers, and on many occasions Engineers dug ditches and bent pipe to fit the rugged contour. But the most favorable method of spanning a difficult chasm was on relatively small suspension bridges or suspended cables.
  Most spectacular suspension on the entire pipeline from India to China is that over the Salween River gorge, where the elevation drops from 7,400 feet to 2,500 feet in less than a horizontal mile. Pipeline Engineers bridged this angry stream before any of the regular supplies for the job reached them.
  As soon as the Salween was cleared of Japanese and before the Stilwell Road was freed, Pipeline Engineers began work on the span over the gorge.
  Welders cut steel armor plate from burned-out Jap tanks along the road. Trucks were cannibalized and the parts put to use. Cable was taken off bombed-out bridges. In spanning the Salween with pipe, not a single piece of equipment was used that came from the States.
  While excavation for anchorage and pillow blocks was going on, welders were busy building framework from heavy-weight pipe to form the anchorage cable connection. Chutes 800 feet long were built from old oil drums which had been left along the road. Gravel and cement were trucked in to form a stockpile.
  When the scaffolding and excavation were completed, crews started pouring concrete, 30 tons in each anchorage and eight tons in each pillow block. To avoid pumping water up from the river, it was piped down from a nearby mountain stream. Soon Engineers began actual construction of the suspension bridge.
  Over 1,700 feet of 17/16-inch cable was recovered from wrecked bridges. A rope was carried across an old Burma Road bridge and dragged up both banks to the suspension site. The big cable was fastened on and pulled across.
  A footbridge was prefabricated in sections on one side of the river and put across on Pendants made by unwinding the heavy cable. Pipe from the line was used to send air from the compressor to operate jack hammers and saws.

  At either end of the suspension bridge, wheels from Jap tanks were mounted on rails to allow for maximum expansion and contraction of the bridge due to changing temperature. The 600-foot bridge will easily take a 75 mile an hour wind, and is so anchored that up-and-down wind currents will not affect it.
  More than two and a half miles of cable were used in the suspension. The load on the main cables was calculated at four tons, but the tensile load runs to 25 tons. Total weight of the bridge, exclusive of anchorage, is about 25 tons. The discrepancy is in the pull on individual cables.
  Double expansion loops were set in heavy concrete to eliminate the possibility of the pipe shifting down the mountainside. Engineers estimated a 44-foot sag in the suspension, and, upon completion of the bridge, found their estimate correct within inches.

  The Salween River crossing is perhaps the outstanding suspension job on the entire pipeline, but there are others almost as remarkable. For every regular crossing, the Engineers built an emergency crossing.
  In many places pipe is suspended on cables over the twisting Stilwell Road, which the pipeline generally follows. Many miles of pipeline are suspended in the mountains along the way.
  Suspensions are usually easy to build, but much care goes into the work because of the difficulty in repairing a leak in a faulty suspension. Anchorages are sunk and H-frames built. Cable with adjusting mechanism is installed, and allowance is made for cable sag. Pipe is coupled from one side and slid out under the cable as it is coupled. By using this method, less strain is put on the pipe, work is speeded, and maximum utilization of the line is assured.

  Many times it was necessary to build cable trolleys to get pipe and supplies into otherwise inaccessible spots in the jungle or over streams which parallel the road. Cable was anchored to a tree at the receiving end and to a weighted truck at the other.
  Pipeline Engineers have used their ingenuity and initiative as thoroughly and completely as any other groups of Americans in the Far East to build the line which is now sending an endless stream of vital gasoline to the Chinese.

Air Corps Major Idly Awaits Passage Home
 Roundup Staff Article

  Among the 10th Air Force wallahs it is highly doubtful which is the better known story, that of Maj. George E. Williams or the crashing, smashing glorious finale of Little Audrey.
  We can't tell you the Little Audrey yarn, for the chaplain would probably raise hell, but we can and will tell you the sad history of "Hard Luck" or "Good Luck" Williams, depending on whether you look at it from your own or his attitude.
  Said Williams is Quartermaster for the 10th, and scheduled to return shortly to the States. He is currently trying to avoid flying Stateside, so before we begin the sad saga of Williams, if anyone knows of a nice, comfortable boat with a fearless skipper who doesn't ask questions, please inform the major.
  Williams, according to the 10th AF PRO, is an affable soul, healthy as anyone can be who has sweated out about two years over here and is a moderately happy-go-lucky Air Corps wallah. Unfortunately there is no one in the entire 10th who will knowingly ride in a plane with him.
  Shortly after his arrival in the then CBI Theater the major had to be piloted to the Arakan. He arrived safely. On the takeoff the B-25 failed to rise fast enough and after hitting a tree the only part left intact was the fuselage which skidded along the ground to a dead stop amidst a huge puddle of gasoline.

  The gasoline failed to ignite and out stepped William and the entire crew - unscratched.
  Williams then entered into the full stride of his "accident" career. Included were several L-5 crackups, getting lost while flying less than 50 miles over flat country on a perfectly clear day, another B-25 mishap and an episode in a C-46 over The Hump.
  It was the second B-25 adventure which soured Williams' associates on flying with him anywhere for any known reason. After completing a tour of Burma bases, he had to be flown back over the little hump into India. The B-25 took off without incident and the plane flew towards the tricky Ledo Pass. But before crossing over into India, Williams found he could get off at a Burma strip just this side of the Burma side of the pass and complete his business.

  Our hero was safely deposited on terra firma and gaily waived goodbye to the B-25 crew as they headed for India. The plane was never heard of again.
  Williams' final air chapter came on a C-46 trip over The Hump. Unable to hold his altitude, the pilot ordered the passengers to bail out. Williams was number two in the parachute line. As number one stood hesitating to gather his courage before leaping, the pilot suddenly changed his mind and decided he could hold the plane in the air.
  Williams, keeping his parachute on and gloomily reflecting that he would probably have to jump anyway, "sweated out" the rest of the trip until the plane put its wheels down. "Well, we made it," commented the pilot, with a grim look at the dejected Williams.
  So Williams is now awaiting transportation back to the States. And all things come to him who waits. Or do they?

Music Features From Calcutta To Myitkyina

  CALCUTTA - Music - military classical, and modern jive - is brought to the ears of thousands of troops each month working the heavily ladened supply lines in the India-Burma Theater by the Base Section military band.
  Realizing the necessity for hard laboring troops needing relaxation to keep minds from going stagnant, the Base Section band was organized in March, 1944, with that purpose in mind. Strictly an enlisted man's organization, with no officer in charge of the unit, the band was formed with personnel from nearby Calcutta installations.
  S/Sgt. Peter T. Kestler of New York City, affiliated with the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, whose background found him working with some of the leading dance bands, became director of the base band early in October, 1944.

  A typical report of the band's activities includes these particulars for an average working month: total jobs completed, 106; total troops involved, 60,400; miles traveled, 2,489; total job hours, 271; total rehearsal hours, 41. This, when summed up, shows that the band is working better than 300 hours or better than ten hours per day per month.
  Within the band organization immediately was founded the popular Jive Bombers. The Jive Bombers was organized from band members and can be found any night of the week, somewhere in the Theater, playing for unit parties and dances.
  Also under band supervision was organized the Syncopaters, another 14-piece unit, consisting of all band members. The Syncopaters, under the direction of Cpl. Charles Carey, Wilmington, Ohio, likewise play for unit parties and dances, relieving the Jive Bombers of their heavy laden.

  Up at Ledo is another well-known band directed by WO Ed Lewis. This outfit is familiar in the forward areas, having played from Myitkyina to Ledo for audiences which averaged 3,000. Lewis is currently denying that he has in his repertoire such a number as "Take It Easy," which a Roundup reporter said was played by Lewis musicians at a boxing show in Calcutta. However, he has plenty of other numbers as evidenced by the fact his outfit received six encores.

Souvenirs Need Clearance, Too

  KARACHI - The troops are pouring through this west-Indian aerial port of debarkation on the way to the United States in accordance with the redeployment plan. And with the influx of Servicemen through the Air Transport Command station come souvenir troubles.
  It seems the boys in the brambles are bent on carrying home most of the remnants of the Jap Burma Army. Although the men go through hell and high water to get the Nip bayonets, flags, hand grenades, banana-bombs, rifles and birth control devices, most of them don't take the trouble to get proper release for the stuff from I-B.
  Intelligence and Security here has a sizeable stock pile of enemy equipment - confiscated from officers and G.I.'s who failed to get an Intelligence clearance plus a certificate of retention from their commanding officer.
  The simple expedient of clearing the last post will insure an easy tour through baggage inspection for Stateside-bound soldiers according to ATC authorities.

Hard-Working Troops Turning Out Acetylene

  ALONG THE STILWELL ROAD - There is one detachment along this famous Road which literally has been drawing critically needed supplies out of the thin air for the past year. It is the 21-man detachment of the 1037 Engineer gas generating unit which has manufactured practically all of the oxygen and acetylene used by hospitals and Engineers engaged in opening the overland supply route to China.
  Since July, 1944, the detachment has been on a 24-hour per day seven day per week work schedule, and has turned out over 17,000 cylinders of oxygen and 8,000 cylinders of acetylene.
  Most of the men of the unit had been in the Army less than 10 days when they were chosen to take special training at Fort Belvoir. Since that time they have trained, lived, and worked together, supplying products to the Ledo Road builders.
  "From the time we got our equipment, we've had our troubles," said boyish Lt. Russell A. Meussner, Pittsburgh, Pa., detachment commander. "The plants were so unique that most of the Army never had heard of them. There were no spare parts and only a very few parts from other pieces of equipment could be adapted to our needs. We improvised, we scoured scrap heaps, and we set the maintenance shops crazy manufacturing substitute parts for us.
  "Engines and compressors overheated in the mid-monsoon heat, valves burned up, generators failed, high pressure pipes cracked. In general, we've had a helluva time," he wailed.
  A smile brightened his face as he continued. "However, we managed to keep the plant running, always meeting the increased demands for oxygen and acetylene. At times we were down to less than 100 cylinders of oxygen, which is our minimum reserve for hospitals. The fellows in this unit just can't be beat. They have performed miracles to keep the machinery going."
  The men are almost fiercely proud of the work they have done during the past year. "Things don't always go smoothly," explained T/Sgt. Melvin Shapiro, Cincinnati, plant foreman. "We have to work shift work. The machines have hardly been shut down for over a year. It gets awfully hot working around them, and the continual roar gets on the men's nerves. Some of them have lost 20 pounds since we've been operating. But we've always been able to supply the hospitals and units along the road."

STRICTLY G.I.              By Ehret

  During the scrub typhus epidemic along the Road in 1944, the hospital need for oxygen was so great that the heavy cylinders had to be sent by air to evacuation hospitals in forward areas.
  Men working in the oxygen plant have developed an anti-oil complex that is easily understood. Although there never has been an explosion at this unit's plant, the men know of many explosions in similar plants in the States and in Europe, and are aware of the constant danger.
  S/Sgt. Paul Skoda, Bronx, N.Y., explained that users of oxygen and acetylene could do much to make the "gas eater's" work less hazardous. "Many users of oxygen for welding and breathing return empty cylinders to us in an oil soaked truck and wonder why we shudder.
  "If we try to fill a cylinder which has oil on the valve or down in the inside of the cylinder, we are just taking out papers on a 6x3 plot of Indian ground. Naturally we don't fill them, which means deadlining cylinders, and that amounts to a smaller stock of cylinders for the entire Assam-Burma area.
  "One bad habit our customers have," Skoda continued, "is to try to get the last hiss of oxygen out of the cylinder when they are welding. The result is that the pressure in the acetylene line exceeds that in the oxygen line, and the acetylene ends up in the oxygen cylinder. If such a contaminated cylinder is hooked to the oxygen filling line in our plant we would have to order a personnel replacement (in grade, of course), a new cylinder, and take time out to repair the plant."
  "Our safety records equals our production records," said S/Sgt. Victor Coscia, another Bronx man. "Everything around here is tops. We work hard, no one gets hurt or praised or furloughs. They told us that we could go home just as soon as we get all of the oxygen out of the air up here. That's why we work so hard."

Has 114 Points; Loses Coin Flip, So Stays In I-B

  HQ., 10TH AIR FORCE - Nomination of Sgt. Dewey Hornbuckle, 26, Lawrenceville, Ga., as the saddest sack in India-Burma has been confirmed by his buddies and is hereby made a matter of record.
  The sergeant, a member of an Air Cargo Resupply squadron of the 10th Air Force, is a single man with one lowly battle star, yet he piled up the fair sum of 114 points toward that beautiful white paper. He got them the hard way - by 53 months of overseas service out of a possible 56 between the official dates of the Demobilization Plan. His overseas time began before September 16, 1941, and it looks now as though it will continue for some months to come.
  One little anna - worth two cents - was the cause of it all. Cpl. Johnny Husoveck, Pittsburgh, Pa., now enroute to Uncle Sugar, was an accessory before, during and after the fact, with an almost identical record. He had the same number of points. Both men were classified as air supply technicians; both were in the same squadron. Only one man could be released.
  Hornbuckle enlisted March 27, 1940, and Husoveck on April 18th. They were shipped to Panama where they served for 40 months with the 14th Infantry before volunteering for Merrill's Marauders.
  They began the march on Myitkyina in the same battalion. Hornbuckle became ill after 90 miles and had to be evacuated. After recuperating, he was assigned to Air Cargo Resupply. Huseveck stayed with the Marauders a little longer. He was evacuated after the battle for Naphunga Hill and eventually wound up in the same squadron as Hornbuckle.
  V-E Day found the men still together. They had the highest number of points in their outfit. One was eligible to go home, the other wasn't. Their C.O. couldn't make the decision but the men themselves could. They tossed a coin.
  It came down tails. That's why Hornbuckle, sitting and waiting for his replacement, is the butt of the story.

Oldest AF Character Turns Out Britisher

  HQ., NORTH BURMA AIR TASK FORCE - He is the oldest member of the 10th Air Force, having served three years both in the headquarters of the 10th and its units; he has been in service for more than five years, four and a half of which have been spent overseas, both in North Africa and the India-Burma theaters; but he is not a member of the USAAF nor does he wear an American uniform. He is Squadron Leader W. B. page, of the RAF, serving as liaison officer with headquarters of Brig. Gen. A. H. Gilkeson's North Burma Air Task Force, a 10th Air Force combat unit.
  Page's long tour with the 10th began just three years ago when he worked with the Seventh Bombardment Group. From there it was a jump to the original India Air Task Force, under Brig. Gen. Caleb V. Hayes and then to the headquarters of the 10th under the command of Maj. Gen. Howard C. Davidson.
  Page is a natural for the job of liaison between the USAAF and the RAF. Although born and raised in England he lived in New Jersey and worked in New York City prior to entering the British forces five years ago.

By SGT. CHARLES CLARK   Roundup Staff Writer

  Five Malaria Control outfits in the I-B Theater were recently commended by Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan for their "outstanding performance of anti-malaria work in the Northern Combat Area Command," which aided considerably in the success of the North Burma Campaign and the opening of the Stilwell Highway. The efficient bug-beaters were: 18th Malaria Survey Unit and the 73rd, 49th, 46th and 45th Malaria Control Units. The areas in which these units worked were described as "the most malarious in the world and yet malaria has been reduced to a fraction of predicted rates."
  Seventh Bombardment Group's newest captain also holds the distinction of being its youngest two-bar wearer. He is 20-year-old Joe A. White, a veteran of 18 months with the famous Seventh. The beardless youth received his initial commission at Yale University OCS at the age of 18.
  The morale problem in Karachi has dwindled to almost nil with the recent invasion of 100 American WAC's at that India port. The 1306 AAF Base Unit, where the gals will replace G.I.'s in various clerical posts, now resembles a Stateside college campus, with hims and hers arm-in-arming about the company streets.
  Latest - and best, we think - Yankee ingenuity story comes this week from The Dragon, base news sheet for APO 489 (Misamari, India), which chronicled a Goldbergian invention of Sgt. Hank Woike and Pfc. Bill Mondadori, two instrument repairmen with time on their hands. Their invention is a practical device called an "altimeter warning system" and works like so: When a plane is 1,000 feet over the runway, a bell rings, lights light and a horn blows, indicating that it's time to lower landing gear. Then if the pilot makes a good landing, an arm reaches out and pats him on the back, while a cigar pops out of the instrument panel. If the landing is a bit bumpy, however, a tack comes out of the seat, penetrating the nether regions of the pilot. The "doozer" is still on paper.
  Quite a number of complaints have reached us lately concerning radio receiving sets (the RR-100) being issued various units by the Information and Education Section. The fellows - chiefly in the Assam-Burma sector - say that the dern things just won't work. Reception is bad. Lt. R. L. Black, the Master's Voice of I-BT, has a remedy for this trouble. Although the G.I. sets have internal antenna, he says, they still require an outside aerial. This done, reception is excellent.
  If one man's opinion is worth anything, then Pfc. Irv Koons has finally done the almost impossible: getting a good bargain out of an Indian merchant. Koons, an artist, several weeks ago paid a local vendor Rs. 30 for an old weather-worn painting that caught his fancy. He had it carefully packed away and almost forgotten until an Indian friend one day asked to see it. Koons was more than a little surprised when his friend translated an inscription on the painting to read: "This painting of 10 incarnations of Lord was prepared with love and devotion for Pannalal. Completed on Magh Sudi Sumbat 1140." The year listed corresponds to 1093 on our calendar. The inscription was written in Urdu Shikasta Nastilik, an almost extinct language. Though Koons puts scant hope in it, if the inscription is authentic, he may have a very costly painting on his hands.

G.I. Intentions Good,
But Resolve Fades

  The Poor Man's Karl Peterson
  Frankly, chums, my command of Hindustani, like that of most G.I.'s, stinks. Figuratively speaking (and who isn't avidly discussing figures these days, what with Betty Grable, the Point System and war-time rationing?) it is redolent with the bouquet of ripe old Camembert.
  If you will consent to wander down this rocky literary path with Osmosis, he'll lead you along a thoroughfare that starts out paved with beautiful intentions and winds up in a cul de sac of indolence, indifference and frustration.
  The good intention was to learn Hindustani. Like all G.I.'s newly arrived in the India-Burma Theater, old Os followed the familiar pattern of vowing to master the language most popular of the varied Indian tongues. No procrastinator, he. By Shiva's beard, he would wrestle with the intricacies of Hindustani, throw it to the linguistic mat and soon converse with the assurance of a native.
  Today, the pocket copy of the English to Hindustani Dictionary he purchased at the book stall gathers dust forlornly at the bottom of his foot locker, and the only parties to show a gain in the transaction were the dealer, the Educational Publishing Co., Karachi, author A. T. Shahani and the termite who has masticated his way, after hard going, through to page 13, approaches through area.
  With right good humor, we place with the resident British the censure for undermining our collective resolve. With an understandable desire for the creature comforts, the Men of Empire and their memsahibs taught the mother tongue to Indians, from bahras (servants) to dukandars (shopkeepers).
  When the Yank in the Orient discovered that, thanks to the British influence, the possession of only a smattering of Indian patois would enable him to arrive at the correct destination by tonga, to order tea and cakes and to send his clothes to the fraying indignities suffered at the hands of the dhobi, he gradually became a stranger to his Hindustani lessons. After all, he reasoned, it was more profitable for the 400,000,000 inhabitants of Mother India to learn English than himself.
  As a matter of fact, the elegant Oxford diction of a number of Indians with whom old Os' has come in contact would delight a purist in linguistics. How slovenly by comparison the lazy, deep-dish Southern accent, the incredible Brooklyn jargonese, the nasal Mid-Western twang. We shudder at the prospect of American colloquialisms corrupting the classic flowing beauty of such oral expression.
  On a piquant occasion early in old Os' tenure as an I-B Commando, he chanced upon an Indian tea shop tucked away in the hills. His now discarded dictionary (Rs. 3, as. 4 - controlled price) in hand he thumbed laboriously through the pages, stumbling a bit, but game as a pebble. Asking for chae, malai and chini, he sat back, well satisfied.
  The be-turbanned waiter burst the bubble with:
  "We've got sugar sir, but you'll have to do without cream in your tea; the cow went AWOL yesterday and we haven't found her yet."
  It was but a natural step, of course, for the servant class to learn to "forget" its knowledge of English when convenient.
  For instance, Chotta Lai, my good and slothful bahra, simply doesn't malum when I demand the change coming from a five rupee note after he has purchased two cinema tickets costing Rs. 2 each.
  With innocent brown eyes, he fails to comprehend the simple request, jaldi, for the Rs. 1 owed his sahib.
  It is strictly a losing battle to pry the change from the unscrupulous charlatan. You might just as well attempt to explain the Einstein Theory of Relativity to a Hottentot as to make him understand that you desire your rupee to love, cherish and sink in your wallet.
  Best consider such money lost, chum, and spare your blood pressure.
  Nor can your bahra grasp your meaning without considerable palaver when you ask him to perform an onerous chore.
  But just tell him to knock off for the day - or even think about it - and if you rubbed a magic lantern you couldn't produce a disappearing act with such startling alacrity.
  Ah, India.

The Roundup is a weekly newspaper of the United States Forces, published by and for the men in Burma and India, from news and pictures supplied by staff members, soldier correspondents, Army News Service and United Press. The Roundup is published Thursday of each week and is printed by The Statesman in New Delhi and Calcutta, India. Editorial matter should be sent directly to Capt. Floyd Walter, Hq., U.S.F., I.B.T., APO 885, New York, N.Y., and should arrive not later than Saturday in order to be included in that week's issue. Pictures must arrive by Friday and must be negatives or enlargements. Stories should contain full name and organization of sender. Complaints about circulation should be sent directly to Lt. Drexel Nixon, Base Section APO 465, New York, N.Y. Units on the mailing list should make notification of any major change in personnel strength or any change of APO.

JULY 12, 1945  

Original issue of India-Burma Theater Roundup shared by Hal Baker

Copyright © 2009 Carl Warren Weidenburner