CBI Roundup
VOL. I        NO. 44        REG NO. L5015        DELHI,  THURSDAY                                             JULY  15,  1943.

Our excuse - as if we need one - for publishing this picture as the Roundup's cheesecake presentation this week is the fact that Jane Russell has been named the "Ideal Bivouac Girl" by the Wolf Call, newspaper of the 412th Armored Field Artillery Battalion.


    India saw relief from freezing weather as the temperature jumped to five degrees above zero in Delhi and three above in Calcutta and Bombay. However, snow storms everywhere raged unabated in fury and, throughout the country, snow plows battled valiantly to clear roads for traffic. Motorists complained of a scarcity of chains for their tires. Hospitals reported they were jam-packed with cases of frostbite. Shipments of heating equipment which reached India ports today were expected to alleviate conditions in large cities.
THE WEATHERTemp MaxTemp MinSnowfall (Inches)
Allahabad-3-13     5
Cawnpore  1-10     3
Delhi  5 -4     4
Dehra Dun13  2     5
Jacobabad-5-15     6
Karachi  3-10     3
Lahore  5 -7     2
Lucknow23 12     7
Peshawar  3 -6     5
Simla3423     4
Bombay  3 -8     2
Calcutta  3 -5     3

Legion Of Merit Goes To Chiang From President

  CHUNGKING - Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, China's war-wise military leader, today wore the Legion of Merit in the degree of Chief Commander, a conspicuous honor awarded him by President Roosevelt. The presentation was made during a stirring ceremony by Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General of the C.B.I. Theater, who brought the award from his recent Washington visit.
  The Gissimo was honored for "Extraordinary fidelity and exceptionally meritorious conduct in performing outstanding services while in position of highest responsibility as Generalissimo and Supreme Commander in China, while engaged in a great war as a champion of liberty and freedom against the common enemies of the United Nations."
  In a small room, amid swirling fans, Stilwell read the full citation in Chinese, which he speaks perfectly, and then pinned the handsomely-emblazoned gold medal on the Generalissimo's left breast. Following this, Stilwell bestowed different degrees of the Legion of Merit on top-ranking Chinese military men. The degree of Commander went to Gen. Ho Ying Chin, Minister of War and Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo, and to Gen. Shiang Chen, Chief of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the National Military Council.
  The degree of Officer went to Gen. Yu Ta Wei, Chief of Ordnance in the Chinese Army and who is
Chiang Kai-shek
responsible for China's ingenious, persistent ordnance industry located in enormous caves as a safeguard against air raids.
  After each presentation, Stilwell, who was dressed in a United States' summer khaki shirt, trousers and tie, made a brief Chinese bow.
  The Legion of Merit was presented in "accordance with the order issued by Gen. George Washington at his headquarters at Newburg, N.Y., on Aug. 7, 1782, and pursuant to an Act of Congress."
  Madame Chiang, only woman official guest, made her first public appearance since her return to Chungking. Beautifully dressed in a flowered gown, wearing a diamond necklace and cooling herself with an exquisite fan, she looked radiant in the gathering of ministers, U.S. and Chinese military guests.
  The afternoon's formal exercises climaxed Chungking's observance of the sixth anniversary of the war with Japan. The whole city was decorated with Chinese flags. The Generalissimo and all Chinese officers dressed in full brown uniform, white gloves and dress swords. All the ministers dressed in Western clothing, except Chow Tsungyo, elderly, white-bearded Minister of the Interior, who wore the traditional blue gown and black blouse of the Chinese scholar.

  Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault, commander of the 14th Air Force, in a speech before the assembled officers and men of his air force, expressed the hope that "during the next year you men will fly over Japan itself before the first firecracker explodes on July 4, 1944."
  After paying tribute to the past year's record of the 14th Air Force, Chennault addressed the new arrivals to his command: "In your hands, and the hands of older, more experienced men with you, you hold the future of the 14th Air Force. When we meet July 4 next year at this base or some base much closer to Hirohito's palace, I know the record of the 14th Air Force will be greater and our numbers many times larger."

Combat-Wise 14th Air Force
Striking Hard, Often At Japanese

By DARRELL BERRIGAN  (United Press War Correspondent)

    HEADQUARTERS, 14TH AIR FORCE - One year ago, pilots of the American Volunteer Group landed their scarred, war-weary, sharknosed P-40's at airfields in China, taxied them onto the line, and left them. The next morning American Army pilots climbed into the seats of the same P-40's, and took up where the AVG left off. It was American Independence Day, and, as firecrackers burst in American homes, in China the American Army China Air Task Force - later to become the 14th U.S. Air Force - after a simple ceremony took over the unenviable task of defending blockaded China against the Japanese aerial assault.
  The tired AVG, who, for more than a year, had fought like the angry tigers for which they are named, handed the American Army pilots not only a battered group of planes, but also an enviable record chalked up against 10-1 odds over Burma, Thailand, Indo-China and China. Wiseacres shook their heads, pitied the Army pilots and predicted they would never equal the AVG's unbelievable record against the Japanese Zeros. During the year just past, the Army pilots have made the wiseacres eat their words, and like it.
  When the AVG packed up to go home, a few of their band elected to remain with the Army. Among them was Maj. Tex Hill, lanky AVG ace, and Ensign Mickie Mihalko, almost legendary, tobacco-chewing Navy radio operator. The most important AVG member who stuck with China is Claire L. Chennault, seamy-faced, pipe-chewing, miracle-working former AVG commander. First as a brigadier general, then as a major general he has led the American Army Air Force through its first year in China, will probably lead them through the intervening months before the victory flight over Tokyo. Chennault is an unorthodox individualist whose basic tactics have been adopted by the Army after the AVG showed their worth on the Burma proving grounds. He has nursed the 14th Air Force from infancy to its present stage. Next July 4 should see the 14th Air Force full-grown.
  Despite supply difficulties, the 14th Air Force now operates heavy and medium bombers in addition to fighter planes from China bases. The Jap is forced to keep his aerial garrisons deeper and deeper beyond the fringe of his holdings as the 14th's striking range is increased.
  Before July 4 last year one American bomber squadron was already operating from China, using the AVG as top cover for raids. That squadron of B-25's is still campaigning here after more than a year, with most of its original pilots and crews. The squadron is commanded by Maj. Allen P. Forsyth. During the past year, this squadron has completed 77 missions from Lashio through Indo-China in a wide circle to Hankow by way of Hong Kong and Canton. It has completed a total of 412 sorties where its gunners have destroyed 10 confirmed Zeros and 15 probables. These Mitchells have destroyed a confirmed 82 planes on the ground and many probables. In all these operations, they have lost only two ships in action.
  The 14th's heavy bombers - B-24 Liberators - under the command of Col. Eugene Beebe recently joined the medium bombers. Since then, though they have lost no ship from enemy action, they have carried out 75 sorties against Jap bases, and their gunners have shot down 23 enemy planes and eight probable - and their activities are only beginning.
  The most impressive record naturally belongs to the fighter group, whose activities are always more dramatic than the bombers they defend. Since July 4, the 14th's fighter group has flown nearly 10,500 hours of combat time, and almost 3,000 missions over some of the most rugged terrain in the world, much of it uncharted except by the memories of American pilots. These missions comprised nearly 5,500 sorties. This fighter group has shot down in combat 206 confirmed enemy planes and 98 probables in defensive and offensive actions. In offensive sweeps over enemy territory these fighters have destroyed 22 enemy planes on the ground. Further group losses for the year: 15 in combat, 15 by anti-aircraft and eight on the ground. Only nine pilots have been lost in combat, and three are missing due to enemy action.
  Chennault's fighter group has its aces. The late Capt. John Hampshire took two Zeros with him when he crash-landed and died. He had a total of 14 confirmed planes to his credit, making him the ranking ace of the Theater. Col. Robert Scott, while working with the air force, destroyed 13 Jap planes before returning to the States. The Theater's high man is now Col. Bruce K. Holloway, lean, bronzed group commander. He has eight confirmed victories to his credit. Lt. James W. Little has seven confirmed. Maj. John D. Lombard also had seven planes.
  Quietly working at bases far-flung in a wide circle of Free China's frontiers are the 14th Air Force's forgotten men - the ground crews. During the 14th's existence they have put in long hours day and night working on planes with inadequate and often improvised tools. These men swarm over the planes returning from combat, gassing them up, repairing them and sending them back into combat. In anonymity, they work the longest hours of anyone in this air force, sweating through summers, shivering through winters, cursing, joking, arguing over feats of "their" pilots. They are proud of every plane they pamper through combat. Some of them died when enemy bombs caught them on fields still trying to get their planes into the air. Others carry wounds received while making for a slit-trench when they tarried too long working on recalcitrant engines. They have flown thousands of miles over Free China, taking their tools and their humor with them. They are the backbone of the 14th Air Force. The performance of the 14th Air Force this year to a considerable extent is due to their efforts.

Record Set
FOR NIP INACTIVITY      By TOBY WIANT  (Associated Press War Correspondent)

    HEADQUARTERS, 14TH AIR FORCE - Gen. Claire L. Chennault disclosed at a press conference that the Japs failed to make any air attacks on unoccupied China during the last week in June. He said, "I believe this sets a record for Jap inactivity in China."
  Chennault conceded that bad weather held the American air force on the ground but pointed out that the Japs had failed to take advantage of good weather in many unoccupied Chinese localities.
  "It is possible the Japs do not wish to lose any more planes in China for a while because they are needed so badly elsewhere," the general stated.
  Chennault said that American-trained Chinese airmen have made excellent records. "They are anxious to participate in the defeat of the Japs and eager for an opportunity to prove it. They are confident they are better airmen that the Japs," he said.

Bombing Tempo Against Japs On Increase


    Shellacking of the slap-happy Jap in Burma was carried out by the 10th Air Force during the past week in a salt-shaker pattern. It is guaranteed that any G.I. spotting all the places mentioned in communiqués of the past week will emerge knowing the strategic geography of central and northern Burma as well as, or maybe better than, any S-2 of the India Air Task Force. Notable in this week's summary is the reappearance of the water-babies of the fighter squadrons, who dripped back into the air from the water-logged bases of Assam to play Hell along the western boundaries of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.
  When the monsoon cloudbursts slacken in the Hukawng Valley, Jap meteorologists predict with assurance a rain of bombs instead. It was on July 8 that our fighter pilots wiped the fungus and mildew off planes and projectiles to ooze up from teabogs, after their recent long submergence. Supply dumps at Kamaing and Seton were the targets. A large ammunition dumped proved the jackpot in this raid. The following day Kamaing caught other nasty smacks, together

We won't argue with the judges who selected pretty Kathleen Harris' legs as the prettiest in New York.
with supply bases at Sumprabum and Sagun.
  Gathering strength, on July 10 the fighter pilots loaded up with bombs to blast warehouses and troop bases at Sumprabum, Maungkan and Tamanthi. Flattened warehouses were left behind at Sumprabum. General destruction was reported at Maungkan. A large fire marked the town of Tamanthi, mostly from strafing attacks. But it was on July 11 from daylight to tae-time that our fighter outfits turned bombers went all the way along the Nip's receiving line.
  Calls on previous days at Sumprabum appeared like good-will visits compared to the destruction left behind. This included the largest building in the town which served the Jap as military headquarters of the area. Nanyaseik received a similar pasting and, as the day progressed, Sagun, Mingan, Seton, Taro, Taganku, Ningbyen and Mogaung felt the downpour of fragmentation and light and medium demolition bombs.
  As piece de resistance of the day, the fighter boys loaded up with 1,000-pound bombs and smacked a familiar target, the railroad bridge at Loilaw, near Mogaung. The center span was destroyed by a direct hit and other bombs knocked out approach spans and tracks. On July 12 the fighters again visited Nanysaseik and when they returned they reported that no building larger than residential bashas remained recognizable. Buried in the mud with other military stores were the Jap rations of rice and tuna fish.
  Medium bombers began their week's operations July 7 with disconcerting, widespread attacks on enemy railroad installations between the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin rivers. Simultaneously, they bombed and destroyed tracks, rolling stock and warehouses at Padu, Wetlet, Ywataung, Zigon, Kinu, Myingatha, Tangon, Nadaunghla and Shwebo. For good measure, one bombing crew picked a large riverboat near Mandalay as a target. It was left in a sinking condition. On July 8 attacks were concentrated against rolling stock, tracks and supply sheds at Thazi Junction and near the Mu River bridge. July 9 the mediums returned with 1,000-pound bombs to Myitinge Bridge, where the Jap repair gang had gathered to see if the old wreck was worth trying to patch up again. Hits were reported and additional damage to another span was claimed. Other formations bombed the Mu River bridge. Two hits were reported. Other B-25's smashed rolling stock at Sagaing and yet others attacked river steamers in the Irrawaddy, sinking one and damaging others.
  Only heavy bomber operation of the week reported was against the railroad yards at Ywataung on July 12. The Jap was faded with more than 12 tons of high explosives, but clouds prevented accurate assessment of damage.
  Not attempts at interception were reported. A few mediums and fighters were nicked by Nip AA, but it is a pleasure to report that from these several operations all aircraft and crews returned safely.


By TOBY WIANT   Associated Press War Correspondent

    HEADQUARTERS, 14TH AIR FORCE - Thirty airmen of the 14th Air Force were singularly honored recently when they received medals from Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell in part of the ceremonies commemorating the first anniversary of the 14th U.S. Air Force.
  Capt. Tzang Hsi-lan became the first Chinese Air Force officer to be decorated by the United States Air Force in China when he received the Silver Star for coming to the rescue of Lt. Col. John R. Alison. Alison's plane was badly damaged in an air battle with the Japs and he called for help when a Zero got on his tail. Tzang shot the Zero down. The citation said, "This is indicative of the co-operation between allied military forces."
  Distinguished Flying Crosses went to Majs. Roland M. Wilcox and Edmond R. Goss; Capts. Arthur Cruikshank, Elmer W. Richardson, Roger C. Pryor, William Grosvenor; and Lts. Charles Tucker, James W. Little, Raymond A. Mitchell, Edward H. Calvert, Charles L. Crysler, Matthew M. Gordon and James L. Lee.
  Air Medals were awarded to T/Sgts. Donald G. Masters, Faneh Westberry, Richard P. Leseur, William T. Novak and S/Sgts. Arthur J. Benko, Albert A. Gazo and Frank F. Metallo.
  Purple Hearts were given to Brig. Gen. Edgar E. Glenn, Chief of Staff of the 14th Air Force, who was wounded during the bombing raid of April 28, Maj. Roland M. Wilcox, Lt. Henry I. Wood, T/Sgt. Rex Murphy and S/Sgts. Arthur Hein, George E. McCord, Sgt. Otis Paris, Corporals William F. Gaines and Herman Franklin.

Left, Sgt. John W. Swafford, of the Bombing Eagle Squadron, oldest medium bombardment squadron in India, is seen working before the chart on which he has recorded more than 20,000 hours of combat time in the last six months without loss of plane or personnel. Center, school days return for officers and enlisted men as this picture of a Hindustani class in session proves. Sgt. Jack Frost, who lived 10 years in India, is instructor. Right, this medium bomber crew recently flew 1,500 miles on a mission when adverse weather scattered a flight. The plane continued on the mission, whereas the others struck at alternate targets. It was seven hours in the air. Standing, left to right, are Lts. Walter C. Amelunke, Jasper L. Godwin, John R. Amann (pilot) and Jules X. Junkers. Kneeling are: S/Sgt. J. N. House and S/Sgt. W. J. Watkins. (Pictures and stories contributed by Lt. Alex J. Porter.)

Talented Alison Stilwell, daughter of a certain general, displays one of the paintings which she prepared for an exhibit to raise funds for the aid of China.
'Looey Cunnel' Knocked Down By Lowly G.I.


    EAST INDIA AIR BASE - Not many G.I.'s can claim the distinction of sending a lieutenant colonel sprawling to the turf without receiving, soon after, an invitation to grace the interior of the guard house. Pvt. Hardy C. Fincher, stationed here, is one of the select few.
  The action occurred during a picnic celebrating Independence Day. The scene was an impromptu football game. Whether it was touch football or the regulation variety remains uncertain, but numerous abrasions visible today on various countenances attest to the latter.
  Among others in the lineup were Curtiss-Wright technical representative Leonard Macaluso, former Collegiate All-American; Special Services Officer 1st Lt. John W. Kitzmiller, all-Pacific Coast choice at Oregon University; and Service Center Executive Officer Lt. Col. Marvin Sledge, previous football record unknown, but plenty big and plenty husky.
  The colonel's bulk proved no worry to Pvt. Fincher, however, and when the colonel's 225-plus pounds thundered toward him like a Sherman tank, "Finch" wavered not an inch. Spectators agree that Sledge struck earth solidly and enjoyed himself immensely.
  Numerous outside guests attended the picnic, among whom were two dozen American civilians employed at a nearby steel mill, and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Carver, a British couple who have generously opened their swimming pool to sweltering American soldiers on more than one occasion.
  It was a typical American Fourth of July celebration; the program began in the morning with Church services, followed by an all-day session of baseball, softball, barnyard golf, volleyball, and a picnic lunch consisting of sandwiches, potato salad, cakes and fruit, and, last but not least, enough ice cold beer to quench everyone's thirst.
  To wind up the day's events, Ann Sheridan's picture, Juke Girl, was shown at the open-air theater. We submit that Miss Sheridan constitutes a commendable way to wind up any day.



    "AT HOME IN CHINA," July 4 - Burst after burst of applause were ample substitutes for Fourth of July fireworks as 20 G.I.'s of Headquarters Detachment contributed their last bit during an International Variety Concert sponsored by Madame Sun Yat-sen. The charity program featured half-hour contributions by Chinese, Russian, English and American representatives.
  With only a few days warning, the American soldiers whipped together a solid variety program of their own which they called The American Hour.
  Sgt. Curtis Farrell crawled out of a hospital bed to act as emcee, introducing chorus numbers, vocalists, harmonica duets, clarinet jive hounds and Hawaiian guitarists with his old RCA precision.
  As the curtains swung open, a crowd of more than 3,000 recognized the trim khaki uniforms and C.B.I. emblems of these traveling Yankee troubadours, and greeted them with wild enthusiasm. The strains of Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes by the chorus calmed the crowd for a moment, but as Sgt. Karl Johnson directed them in a tricky rendition of Three Blind Mice, a round in four-part harmony, the piece caught the fancy of the audience and they whooped for more.
  Pvt. Edward Schaumann, accompanied by the chorus, gave them Irving Berlin's Coming In On a Wing and

a Prayer
, and it was received a bit more religiously than was intended. Pvt. Herman Burnham then brought down the house again when he broke a string on his guitar just as he was working into the savage rhythm of On The Beach at Waikiki. Burnham retired in confusion in favor of T/3 Coutland Jones, who was riding a mean clarinet to the tune of Sweet Georgia Brown when he froze to the stick - and couldn't even get a squeal out of it.
  Sgt. Charles Bigger then impressed the audience with his Schubert's Ave Maria, and proved that his professional musical background was not just a lot of talk. However, it remained for a harmonica duet to get the biggest hand for the Americans.
  Sgts. Joseph Nivert and George Ross made the Stars and Stripes and Chinatown, My Chinatown sound like national anthems before they finished. Pvt. William Siler furnished Deep River and Concerto in B Flat by Tchaikowsky in a deep baritone, and proved that he did not need the public address system which the local radio station had provided for the Americans.
  Addenda: Others in the chorus included: Pvt. George Salomon, T/Sgt. Art Kelley, Pvt. Eugene Dunn, Sgt. Alexander Dowiatt, Cpl. Herman Hearn, Cpl. Adolph Kaufman, Cpl. Edward Munch, Sgt. Hugh Roettger and Pvt. Bob Rawnsley.
  Maj. gen. Thomas G. Hearn and other Headquarters officers attended the concert, and congratulated the enlisted men (all new to the C.B.I.) for their efforts. Stanley Wilson, ARC, who acts as detachment SSO, chaplain and general troubleshooter, made it possible for the American boys to appear, as he rounded up guitars, harmonicas, clarinets, sheet music, etc., so that the program could be held.


    Word reaches the Roundup that one of the almost legendary AVG fighter pilots is now stationed in North Africa, adding to laurels won in stirring duels in China's blood-drenched skies.
  When Maj. John G. Bright, young in years, 24, but old in experience, recently sent a German DO-217 twin-engined bomber plummeting to earth over Sardinia, he achieved the distinction of having shot down planes out of each of the Axis' three air armadas. Previously, he bagged each Jap Zeros and one Italian fighter plane, thus bringing his total score now to 10.
  Bright's combat record dates back to Dec. 19, 1942, when he saw action with Col. (now Maj. Gen.) Claire L. Chennault's "Flying Tigers." When the AVG broke up July 4, 1942, he transferred to the Army Air Corps in China. He knocked down five Zeros as an AVG pilot, added three more as an Army pilot.
  From China, Bright transferred to the Southwest Pacific, where he was an instructor. Then he moved to the North African Theater, as commanding officer of a P-38 Lightning squadron.

New Insignia

    WASHINGTON - (UP) - The War Department has announced a new insignia for United States Army planes will be adopted immediately throughout the world to improve identification. The insignia is displayed on the upper surface of the left wing, the lower surface of the right wing and on both sides of the fuselage of all U.S. military aircraft.
  The present white star on a circular field will have a white rectangle extending horizontally from the right and the left. A red border will enclose the entire device.
  The red dot in the middle of the white star was removed after Pearl Harbor when pilots confused it with the Japanese red circle.

Fighter Pilot Meets Death In Air Crash

    HEADQUARTERS, 14TH AIR FORCE - Death's icy hand tapped Maj. John D. Lombard on the shoulder recently while he was attempting to make an instrument landing in extremely bad weather.
  So died one of the youngest squadron commanders in the Army Air Force - he was 23 - and one of the most decorated fighter pilots in China.
  Ironically, the accident occurred on the eve of Lombard's' 24th birthday.
  One of the aces of the 14th Air Force, with seven confirmed victories and one probable, Lombard was promoted to major June 1. He held the following decorations: DFC with oak leaf, Silver Star, Air Medal with two oak leafs, and the Purple Heart.
  The citation for Lombard's Silver Star said he had an "unusual offensive spirit." As an example, he led two other P-40's into a formation of 27 Japs last July and destroyed one before leading his comrades to safety. He was awarded the Purple Heart following a night battle last September in which he destroyed a bomber. He bailed out after being wounded.
  Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault, 14th Air Force commander, stated, "He was one of our finest combat pilots and leaders."

Only one,
White cylinder,
Of a hundred
Million million
Dropping endlessly
From a cigarette

It may become
A solace
For a man
Just ready to walk
The "Last Mile"
To an execution
The first lift
For a man
Taken from
A burning

The handy thing
Snatched up
By some frantic person
In trouble.
To kill
An age-long

A bridge
Between the beefsteak
And dessert.
For some
Fastidious lady
Dining out.
A magic carpet
Standing by:
A vehicle
To ride the wind,
The rainbow curve
Or some high road
To dreamy isles
Within the fourth

Only one,
White cylinder
Of a hundred
Million million
But the only one
Made especially
For a time, a place
And a



Come wish with me on yonder star.
I want to sit in an air-cooled bar.

Where I know the ice will outlast the drink.
Then a taxi through the park, in the rain I think.

I want to make a mental note:
Send check for payment on new fur coat.

I want to ride up in an elevator
And hear the distant purr of a refrigerator.

I want to look down from a penthouse with a view
And then - I want to get all hot and bothered
about you.

                   - Lt. ELIZABETH SHAUNTY, A.N.C.

Phone System
    Were Alexander Graham Bell to return to this vale of tears and see what India has done with his beloved telephone he would shoot himself.
  Little did he suspect when he was first inventing the instrument that would become the primary cause of nervous breakdown, if not sheer insanity, in the land of the Bengal tiger, vegetable curry and dhobie itch.
  Looking at the telephone, the neophyte is apt to assume that here is another gadget like the one he used in New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco. It looks simpler, really, as the dial contains only numbers and no letters for prefixes. If he intends to phone 8674, he just dials 8674 and, presto, the voice replies at the other end.
  Many who have believed that are now wandering about muttering to themselves or have gone home to various asylums therein to cut out paper dolls or play Napoleon to their hearts' content.
  Bell's dream in India has, however, one unique feature. It is probably the only dial system in the world where one can dial the right number and over a period of time get five different numbers, all of them wrong. It's amazing. Even if one gets the right number, the result is apt to be so weird that you feel as if you are in "never-never land" playing hopscotch on cumulus clouds.
  In the first place, the person answering gives you a slightly petulant Urdu. While you are restraining yourself from screaming and indicating that an English-speaking person is desired, you hear the conversations of 18 other Indians all on different lines. Mixed with that is the busy signal, plus a strange sound similar to the call of wild geese suffering from acute laryngitis.
  As you proceed with the hopeless quest for your party, the other Indians who are all mixed up with your wire become justifiably annoyed with this foreign voice interrupting their discussions of the Indian Problem and start bombarding you with requests to get the Hell off the line. This, if you have any sense, you do. If, however, you are a stranger, you grimly hang on and order them off the line, which results in violent reciprocal recrimination that almost inevitably leaves you shrieking and laughing hysterically and throwing the phone gently out of the window.
  Again, you may get a continuous busy signal, which causes you to dial "9", which is plainly marked "Enquiry" in your phone book. The book also says that this person has an ample bosom on which to deposit all complaints and prompt restitution will be made. That is a snare and a delusion.
  You dial the number and a bright voice gives you a bored: "Yes, please." You then recount your woes and ask him to determine whether your number is busy or out of order. "Yes, please," comes the voice just ahead of that ominous telephonic click which signifies that the interview has reached its end. This is apt to confuse you, as you are used to the operator checking in 10 seconds and coming back at you with the required information.
  Unless you are eternally hopeful and have the patience of Job, you will not wait for the information. You will get on your bicycle and pedal over to see the person you wanted to contact in the first place. Even though the distance be 50 miles, you will have accomplished your mission, returned and gagged three times on Bols Gin before "Enquiry" has enquired.
  Everybody says the telephone has come to stay, Our answer in India is: Why?


  This letter represents a new departure, and God knows where it will lead to. For the first time in my life I am writing "fan mail" and scarcely know where to begin. In the past I have, from time to time, considered that I might send a few laudatory remarks to Greta Garbo or Raymond Gram Swing, but they never materialized.
  But now a strong compulsion has seized me that has been growing ever since I saw the first issue of your rag going on four months ago. Heretofore, the one publication which consistently warmed the cockles of my heart was the New Yorker, but I must say that you are doing in your field as good or better job than they do in theirs.
  Realizing, as you seem to do, that the prime shortage in this Heaven-on-Earth called India is the commodity called s-x, your front page cheesecake is a beautiful and touching reminder that somewhere, sometime such things still exist. I might take one exception and that is Miss "X" in your June 10 number, which I glimmed and glummed
over last night in my lonely basha. Don't you think, gentlemen, that one can have just a little TOO much of a good thing?
  Jumping to the back page, The War Warmed Over is ever so much better than most of the stop-jars at home called "columns." A nice, cold beer to Capt. Luther Davis.
  I trust none of you will be alarmed over the arrival of one lowly T/4 Hargrove. Let him keep up to your own high standard and all will be well. In fact, his first offering was definitely below par, but we will attribute it to the lingering effects of that "Dollar Line" world cruise he had just concluded.
  As medical officer to a small group of Engineers stationed at a very definitely lonely outpost, I have ample time to write a little report on their trials, tribulations and triumphs, if you desire to have it. If so, what are the regulations concerning permission from the Theater Commander?
  Before putting a stop to this verbal catharsis, I want to just say a word about our deep sympathy for youse guys struggling away at the "Battle of Per Diem Hill" down at Delhi. I wish somebody would some day take me aside and tell me in words of one syllable just why I have to pay 70 cents a day for corned willy up here while you get paid three bucks a day to eat steaks. It must be an old story to you, but I've only been over here four months.
  Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, I am, etc.,   SAMUEL D. CLARK, Capt. M. C.

  (Future byproducts of such literary catharsis will be gladly received and may be sent directly to the editor without reference to the Theater or other commanders. But why Garbo, and not people like Ginger Rogers and Joan Bennett, not to mention Olivia DeHaviland?-Ed.)

The C.B.I. Roundup is a weekly newspaper published by and for the men of the United States Army Forces in China, Burma, and India, from news and pictures supplied by staff members, soldier correspondents, the United Press, and the War Department. The Roundup is published Thursday of each week and is printed by The Statesman in New Delhi, India. Editorial matter should be sent directly to Lt. Floyd Walter, Rear Echelon Hq., U.S.A.F., C.B.I., New Delhi, and should arrive not later than Monday in order to make that week's issue. Pictures must arrive by Sunday and must be negatives or enlargements. Stories should contain full name and organization of sender.

JULY  15,  1943    

Original issue of C.B.I. Roundup shared by Ruth Canney, widow of CBI veteran John Canney.

Images were added to the "New Insignia" story and a better quality image of Jane Russell used in this re-creation.

Copyright © 2007 Carl Warren Weidenburner