Gets Up Steam
Roundup Staff Writer
This phase of the evacuation calls for personnel in Burma and Assam to proceed to Karachi for transportation home by water and air. With the shipping allotments provided by the War Department, the Transportation Corps here must keep the traffic moving in typical American style to meet the incoming ships.
"We'll keep that schedule," confidently stated the I-B Transportation chief, Col. A. C. Bigelow. "The Army is going all out on planning accommodations and comfort for the men. Hot meals will be served along the route and we will do our best to furnish better than usual accommodations, especially after the men hit the broad gauge railroad from Lucknow on."
As explained by the colonel, the scheme calls for transportation over the narrow railroad as far as Lucknow. There the men will be transferred to the broad gauge. The Transportation Corps is so confident of its ability to keep the men moving on schedule that it is only allowing for an eight hour lapse at Lucknow for transfer from the narrow to broad gauge.
"Once we hit that broad gauge we will try to provide more comfortable accommodations and get away from the primeval coaches," stated the colonel.
When we pointed out that in our experience with the Indian railways "primeval" was an understatement to describe the third class coaches by which enlisted men travel, he explained that Transportation had to use what was available but that plans had been made to install fans for the trip across the Sind Desert.
"We urgently need the co-operation of the men in this movement," stated the Transportation boss. "They may find some things that seem unnecessary and start the old Army cry of 'chicken,' but I want to assure them that every move has a purpose and has been planned in advance to get the troops to the port of debarkation so they can get home. Ask the men not to wander off. If they do so they are just delaying their comrades."
Representatives of the Theater Surgeon, Brig. Gen. J. E. Baylis, will be stationed along the route to check with medical personnel on the troop trains. High-ranking officers of the Transportation Corps will be at the main stations to insure smooth movement of traffic. Special Service and the Red Cross, which will operate its Trainmobile, have also made special plans to keep morale up along the route of the long ride.
"Our motto is to get the men through with all possible comfort and speed," concluded Bigelow. "It's around 3,250 miles, farther than from San Francisco to New York and it will not be a picnic. But the men are on their way home and again I ask their full cooperation."
Through the courtesy of Transportation and Special Service this edition of the Roundup is being sent to Lucknow to service the troops passing through on their way to Karachi and home.
To some of you this may be the last Roundup. Good luck and good sailing, and a quick change to civilian clothes.
Surplus Goods Cannot Be Sold To Servicemen|
This disclosure abruptly contradicted an article that appeared May 17 in Roundup which held open hope that surplus property in the India-Burma Theater would be made available to members of the command.
The newly-arrived members of the Commission - Walter B. Schleiter, field commissioner, Brig. Gen. William Hasketh, deputy field commissioner, and Maj. F. Hamilton Seeley, legal representative - declared they were sympathetic with the desire of I-B Servicemen to purchase surplus property (the Roundup has received approximately 600 letters expressing interest) and promised they were in the process of working out plans to place on sale a sizeable number of small items, such as cameras, flashlights, and field glasses. To effectuate this plan, arrangements are being made with the Army Exchange Service to sell this type of surplus item through PX's.
Schleiter explained that the more bulky articles, such as jeeps, bulldozers and 6x6 trucks, presented a more complex problem because of transportation difficulties. He stated, "The terrific strain upon transportation facilities due to redeployment would not likely permit the shipping of items to the United States even if clearance for their sale were obtained."
Hesketh added, "Many of the desired items very probably may be purchased in the United States."
The general explained that Servicemen expecting discharge who desire consumer goods that have been declared surplus in the United States can write for assistance to their regional office of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
Schleiter pointed out that Army Regulation do not permit Servicemen to purchase Government property and that the Surplus Property Act specifically describes "veterans," who have priority in making purchases, as Servicemen who have been honorably discharged.
The huge task which confronts the Commission is to liquidate all surplus Army and Navy items in India, Burma and China.
Not, however, until the Army actually turns the goods over to the Commission is it empowered to act. The Theater Commander must first declare items excess and report them to the Readjustment Division, Hq., ASF, Washington. There they are screened for possible use in other Theaters. Those which are reported back to the Theater Commander originating the list will be screened again by him at their source and, if designated as surplus, will then be turned over to the Commission.
It is up to the Commission to dispose of these goods to purchasers. The directive applies loosely to the following priority for sales, the Commissioner having discretionary power in cases other than the Foreign Economic Administration.
1 - U.S. Government agencies, such as FEA.
2 - Non-profit charitable, educational and religious institutions, such as the Red Cross and missionaries.
3 - American manufacturers or distributors whose firms bear the trademark on an item.
4 - Foreign Governments for rehabilitation, relief and reconstruction.
5 - Private foreign interests.
The three-man advance guard for the Commission will shortly be expanded by a dozen other Navy, Army and civilian members from the United States, including Lt. Cmdr. Phillips Boss of the Navy.
When the personnel needs of the Commission are evaluated, it will additionally request necessary specialists locally from the Theater Commander.
Vol. IV No. 1. Delhi, Thursday, Sept. 13, 1945. Reg. No. L5015
Yank Internees Recall Courtesy
CALCUTTA - Six American airmen, interned by the Thailand government after being shot down by ground fire while on bombing and strafing missions, calmly related here the kind and generous treatment afforded them, after their release last week.
The six airmen are: Capt. Albert Abraham, Marshall, Tex.; Lt. Malcolm MacKenzie, Greenville, S.C.; Lt. Dean E. Wimer, Sheridan, Wyo.; Lt. Theodore H. Demezas, Silverton, Ore.; S/Sgt. Laurel D. Kinsey, LaPorte, Ind., and Lt. James K. Kintz, Chicago, Ill.
All six airmen, now convalescing at the 142nd General Hospital in Calcutta, narrated the same story of good and plentiful food, sufficient reading material to while away the time, the matter of work being 'optional.' Five of the airmen, fighter pilots, and a ball turret gunner of a B-24 Liberator, were held prisoners at Vachirawaud College in Bangkok, capital of Thailand.
At Bangkok, where 32 prisoners were interned - the six Americans, 19 British, 2 Chinese and five Thai army privates - kept current with the news through a concealed radio, smuggled into the camp some three years previously. Generous portions of curie, rice, chicken, fish and eggs were served the prisoners three times daily. At the hospital they all tipped the scales at their "flying" weight.
Through the Swiss consul, they were loaned money to purchase soap, razor blades, tobacco and cigarette paper. However, the high cost of clothing found the airmen strutting about in shorts most of the time. High price of commodities restricted purchases (one razor blade cost 65 cents) and found one airman using 10 blades in 16 months.
The airmen had the "liberty" of the camp, could move about freely and could work if they desired. Most of their time was spent utilizing the vast amount of reading material which was at their disposal from the library, which was part of the college. Such books as Gone With The Wind and others published up to 1942 were available.
All had the occasion to taste raisin gin, Indo-China rum and even had beer - which wasn't too bad, as they expressed it. Through the Danish consul, athletic equipment, including baseball gloves, was available. They learned the popular game of cricket - "handling the stick as a baseball bat," they enthusiastically chimed.
By SGT. CHARLES WARREN CLARK
Roundup Staff Writer
I'VE GOT URGES FOR SERGES
I've gotta passion for fashion,
I've gotta run on fun,
'Cause I'm Ten million new civilian
Ex-G.I.'s in one.
I've got urges for serges,
I've gotta need for tweed;
I'll put the smile in a world of stylin'
No War Department decreed.
I'll be the zoot-suit-suitor,
I'll be the rainbow beau,
I'll be the luminous,
Leader of the Freedom Show.
Long I've thirsted for worsted;
Ain't I the plaid-glad lad?
Open the haberdash!
Here comes a color-flash!
Here comes the post-war fad!
- Cpl. R. CHARLES