IBT Roundup
Vol. IV  No. 7      Delhi, Thursday,   October 25, 1945      Reg. No. L5015

 Telephone, Oil Pipe Lines
   Also Face Abandonment;
    Project Cost 137 Million
Roundup Staff Article    
  America's greatest contributions to the war on the Asiatic mainland, The Hump air route and the Stilwell Highway, with its accompanying pipe and telephone lines linking India with China, face abandonment next month, according to announcements this week in Washington and New Delhi.
  In Washington, Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner, head of ATC-ICD, told the United Press that flights over The Hump will end about Nov. 12.
  At India-Burma Headquarters in New Delhi, it was stated that this Theater had recommended to the War Department that the Stilwell Highway, in addition to the Calcutta to Kunming telephone and pipe lines, be abandoned Nov. 1. This recommendation must be acted upon by both the War Department and the Army-Navy Liquidation Commission before it receives official blessing.

  Tunner further said, according to the UP, that all AAF operations will be closed down in India and China by early 1946. He doubted if commercial airlines would undertake Himalaya flights but added that other routes developed by the Army in India and China would be utilized.
  The general told UP that he could not comment on what disposition would be made of the flying fields in India when ATC moved out. He added that a nucleus of 9,000 men would be kept to operate ATC in India and China until operations were abandoned.
  The Theater statement estimated the cost of the Road at $137,000,000. The first convoy left Ledo, Assam on Jan. 14, 1945, and the last one pulled into Kunming Oct. 8.
  Operations were started at Ledo in December, 1942, after Britain had earlier abandoned the project. As work progressed, Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell drove into North Burma with the Chinese 38th and 22nd Divisions and the first U.S. ground troops ever to fight on the Asiatic continent, Merrill's Marauders. Right behind Uncle Joe were the road builders.

  The U.S. and Chinese drives to open a land route to China bore fruit with the fall of Bhamo, with Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan then in command of the Allied forces. Keeping pace with the Road at all times were the accompanying pipe and telephone lines. The pipeline furnished gasoline to advance units and the telephone line provided necessary communications.
  The Associated Press pointed out that the pipeline also supplied the USAAF with fuel to give air support to the British war effort in Burma. The AP forecast that the British would not favor keeping it open and that in time the jungle would move in and the Road would be only a memory.
Barbara Bates, Hollywood starlet, gives a demonstration of how Halloween may be passed in the cinema capital. Would you like to play games, too?

New Basic Point Score Forecast At Early Date By War Department
By Army News Service
  Demobilization is proceeding at such a rate that the War Department will have to revise its point system to a basic discharge score of less than 60 points before Dec. 1. Brig. Gen. Robert W. Berry, deputy assistant chief of staff for personnel, told the Senate Military Affairs Committee in Washington this week.
  Among the demobilization facts released by Berry were: (1) All two-year men will be eligible for discharge march 20, 1946, regardless of point score. (2) More than 200,000 men aged 38 or more have been discharged. (3) Of 1,800,000 men returned from overseas, only 100,000 had not yet been discharged on Oct. 15. (4) By next Aug. 1, America's great wartime Army will be down to a strength of 1,630,000 men.
  In New York, Vice Adm. Emory S. Land, War Shipping Administrator, said that return of 6,000,000 troops from overseas is scheduled for completion by May 19, 1946.
  Commenting on the current rate of troop ship arrivals in the United States, Adm. Land said heavy European returns were to be completed by January, at which time the major portion of the troop transport fleet would switch to the Pacific.

  Meanwhile, the War Department announced that the Transportation Corps is using 73 percent of its troop transports in the Pacific. The remaining 27 percent, plus the one-time luxury liner, Queen Mary, 75 converted Victory ships, equipped to carry 1,500 troops each, and 200 Liberty vessels, capable of carrying between 500 and 600 each, are being used to bring home men from Europe.
  Supplementing the European quota, according to the War Department, are a dozen U.S. carriers and cruisers which will start taking American troops home about Nov. 14. Three large carriers will take 3,600 men each trip, and the three small carriers 1,600 men each. The cruisers will carry from 500 to 1,000 men each.
  Simultaneously it was announced that the Army Transportation Corps expects to get three more converted Liberty ships and 22 more converted Victory ships shortly.
  The War Department revealed demobilization figures this week, pointing out that since V-E Day the job of getting American soldiers home from the Atlantic and Pacific has been half-completed.

  It is expected, the War Department revealed, that the target date of Feb. 1 in getting all men out of Europe except occupation troops and those needed for disposal of surplus property will be met. It was added that all soldiers in the Pacific, except those needed for the occupation of Japan and Korea and the manning of outposts such as Guam and the Philippines, will be home by next June.
  It was announced that between Oct. 15 and Christmas, 360,000 men are expected to be returned from the Pacific in addition to the 125,000 who will be in staging areas or on the high seas.
  The Air Force in the Pacific was busy arranging the transport of its personnel back to the States. It was announced in Tokyo that 650 B-24 bombers will carry home 5,200 officers and enlisted men of the Far East Forces in the near future.
  The bombers will be flown by personnel of the Fifth, Seventh and 13th Air Forces. Each will be operated by a crew of eight high-point men.
  In Manila, Army authorities supervising homeward shipping of veterans were accused of inefficiency in letters to the Daily Pacifican, Army newspaper. The writers accused the Army of failing to make use of "dozens of cargo vessels sailing empty for the U.S."
  Army officials had said that these freighters are intended for cargo, not human beings, and the ventilation would be bad, especially on a long Pacific voyage. South Pacific veterans, however, said, "Give us a case of 10-in-1 rations, and we will be tickled to ride cargo ships home."
  Col. C. H. Davidson, superintendent of the Water Division of the Port of Manila, substantiated the claims of the complaining veterans, saying he could put Liberty ships in shape to carry 750 troops each with 48 hours work by 50 men.
  The Nation's politicians continued having their field day on the demobilization subject.
  In Washington, Rep. John Taber (R-N.Y.) attacked the discharge system, which, he said, "has bottled up more than 500,000 Army and Navy officers ineligible for overseas duty, thus tying up thousands of enlisted men."
  The House Appropriations Committee called for more rapid demobilization of both Army and Navy personnel in a report to the House calling for cancellation of more than $52,000,000,000 in government spending during the current fiscal year.

Calcutta, Karachi Ports Cannot Handle Big Ships For Redeployment Move
 Roundup Staff Article

  An announcement released in the United States by the War Department this week that there are still 5,000 85-point India-Burma-China men overseas was commented on by Delhi Headquarters as follows:
  "It is true that as of V-J Day, there were approximately 5,000 enlisted men with 85 or more points in India-Burma," Theater officials said. "However, they were the first to be shipped home. Few 85-point men now remain except volunteers and men in the four scarce categories who can be held in the Theater as 'essential.'"
  The War Department announced this week that 26 cruisers, six battleships and 10 aircraft carriers have been assigned as transports for returning veterans, but did not reveal to which theaters these ships would be diverted. Redeployment officials here, however, said that the harbors of Calcutta and Karachi could not handle readily large ships. carriers, battleships and cruisers, lying offshore, could be loaded by lighter at Karachi. But such a system would be slow and impractical.
  When queried on Gen. George C. Marshall's statement in Washington that "United States troops will be completely evacuated from India-Burma-China by July 1, 1946," Theater officials said the Chief of Staff's report "coincides with the troop evacuation schedule drawn up by this Headquarters at war's end."
  The October allotment of planes from Chabua and Calcutta to Karachi will continue at the 700-man per day quota during November, plus about 10 trains during the month from Assam to Karachi. With 500 troops being flown from Assam to Karachi and 200 from Calcutta to Karachi each day, only one troop train every third day will be used in the evacuation of troops from Assam and Burma.
  Four troopships - the Taylor, Anderson, Eltinge and Patrick - sailed during the week ending Oct. 24. A total of 14,500 troops were evacuated on these ships, bringing the combined strength of the India-Burma and China Theaters down to 170,000.
  Three more troopships are scheduled to depart Indian ports during October - two from Karachi and one from Calcutta.

10 Million Japs Face Starvation In One Year

  TOKYO - (ANS) - That the Japanese Government and people realize the implications of the coming winter, with its attendant lack of food supplies, was emphasized this week as Finance Miniater Keizo Shibusawa bluntly prophesied 10,000,000 would die in the next year due to malnutrition and lack of nursing care, while labor demonstrators gathered before U.S. Headquarters and demonstrated for (1) permission to import food and (2) abdication of Hirohito.
  The Emperor followed up this demonstration by granting amnesty to an estimated 1,000,000 of his subjects, mostly political prisoners. They will thus be able to vote in the coming general election.

  The Cabinet agreed to obey Gen. Douglas MacArthur's order that the country's monopolies and trusts be broken up. Foreign Minister Shigeru Yoshida, speaking for the Cabinet, said that Zaibatsu, which heads Japan's economy, is being disbanded.
  In the meantime, U.S. forces continued their searches for hidden loot. Millions of dollars worth of diamonds, plus gold and silver bullion, began to move to the Bank of Japan.
  Destruction was ordered of all narcotic yielding plants in Japan and Korea. It was estimated that 90 percent of the world's supply was thus cut off. It was also stated that all Japanese troops would be evacuated from Korea by Nov. 1.

  The familiar black market bobbed up, this time in the Tokyo area. MacArthur issued an order forbidding sending abroad any funds except legitimate pay allowances. Business had been flourishing on American blankets, food, candy and other items.
  All Tokyo restaurants and drinking places were temporarily put out of bounds. Military Police officials said the places did not meet the U.S. sanitary requirements and would be opened as soon as they did. But several deaths and serious illnesses were reported from poisoned liquor. The same alcohol poisoning was reported in Shanghai and Singapore.

'MacRae' Returnees Hit New York Port

  NEW YORK - (UP) - Shivering in the 48 degree cold winds and a sudden rain squall, 3,176 thinly-clad veterans of the China and India-Burma Theaters landed in New York this week aboard the USS General MacRae.
  The returnees, most of them high pointers, said their 21-day trip from Karachi was uneventful except for the terrific heat encountered in the Red Sea where even the water was 93 degrees.
  High point man among the soldiers was Maj. Gordon A. Pope of Somerville, Mass., with 237, earned during four and a half years with American, British and Chinese armies.
  The MacRae carried paratroopers, Merrill's Marauders, engineers and truck drivers.


  WASHINGTON - (ANS) - Reporting on U.S. casualties of World War II, Gen. George C. Marshall disclosed that "even with our over-whelming concentration of air power and firepower, this war has been the most costly of any in which the nation has been engaged."
  To prove his statement, Marshall presented the following comparisons of the battle deaths we have suffered in all our wars:
  During the 80 months of the American Revolution total battle deaths numbered 4,044; in the War of 1812, which lasted 30 months, 1,877; in the Mexican War of 20 months, 1,721; in four years of Civil War, Union losses were 110,070 and Confederate losses 74,524; in the Spanish-American War, which lasted only four months, 345; in World War I, 19 months long, 50,150; and in World War II, 44 months duration, 201,367.
  Marshall said the victory in Europe cost the U.S. 772,626 battle casualties, of which 160,045 were dead. The price of victory in the Pacific was 170,596, including 41,322 dead.


  SHANGHAI - (UP) - U.S. Navy men operated observation posts on the Jap occupied Chinese coast throughout the war, it was disclosed this week along with the revelation that their commander, Rear Adm. Milton E. Miles of Kenwood, Md., was the target of four Jap assassination attempts.
  Miles' staff chief, Capt. Irving Beyerly, said Miles escaped assassination once in India and thrice in China.
  The first attempt occurred at an undisclosed Indian railway station where Jap agents stabbed him in the chest and leg.
  Three other attempts occurred in China where Jap agents (1) put bullets in a charcoal fire near where he sat, (2) machine-gunned his car, and (3) tried to enter his house heavily armed with grenades and revolvers.
  Miles organized his Naval observation posts from India where he was officially listed as a "Naval observer."

 By SGT. RAY HOWARD   Roundup Field Correspondent

  LEDO - This is still a busy place, with the rush to turn in equipment and prepare units for shipment to the Zone of the Interior. But for the first time since late 1942, the hum of activity isn't quite so boisterous and lusty. Only the old-timers can discern the slight change in tempo, but vacant areas where companies and battalions were quartered last week attest to the fact that the United States Army is forsaking one of its largest SOS bases.
  Troop movements are continuing ahead of schedule, Maj. W. C. Blanchard, troop evacuation officer, has announced schedules are being changed constantly, depending on availability of air and train facilities, but no unit has been unduly delayed in the Ledo Staging Area.

  Heading the list of evacuees this week was H and S, A, B and C companies of the 209th Engineer Combat Battalion which served as replacements for Merrill's Marauders at the Battle for Myitkyina. During the siege of that Irrawaddy River port they were under fire for 68 days of vicious fighting and suffered almost 50 percent casualties.
  Known as the most decorated Engineer unit in the India-Burma and China Theaters of operation, the 209th arrived in this Theater in October, 1943, and went to work on road construction. After the battle for Myitkyina, they moved to the Namkham sector of Stilwell Road. They constructed many of the bridges along the Road, including suspension bridges over the Shweli and Myothit rivers. These bridges are dedicated to members of the 209th killed at Myitkyina.
  Also departing Ledo were Companies A and B of the 428th Signal Heavy Construction Battalion, which arrived in India-Burma in March, 1944, and worked on construction of signal communications along Stilwell Road from Ledo to Bhamo.

  The Double F gang of the 518th Quartermaster Battalion (Mobile), including Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, the 3961st, 3962nd, 3963rd and 3964th Truck Companies, is gone. The 518th arrived in Bombay more than two years ago and, since that time, has established one of the outstanding records of any Negro trucking units in the Theater.
  In October, 1943, the 518th took over the complete supply of airdrop for the North Burma campaign. Airdrop at that time was almost the sole source of supply for combat troops, and the Double F increased the number of drops from three or four planes per day to 75 to 100 per day. Their organization was responsible for warehousing, packing equipment, parachutes and loading the planes.
  In late January, 1945, the 518th came to Ledo and was engaged in Burma convoy work until June, when they began delivering convoys over Stilwell Road to China.
  Before leaving Ledo, special recognition was given the 3961st Company of the 518th when Brig. Gen. Walter K. Wilson, Jr., awarded the unit the Meritorious Service Plaque for outstanding work in the Theater.
  Also starting the long trek home are H and S, A and C companies of the 1883rd Engineer Aviation Battalion, which arrived in India in August, 1943. In October, 1943, they constructed the fighter strip at Tingkawk Sakan, close behind the front lines. They also cut the first trail and built the original combat road from Warazup to Myitkyina and the Irrawaddy River crossing.

  The 71st Engineer Light Ponton Company also has departed. Arriving in India in November, 1943, the unit has done general construction work along the Road in addition to bridge building and maintaining ferrying operations at various points from Ledo to the Salween River in China. During the Burma campaign, detachments of this unit ran Chinese and Kachin patrols down the Irrawaddy River in light assault boats, landing them behind the Jap lines.
  Attached to the 71st as over-strength are personnel from inactivated Malaria Control and Survey detachments. Work of the Malaria units - never publicized because their mission was deemed "top secret" - was directly responsible for the reduction of the high incidence of malaria to its present negligible rate.

  A departed unit little known to troops in Advance Section - but a unit which has played a vital part in opening signal communications to Kunming - is the 31st Signal Heavy Construction Company which arrived in India in November, 1943, worked in intermediate Section, and then was assigned to signal construction work in China.
  When the race was on to open telephone communications between Delhi and Kunming, the 31st, working in the towering mountain country of China, completed its assigned work ahead of schedule.

Soldiers Steal Show At Indian Celebration
 By PFC. ED ALEXANDER   Written Especially For Roundup

  For nigh onto four years, G.I.'s have gaped and gawked at India's elephants, camels, snake charmers, and temples. Last week the tables were turned.
  As "gate-crashers" at a Ram Lila celebration, this Roundup correspondent and two friends were gaped and gawked at by approximately 20,000 Indians and an uncounted throng of kids. Wendell Willkie's claim that there id a reservoir of good will for Americans in the Orient if we will only tap it, proved to be a gross understatement. The good will is a monsoon downpour and we were almost drowned.
  On a recent Sunday, we came upon a long line of Indians, families and all - dressed in holiday best - streaming toward the Queen's Gardens in Old Delhi.
  Curiosity never having killed anything bigger than a cat, we succumbed. The attraction was a huge, roped-off area, covering two square blocks. Double-decker grandstands, covered with tenting and garishly flouting red banners, lined the rim. Two flower-garlanded, raised platforms stood in the center of the grounds.

  The sound of Indian brass bands filled the air. Boy Scouts proudly displayed their work in booths. Hawkers yelled. Kids pulled their poppas by the hand, crying for the Indian equivalent of a hot-dog. And thousands more Indians came pouring in.
  At the gate, people waved blue invitation cards. But an English-speaking gentleman, seeing our dilemma, urged us to crash the doings. Pointing to our uniforms, he said, "For you, it's different."
  At this point, it was high time to find out what cooked. Another English-speaking Committee member appeared at our elbow and offered to explain.
  "This is the Ram Lila celebration," he said, "in some parts of India, also called Dussehra. We celebrate the life of Raman, one of the great gods and heroes of Hinduism, who lived 3,000 years before the birth of Christ. The celebration lasts 12 days. On each of these days an episode in the life of Raman is enacted in a pageant based on our great Sanskrit epic poem, the Ramayana."

  The brass bands redoubled their efforts and the kids tore off across the central lawn to a distant point on the perimeter. Around the edge of the Ram Lila grounds the procession of actors was starting. Led by two bands in bright crimson, the stars strutted. There was Ravan, king of demons, clad in lustrous black and silver, blackened face, magnificent solver crown, evil dark beard. His soldiers followed, faces painted bright atabrine yellow. Then the ladies of the court, all played by men.
  We pointed our cameras hesitantly at the procession. Our committee member promptly cleared a path through the kids, lifted the rope, and beckoned us to come out in the path for a head-on shot.
  This finished, he resumed the explanation.
  "Raman was banished from India to the jungles of Ceylon. Three Ravan, the king of demons, abducted his wife, Sita. To avenge this wrong, Raman fought Ravan and conquered the king of the demons in a great battle. The conduct of the great Raman demonstrates all the great virtues with which Hindus should fill their lives.
  "You ought to come back night after tomorrow. Then there will be enacted the battle. Ravan strikes Raman with The Terrible Sword. You must understand that this sword is the most terrible weapon there ever was. Much, much worse than your atom bomb. Yet Raman is such a great and virtuous god he overcomes even this awful thing."
  A few questions elicited the facts that the actors were quite ordinary citizens of Delhi before and after Ram Lila. "Ravan" was a businessman the rest of the year. A volunteer citizens' committee organizes the whole affair. The boxes around the edges were private booths for prominent families and organizations - the more wealthy "subscribers."

  Meanwhile, the kids had gathered around in real force, staring and laughing in complete friendliness. One decided to show off his English, "Good morning - thank you - what time is it?" Thousands joined in. For five minutes we were plagued by kids shouting, "What time is it?"
  One kid gaily put out his hand. We shook. That was our undoing. A shout of glee went up and hundreds of kids poured down to pump our hands.
  By this time we thought we detected a glint of professional jealousy in the eyes of Ravan, seated majestically on the center dais. So we asked our committee member if we weren't creating a disturbance.
  "Oh, no," he smiled, "not at all. It is only that our people are so happy and proud to have foreign visitors. They want to see you and show you how much they welcome you.
  "Only when you stand in one place, the happy crowd that gathers rather obscures the view of the people in the boxes. It would be better if you would walk around, so that you could see everything, and so that all our people could have the joy and honor of seeing you."

  When we started on our way out, more paths were courteously cleared, more ropes lifted for our convenience.
  On the way to the barracks we did a little wondering. This was a different India than we had ever run into. No baksheesh. No fortune tellers. No water pipes for sale. Our hosts had even turned down an offer of American cigarettes.
  Maybe you have to take a step off the beaten G.I. path to be welcomed into the life of the vast majority of friendly, family people who seem to be pretty much alike in any of the United nations - whether they wear turbans or fedoras, whether they find their fun at country fairs or Ram Lila festivals.

Yearly Average
Of 150 Pictures
Made In India
Actor Shortage,
Poor Equipment
Form Obstacles

By CPL. E. GARTLY JACO   Roundup Staff Writer

  BOMBAY - After spending three days rambling around India's largest motion picture lot, the Central Studios in Bombay, poking my nose into its four sound stages, interrupting one set, asking embarrassing questions, and conversing with several big-wigs (and spending Rs. 20 of my own for taxifare), the most amazing thing I discovered about it all was that full-length movies could be and actually were being produced under such difficult circumstances.
  Yet despite its limited equipment, production difficulties and lack of resources, the Indian motion picture industry ranks second in the world in quantity. Approximate peace-time annual production figures place the United States first with 500, India second with 150, and England third with 95.
  G.I.'s who have seen Indian films are undoubtedly unimpressed with the general quality and technique of the Hindustani talkies. Americans are accustomed to seeing gorgeous productions brought about by expensive budgets, enormously paid casts, the latest technical developments in equipment, and highly competitive business organization among the Hollywood film companies that supply the world with the best in motion pictures.

  But if the Americans who ridicule the Indian films were familiar with the obstacles that the producers must overcome, their scorn would change to amazement.
  To begin, the Indian movie industry is still comparatively in the beginning stages. The first motion picture made in India was the silent film Harischandra, produced in 1913.
  Other Indian businessmen took interest in motion pictures but not until 1930, when the first talkie, King of Ayodhya, was produced by the Prabhat Studios in Poona, did the industry take shape.
  For the past 15 years the number of film companies, distributors and cinema houses has gradually increased until today the industry has from 100 to 125 film companies, an equal number of distributors, and approximately 1,675 theaters throughout India.
  Not only is the industry young and undeveloped, but the lack of good actors and actresses creates a large production problem.
  To be frank, the film industry is not considered by most Indians as a respectable profession. The Indian people are exceptionally religious and public exhibition of one's self is frowned upon.

  Therefore, according to several of the industry's executives with whom I talked, the studios have been forced to go to the lower classes for the majority of its actors and actresses. But they also go on to state that these people, once they succeed in films, lead private lives of the highest respect, which is something that cannot be said entirely for some of the more lively citizens of Hollywood.
  Though a shortage of good actors exists in India, the salaries of the topnotch artist are relatively small compared to the higher income brackets of American stars. The best actors in India average from Rs. 10,000 to 40,000 annually while in the U.S. actor Fred MacMurray last year hit a new high of more than $400,000 or about Rs. 1,500,000.
  Antiquated and often inadequate equipment is another hardship under which film producers in India must work. The cam areas, French-made, rest on a wooden stand with no tripod and with practically no mobility. A small dolly constructed of wood with small pneumatic tires is the only device used for moving the camera and limits such movement to forward and backward shots.
  No modern klieg lights are used. Instead, U.S.-made floodlights of 6,000 watts and English-made spotlights of various lesser wattage provide barely adequate lighting.
  Make-up is accomplished by the cast themselves in private dressing rooms. A heavy powder-base topped with plenty of rouge, lipstick and mascara form the complete make-up.

  The wardrobe is small and barely adequate, ranging from the business suit of western design to the gorgeous robes of ancient Mogul kings.
  Before the war, about 55 percent of the raw film used by the Indian producers was supplied by Eastman Kodak in the U.S. and about 45 percent from the Agfa concern in Germany. Now that Germany has fallen, Russia is absorbing the old Agfa firm which leaves the film market to Eastman and DuPont in the U.S.
  Color movies are still uncommon in India. At present, all coloring is done by hand, frame by frame, with crude watercolors, taking about 12 days to complete a single print. Instead of the entire film's being in color, only certain scenes, usually dances, are colored.
  A suggestion to shoot these scenes in 16mm Kodachrome and send the film to the U.S. to be enlarged to the standard 35mm has as yet not been tried.
  The Technicolor process is patented and its royalties and processing expenses are too great to be practical in India thus far, but the Technicolor firm may establish a laboratory in Bombay eventually that would make its use practical and possible.
  Studio technicians have not had skilled training, learning their trade mostly through the trial and error method. This in itself is a major weakness of the industry.
  No system of scouting for new faces among the actors and actresses has developed as yet. In emergencies, some film companies advertise in newspapers for players and the majority hired through this medium are untrained.
  Studio publicity is still negligible compared to the high pressure publicity schemers in America. To date, newspaper advertising, billboard posters, and other ordinary channels of advertising are the only methods used to exploit Indian movies. One small fan magazine exists in Bombay, but it's tiny circulation renders its publicity value practically worthless.

  There are no skilled scenario writers available, although the story writers are excellent. In fact, only shooting sequences are drawn up from the original story, with the actual development of the script being worked out by the director, the writers present on the set, and the actors themselves. This lack of scenario writers is the major fault of the Indian film industry.
  At present, this condition is particularly difficult as a wartime restriction by the Indian Government has limited raw film to 40,000 feet per production from which 11,000 feet must form the finished picture. To the layman this percentage seems great, but compare that figure with an American director who recently shot 600,000 feet for a 10,000 foot production! Such a film shortage works a hardship on the director who must practically eliminate all re-takes, which in turn lowers the quality of the entire production.
  Scarcity of theaters and the market situation in general in India forms another obstacle. Compared to the multi-thousand American cinemas, India has only 1,675. American films are distributed all over the globe but the export market of Indian films is practically nil.

  On top of the lack of theaters is the problem of the numerous dialects and tongues throughout India. Most Indian films are produced in and around Bombay in the Hindustani language. Although it is the principal Indian tongue, the innumerable other dialects throughout India limit the boxoffice considerably. This situation has led to studios being established in Lahore, Calcutta and Madras.
  Coupled with the language problem are the social customs and ideals that differ in the various sections of India. A picture produced about social life in Bombay would have less interest in Lahore and vice versa.
  These conditions all lead to a limited financial investment on the part of the producers and the film companies which, along with the lack of skilled technicians and performers and inadequacy of modern equipment, renders most Indian movie productions as essentially a business gamble.
  Despite the increase in productions during the war, last year 43 percent of the pictures produced in India suffered a loss, 31 percent just recovered the initial investment, and only 26 percent made a definite profit.

  Of the approximate 120 Indian film companies, there are only about two dozen established film concerns, which average from two to eight pictures a year per company.
  But for the most part, Indian movies are produced by anyone who has sufficient capital and wants to take the chance. If the film succeeds, the company takes it profits and perhaps produces another film. If it is a loss, they usually drop out of the production picture.
  Indian films are essentially of three types: social, mythological and historical.
  Social films are of family life with its problems, customs and romances. Mythological films are essentially religious stories, mostly Hindu. Historical films could be called costume pictures about the Mogul kings that once ruled India.
  Social and mythological movies are the majority produced due to less expense and time taken to produce them. The average is from four to six months with a total cost of about Rs. 350,000.

  Historical films are much more expensive to produce due to the lavish costumes and the bigger scale productions, taking from nine months to a year to complete at an average expense of about Rs. 900,000. Certain studios, such as Minerva, specialize in this type of film.
  The biggest medium for Indian music is the motion picture, which likewise forms its greatest appeal to Indian movie audiences. Therefore, one of the basic requirements of the Indian film is the necessity of seven or eight songs or dances in each movie.
  I was frankly informed by one producer that the major effort of the screenwriters was to find plot excuses to work these songs into the story. Regardless of the quality of the story, if the songs are good, the rest of the film is unimportant, because Indians will got to the same movie more than once just to hear a tune that appeals to them and leave the theater when it finishes.
  Since the average run of a film in one large city is from six to eight weeks, these songs or dances must draw the Indian movie-goer more than once, and the greater appeal, the longer the run. At present, the Indian version of Kismet is running in Calcutta for its 120th week, setting a new record.
  Most studios have their own staff songwriters and musicians who record the songs even before the picture begins actual production.
  At the Central Studios which I visited, the concern gets most of its income from rental of its sound stages, equipment and technicians to independent film companies.

  Only the visual camera is present on the set with the sound camera being mounted inside a truck outside the sound stage so it can be moved easily from one stage to another.
  After the production has been completed, the sound track and the action film are synchronized onto one negative. After complete development of the film is finished, the film is given a special tropical protective bath and then dried. Then an American printing machine that prints one complete film of 11,000 feet in about five and a half hours is utilized to print 20 prints from the original negative.
  All films are censored by a board composed of both Indian and British citizens and then sent to the distributors.
  Rigid moral standards in India prohibit intimate love scenes. Kissing or embracing is taboo and suggestive dialogue is carefully watched.
  Most successful films net about rupees six or seven lakhs after a run of several years throughout India.
  With the increased wartime production of Indian films and an increasing shortage of good actors, most of the stars are turning freelance and appearing in simultaneous productions. But most wartime productions have been financial failures and the average Indian theater-goer is demanding better films.

  The present hodge-podge condition of film production may be altered within three to five years if many proposals to raise the standards of the Indian film industry materialize.
  The most effective effort to bring this about is the reported possibility of the Indian Government establishing a motion picture academy to provide training schools for film technicians, directors, actors, scenario writers, costume and set designers, and the industry in general.
  Together with the skilled training schools will be the advent of modern equipment and techniques imported from the U.S. Technicolor will come into usage and mobile sets will be constructed.
  The ethics of the entire industry and standards of the pictures themselves will be raised, should plans for this academy materialize. When this occurs, banks and insurance companies in India will be willing to finance studios as in the U.S., instead of private backers. From then on, the Indian film industry will be a healthy profession.
  But until then, the second largest producers of motion pictures in the world in quantity will be among the lowest in quality.

Ledo's Native Labor Army Demobilization Proceeding Smoothly
 By SGT. RAY HOWARD   Roundup Field Correspondent

  LEDO, ASSAM - Demobilization holds the spotlight throughout the world, with millions of men asking the question so embarrassing to generals and lawmakers: "When will I get out of uniform?" Asked in English, Russian, Chinese - a veritable babel of tongues from all the armies of the allies - this question is re-echoed in a myriad of dialects by the thousands of native laborers who have worked along the Stilwell Road.
  A huge army, which at times exceeded 49,000, was recruited from the mammoth labor surplus of India and Burma, and worked side by side with American SOS troops, infantrymen, and air men until the mission of the Burma campaign and the building of The Road were completed. Now these recruits are just as anxious as you and I to return home - to Madras, to Orissa, to Travencore, to their tribes in the hills of Burma.
  In a small bamboo basha within the sound of traffic on The Road, a handful of Americans is handling the demobilization of thousands of this strange and often motley army so efficiently as to put to shame greater and supposedly more worthy planners.
  T/4 Frederick Banks, whose 21 months as sergeant major of the Labor Section here, qualifies him as Advance Section's outstanding authority on civilian labor, is handling most of the problems arising from demobilization of this invisible army.
  "Things are going smoothly," he says, "and the man behind the man who built the road can expect to get out much more rapidly than most Americans. We already have sent out more than 9,000 laborers from Advance Section, and will be able to send them out just as rapidly as they become surplus to closing the base."

  Growth of the labor groups has kept pace with Allied needs from the beginning of the North Burma campaign.
  At first, when there was only Ledo Bazaar and the unmarked jungle stretching to the Patkai Range, the only civilian labor available was recruited from local tea gardens on a basis of one coolies for every 10 acres of tea. As The Road lengthened, the need for labor increased. Soon Indian Pioneer Troops, Indian States Labor Units, Assam Civil Porter Corps, Civil Pioneer Forces, and men from the Indian Tea Association were supplementing American soldier labor.
  While Americans were performing their technical duties, these little brown men were clearing right of way for communications and pipelines, packing rations and gasoline through hip-deep mud for bulldozer crews at the "point," ditching and shelving the road overhang, loading supply convoys, unloading railroad freight cars of the B & A, carving sub-depots from the jungle, assisting with air dropping, and performing a thousand other tasks unknown to the outside world.

  Under the command of Lt. Col. Chester A. Asher, Jr., the Labor Section which administered the functions of this shadow army never totaled more than 15 men. Capt. Edward Brause was one of the first echelon labor officers, setting up a native labor unit in Myitkyina during the battle for that Jap stronghold.
  Capt. Carl O. Johnson not only accompanied the British 36th Division down the Railroad Corridor to Hopin and Monyhin, but later handled civilian labor affairs at Bhamo, Kutkai, and Lashio. The day after Lashio fell, Sgt. Thomas J. McEvoy was on the scene, organizing supply labor at that point. A lieutenant, James C. Stover, was in charge of thousands of Indian laborers between Ledo and Mile 240, while another officer, Lt. Thomas A. Steinfield, handled the work at Myitkyina.
  Sgt. Maurice Weinograd, who handles the assigning of labor in the Ledo area, says that for every American relieved of some menial job, he has three civilians ready to do the task just as well, or possibly a little better.

  It seems incredible, but this small group of Americans, with the help of T/4 William E. Robinson, T/5 Raymond Harris, and T/5 Cresencio Lecero operated a corps the numerical equivalent of three American infantry divisions.
  Now the job is finished. There remains only the handling of inventories and disposal of supplies. Then the unknown army will have completed its mission. Soon the civilian workers will be back in their homes, and still little will be known in the outside world of the job they have completed.
  But there will be Madrasis in Southern India, Oryias in Orissa, Kachins in the hills of Burma, Napali and garro in Nepal, who 20 years from now will tell you in all sincerity that they freed North Burma and built the Road. And they have the right to share the credit.

Members of the Entertainment Production Unit say farewell to Mrs. Kate Lawson, who boarded a Stateside ship last week.  Mrs. Lawson, over here 28 months, was assistant to Maj. Melvyn Douglas with the EPU and later to Capt. Richard C. Weiss, assistant theatrical adviser.
Jap Col. Takunda, former commander of the Jap prison camp in Hong Kong, holds up his pants en route to jail.  The British took his belt away to prevent his running away.  He will be tried as a war criminal.


  CALCUTTA - After 28 months overseas Mrs. Kate Drain Lawson of the Red Cross departed last week for the United States.
  She spent most of her time here working with the morale department. Assigned to the Assam Valley upon her arrival, she promptly organized entertainment for that area, costuming and assembling such shows as Hump Happy, fir G.I. show to tour India, Burma and North Africa under Army auspices.
  Later she was drafted by Maj. Melvyn Douglas to aid in organizing the Entertainment Production Unit. In addition, she scouted troops at advance areas for talent. When she did finally leave here for home it was only on the advice of physicians.
  In the States she played opposite Joe E. Brown in Rio Rita on Broadway. In Hollywood she was, among others, in Phantom of the Opera and Eagle Squadron.
  Her send-off here was a last tribute overseas by show people to show their gratitude for her work. Personnel of the 40th Special Service Company were on hand with a brass band. At the pier an impromptu vaudeville show was put on.
  As the gang plank was drawn up, the G.I.'s unfurled a banner voicing their feelings, "So long, Kate, the best to you always."

G.I. Jive Bugs Get 'Hep' With Colored Band
 By SGT. ART HEENAN   Roundup Staff Writer

  The dance floor was crowded and hurried as G.I.'s swung WACs, WAAFs, civilian gals and themselves around in cadence to the Basin Street Blues emanating from the band platform at SOS Dayroom, Delhi.
  Dances in New Delhi are no novelty, but this particular gathering was the closest approach to a Stateside hop that cynical CBI veterans had seen since leaving the "old country."
  The reason lay in the band, a four-piece Negro combo consisting of Warrick Brown at the piano; Billy Hills, bass fiddle; Lionel Hampton, drums; and Reinhardt Parks, trumpet. The M.C., Jimmy Black, known to the boys as Casey the Viper, kept the crowd laughing between dances, in the meantime transmitting requests from the floor.

  Willy R. Gullett furnished the vocals and when the dancers were exhaustively resting Johnny Green and Rossie Woods would do a tap dance. The entire show was a touch of Harlem in the Orient, officially known as the Club Cotton Express.
  The next night the entertainers put on their show at Lady Hardinge Field, where an estimated crowd of more than 2,000 whistled and applauded their display of American music and dancing.
  The boys have been touring the Theater since April 20, generally putting on one show daily except at hospitals, where they doubled up. They have been all over Bengal, Assam, Burma, and the rear areas.
  Warrick Brown, the group leader, said he and his men had been treated "fine" by the Army. The entertainers were especially grateful for the hospitality shown in New Delhi, where Capt. T. D. Barraclough, Company A commander of Headquarters Battalion, used up his jungle ration and a couple of more quarts mixing cocktails for them. In addition, the cooks served up a special menu of Stateside pork chops.

  Bass fiddle player Hills said the funniest thing he had seen on their tour was when they played before a mixed audience at Bhamo.
  "There were some Chinese there," chuckled Hills, "and they were waving and hollering louder than the G.I.'s. One little China boy was doing a jitterbug."
  Their audiences have been mostly American. Everywhere they have been acclaimed avidly by the G.I.'s. Once they played a show before a British audience. "They were kinda cold," sighed Brown. "Those people don't know what jazz is all about."


  One lazy monsoon day, one of the happy hacks in the office made the timely suggestion that the India-Burma Roundup hold a contest to determine which was the best among its "country cousins" - the weekly unit newspapers published throughout the Theater.
  For many months, the staff had perused with absorbing interest such publications as India Ink, Tiger Rag, Yankee Doodler, Slipstream, and Special Service Bulletin. They combined, we reflected, professional skill with lively individualism and gave to their readers the intimate local touch not possible in a newspaper of Theater-wide circulation such as the Roundup.
  Today we announce the winner of the contest: India Ink, published in Panagarh.

  That's the verdict of the seven judges, the editorial staff of the Roundup. But it was hardly a shoo-in for the Ink, which received 44 points out of a "possible" 49. Tiger Rag, unit publication for Bengal Air Depot, polled 42 points, and Yankee Doodler, Ondal newspaper, was credited with 39. Actually, we couldn't have gone wrong naming any of the three for top honor. The Ink polled three first place votes, the Rag and the Doodler, two each, it was that close.
  Of India Ink, one of the judges wrote, "Neat, well-written and strictly a paper of first-rate qualities. Overcame supreme difficulties and survived to fill an important place in Panagarh's history." Another judge had this to say: "The Ink seems to me to fulfill the main mission of a base paper. It features names and news of local outfits and stories dealing with India which can serve as material for G.I.'s writing letters home. The paper's staff has surmounted printing difficulties, as all press work is done in Calcutta, 110 miles from the base. The paper shows good taste in make-up and subject matter. Proofreading is clean and copy is well written."

  The third judge who voted for the Ink remarked: "I like the paper particularly because of its 'reader interest' - stories concerning the G.I.'s themselves; corny gossip, but doubtless well received. Local features, such as India, My India, are the sort of items guys want to send home. Typography, despite difficulties involved, is very clean and professional. Stories are generally well written, with a touch of humor."
  There were similar expressions of approbation by the supporters of Tiger Rag and Yankee Doodler, plus slaps on the back for Slipstream, Agra's neat, compact weekly, and Special Service Bulletin, published by Special Service in Calcutta.
  India Ink rolled out of its inky womb in November, 1943, as a modest mimeograph sheet and in March, 1944, had its first printed run. The present staff consists of Editor and Founder S/Sgt. Rollie Gallagher, Associate Editor Larry Billerbeck, Sports Editor Murray Moscowitz, Feature Editor Harold Przygocki, and Photographer Carroll Chinn. The Ink is supported by voluntary contributions from officers and EM and for this reason 100 percent circulation covers each man on the base.

  Voluntary contributions also support the Tiger Rag, which boasts a circulation of 4,000. Editor Pfc. Arthur Goldberg explains the laudable policy of the Rag, which printed its first edition in December, 1943, as being "as G.I. as possible without over-using G.I. expressions and titles." Surveys are conducted among readers to determine interest in various features.
  Editor Cpl. D. B. Osborne and Associate Editor Cpl. E. P. Bollier have been the guiders of the Yankee Doodler's destinies since its inception June 7, 1944. We enjoyed reading Editor Osborne's comment: "At one time,

Capt. Gus C. Francis demonstrates in Kunming one method of Jap torture inflicted on him after being seized by the Nips on Bataan.  A plank was placed behind his knees and he was forced to kneel down with arms outstretched.  Then two rocks were placed on his palms and he was made to stay in this position for one hour.
our editorial conscience pricked by the CNS Editor's Manual, we considered discontinuing company columns and substituting news articles on inside pages. Through a reader survey, however, we discovered that these gossipy, intimate and frequently corny features rate very highly with our readers and they're still there."

  Running persistently through all the Theater's unit newspapers is a thread of pride in accomplishment of all concerned, from the editor down to the most obscure voluntary contributor. This factor, more than any other, has certainly brought about their all-around excellence. More than a "job of work," rather a "labor of love," the business of producing these publications has been a trust fulfilled. And the Roundup's collective hats are off.
  Two other publications which reach the Roundup's desk are not newspapers. They fall, rather, into the "magazine class." Both would do credit to units stationed in the United States with the advantages of Stateside equipment. One is Bakshish, published by the 653rd Engineer Battalion and edited by Cpl. Victor Guilbault. The other is CBI Dromes, turned out by the Office of the Air Engineer, ASC Headquarters, for the purpose, writes Lt. Col. D. J. Hughes, of stimulating the morale of Aviation Engineer construction troops working on major projects throughout the India-Burma Theater and to provide a medium for dissemination of technical information on new construction methods and procedures.



  Your throat feels like frayed sandpaper, your face is ablush as if a Stateside barber has just applied a hot towel and little men are whacking you enthusiastically on the occipital bone with sledge hammers.
  So, being a good soldier (Good Conduct Medal, with two Oal Leaf Clusters), you check in at the nearest dispensary for aid and comfort as supplied by the Army Medical Corps.
  A long, languorous corporal lowers a pair of G.I. shoes off his desk, carefully dogears the comic book he's perusing for future reference and inquires laconically, "Whazzamattuh, bub?"
  You recite your story with all the gory details. If you expected sympathy, you've come to the wrong place. He's visibly unimpressed, having heard it all in varying versions a thousand thousand times before.
  "Stick this in your mouth," he yawns, handing you a thermometer.
  "Hmmm, 102 degrees. Hmmm, guess we'd better send you to the hospital."
  Begins the business of collecting information.
  Perhaps you assume this bookkeeping procedure is a simple matter. yeah, just about as simple as an octopus eating spaghetti on a spiral staircase. The two-striper has a mile-long list of questions that probes into your innermost secrets, covering every inch of your life from cradle to the grave that you envision is yawning to embrace your tortured body. (By this time, the little men have switched to pneumatic drills.)
  You've been reasonably patient thus far. Then, the long languorous corporal starts transferring the information you've given him to an official form. Little doubt remains in your mind that he must have been introduced to a typewriter only that morning. He strikes the keys with all the confidence of a teen-age girl knitting her first sweater. Hours seem to creep by and you wonder whether death's soft, cool hand will soothe your fevered brow before he finishes - you begin to hope.
  But every road has an ending - even this one. Finally, to the hospital you go in a battered command car, which is minus even a suggestion of springs, over four miles of bumpy road, caterwauling kids and cursing tonga wallahs. More dead than alive, you arrive at the G.I. croakery. And meet another corporal.
  This two-striper flings more questions at you than Professor Quiz. The corporal at the dispensary was a Sphinx alongside this guy. The new interrogator has four (4) forms to fill out, requiring you to acquaint him with everything about T/7 Osmosis Fink except the kind of toothpaste he uses and whether he prefers stamp collecting to reading tea leaves. Among other questions, he asks you for the name of your beneficiary, and the dark suspicion begins to jell that perhaps you're expected to leave the jernt feet first.
  Having laboriously typed your replies in triplicate, the corporal leads you on the long safari to your ward. Your legs by this time have a Leon Errol fixation. But you're game as a pebble. You make it.
  hardly have you melted into the sack than a thermometer is shoved into your mouth by the ward boy, who looks at it, mournfully shakes his head and disappears from your ken.
  Shortly after, he returns and requires a specimen (disturbing Joe Miller's eternal slumber with a chestnut about Vitamin P.) This, naturally, fails to convulse you with laughter.
  Sleep starts to steal upon you when the nurse arrives on the scene. She must have thought her mere presence would produce a miraculous cure, for she sure as hell didn't offer you any medicine. She didn't even hold your hand. (You make a mental note not to believe everything you see in the movies).
  She leaves the scene. That Sly Old Gentleman From Slumbered lane starts to sprinkle sand from the stars into your eyes again when there is another interruption, "Paper, sahib?" You need a newspaper like an octopus needs another leg, so with what remains of your feeble strength you croak a week "jao."
  Your next visitor, shortly thereafter, is the Red Cross representative. "Feeling better?" she coos, in a voice that sounds like a fingernail scratched across a window pane. "Anything I can do for you?" (You are polite, but your suggestion is obvious and she leaves to dispense her bright cheer in other dark corners.)
  You know nothing more for a time. The San Francisco earthquake, the atomic bomb and a tidal wave, all rolled into one, wouldn't bestir you.
  Consciousness does not return until the ward boy in the morning shift plops the inevitable thermometer into your mouth. The sun is conspicuous by its absence. The early bird has not even started to think about the worm.
  But it's the wakening hour at the hospital.
  If only they hadn't taken your clothes away.

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 Major 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 Capt. 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.

OCTOBER 25, 1945  

Original issue of India-Burma Theater Roundup shared by CBI Veteran Douglas MacLeod

Copyright © 2009 Carl Warren Weidenburner