(CIC in India)
  "To all ranks of the United States Forces in India Command I send my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. May our common effort, which has carried us through the war, be continued in peace until a better world is built on faith and good will."
(Chinese Resident Military Officer)
  "My most sincere wishes on behalf of the Chinese Army for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the United States soldiers who have worn the uniform of their country so honorably here in the Orient. May our deep friendship continue into peace."

 IBT Roundup
Vol. IV   No. 15.      Delhi, Thursday,   December 20, 1945.      Reg. No. L5015


Perched high atop mail sacks filled with Christmas packages fresh from the States is Connie Christy, a civilian employee of the USF, New Delhi. She works in the morale office. The postal Joes call her "Miss Mail Call."

 Officer Total
  Drops To 70

Roundup Staff Article

  A new Adjusted Service Rating score of 50 for enlisted men and 70 for officers was announced today by Theater Headquarters, which said the plan will go into effect the day after Christmas.
  A total of about 9,300 enlisted men and 840 officers will be returned to the United States under the plan, which was adopted by the I-B Theater at a time when War Department point totals are 55 for enlisted men and 73 for officers.
  Persons also made eligible under the Theater plan are enlisted men who have completed three and a half years of service, female enlisted personnel who have completed two and a half years of service, male officers having completed four years of service, and WAC officer who have completed three years and three months service.
  The plan encompasses personnel in the Air Forces, Base Section (which includes Karachi base officers and enlisted men), Intermediate Section and Delhi.
  A Theater spokesman said all of the personnel affected will go to Calcutta for shipment, except those persons stationed in Delhi, Agra or west of those cities.
  Meanwhile, the point total for the return of nurses to the U.S. was reduced to 10. A spokesman declared that the total of 1,355 nurses present in the India-Burma Theater Aug. 31, had been reduced to 455 by Dec. 14. By Feb. 1, he said, there will be fewer than 100 nurses left in this theater.
  An important factor in the return of nurses to the States in large numbers, he said, was an extreme shortage which has been reported in both military and civilian requirements.
  Theater Headquarters also disclosed today that the last Category Four unit had left Calcutta Dec. 9. The following shipping schedule has been set up for the only other units which will leave the Theater as Category Four units from Karachi, after which only casuals will remain in the Theater:
  Departing from Karachi Dec 23 on the Hawaiian Shipper for Seattle will be the 888th Ord. HAM Co., 151 QM Laundry Platoon, Hq. 12th Bomb Group, 81st, 82nd and 83rd Bomb Squadrons, 434th Bomb Squadron, 238th Medical Dispensary, 11th Air Base Command Detachment, 2086th Engineer Aviation Battalion, 455th QM Laundry Platoon and the 18th Special Service Co.
  Departing from Karachi Dec. 29 for New York on either the Gen. Callan or the Gen. Stewart will be the 1359th Engineer Dump Truck Co., 23rd Signal Heavy Construction Battalion, Hq. and Hq. Det. 198th Ordnance Battalion; 175th MP Co., First QM Butchery Platoon, 111th QM Bakery Co., 44th Field Hospital, 270th MP Co., 165th Ordnance Tire Repair Co., 3150th Signal Service Co., 699th MP Co., 889th MP Co., 3416th Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Co., 94th Machine Record Unit, 1388th Engineer Forestry Co., 320th Depot Repair Squadron, 3099th QM Salvage Repair Co., 3438th Ordnance Medium Automotive Maintenance Co., and the 51st Fighter Control Squadron.

105,000 Pounds Turkey Scheduled For I-B Xmas

By SGT. MICHAEL J. VALENTI   Roundup Staff Writer

  The Army's first peacetime Christmas in the India-Burma Theater is going to be just as Stateside as 105,000 pounds of fresh turkey, Christmas trees, religious services and special parties can make it.
  Dividing up the turkeys will be 72,000 men who will sit down Tuesday to dinners that will be identical in every section of India and Burma. Here's the menu:
  Turkey, dressing, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes, buttered peas, buttered carrots, chilled tomatoes, sweet mixed pickles, cranberry sauce, mince pie a la mode, hot rolls, bread and butter, coffee, candy and nuts.
  There's so much turkey on hand, Quartermaster said, that there will be enough for an encore on New Year's Day.
  A Christmas Tree in every Red Cross club is the ARC's goal in its contribution to the yuletide gaiety. The Darjeeling forests have been stripped of 500 of their choicest evergreens to be the shining center of club festivities. Thirty thousand Christmas gift boxes will festoon the base of the trees in hospitals and outlying units, the Red Cross announced.
  Midnight masses on Christmas Eve will draw thousands to worship at Catholic Services in chapels throughout the Theater, with the largest single mass at Monsoon Square Garden in Calcutta. A 30-girl choir will sing traditional music. Regular Protestant services and Catholic Mass will be held on Christmas Day.
  Col. Beach, Theater Chaplain, said Christmas parties will be held as in the I-B custom, for many Indian children with funds derived from collections that have accumulated during the year. GI's will entertain the kids in some cases and in others the parties will be run by Missionary groups with the aid of GI contributions. Col. Beach flew this week with a quantity of communion wine to Chabua to be used in services in the Chabua-Ledo area.
  Perhaps the most elaborately decorated chapel will be Theater chapel in New Delhi. Lord Wavell offered the services of his Superintendent of the Viceregal Gardens who has applied his expert hand to arranging the altar with banks of cut flowers, ferns, potted palms and other floral decorations. Preceding the Catholic Midnight Mass there will be a Protestant candlelight service.
  Radio entertainment throughout Christmas week will feature the traditional carols and religious music. The highlight of Christmas Day will be a one and three-quarter hour Command Performance broadcast studded with Hollywood stage, screen and radio stars, with Bob Hope as master of ceremonies seconded by his sidekick, Bing Crosby.
  Providing a closer touch with home were the Expeditionary Force Messages which hundreds of GI's were sending home to convey the season's greetings. Although the words were "canned" at the flat rate of Rs. 1, As. 11, nevertheless they were calculated to bridge in a swift caress the thousands of miles of ocean and desert between the soldiers out here and their loved ones.


By SGT. JOHN McDOWELL   Roundup Staff Writer

  KARACHI - At least once a week for the past three months, the Negro Quartermaster truck driver from Malir Replacement Depot had exchanged his khaki uniform for a black and white checkered shirt, white baggy Punjabi trousers and a white fur hat, and had strolled non-chalantly down into Karachi's MP-guarded brothel district.
  Last week, the amorous G.I. embarked on another of his pilgrimages among the dark-eyed, bespangled entertainers of Karachi's bordellos. But he forgot one important item of his disguise - his shoes.
  Two members of the Karachi MP detachment, while patrolling the out-of-bounds area, spied an "Indian" sauntering down a crowded street wearing a pair of G.I. shoes. The MP's stopped the "Indian."
  "Where d'ya get those shoes, Joe," they demanded.
  "Nay mallum, sahib," was the answer.
  All other questions met with the same reply. Exasperated, the MP's decided to take the "Indian" theft suspect for questioning by the Indian police. "Get into that jeep, Joe," one of the MP's snorted. And the "Indian" scrambled halfway into the waiting vehicle before he remembered he wasn't supposed to mallum English.
  Under a new barrage of questioning, the "Indian" admitted he was a G.I. At the Karachi stockade, he talked freely of his extra-curricular activities along the narrow streets of Karachi's out-of-bounds area.
  "Had no trouble with the Indians. I speak their lingo okay. Guess they thought I was Indian, too." he explained. Then, with a chuckle, he added, "They sure enough must have took me for an Indian 'cause I always paid Indian prices!
Holiday Salaams

  "This is the first peacetime Christmas in many years - more years than some of us like to think about. It falls short of perfection, of course, for Christmas usually means home and a sparkling little tree and familiar faces swimming in the candle-shine. It may mean sleigh bells of flowers in bloom. This all depends upon the place where we bring our dreams to anchor.
  Yes, Christmas means home and holly wreaths and turkeys convoyed down a big table by bowls of cranberry sauce and slabs of mince pie. It means beribboned gifts beside an open fire and childish cries of "Christmas gift" in the cold dawn. It is a visible evidence of the kind of fire our nation has been fighting to preserve and I can assure you that I enjoy Christmas at home as much as anyone.
  But home must remain just a dream for a while longer and we will have to make the most of the realities which face us. These realities aren't so grim at that. In the Stateside atmosphere of broad-bellied Santas and eggnog cups and seething department stores, we sometimes lose our perspective - forget what Christmas really means. We forget that it is the birthday of our Lord.
  For Christmas is so much more than a celebration. It is the spirit within us - a spiritual brotherhood of all mankind. It is a spirit which is not designed to fit into any particular 24 hours. It is fashioned for the long haul - for 365 days of every year - for all time.
  The palms of India may seem alien palms, but Christ is always at our elbow. He knows no international boundaries. So let us make this Christmas one of self-searching inquiry. Let us look in upon our souls and sweep out the dusty corners. Let us see how we measure up to the standards set by the gentle man who came to us in Bethlehem twenty centuries ago and will live forever in our hearts.
  And to every one of you, a merry, merry Christmas."
 There'll Be Christmas
  - By The Crosses

Roundup Staff Writer
  Back there on the other side of the world - in the low ceilinged New England farmhouses and the modern apartments along the Drive and the five-room bungalows on a shady street of a prairie town - the people we know and love are wrapping presents for Mom and buying cigars for Grandpa and a rocking horse for little Sue. They're trimming the trees they paid a buck for in the lots on the corners with tinsel and white stuff that looks like snow and brightly-colored lights.
  And the way we picture it, the radios are turned on over in the corner and the ageless music of Christmas time comes softly into the rooms:
  Silent Night, Holy Night - the winds sweep down from the Siberian plains across the Hump into the jungle-tangled valleys of the Irrawaddy, the Hukawng and the Chindwin these nights. They stir up a little dust where the Sumprabum trace curves in near Myitkyina and the dust sifts down against the white crosses where New Englanders who fought with Merrill and Texans who fought with Mars are spending this Christmas as they will spend all the other Christmases. Yes the nights are silent.
  Hark, The Herald Angels Sing - only the wind sings this Christmas along the base of a cliff "somewhere" on the Burma-China border where a man-made machine suddenly stopped flying. No crosses mark that spot because only the men who were in it when it came crashing to rest - and, perhaps, the Herald Angels - know where a tangled heap of junk and the men who made it fly are spending this Christmas. Sing to them - those 300-odd Americans for whom their comrades still are searching - oh, Herald Angels. The radios are silent now, yet we think they can hear you.
  God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - you were a merry lot at that, though people who didn't understand you may have thought differently. They heard you gripe about K rations and C rations and the monsoon-soaked, back-breaking trails. They heard you gripe about no mail and no beer and because the damn mule in front of you kept slapping you in the face with his muddy tail. They heard you gripe at the Operations Officer because you had to go out again as soon as the C-47 was unloaded and the visibility was zero and anyway there was water in the gas. But we know you were merry - so wherever you lie - beneath the dusty crosses or under the sky - God rest you.
  Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men - because the heroes lie where they do, we of the living are at peace again. Christmas lights are on all over the world. Last year Daddy was in a strange land but this year he'll carve the turkey Mommie didn't cook last Christmas because she missed him so. His uniform hangs in the closet and probably he'll never wear it again because he bears ill will to no man and good will to all.
  Adeste Fidelis - They who are spending this Christmas beneath the crosses or under the night skies of Asia were faithful. They proved it. They marched in the rain, they flew through the storms, and they lay on their bellies in the slime of the jungle pits and they went where they were told to go and they did what they had to do - back there on the other side of the world Christmas this year is what it is because of them and their faithfulness.
  Christmas, 1945 - the ground is white back there in the land we love - white and peaceful, and sleigh bells jingle and on Christmas Eve the children will lie in their beds and the little mice will fear to stir because "St. Nicholas soon will be there." The stockings will be hung and the warm happy feeling that always comes to people at Christmas will shine from the faces of people in the streets.
  We aren't sure - but we think the dust of the Sumprabum Road will remind those guys at Myitkyina of the snow at home, and the tinkle of the bells on the little ponies will sound like sleigh bells coming down the lane and there'll be Christmas by the Burma crosses, too.


Longer sleeves are predicted for Calcutta next spring. Already deep in overseas chalkups, Beatrice Lynch, left, and Alice Todd of the ARC will add another next March. Miss Lynch, director of clubs in the India-Burma and China Theaters, and Miss Todd, who is assistant director of personnel, were among the first group of seven ARC representatives who arrived in India in 1942.


  WASHINGTON - (ANS-UP) - President Truman disclosed this week that Gen. George C. Marshall's first objective in China will be to end hostilities between Nationalists and Communists.
  The disclosure was made here as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee planned a "quiet, slow death" to former Ambassador Patrick J. Hurley's charges that career diplomats were undermining American foreign policy.
  The President, in outlining Marshall's task, cited the need for a conference of all Chinese factions to work out a permanent political settlement for unification of the country.

  Mr. Truman backed his plan with outright American economic pressure, explaining that the United States would be prepared to grant credits and loans as China "moves along lines described."
  Marshall, who is succeeding Hurley, is en route to Chungking. The President has based his injection of American diplomacy into internal affairs of China on the assertion that peace and unity in that country are essential to peace in the Pacific and the whole world.

  In the meantime, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ended a series of public hearings and decided to let Hurley's charges that "double dealing, pro-Communist foreign services personnel" were undermining American policy, die in a committee pigeon hole.
  The committee announced there would be more hearings and no committee statement unless new issues arise. Meanwhile Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson denied Hurley's charges that he had wrecked American policy in Iran by favoring "monopoly and imperialism" in handling lend-lease in the Far East. Acheson said Hurley was being "utterly fantastic."

Roundup Staff Article

  One man won eternal fame for being the first guy to swallow an oyster.
  Then, of course, there are the Chinese with their shark fins, bird nests and ancient eggs.
  And now come S/Sgt. Bohumil J. Chejlava and Sgt. Vernon A. Rosenblum, both of the 82nd Repair Squadron, Agra Air Depot, who have fixed up - and tried - a nice little recipe called: "Filet Mignon de Python."
  All you need is a python and - an appetite.
  "And for a little evening snack, it's not bad," declared Rosenblum. "It's very nice smelling and has a sweet, clean-cut flavor. Neither Bo nor I can think of any meat with a like savor."
  "Our suggestion is, once you catch, kill and skin the snake, to filet your cuts of meat into narrow strips about six inches long. Grill them slowly over a hot fire. Add salt to taste, and pepper if desired. Perhaps a slice of onion or some garlic would be advantageous. When it turns a rich, crisp, golden brown, you're ready. Sumptuous, really."
  The two gourmets declared they were prompted into catching and eating the snake purely by "scientific curiosity."
  "I've personally heard of hunters in tropical countries eating snakes before,: continued Rosenblum, whose statements were stoutly attested to by S/Sgt. George W. Merritt of the same outfit.
  "So," concluded Rosenblum, "we decided to try it. And, what the hell, you only live once."


  HQ., ARMY AIR FORCES, INDIA-BURMA, CALCUTTA - Another chapter in the history of the Army Air Forces in the Far East has come to a close with the announcement that the United States Army Air Forces have ceased operating the Southern India Air Depot at the Hindustan Aircraft Ltd., Bangalore.
  A small custodial detachment will remain at the airfield until disposition of the heavy factory machinery is completed and the requirement for the field is determined, according to Maj. Gen. T. J. Hanley, Jr., India-Burma AAF commander, who announced the closing of the depot.
  Fashioned after the production "giants" of America, Hindustan Aircraft Ltd. was constructed in 1940. In January, 1942, it began the maintenance and repair of American fighter and bomber craft and RAF and Dutch flying boats.

  The following year, it was placed entirely under USAAF control with the Air Service Command as the operating agency. The plant is owned jointly by the governments of Mysore State and India.
  Almost overnight Mysore State became air-minded and rightly so. For with a Japanese army threatening at Imphal, India was for the first time feeling the full impetus of winged warfare. The local populace swarmed to the Southern India Air Depot, the installation's USAAF designation, to work on the "big birds" of the sky, to learn American methods, mass production in styles contrived by persons like Henry Ford and in places like Dearborn. It wasn't easy for Indians to learn so much in so little a period, but it was managed. Before long the huge Liberators, sleek Mitchells and C-47's were beating a crippled path for treatment in the plant at the hands of the Air Depot's capable personnel.

  In every detail, the Southern India Air Depot clad itself in the garments of wartime America, even down to the five o'clock whistle. American G.I.'s and civilians worked hand in hand with the people of Mysore State. Transportation of all descriptions brought the shifts to their jobs.
  Under the USAAF set up of technical orders and rigid inspections, the plant was chiefly concerned with third and fourth echelon maintenance. From April through September, 1945 alone, 81 salvage jobs, 67 major repair assignments and 140 major overhauls were completed.
  These figures show only one phase of the operations that were carried on at the plant, but they leave no doubt that the plant was doing more than its share in the battle of "keeping 'em flying."
  The Liberators, Mitchells and C-47's that once stood on the repair lines at Bangalore can be found today scattered over the globe.

Typical of the fight in the India-Burma Theater against scrub typhus is this laboratory scene showing a technician examining specimens in some test tubes.

Roundup Writers
  A small group of Americans filed back over the Stilwell Road about a month ago from Burma where for a year they had fought a grim, silent battle with a deadly enemy that still swarmed unconquered in the jungle.
  The men were the 50 officers and enlisted ranks who constituted the India-Burma Field Party of the U.S. Typhus Commission. Their enemy - unvanquished but repulsed - bore the name of Rickettsia Orientalis - known simply to the fighting men in Burma as scrub typhus.
  On Nov. 21, the doors of the laboratories of the 44th Field Hospital on the west bank of the Irrawaddy some six miles north of Myitkyina closed for the last time. Those were the four laboratories, stocked with all the animals necessary to carry on the experiments, that had started crudely in an inadequate monsoon tent last year.
  But the story goes back further than that. It starts in the latter part of 1943 - in November, when a strange fever broke out around Ledo and Shingbwiyang. Twenty-two men had come by the end of that month to the 20th General Hospital, bodies wracked with burning heat, while 10 were delirious at the 73rd Evacuation Hospital and five were reported dead from the fever at Shingbwiyang.
  Major D. S. Pepper, of the 20th General Hospital, made the rounds of the stricken patients and made tests. His diagnosis of tularemia didn't hold up. Then he probed the background of the cases. He found the disease in Shing, similar to that raging in the bodies of the patients at the 20th General, seemed to come from one company.
  This company had camped in an old clearing in a jungle overgrown with tall elephant grass. They had cut down the grass and used some of it as improvised mattresses. Eight or ten days later the fever had struck.
  Then Major Pepper thought he had it - it was scrub typhus - a variation of the malady that U.S. scientists knew little about, except that is was prevalent in Japan, Malaya and on the East Asia coast. He conferred at Chabua with Major L. Jellison, a Rickettsia disease expert, and Major Jellison became convinced - the dreaded scrub typhus had hit the Allies in Burma.
  Quick preventive action was taken - clothing was sterilized, traps and poison were set for suspected mite-bearing rats, open, grass grown camp sites were avoided and selected sites were petroleum sprayed and burned out. So the disease abated.
  But during the spring and summer of the following year, the fever brought down more fighting men - some of Merrill's Marauders succumbed. An epidemic threatened to break up the drive toward Myitkyina and indeed, the whole Burma campaign. Accordingly, the Theater Surgeon radioed the Middle East Typhus Commission and they, in turn, wired the central body in Washington.
  A four-man team of scientists, headed by Col. Thomas T. Mackie, arrived in the CBI on Oct. 22, 1944, and two weeks later setup a makeshift laboratory at Myitkyina. Mackie saw a great opportunity for doing worthwhile research work on scrub typhus. So he set about conducting personal interviews to enlarge his staff. Men were drawn from as widely diverse units as the Army and Navy Medical Corps and the Kachin Rifles - all had to show an undoubted interest in the work at hand. All were told, before accepting, that they would be exposed to one of the deadliest germs on the globe.
  Men of the commission wore high boots all the time in the Burma grasslands and primitive jungle, and dimethyl phthalate, an insect repellent, was rubbed into all clothing.
  In the discovery that rat-borne mites, tiny blood-sucking parasites, were the main carriers of scrub typhus, some 20,000 separate microscopic slide preparations were made. Available now for continuing studies and for loan to universities, this is believed to be that largest single collection of "chiggers" in the world.
  Although no vaccine of unquestioned efficacy has been discovered, the Typhus Commission has withdrawn from its battle with the invisible foe with a record of having successfully blocked the progress of this disease among troops in this theater and an amassed technical history which may yet spell final defeat for scrub typhus.

A breezy stepper is Amalia Aguilar, a rhumba dancer who brightens things up for the Lecuona Cuban Boys. Under the sponsorship of the Cuban Government, she is now on a goodwill tour of the U.S.


  CALCUTTA - The crack air units that once provided the air punch and skyline supply system for the Americans, Chinese and British ground forces in the Burma campaign, are starting on their way home after writing a dramatic chapter in World War II.
  Maj. Gen. T. J. Hanley, Jr., American Air Force commander in India-Burma, made the disclosure this week when he said that the evacuation of AAF troops and installations in Burma has been completed, and that only small custodial detachments remain at the few bases still being maintained.
Indian troops load gasoline drums for mechanized British troops in Burma. The bags in the foreground contain supplies which will be dropped by parachute before the plane lands on a rough dirt strip in a forward area.

  At the close of operations there were 34 American airfields and airstrips in Burma, and a force of some 10,000 troops all of whom are today redeployed to bases in India, China or earmarked for shipment to the United States.
  With the Jap out of Northern Burma by the end of March, 1945, the back door to China was open. The story of the opening of this route after almost three years is told as much in the feats of the Combat Cargo units as in the strength and fighting power of Allied foot soldier.

  At Kohima and Imphal, points of furthest Jap penetration, the tide was turned by air supply of Allied units. In unarmed C-47 transport planes, flying at almost impossibly low altitudes, at very slow speeds to keep the 'chutes from breaking, airmen of the 10th Air Forces, the Combat Cargo Task Forces and the RAF dropped tons of food, ammo, medicine and mail to front line troops.
  Meanwhile, with only a limited number of fighter crews and planes available, the P-38 and P-51 men kept the skies clear of Japs. They did their jobs so well that by the time Rangoon and Mandalay were re-taken, fighter pilots could make uninterrupted sweeps down to Bangkok from Myitkyina. These sweeps averaged 800 miles each way and were the longest fighter sweeps attempted during the war.

  With the end of the hard fighting in North Burma, AAF and 10th Air Force planes concentrated on getting supplies by air into China. From the end of March until the "Hump" route was discontinued for freight in November, Myitkyina-based planes of the 1st and 4th Combat Cargo Groups, now using C-46's, moved vital supplies over the Himalayas into China in co-operation with ATC.
  Aviation engineer troops assigned to Burma never exceeded regimental strength - about 3,000 men. In a country poorly mapped and uncharted, country that has since recorded 23 inches of rainfall in three days, surveys were made and airstrips and fields were hacked out of jungle with equipment that had to be flown in piece by piece.
  The usual plan of operation for the air engineers was to land gliders with light tools on relatively smooth surface, make the surface good enough for fair weather landing of C-47's, then fly in graders, bulldozers and other equipment, too big to be flown in in one piece, had to be cut with acetylene torches and rebuilt on the spot.

  At the close of operations, there were eight all-weather American fighter and transport strips, 19 fair weather strips and seven liaison strips. These were built, in the main, during one year, were all in operation when the push southward toward Myitkyina and Lashio began.
  Supplies from Burma have been moved back to U.S. bases in India where they await further shipment to the United States or other disposition as determined by the Foreign Liquidation Commission.


  KURMITOLA, INDIA - T/Sgt. William E. (Mooze) Herrman of the 12th Army Airways Communication System, a trouble-shooter for the organization's entire Burma network both in and out of combat, recently was awarded the Legion of Merit, according to an announcement this week.
  The citation paid tribute to the communications technician for his achievements between Sept. 22, 1944, and Feb. 14, 1945. During most of this time Herrman was setting up and servicing communications equipment along jungle air strips being used in the Battle of North Burma.
  Presentation of the award was made by Col. Albert J. Mandelbaum, C.O. of the Fourth AACS, who recalled how Herrman and his crew were dumped onto a new air strip just being opened seven miles from Jap-held Bhamo.

Tiny Isolated Units Still Work In Burma

By CPL. ED ALEXANDER   Roundup Staff Writer

  (First of a series in which The Roundup makes a final tour of north and central Burma battlegrounds.)

  INDAINGGALE, BURMA - Merrill's Marauders, the Men of Mars, the 14th Army are long gone from north and central Burma. Military roads are deserted save for an occasional ox-cart convoy carrying Burmese peasants home. Crosses, marking the graves of soldiers of every nation from West Africa to India, are rotting and falling by the roadside, rice paddies in the valleys of the Irrawaddy and the Chindwin are reclaiming the air strips. In the jungle at the edges of the hills, on the banks of the lazy rivers in the green cups among the mountains, Burma is again an unbelievably beautiful and peaceful tropic idyll.
  But in the wake of the shooting, small, isolated groups of G.I.'s still hold outposts in the battle of loneliness - last phase of the war in Burma.

  The loneliest job of all fall to the men of the 128th Army Airways Communications Squadron. Small detachments, rarely consisting of more than five men, still maintain or guard 17 AACS stations in Burma and India.
  The Army pulled out of Shwebo and Lashio months ago. But detachments of the 128th are still there. AACS men in Bhamo and Myitkyina, too. Life in these spots is not too peaceful. An eyewitness who was in Myitkyina up to November 17 described how American personnel at the airstrip had to move into the operations tower and post armed guards at night to guard against depredations by well-armed bandits - deserters from the many armies that swept through Burma.
  But the loneliest of the lonely are the 42826 and 42808 detachments at Tamu and Indainggale in the valley of the Chindwin, a part of Burma that American ground and service forces hardly touched at all. This was the valley up which the Japs swept to penetrate into India at the Imphal plain and down which the 14th Army later drove the enemy.

  Tactical teams of AACS followed the British, Indian, West African and Burmese troops of the 14th, operating control towers for Combat Cargo. [When] operations ceased, it was found that the stations at Tamu and Indainggale were right along the course of the southern Hump routes. They stayed on to operate vital radio navigation aids.
  Tamu and Indainggale each have only three enlisted men and one officer now. The nearest American base is at Kurmitola, 200 airline miles away. But that doesn't help much since these two spots can no longer be reached by air.
  To reach Tamu and Indainggale, one must fly from Kurmitola to Tulihal in Manipur State, a British strip at which AACS also maintains a detachment. From here you go down the Kalewa road by weapons carrier. It is 70 miles to Tamu and another 70 miles beyond to Indainggale. The 140-mile trip takes ten and one-half hours - an average of about 13 miles per hour.

  At Tamu, Sgt. Leonard A. Worthing, Sgt. Earl McFeeley, Cpl. Kurmit L. Klein and Lt. Verner E. Strombom live in a barbed wire enclosure about 100 yards square, with an exit only to the road. Beyond the barbed wire lie Jap and British mine fields. Just recently a truck was forced off the road. It struck a mine and was blown to bits. So the G.I.'s at Tamu stay pretty close to home except for the mile trip to the river for bathing and drawing water.
  Below Tamu, the road to Indainggale really gets rough. The AACS station lies in the center of the valley, five miles off the main road through jungle and rice paddy. Up till a week ago the road through the paddy was still under water. The last mile and a half was undertaken on a mud sled drawn by oxen, a trip that took one full hour.
  Here in one basha, raised above the flooded paddy on eight-foot stilts, Pfc. Robert A. Solger, Pfc. William F. Youngman, Cpl. Sol Weiner and Lt. Robert B. Shaffer sleep, eat and operate their radio equipment. S/Sgt. Floyd Stewart, Jr. and S/Sgt. Ralph G. Miller left just a few days ago.
  Indainggale detachment still gets its supplies by airdropping, except for a rare trip in the weapons carrier over the tortuous 140 miles to Tulihal where British and Indian supplies are available. Indainggale got its first bread a week ago. Up till then C ration biscuits had been the staple.

  Life is simple but difficult. It's nine miles through the elephant grass to water. The first night I spent here, a civet cat raided the storeroom at 3 o'clock and was eating up the noodles, till a carbine persuaded him to move on. Last week, fresh meat was airdropped, but the scavenger dogs got to it before the G.I.'s did.
  The roof of the basha is lined with old parachutes for the purpose of rat catching. The rats walk over the parachute silk and the boys club them. Eleven in a week is the record so far. The boys here consider themselves lucky when mail comes once a week.
  Friendly, if informal relations with Indian Signal Corps and West African outfits bring telephone maintenance and spare parts for the weapons carrier. Maintaining the telephone line is quite a problem. Burmese peasants can't understand why the silly Americans leave such fine binding twine lying in the field, so they often cut off chunks for use in harvesting the rice.

  One of the old timers here developed very close relations with the nearby village. He learned to speak Burmese fluently and wore a "longyi" and Burmese sandals in the village. I visited the village and found Mrs. Malachi nursing a baby while Mr. Malachi proudly pointed with his cheroot to a wall of the family basha, covered with Roundup pinups and Life magazine covers.
  The valley of the Chindwin, hemmed in by the green Chin Hills, is incredibly beautiful. Hunting is good in the nearby jungle - wild boar, deer and wild chicken abound. Few spots on Earth could be lovelier or more hospitable for a two-week vacation. But now that the two weeks have stretched into 10 months - like their brothers in far off Calcutta and Delhi - the G.I.'s at Indainggale and all the other isolated AACS stations in this Burmese paradise want to go back to Chicago, the Bronx, Detroit and San Francisco.

Ledo Hospital
Wins Grid Game


  LEDO, ASSAM - The 25th Field Hospital All-Star Indians took the 967th Engineer Maintenance Co. Tigers, 19-0, before 3000 football fans at the hospital gridiron last week.
  It was the second straight win for the 25th, which had previously defeated the 967th Engineers, 6-0.
  The Indians wasted no time in going after a touchdown. After two running plays, Tom McCormick, 200-pound half from Philadelphia, unloaded a pass to Nathan Goldman, of Akron, Ohio. It was good for 30 yards. McCormick repeated on a beautiful deception pass to Woody Underwood, of Cape Giradeau, who accepted the pass in the end zone.
  McCormick kicked the extra point and the 25th had a 7-0 bulge.
  The opening of the second quarter found the Indians resting on the Engineers' 28. Running plays carried to the one and McCormick blasted across right end for the score. The point try was nil.
  Another touchdown, gained in the third quarter, was a repeater of the first score. McCormick's end runs carried the Indians downfield and the McCormick to Underwood combo was good for another six points.
  With two minutes remaining in the game, the Engineers unleashed a passing attack, but to no avail.

Panagarh Snatches I.B.T. Basket Crown

By CPL. E. GARTLY JACO    Reformed Dramatic Critic
  CALCUTTA - Surviving first period argument on game tactics, the Panagarh Ramblers snatched the India-Burma Theater basketball title by downing the scrappy Kanchrapara Nubbins, 42-33, before 4,200 jammed G.I.'s at Monsoon Square Garden last Saturday night.
  Panagarh players were at odds with their coach during the first period and the Nubbins moved to a 9-6 lead. Recovering their usual poise in the second quarter, the Ramblers erased the margin and stepped to a narrow 22-21 lead at half-time.
  It was right after the half that the Nubbins again went ahead as Hank Henry sank two foul shots thanks to a miscue by Gregory Ramsey. But Robert Stiles tossed in a beauty from the side for the Ramblers and they paced from there on in.
  Charles Hughes accepted a pass from Ramsey for one goal, then Stiles dribbled down the middle for a neat lay-in shot. That made it 28-23 and Kanchrapara retaliated as Pebley scored from close in. Edward Shemetya offset that one with a looping goal from the corner. The lanky Randall kept the Nubbins in the game by pushing in a rebound leaving the score at 30-27, Panagarh's favor, at the end of three quarters.

  Opening the final period, Fischbeck took a pass from Shemeyla for a lay-up shot to Panagarh's credit, then Hughes and Sigholtz each connected on free throws which came from a double foul. Hughes let fly a two-handed shot and Panagarh held a comfortable 35-28 margin.
  Randall scored a gratis shot on one of Ramsey's two successive fouls and Leon Burch hit a short goal to boost the Panagarh lead to 10 points. Kanchrapara rallied briefly as Sigholtz brought one point on a baksheesh try and Randall made a 25-footer, but it was just so much using motion.
  Two goals by Shemeyla completed the Panagarh scoring and Sigholtz made good from the side for Kanchrapara's last offering. Thus it brought Panagarh the theater title, which coupled with the Ramblers' previous annexation of the Calcutta area title, leaves little doubt as to their capabilities.
  In the battle for third place, Ledo downed the Karachi Port of Embarkation, 62-34, but the main item was the scoring of Roger Wiley of Portland, Ore. Using his 6 feet 5 inches to good advantage, Wiley dropped in 27 points to win the silver cup as high scorer of the tourney. George Crowe paced Ledo with 15 points.

  An all-star team of ten men was selected, and each man received a trophy from Col. Craig Smyser, deputy commander, who made the presentations on behalf of Brig. Gen. Bob Neyland, Base Section commander. The honored:
  Monroe Collins, Los Angeles; George Crowe, Franklin, Ind.; Edward Dahler, Jr., Hillsboro, Ill.; Scottie Gross, Baltimore; Thomas Henry, Brooklyn; Harry Hopkins, Chicago; Charles Hughes, Garrett, Ky.; Greg Ramsey, El Paso, Tex.; Farrel Robinson, Centralia, Ill.; Bob Sigholtz, Philadelphia.

After China's strict ration on beer and cigarettes, this unidentified GI loads up on both for his sojourn here while sweating out the move to a replacement depot.

Empty B-29 Base Used
As Giant Staging Area

By SGT. JOHN R. FORDE   A.A.F. Staff Correspondent  

  PIARDOBA, INDIA - You get off the plane here in the cool, bright November sunshine half expecting the ghosts of B-29's to be flying in formation overhead.
  There are no 29's left. There is just a magnified runway, maybe 8,000 feet long, with broad cement taxi-strips, all clean and shimmering in the sunlight. Clean and shimmering, and empty.
  Everything is brown and grey as far as your eye can see on the level plain above Calcutta. There is just one bright spot of color shining and spanking in the heavy breeze - the headquarters flag.
  It's hard to become detached and objective about this place. You remember Curtis E. "The Cigar" Lemay, commanding general of the 20th Bomber Command, when his big, beautiful ships started their first blasting operations against the Japs. Your memory plays tricks and you think of the old 10th Air Force that was based here once.

  But now the glory is departed. The stillness, the empty runways, the half-built hangars, the untenanted revetments pull you memory up short and you're back at today's Piardoba, headquarters of the new Operation Matterhorn. The name "Operation Matterhorn" is a fancy trade name originally used to designate the construction of five B-29 bases. Air Headquarters has given it now to the moving of Category IV units from China and Burma to the docks at Calcutta and Karachi. This place, once the home of fabulous and mighty 29's, is the staging area, with the blood and tears gone, with nothing but the sweat left. For the 15,000 G.I.'s who were there when we came by, it was the last big sweat before the long voyage home.
  From the strip they took us down to Headquarters, where Colonel William S. Pocock commands the parent group here, the 61st Air Service Group, and coordinates the activities of Operation Matterhorn.
  Pocock used to be boss of the 52nd Service Group when they were known as the "Burma Peacocks," a double play on the Colonel's name and the national insignia of Burma. Now he heads the 61st, stripped of its high point men and made for the most part, of replacements for whom home is so far in the future they haven't yet begun to sweat. His outfit has over-all charge of the whole operations, plus housekeeping duties at Piardoba, and Dudhkundi. The 489th Base HQ and Air Base Squadron, an Army Air Force unit assigned for the project to the 61st, does the housekeeping at Salua-Hyli and Kalaikundah.
  All the China wallahs and Burma units are flown in by ATC. After a brief staging they are turned over to Special Services and Information and Education, whose job it is to keep the men happy during the long sweat. Some of the men have been waiting, and sweating for maybe four, five or six weeks. There is nothing in the way of details, except the usual pot-jockey and guard stint. The rest of the time men are free.
  The men were sometimes misinformed by some over-enthusiastic officers, before they reached Matterhorn, and filled with the usual scuttlebutt rumors about three days in Matterhorn then "home for Christmas." Information and Education told them the actual story and the G.I.'s appreciated it. The Special Service and the Red Cross stepped in to do what they could to soften the blow and the wait.

  Special Services started moving in what equipment it had on hand and then began a roundup of all available stuff for the area. They are still very short of almost everything - except singers.
  Then having the radios there was the problem of what programs they could get VU2ZU at Calcutta was the nearest radio outlet, and just a little too far. T/3 Bill Muller, another G.I. with some know-how set up a five watt station just for the Piardoba area. He set it up with an old hat full of spare parts and some good advice.
  The station is a five watt deal that can't be received outside the limits of the camp - but it has the flavor of a big time operation. The men call it the Piardoba Broadcasting Company (PBC) and are on the air several hours a day.
  That's Operation Matterhorn, Piardoba, Salua, Hyli, Dudhkundi, and Kalaikurdah. If you go there you'll very likely be there for a while. There is some chicken, as any G.I. can testify.

Who’s Kiddin’ And Why?

  The following letter was sent to Roundup by a captain in the Army here in this theater. Read it, boys, and weep into your PX ration.
  "We fortunately happened upon this voice in the wilderness in the form of a letter to the editor of the Daily Pacifican, an Army publication in the Philippines.
  "'With all the recent comments on the discharge system, it seems to me the officers have been grossly neglected.'
  "Most officers own businesses or are men of executive ability. This quality of men is needed to prepare jobs for EM when they are sent home.
  "Why doesn't the Army scrap its point system as far as officers are concerned since so many of us have been held in the States or in rear echelons for administrative and supply purposes and have not had the good fortune to obtain battle stars.
  "As a further suggestion, the Army could fly officers home. This would get them there sooner, saving the Army money, helping the EM when they return, and would eliminate the strenuous boat journey."


  NEW YORK - (UP) - Airplane crashes took the lives of more than half of all Americans killed in the India-Burma Theater during the war, with combat and illness accounting for most of the remainder, writes A. T. Steele in the Herald-Tribune from New Delhi.
  Steele said, "Although the great majority of American dead have been given proper burial in temporary army cemeteries, several hundred bodies remain to be located and recovered in the jungles of Assam and Northern Burma where so many Americans died helping to establish and maintain aerial and overland supply lines to China across the Himalayan Hump."
  Steele says of 3,300 reported American dead in the India-Burma zone of operations, three-fourths are reported buried. But a difficult task remains of finding the bodies of 300 scattered through the forests and wilderness along combat trails and at points of known air crashes.
  Steele said "one United States Army search team will be sent to Siam to seek out and remove the bodies of at least 125 American prisoners of war - victims of Jap cruelty and neglect as slave laborers on the Siam-Burma railway." As for the 150 to 500 Americans listed as missing in action in this theater, he adds, little can be said except that the search goes on.
  While it would be cruel to hold out undue hope to relatives and friends it is possible a few Americans reported missing may still turn up alive. Many of those who died fighting with Merrill's Marauders and while piloting planes across the Hump had to be buried temporarily where they died.
  Steele said, "Finding these isolated graves and carrying the remains back to concentration cemeteries is a major task. Often crude markers have been swallowed up by jungle undergrowth and there have been cases in south Burma where they have been carried off by vandals and used as firewood. When found the bodies are placed in waterproof pouches with zipper sides. These are slung from long poles carried out of the jungle by G.I.'s except in rare cases where native porters can be persuaded to perform the grisly task. Even elephants and horses balk in carrying the dead."

Pfc. Claude P. Lamkins, Beedeville, Ark., and Pfc. John P. Lane, Haverhill, Mass., sit on the shattered wreckage of a C-47 airplane that crashed deep in the Burma jungles and write out a report. A native guide is also shown.


By SGT. PHIL RITTER   Roundup Field Writer

  LEDO, ASSAM - Few missions in this theater since Merrill's have been the equal of the action-packed, adventure-stacked work of the Planes Searching and Jungle Rescue units now operating in Burma.
  The story of a plane search has its beginnings in Chabua at the busy, map-hung headquarters of the 105th Quartermaster Group, JR Platoon, where on a huge wall map, in accordance with information received from the Air Corps, crash positions are pinpointed as closely as possible - tiny flags marking the sites.
  With the report of a lost plane and its approximate position, a team of from two to four jungle-wise G.I.'s goes into action. Flown, floated, jeeped or trucked - all methods are often used in a single operation - the team is set down as closely as possible to the predetermined area - from that moment on, they're strictly on their own.

  Contacting headmen of tribes and villages in the vicinity, the party through the use of trade goods and silver rupees (dear to the hearts of Nagas and Kachins) arranges for native guides and porters. These secured, the party enters into the jungle and guided by map, compass and native "know-how" they make for the plane.
  Equipment is light, making for easy mobility of the parties. Included are arms and ammo for the G.I. members of the party, compasses, maps, hammock and bed-roll, change of socks and underwear. Even raincoats are dispensed with as excess weight. Each man may carry any small additional items he has learned from experience will be helpful in the jungle - and a man learns fast out there.
  Only a three-day supply of rations is carried at any one time, air-dropping rendezvous supplying the party at regular intervals with ten-in-one and mountain rations which makes up the fare. The diet is supplemented by fresh meat shot and cooked along the trail, jungle fruits in season and occasional feats at native villages.
  The average party, two to four enlisted men and 10 to 30 native porters, is in the field for nine days and searches an area of usually 40 or 50 square miles. The terrain in which operations are conducted is largely mountainous and jungle-covered and men in the units in many cases probably have been the first white men ever to enter some of the areas.
  Some of the experiences encountered in these farthest reaches of civilization put the story books to shame. One party, cut off by bad weather from its appointed air drop supply, was "adopted" by a local tribe and for several days lived like kings as the special guests of the chief, attending feats and dances. They ate monkey, elephant steak and native dishes of rice and edible roots. All hands deemed it a never-to-be-forgotten experience and one they wouldn't have wanted to miss.
  No party has ever become seriously lost, and complete success in reaching their objectives has been registered in the case of 80% of the planes searched for.

  Work is closely integrated with that of the 1352nd Air Search and Rescue Group, with air-ground liaison being maintained through the medium of walkie-talkies in ground parties.
  With November's end and since the start of operations by the 105th QM Group in February, 80 planes have been found in a total of some 350 man-days on the trail. Searched was an area equal to that of the combined countries of Belgium, Denmark and Cuba!
  Volunteers are being accepted for the missions. It is proposed to organize a separate Volunteer Company formed entirely of these men who endure hardship and privation that their fallen comrades may have a last resting place befitting men of their kind.

 By LOUISE LUX   Written for the Roundup

  CALCUTTA - Christmas Day will be a full holiday for the American soldiers, according to Lt. Col. John T. Trutter of Springfield, Ill., Special Services Officer. For Red Cross girls in clubs, canteens and hospitals, however, it will be one of the busiest days in the year, for larger or smaller programs have been planned for each installation during the Christmas week.
  The Red Cross warehouse at Calcutta has received for distribution in the area the following supplies: 70,000 individual gift boxes; 1,00 gift kits, including 100 Junior Red Cross decoration kits; 12,564 Christmas Cards; 5,280 pounds of Christmas fruit cakes; 7,000 pounds of assorted nuts and 3,500 Christmas stockings. The entire supply of Christmas tree lights - 15 in all - has been exhausted. Cost of the supplies is estimated at 193,488 rupees.
  Decoration contests will be held and trophies presented to the units displaying the most attractively-bedecked trees, wards or lounges.
  The Red Cross information booth in the Hindustan building has wrapped thousands of packages for officers and enlisted men who have bought silks, jewelry, leather and paintings to send home as souvenirs of India. The only chore that stumped them was how to mail a 50-pound tiger skin in one piece.
  In the Calcutta section, Capt. Walter D. Gaylon of Knoxville, Tenn., is directing a two-day Christmas show at the Monsoon Square Garden on Dec. 23 and 24. There will be three stages, three bands, and two hours of variety acts, comedy, a choir and half a dozen Santa Clauses who will distribute gifts in the audience. Soldiers and Red Cross girls will participate in the program, at which Jacqueline Baxter, ARC of Louisville, Ky., will be mistress of ceremonies.
  Hospitals in the area will receive first priority both from Red Cross and Special Service.

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 T/Sgt. Arthur Heenan, 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, Hq., U.S.F., I.B.T., APO 885, New York, N.Y. Units on the mailing list should make notification of any major change in personnel strength or any change of APO.

DECEMBER  20,  1945  

Original issue of IBT Roundup shared by Barbara Skinner Lipiew, daughter of CBI veteran George C. Skinner

Copyright © 2018 Carl Warren Weidenburner