CBI Roundup
VOL. II        NO. 15        REG NO. L5015        DELHI,  THURSDAY                                         DECEMBER  23,  1943.

Here's something no G.I. in the Theater in his right mind would mind finding under his Christmas tree (The question, "What Christmas tree?" is of course, obvious.) The pert miss is Shelby Payne, who does a nice job of dressing up page one.


    NEW YORK - Christmas will come to the United States this year as always. Dec. 25 will turn up on the calendar on schedule for the third time in World War II. In those sections of the country where it may be expected, the chances are good for a White Christmas. Bells will ring, strains of Silent Night will float across new England snows and Georgia pine and California palm.
  But in many ways it will be the strangest American Christmas since the Cavaliers celebrated their first one in Jamestown in 1607 or the Pilgrim Fathers knelt in prayer at Plymouth in 1620.
  And, pathetically, it will be the children - those who in the past have most wholeheartedly made the day their own - who will be the greatest losers from the strange conditions and regulations which a war-torn world has imposed on their country.
  There is a shortage of toys, Christmas trees and Santa Clauses. There is a shortage of cakes, candies and cookies. Only one family in 10 will sit down to the traditional turkey for Christmas dinner. Because of the shortage of gas, tires and railroad transportation, there will be a shortage of trips to grandfather's farm.

  Almost all metal and rubber toys have disappeared and even wooden toys are scarce. New toys are made of cardboard and come knocked down and ready for home assembly. The emphasis is on miniature war weapons, such as anti-aircraft guns and bazookas. Roller skates, steering sleds, metal guns, bicycles, Erector sets and electric trains are completely out. Guns and bullets are of wood. Model planes are pine or cardboard, bot balsa. Girls come out better than boys, however, for stuffed teddy bears and rag dolls are still available.

  There is not such a good chance, either, that big brothers will be home from the Army camp for Christmas. Although the railroads have urged, through advertisements and over the radio, that civilians stay off trains to leave room for servicemen on furlough, those who get them will be relatively few. Regulations hold furloughs, including one-day passes, to 10 percent of complements. Passes must be arranged so that no men travel on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, yet they must return on Dec. 26 or Jan. 2, if on pass. Many families will fill up


    Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell's Christmas greeting:
  "As Theater Commander, I extend the season's greetings to all officers and men of this command and express my sincere appreciation for the splendid spirit shown in the performance of duty often rendered under trying and difficult conditions. Each and every member of this command must be aware that it will be the result of our combined effort that will eventually make possible a powerful blow at our enemy. The work of each unit and of each individual plays its own important part. Let us all do our individual utmost to make the blow crippling and decisive."

the empty place at their own table by inviting servicemen from nearby camps who cannot make a longer trip to their own homes.
  Strangest sights of all, perhaps, are being provided by the adults, many of whom have more money to spend on Christmas gifts this year than ever before but with considerably less to spend it for. The usual merchandising picture is reversed. Instead of urging people to come and buy, as always before, retailers are running expensive advertisements urging people not to jam their stores but to put their money into war bonds instead.

Manpower shortage extends even to Santa Claus.  So in Los Angeles, Calif., Mrs. Dorothy Vooker will enact the role of the good St. Nick this Christmas Eve.

  The advice is not being taken to any spectacular degree. Moderate and low-priced goods are difficult to find, but luxury items are selling like liquor at a lumber camp on pay night. Stores have reported that their supplies of expensive wrist watches have practically disappeared. Jewelry and high-priced perfume are selling like hot cakes. Pearl necklaces, $100 pocketbooks and $50 nightgowns are being snapped up. Dealers report they could sell 200,000 more orchids than are available and florists are swamped with cabled orders.
  One store reported that two young girls in slacks passed $3,500 apiece in crumpled bills over the counter for mink coats.
  The usual bell ringers are fewer on the streets and many an older child has been bewildered at the sight of female Santa Clauses, necessitated by the manpower shortage. If he insists on whiskey, papa may be considerably soberer this Christmas Eve than last, but if he's willing to toy with gin, beer, rum, brandy or combinations of the same, it will be the same old story and Mama will have some harsh comments to make the next day when the kiddies aren't listening.
  Not because of the liquor shortage but for other reasons, however, many expect the quietest Christmas in years. Big city hotspots will be sold out, and the street cleaners will have a number of casualties to sweep up in the morning. But in many homes and in broad sections of America, Christmas this year will be greeted with a sobriety and religious spirit not equaled in years.
  Churches of all denominations are planning more extensive Christmas religious observances this year than since the turn of the century, and practically every church will be packed. Few families in America today have remained untouched by the war. Most will have someone far away for whom prayers will be offered as Christmas 1943 comes.

  CBI Leader Given Role In New Unit

    American and British combat air units in India were welded into a single, mobile striking force last week when Maj. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer assumed leadership of the Eastern Air Command.
  Patterned along the lines of the Northwest African Air Force, the new Allied organization forms the fighting air arm of Lord Louis Mountbatten's Southeast Asia Command and it got off to a fighting start by hitting far-away Bangkok, capital of Thailand, in night raids in which both the 10th A.F. and the RAF took part.
  Stratemeyer, who came to the CBI a few months ago after an impressive record as Chief of the Air Staff at Gen. H. H. Arnold's headquarters in Washington, will double in brass as chief of the Allied air combat force and as Commanding General of all U.S. Air Forces in the India-Burma Sector, which takes in the Air Transport Command, the Air Service Command and the Air Training Command.
  Brig. Gen. Howard C. Davidson has a double job, too. He remains as boss of the 10th A.F. and has also assumed command of the Strategic Air Force in which the heavy bombardment groups of the 10th and the RAF are brought together under the Eastern Air Command. A Tactical Air Force has also been set up as part of the Eastern Air Command under Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin in which fighters and light bombers of the 10th and the RAF will keep up the job of pounding the Japs in the jungles of Burma.
  "We must merge into one unified force in thought and in deed - a force neither British nor American, with the faults of neither and the virtues of both," said Stratemeyer in General Order No. 1 of his new Command. "We must establish in Asia a record of Allied air victory of which we can all be proud in the years to come. Let us write it now in the skies over Burma."

New Eastern Air Command Strikes Powerful Blows Against Enemy

    Maj. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer's Eastern Air Command, with its Allied strategic and tactical arms operating on the North African pattern, got off to a good start. While Air Marshal Baldwin's Tactical Air Force was bombing and strafing the Jap in the nearby jungles of Burma, Brig. Gen. Howard C. Davidson's Strategic Air Force reached out to pound faraway Bangkok in a heavy night raid on Dec. 19, in which more than 50 tons were dropped by a large force of American B-24's, seconded by RAF Liberators.
  U.S. heavies also raided the oil installations at Chauk and Yenangyaung on Dec. 15, starting large fires, while the RAF, attacking by night, covered a string of targets along the railway from Akyab to Henzada, shooting up transport of every kind on land and rivers. The RAF also caused an oil storage blaze at Chauk and pummeled the Prome railway yards by night.

  In the north, American activity was directed with renewed intensity against the Japanese jungle positions in the Hukawng Valley. On Dec. 18, more than 50 fighter-bombers swept on a dozen specific areas south of Kamaing, designated by ground forces as concentrations of Jap troops and supplies. Striking in two waves, the planes dropped more than 13 tons of bombs on their objectives, causing a number of explosions and fires emitting a peculiar blue smoke. More than 14,000 rounds of .50 caliber machine gun bullets were sprayed over the area, as a finishing touch.
  On the following day, the road from Walawbum to Shadazup was bombed and strafed as were Mohnyin and

Laconic press reports can hardly tell a story comparable with this photo of the havoc being wrought upon the important Jap base of Rabaul.  In this particular attack, American planes either sank or damaged 26 ships and left shore installations blazing fiercely.  The aircraft over the harbor is a B-25.  American troops have landed on another section of New Britain.
Kanbalu. Ammunition and supply dumps and troop concentrations were attacked with telling results. At Mohnyin, several direct hits were scored among warehouses and in a reported military area, and eight fires were started elsewhere in the town. At Kanbalu, the intersection of a main railway line was torn up, a string of 10 railway cars was destroyed, and a direct hit was made on an occupied locomotive revetment.

  While the RAF attacked enemy positions in the China Hills and on the upper Chindwin, the USAAF returned over Myitkyina airfield, which for weeks has been kept in a constant state of disrepair. On Dec. 14 and 18, the runways were ripped by 500 and 1,000-pound demolition bombs. The town itself, as well as neighboring Mogaung, was hit on the 17th with demolition and incendiary bombs. Almost all important buildings and installations were either razed or set on fire in both towns. Myitkyina had been hit the previous day also.
  Other targets, which suffered heavily on Dec. 15, were Mingon, Namma, Pinbaw and Kondangyi. An ammunition dump in the latter town blew up and 17 fires were started.


    His buddies in CBI-land who have been waiting anxiously for the news will be pleased to know that it's a healthy, bouncing, six-pound 10-ounce boy for Cpl. Marvin Wilson, who made a dramatic flight to the side of his wife in Portland, Ore.
  Twenty-year-old Mrs. Carolyn Davis Wilson has been in an iron lung since Oct. 14. Physicians feared that she would not live, but when her soldier husband arrived after his 18,000-mile flight, she staged a recovery. Her condition is reported fair.
  The birth of the child is the fourth of its kind in the United States.

Unique Ally Helps Pilot To Nip Nip

    It was May in December during a dog-fight over Burma when an American fighter-bomber, piloted by Capt. Sidney M. Newcomb, and a Jap Zero dove from 17,000 feet down to tree-top level and then streaked around a pagoda in "maypole" fashion.
  The Jap got into the spirit of the thing, but paid for his trying to emulate American tradition when

Even in the jungle, military etiquette is observed when the first man in line to be paid by Capt. Taylor S. Womack is Topkick James H. Armstead. Lt. John C. O'Connor witnesses the payroll.
one of his wings hit the pagoda and cartwheeled him into the ground with a crash, his plane bursting into flames.
  Bullets from Newcomb's 10th Air Force plane had just probably sent one Jap to his dishonorable ancestors, wing first and trailing smoke for a probable, when he spotted another Nip on his tail. He then started a high-speed evasive action that took him and the doomed Jap down to the tree-tops.
  Newcomb didn't know how to list the pagoda victim upon his return to his home base. To claim or not to claim was the question, so he asked Brig. Gen. Howard C. Davidson, his commanding general.
  "Hell, yes," answered the general. "You got him, didn't you?"


    When the Insein locomotive shops and the Botataung Wharves at Rangoon reeled under a record tonnage of bombs recently, the Japs were taking it on the chin, although they didn't realize it, from the 10th and 14th Air Forces, operating together for the first time.
  Under a master plan, personnel and equipment of the 14th Air Force were flown to bases of the 10th. From those bases, formations of heavy bombers, which must have totaled approximately 50, hit the Rangoon area at least three times. From the number of B-24's employed, the bomb loads on each occasion probably topped 100 tons.
  The joint action pointed to increased air cooperation within the C.B.I. Theater.
  The RAF has not yet been in action with American forces, but during the record Rangoon raids, RAF heavies pounded the targets at night to give the Theater its first example of round-the-clock bombing which is now paralyzing Berlin and other German cities.

Peak Sold For Rs. 30 To Army

    ASSAM - The United States Army now owns a mountain in India and the delegated purchaser was Pvt. Dick Slater, of Alameda, Calif. The total cost was 30 rupees and the terrific price was paid in installments though not according to plan.
  Slater was in the first party of whites since 1880 to enter an unsurveyed area of India when his group was sent to establish an outpost. They decided on the mountain, but Naga headhunters objected - with spears. So the G.I.'s paid out 15 rupees and signed a treaty.
  On the way back, the party met 250 more tribesmen lined up across the trail insisting that they owned the mountain. Another 15 rupees changed hands and the Yanks had another treaty and sole ownership.
  Then they worked out an agreement for the two tribes to work alternate days preparing the American position.


  Here's a story (true, too) that bears telling.
  Tales of American sergeant sahibs being royally stung in their business deals with merchants are numerous. But two lads from this central India air base reversed the procedure two nights ago.
  Sgt. Fred Stults and Pfc. Irving Rothschild purchased four ivory pieces for Rs. 7. They then went into a shop next door, allowed themselves to be amazed at his high prices, and suggested they could supply him with the goods cheaper. In the usual manner, the dealer said: "Tekka. I will pay you Rs. 10." Whereupon, the G.I.'s put him over the barrel by producing the goods.
  They left with the Rs. 10, while he looked around the shop for his lost face.
  ye Ed must agree this is a new twist to an old story.
  Yours for the best,
  Pfc. STEVE RIDER, APO 885 (Delhi, India).


    WASHINGTON - (UP) - The War Department announced that, hereafter, virtually all Army planes will flow from contractors unpainted, which will mean speed amounting to several miles an hour faster due to the reduced weight.
  The War Department said that the war paint is already removed from many planes in combat areas because the decreased weight increased the speed which is of more value than the camouflage value of paint.
  It pointed out that a plane in flight cannot be made invisible anyway and that camouflaged coverings can conceal them on the ground.


    APO 467 (Sookerating, India) - An air raid alert pierced the night and those men of this post who had started to woo Morpheus scrambled out of their bunks and, with Jesse Owens speed, dashed for slit trenches.
  However, moviegoers at a late G.I. show, Air Raid Wardens, featuring Laurel and Hardy, didn't move a muscle toward the direction of safety.
  Why should they? The alert was only a scene in the picture they were watching.


    14TH A.F. HEADQUARTERS - Thirty-four Japanese planes have been sent to flaming oblivion by the 14th Air Force since Dec. 12 - 22 Zeros and 12 bombers - and 21 fighters and eight bombers have been probably destroyed and 30 fighters and nine bombers damaged. In addition to decreasing the strength of the enemy air force, the 14th has also hit Jap shipping with devastating fury - 2,300 tons sunk, 11,000 tons damaged. Bombers and fighters have attacked the Tung Ting Lake area in support of Chinese ground troops, swept over the South China Sea, attacked airdromes in Burma, China and French Indo-China, and raided installations, towns and railroad yards.
  Liberators, with a fighter escort, bombed the marshalling yards at Hanoi on Dec. 12. On the same day, Jap planes attacked one of our eastern bases. They were intercepted by P-38's and P-40's, which shot down a total of 11 Zeros and three bombers. The next day, Mitchells, escorted by fighters, including those of the Chinese-American Wing, attacked Kugan and Lichow.

  In a night raid on Dec. 13, Mitchells hit Wuchang in Central China, while other bombers attacked the city of Shasi in the Tung Ting Lake area the next day. P-40's made a low-level attack on the Gia Lam airdrome near Hanoi in French Indo-China, shooting up hangars and shops as well as rolling stock. Two locomotives were destroyed in the rail yards near the airdrome.
  Fighters dive-bombed and machine-gunned the airfield at Yuchow, on the Yangtze River, Dec. 15, destroying three bombers on the ground and damaging two bombers and one fighter. Medium bombers of the Chinese-American Wing, on a sea sweep over the Gulf of Tong King, sank a 1,200-ton ocean-going tug, and probably sank a 1,700-ton schooner.
  For the next two days the 14th Air Force was active over the Tung Ting Lake area. On a sea sweep, a lone Mitchell bomber of the Chinese-American Wing attacked and shot down an enemy bomber over the China Sea. Other

Against savage fighter plane resistance and angry ack-ack, the Flying Fortress Knock-Out Dropper, has raided the German-held continent more than 50 times, 49 when this picture was taken.  The ship has dropped more than 100 tons of bombs and downed 12 enemy fighter planes.
Mitchells attacked and sank one 1,100-ton freighter and damaged another one. The airdrome at Yochow was raided by P-40's, destroying one fighter and one bomber on the ground. The next day, fighters bombed the railroad station at Lao Cay in French Indo-China. Eighteen Jap medium bombers, with an escort of about 40 Zeros bombed a main 14th Air Force base. Fighters shot down four Zeros and one bomber, damaged three fighters and two bombers and probably destroyed four fighters and five bombers. In the meantime, Liberators bombed the Japanese airdrome at Namsang, in Burma, destroying one aircraft on the ground and damaging several others. Fighter hit the adjacent Laika airdrome, destroying three Zeros in revetments. At the same time, Mitchells, on a sea sweep, damaged 5,500 tons of Japanese shipping in the South China Sea.

  The next day, 18 Japanese medium bombers, escorted by 20 Zeros, bombed a 14th Air Force base in the Western Yunnan Province. Only minor damage was done. Fighters intercepted and shot down six bombers and three Zeros confirmed, two bombers and five Zeros probably destroyed and five bombers and 10 fighters damaged. One P-40 was lost, but the pilot parachuted to safety. On the same day Mitchell bombers, with fighter escort, bombed Japanese installations at Nanhsien and Ansiang in the Tung Ting Lake area. From all of these missions since Dec. 12, three 14th Air Force planes did not return. Two of the pilots were saved.


    WASHINGTON - The U.S. War Department has disclosed a powerful new air warfare weapon - a 75mm cannon installed in the nose of Mitchell medium bombers, made possible because of the development of a special type of recoil mechanism utilizing a secret type of hydro-spring device.
  The announcement said the 75's, which are similar to the French artillery piece of World War I, were secretly tested in combat in the South Pacific and "probably in other theaters of operations" as well.
  "First use of the cannon-firing Mitchell was against the Japanese in New Guinea when it joined action against an enemy transport plane which was destroyed in landing," the announcement said. "Stalking larger targets in the same area, the Mitchell was sent against the larger of two Jap destroyers. Five direct hits were scored and the warship was left sinking.
  "The Mitchell was employed in attacking land installations and making forays at sea against enemy shipping. Action by the heavily-armed plane was extended to include gun emplacements, landing barges and tanks."
  It was said that the installation of the 75mm cannon "has the effect of lifting artillery aloft."
  It was said that the adapted 75 is a "comparatively rapid fire weapon" and, despite its size, "it has not decreased the Mitchell's effectiveness in dropping bombs, strafing, carrying torpedoes or as reconnaissance planes, transports and fighters."
  Shells are 26 inches long and weigh 20 pounds. One projectile is said to penetrate both sides of a medium tank.



    December 25 is two days hence . . . December 25, day of "peace on earth, goodwill toward men."
  And yet there is no peace in a world plunged into the most bitter conflict in all history, and goodwill toward men is a phrase defiled by the Hitlers and Tojos.
  CBI-landers are 15,000 miles from home and family and all they mean so poignantly this holiday season, and not the wisest prophet knows when the Jap and Nazi will be beaten to their knees and the world returned to sanity.
  Close friends have spilled their life's blood on foreign strands; others will pay the supreme price so that the world will live again in dignity and peace.
  Yet it must be recorded that this Christmas Day, the third in America's World War II history, is significant. It holds a shining promise that the flood of mounting Allied might will inevitably surge to victory. The goal is much nearer reality than it was a year ago, although there are, assuredly, stern, bitter days in prospect before the cherished prize is won.
  It must be gall and wormwood to the Hitlers and Tojos who strove to murder them that human decency and honor and tolerance haven't died and that, this Christmas Day, 1943, a people dedicated to the teachings of Christ are tightening the noose around their wanton ambitions to make mockery of these goodly virtues.
  In view of these facts, the observance of Christmas is far from barren of meaning.
  To the Roundup's way of thinking, the best Christmas present we in the CBI Theater can give Saturday is the promise to ourselves that from now until the echo of the last angry shot has faded we will give, unstintingly, every full ounce of our energy and devotion to the tasks we will be called to perform.
  In closing, the Roundup extends the season's greetings to all members of the command and expresses the hope that Christmas, 1944, may be observed at home . . . following the enemy's capitulation.


'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the camp
Not a creature was stirring
Not maiden nor vamp
Our socks were all hung
On the clothesline with care
In view of the fact
That they needed to air

The G.I.'s were nestled
All snug in their beds
While visions of bamboo juice
Danced in their heads
And those in their bashas
And those in their tents
All dreamed of the days that
They had to pay rent.

Then all of a sudden
There rose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to find
What was the matter
I came on a scene that my
Heart fair did stop -
I cried out in anguish
"I've blown my poor top."

For what to my wondering
Eyes now display
But a tiny red sled and
Eight healthy young babes
St. Nick was the driver
So jolly and grand
I knew in a moment
'Twas that damn "Fighter Brand."

But what does it matter
Heres music and dames
And Santa is calling them, soft
By their names:
"Now Mitzie, now Trixie,
Now Scarlet, now Nana,
Now Betty, now Hetty,
Now Charlotte, now Lana,
Make sure this poor Joe here
Will always remember
The year forty-three in the
Month of December.

With that they descended to
Wholly surround me
A garden of lovelies
Blooming around me.

Then Nick from his sled drew
A gigantic bag
And presents that fair made my
Knees start to sag
A case full of whiskey: a
Case full of brandy
A barrel of beer that will
Sure come in handy.

A golden-brown turkey; a
Porterhouse steak
And pies of the texture that
Mom used to bake
And music was playing
Of Strauss and Chopin
Fats Waller, Glenn Miller,
And Bennie Goodman.

It woke the whole camp up
And now, pleasure bent
They gathered and scattered
About my gay tent.
I knew right away by
The lights in their eyes
That here was a bevy of hungry G.I.'s

But St. Nick had plenty
Enough for us all
And girls for the fat, for the
thin, short and tall.

We ate and we drank and
we danced 'til the dawn -
We knew, in an hour, St. Nick
Would be gone;
And then, in the hope that
They'd all soon return
We kissed each girl lightly,
Politely, in turn.

"'Nite Mitzie, 'nite Trixie,
'Nite Scarlet, 'nite Nana,
'Bye Betty, 'bye Hetty,
'Bye Charlotte, 'bye Lana,"
But no cry we uttered, nor
Any years grieve -
They said they'd be back again
This New year's Eve

O! Doubt not my story -
I swear it is true;
If you were in India
You'd see things, too
But now I'm exhausted for
Something to write -

And to all,
A Good Night


Radio Program For Christmas

    It'll be as simple as turning on a radio dial for relatives and friends in the States to be reminded of the C.B.I. Theater this Christmas, for a 15-minute program will be broadcast from Duration Den to travel the Kilocyclic boulevards to Shangri-La. Soldiers, sailors, nurses and Red Cross girls will sing Christmas Carols and speak extemporaneously for the folks back home.
  Christmas programs will be held throughout the Theater, including Little Washington, where a variety program is scheduled Christmas Eve and a semi-classical concert hour Christmas, with comedian Joe E. Brown expected to appear before or after the latter program.
  The variety program, directed by Sgt. Charles Johnson, known to many as Moe Pilwell, will take the form of a radio hour and will include choir singing, led by Sgt. Bill Gilkey, as well as lighter moments of zaneyism.

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

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DECEMBER  23,  1943    

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

Copyright © 2007 Carl Warren Weidenburner