CBI Theater – May 1945

B-24 Liberator, “Black Magic”, 7th Bomb Group

Outstanding mission of the period was a record bridge-busting jaunt by B-24’s of the Seventh Bomb Group, which destroyed or damaged 37 rail and road spans on the Burma-Siam railroad east of Thanbyuzayat. The Japs have been using rail cars with special auxiliary wheels which can leave the bombed-out trackbed and use the highways, and pilots reported seeing several of these, some of them directing machine gun fire at the attackers.

B-29, WWII

HEADQUARTERS, XX BOMBER COMMAND, INDIA – (UP) – Administering treatment prescribed by a medical officer by radio at this headquarters, two crew members of a B-29 returning from a raid on Japanese-occupied Burma saved the life of a third member of the crew.
When the crew member was seriously wounded by shell fire over the target, Sgt. Patsy J. Grimaldi of Brooklyn, radioed the following message to his base:
“Wounded man on board. Shot in neck. Can’t move right arm. Think collar bone broken. Advise if possible.” The radioed pulse and respiration reports continued every ten minutes during the ship’s return trip. An ambulance met the plane at the airstrip and the injured airman was rushed to a hospital where he is now recovering.
Sgt. Grimaldi, who is a member of the Billy Mitchell Group, Twentieth Bomber Command, sent back the messages as well as rendering first aid. A tactical mission report said he “is to be commended on the manner in which he discharged his duties under a trying situation.”

A XX BOMBER BASE, INDIA – The navigator who called calmly over the interphone to ask for certain information received as an answer, “Hell, I couldn’t piece these maps together if I wanted to.”
The answer came from Lt. Harold Vicory of Greenleaf, Kans., 23-year-old radio officer aboard a B-29 Super-Fortress who fortunately was not working with his legs crossed during a mission over Jap-occupied Singapore.
“Enemy fir was very thick,” said Vicory. “The Japs were really peppering us. I was at my desk with a packet of maps and charts when gunfire pierced the belly of the plane, zipped right between my legs, up through the top of the desk, through the maps, and shot out the top of the plane. It all happened pretty fast.”
After he had collected his wits, Vicory examined his maps to discover that the Malay Peninsula had disappeared in thin air.
“They wiped themselves off the map and didn’t know it,” he exclaimed. “And just about that time, the navigator called back and wanted me to give him some information.”

WACs in the CBI

WACS IN THE CBI

The War Department announced this week that 15,546 WAC’s of the Corps’ total strength of 94,000 are serving overseas, including 334 in India and Ceylon.
Other distribution includes, European Theater – 7,030; Southwest Pacific, including Australia, New Guinea, Dutch East Indies and Philippines – 5,255; Italy – 1,612; Guam and Hawaii – 206; Africa and Egypt – 596; Alaska – 103; and Bermuda, Labrador and British Columbia – 394.

Here are two Americans rescued by the 14th Army near Pegu after having been POWs in the hands of the Japanese. At left, Lt. Allan D. DuBose, of San Antonio, Tex., finds it’s the same old Army as he “smilingly” absorbs a shot from Sgt. Orlando Roberto of the 142nd General Hospital in Calcutta. After 18 months as a prisoner in Rangoon, DuBose finds that times change, but not the Army. And at right, Maj. Wesley Werner of St. Louis, happily quaffs his first bottle of beer at the same hospital in Calcutta. Werner had been a prisoner of the Nips since November 17, 1942. A former pilot with the old Seventh Bomb Group he is remembered by old timers in the Theater as the skipper of the noted B-24 Rangoon Rambler. Werner was one of the best known airmen in the 10th Air Force.

CALCUTTA – Happiest group of American soldiers in the India-Burma Theater this week were 73 prisoners of war liberated by the British 14th Army near Pegu on their drive to Rangoon.
The first group of recaptured American prisoners, mostly Air Corps personnel, was recuperating in 142nd General Hospital in Calcutta – with American beer, cigarettes, good food, candy bars, fruit juice, newspapers, magazines and everything possible that Army authorities and Red Cross would provide comfort.

Behind them was a grim memory of starvation, filth, disease and indignities administered by the Japanese to the “special treatment” group composed of flyers captured after the bombing of the Japanese homeland began.

The rescued men will also never forget the forced march out of their prison stronghold in Rangoon to north of Pegu where their Japanese guards deserted in the face of bullets and sound of artillery of the advancing 14th Army.
Two airmen, Lt. Kenneth F. Horner, New Orleans, and Pfc. Smith W. Radcliff, Dexter, Kans., had been prisoners for nearly 35 months; many others had sweated out their return since the fall of ’43 and only two of the recaptured prisoners had been missing since this year.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – C.B.I. style – 

“IS THERE REALLY A COSTUME PARTY AT THE RED CROSS TONIGHT?!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

George Bezecny – brn: CZECH; British information Service & US Army Intelligence Div. / USMC

Donald Gillis – Cancouver, CAN; RC Navy, WWII

William Hare Jr. – Sylacauga, AL; US Army, WWII, ETO

Ray Jones – Chesterfield, MO; US Air Force, Sgt.

Eleanor Kruger – Pottsville, PA; civilian, War Department, decoder

Arthur Mulroy – Brooklyn, NY; US Navy, Korea & Cuban Missile Crisis, USS Antietam

John Peter Jr. – Swansea, IL; US Army, 11th Airborne Division, medic

Gary Riggins – Sawyer, KS; US Army, WWII, Engineer Corps

Michael Sklarsky – Bristol, FL; US Air Force (25 y.)

Homer Waybright – Fayetteville, NC; US Army, WWII, Korea & Vietnam, Sgt. Major (Ret.)

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 9, 2018, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. Sent the link to my high school buddy whose father served in the CBI and came back…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t even want to try to imagine what it would have been like to have been a prisoner of war. Not sure how any survived without sheer willpower.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All I have to say is that war is a strange territory with lots of freak accidents, miracles and delusions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. GP, from the Farewell Salutes: Eleanor Kruger – Pottsville, PA; civilian, War Department, decoder. I drove through Pottsville a few weeks ago to attend the Army commissioning ceremony for my neighbor’s son. Pottsville has hung banners from light poles throughout the downtown area with pictures of the town’s veterans, their military service branch and the war/era in which they served. I thought that was a remarkable thing to do. This was back in May so it wasn’t done for the 4th of July, but seemed to be an ongoing salute. It would be col to see more towns do something like that. It was also done for civilians like Eleanor Kruger; I may have seen her banner but I don’t know for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wat een leuke getekende anekdoten

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Japanese POW’s I knew after the war,( officers serving with my father) had never really recovered, unlike the German POW’s… the privation and brutality seemed to have wounded so many of them forever.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was a great read.
    On the ship, we had (I think Atari) game where you were flying a B-29 bomber on a mission. If you carried a lot of bombs, you couldn’t carry much fuel, and vice versa. When the game was almost over, you had one bomb, and all the rest fuel, and you had to fly over enemy territory on your mission. I still remember the 1980’s electronic voice, “Watch out for flak!”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That moment of liberation from Japanese captivity must have been the greatest event in their entire life! Even just normal life must have seemed like heaven to the liberated airmen.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Imagine being a prisoner of the Japanese for 35 months. It is a wonder he survived. The other stories showed the courage of the flight crews.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Really enjoy these old dispatches from the Front, whether it be air, land or sea. Wow, I’ll bet that round through the desk really made Lt. Vicory pucker-up tight! Also, I love all those bomber beauties on the fuselage!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m sure that airman never forgot the experience of those bullets flying through the table. When you consider all the (literally) moving parts, he was very lucky. The recovered POWs are so skinny – that’s so sad. I doubt any of us can imagine what they went through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read that section about the bullet through the table twice to make sure I read it right!! I thought these prisoners looked better than so many others I’ve seen, but all that time a POW anywhere would sure wear you down; after all they weren’t in the US getting beer rations!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for WAC posting! Wow! imagine 334 WACS in India. 103 in Alaska. Goodness. What on earth were they doing? Not much, I bet! Awful windy up there to fly a plane.
    I wonder if WACs had sexy men silhouettes on their planes? I doubt it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Still so much going on, so close to the end. That was a lucky escape, when the bullets pierced the map table!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you very much for all this!

    Like

  1. Pingback: FEATURED WRITER: CBI Theater – May 1945 | By Pacific Paratrooper | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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