CBI Theater – 1945

Stilwell Road

Fish Story along the Stillwell Road

ALONG THE STILWELL ROAD – The latest man-bites-dog incident turns out to be a fish story.
S/Sgt. Charles T. Hardin, Trenton, Tenn., power shovel operator for an Engineering Battalion along the Stilwell Road, used the world’s largest fishing tackle to bring in a 100-pound catfish out of the Dihing River.

Hardin, an engineer, was scooping up gravel from the river’s bed, as it had been his custom to do over many months since he has been in ol’ I-BT. He noticed a massive, torpedo-like form wending its way up to the spot where his shovel was operating.

Charles T. Hardin

Giving the controls a quick one-two, Hardin hit the lumbering fish with the big bucket and stunned him into insensibility. Then, skillfully maneuvering the huge snorting shovel, he hauled him in as easily as dipping for a trout.

His piscatorial prize turned out to be a white bellied catfish, measuring almost six feet from tail to teeth. As Hardin put it, “I’ve scooped up a lot of gravel to help build this road, but I never caught anything bigger than a minnow before. This time I hit the jackpot.”

After the fish was hauled off to the company area, the boys began slicing off steaks for a fish fry was contemplated.
A real tribute was paid the Stilwell Road Isaac Walton by one of his buddies, who remarked, “Old Hardin can throw that bucket anywhere he wants!”

 

Poem from CBI WWII

THE DEVIL’S DILEMMA

I met the Devil yesterday beneath a shady tree;
His head within his hand was held, his elbow on his knee.
A frown he wore upon his brow; his horns were dull with dust,
And resting on his arm I saw his pitchfork red with rust.
“Well, ” I said, “what can it be that brings you up from Hell?
From all appearances it seems that things aren’t going well.”
He gazed at me with blood-shot eyes and bade me take a seat,
And so I sat and wondered why his face bore sad defeat.

“O, Mortal, know,” he spoke, “that once I ruled a proud domain;

Within the bowels of Earth I reigned o’er punishment and pains of those were sent to me who’d lived in sin and hate,

To suffer for eternity upon hot Hades grate.
My tortures were most terrible, no others could compare,
I though I had the latest thing in fire and brimstone there
But then came war upon the Earth with tanks and planes and guns,
And implements of war ne’er seen before beneath the sun.
Now all the souls that go below who’ve failed the living test,
No longer fear my kingdom, but go as if to rest!
But I must leave; I’ve dallied long and must be on my way.
I’m off to meet St. Peter and you’ll pardon me, I pray;
I have a plan we must discuss that may unscramble this,
For Earth’s no longer what it was; it’s Hell, that’s what it is.”

 

– BY S/SGT. G. W. HICKOX

Click on images to enlarge.

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Military Humor – 

“Okay, now we need to go to Plan B.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Howard Anglin – AR; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI, P-61’s 426 Night Fighter Squadron

John Bushfield – Boise, ID; US Army, WWII, 10th Mountain Division

Smoke Angel

Virgil DeVine – St. Louis, MO; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-26 tail gunner

Charles Goodwin – Haskell, TX; US Navy, Vietnam, pilot, USS Coral Sea, KIA

Charles Hayden – Vancouver, CA; RC Air Force, WWII, B-17 tail gunner

Jay Kislak – Hoboken, NJ; US Navy, WWII, pilot

Anna Newman – Sarasota, FL; Civilian, WWII,  truck driver, MacDill Air Force Base

Albert Rivoire – Pawling, NY; US Army, WWII, ETO, 104th Infantry Division, Bronze Star

Robert Seeber – Omaha, NE; US Navy, WWII, PTO, radioman, USS Isley

Geoffrey Wright – Orewa, NZ; British Army # 14418502, WWII, ETO & CBI, Captain

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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 October 8, 2018, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 109 Comments.

  1. As a point aside I read that no one knows who the young man with “war is hell” written on his helmet is. It’s an iconic pic from the Vietnam era.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is so touching. Thank you. Micheline

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great story, is appropriate to giggle?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great fish tale. What a treat that must have been. There’s more than one way to catch a fish.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. With those comments you have me wanting smoked catfish! Anyhow, the smoke angels are absolutely amazing! Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Holy Hannah! Now that’s a fish story, alright, GP! Loved it. Oh… I hope I can get this image to show… Nope… didn’t work. Just google “Victorian fish ad card” (images) and look for the fishing fish wearing bonnets.
    Hugs on the line!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. こんにちは☺️🇯🇵🇺🇸
    You hear this?Justice☺️☺️☺️🌸🌸🌸👍👍👍I love USA☺️💕🇯🇵🇺🇸

    Like

  8. When I think of the rations and other stuff that soldiers had to eat, a tasty catfish would be awesome! Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The observations on the human side—I love the cartoons, especially Murphy, and that inverted tank …

    Sometimes all you can do is take time out for a giggle, then get back to it …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Enjoyed both tales, G. Using a steam shovel to scoop up a tasty dinner is hilarious. And the poem equating war with hell on earth rang true. Thanks. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s some fisherman’s tale, GP; don’t tell the guys you see sitting patiently by the banks of the local river every chance they get! Intriguing poem, too…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. S/Sgt. Hickox was absolutely right. Such sentiments are not new, of course. My own belief is that when Satan tempted Jesus by offering him the world, he could do that because he owned it in the first place. Quite a few Christian heresies over here in Europe have taught more or less the same thing, namely that we are in hell right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, I can buy that, but how do I know what i did to paying like this? and how come some people don’t seem to be in hell at all, just living the life fantastic? (I know, I’m being a pain in the arse….) 🙂

      Like

  13. Fascinating post with the photo of the Catfish + “The Devil’s Dilemma.”

    I’m grateful for your posts of this historic time as well as grateful to all who made the outcome of WW2 turn out the way it did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you and I can well appreciate your sentiment for the troops and home front workers – we acted like a well-oiled machine back then – we worked together!

      Like

  14. I know others have said it, but thanks for a fantastic post all around- fish story (always like a good one of those,) poem and humor. It’s good he got a photo of that catfish for evidence- WOW!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Slightly different tack for you today, GP – But I like it. I also like the humor.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gek verhaal van die reuze grote vis en goed gelachrn met de militaire humor

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ik had ooit een biefstuk gesneden uit een 30-pond meerval, dus dit verhaal was gemakkelijk voor mij om te geloven. Ik ben blij dat je deze hebt genoten, plus de militaire humor. Niet alle oorlogsverhalen hoeven gruwelijk te zijn.

      Like

  17. Poignant poem, that was.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks Rick, very interesting story. J.C.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Charles T. Hardin had an amazing fish story.
    Just imagine the one that got away 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Enjoyed the fish story (and photo). It’s nice to hear the lighter side too. Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Six feet! My, I didn’t know they got that big!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The poem is absolutely amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’ve been MIA for a while… it was fun to open up your blog at last and read this fun story about the fish!! How crazy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. As always, a most impressive post. I love the devil’s perspective, but perhaps it,s message could have been valid for so many millennia regarding human warfare. M 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  25. LOL! I like the Pvt. Murphy cartoon!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Stellar post. Humor, truth, poetry–I had to RT.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Catfish steak must have been welcome fare from their usual rations. Great story about a lighter moment in the war.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. A large scale fish 🙂 love that poem too.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. There’s a fishing story that wouldn’t be believed without the photographic evidence!
    I’ve heard of people getting the boot, but that was doing it in style! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Pierre Lagacé

    Quite a poem…

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Wow… that poem pretty much says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Two impressive tales, one about a 100-pound catfish (a true fish story) being caught by a power shovel, the other in poetic form about the devil in distress over the earth taking his job away. Lots of food for thought, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. He really hit the jackpot. That’s a huge fish! Love the poem. “For Earth’s no longer what it was; it’s Hell, that’s what it is.” True during the war and sometimes in peace too.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. What a great ‘fishy story’! At least the photo proved it wasn’t an exaggeration. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. That was quite a fish!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard of catfish this large, even ate a steak off one caught here in Florida, but I’ve never actually seen one. No wonder they’ll allow Hardin to throw that bucket wherever he wants!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: FEATURED BLOGGER REPORT: CBI – July 1945 By Pacific Paratrooper #AceHistoryDesk reports | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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