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CBI Theater – January 1945

Here are snippets of what was going on in the China-Burma-India Theater at the opening of 1945.

Happy New Year, From Over “The Hump”

EAC HQ. – The light of a full moon gave EAC planes an opportunity to hit Jap-held railways, roads, rivers and airfields and smash enemy communication lines, as decisive daylight support was given ground forces on the Burma battlefronts this week.
B-25’s of the 10th Air Force strafed motor vehicles at night in North Burma. The 10th also hit enemy fields at Lashio during daytime, setting two planes afire.
The night intruders, composed of USAAF B-25’s and RAF Mosquitos, Beaufighters and Hurribombers, carried out their operations as far south as Hninpaze, near the mouth of the Sittang River.
Well over 150 sorties were flown in support of the 15th Indian Corps in its current drive in the Arakan.
On the Irrawaddy-Chindwin front, RAF Hurribombers attacked objectives on the road to Yehuphonu. The village of Tabayin was left aflame.

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 KANDY – Maj. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, commanding the American Forces in China, and Maj. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, commanding the Eastern Air Command, have been awarded the Order of the Bath by King George VI, it was announced this week.

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US Infantry meeting up with the Mars Task Force

The 533rd Brigade (Provisional) was activated on 26 July 1944. It soon came to be known as the MARS TASK FORCE. It was designed as a Long Range Penetration Force and training, equipment and organization were all directed toward this end.

Mars Task Force

MARS was able to profit by the experience of Wingate’s Raiders and Merrill’s Marauders in Burma jungle operations. The leaven of veteran jungle fighters was mixed with the freshness of volunteers and the assignment of the 124th Cavalry Regiment.

FAMILY TIES

 1328TH ATC BASE UNIT, ASSAM – It’s usually the father who offers guidance and advice to the son, but the combination of the Army and India has proved too much even for such a stalwart tradition.
Cpl. Kadzie Goodwin arrived here recently on a change of station and not long afterward encountered his father, S/Sgt. William A. Goodwin, who he hadn’t seen for more than a year.
Now Kadzie, a ground radio technician in the Army Airways Communication System, guides his father, an aerial radio operator flying The Hump for the ATC’s India-China Division, over the treacherous transport routes between Assam and China.

The Chan brothers.

THE WOMBAT SQUADRON – The story of how two Burmese youths walked 900 miles over some of the most treacherous terrain in the world to evade the Japanese and join the American forces was revealed recently with the appearance of two new waiters in the officers mess hall at this “Liberators of China” field.

after 2 years, Mj. Arthur Walker (R) meets up with his son, Pfc. Peter Walker of the Mars TF, in Burma

TENTH AIR FORCE HQ, BURMA – Probably the first instance of twin brothers meeting in the I-B Theater after a long separation occurred recently when Eugene and Edward Crivaro, 19, of Carnegie, Pa., met each other at a base in Burma. In most cases, twins in the Army remain in the same outfit throughout their service.

Edward and Eugene Crivero

Pvt. Eugene, bomb maintenance man for a service group in China, requested and was granted permission to fly over The Hump. Arriving in Burma, he immediately began a quest for his twin whom he had not seen for 20 months. Using an APO number as a guide, Eugene was soon directed to a 10th Air Force fighter control squadron of which Pfc. Edward was a member. Reunion… at long last.
Eugene spent seven hours in the cold Atlantic waters a year ago when the ship taking him overseas was sunk by German torpedo bombs.

Football Round-up

Rice Bowl
GROUND FORCES BEAT SOS (Services of Supply)

Rice Bowl Champs

HQ CT & CC, CHINA THEATER — Capitalizing on two pass interceptions and a safety, the Army Ground Force, touch football champions of China, fought off a strong SOS team to win the New Year’s Day Rice Bowl classic, 16-0, before a large G.I. crowd.
Ground Force grabbed a slight edge, on a safety in the first Period, adding touchdowns on pass interceptions by Wolfe for 40 yards in the third and Bruner for 60 yards in the fourth. Ben Schall booted both extra points.
SOS often penetrated enemy territory but could not muster a score. Of 20 aerials they tossed in the second half, only four were completed.
The Lineups:
GROUND FORCE: Uhlen, Meyers, Autry, Petiit, Wolfe, Chapman, Schall, Bruner and Becker.
SOS: Crowe, Demski, Harding, Roland, Snyder, Staley, Hardee, Sleteher and Heckman.

Information from CBI Theater.com and CBI Roundup.  Clark King & Gary Goldblatt also have a CBI website.

Clark King & Gary Goldblatt

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Military Humor – CBI Style – 

Oh sure – they’re real.

Oops! Not enough money for this place!!

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Florence Blohm – Wooster, OH; US Navy WAVES, WWII

Peter Carrie (102) – Dundee, SCOT; RAF, WWII, ETO, Flt. Engineer / CBI, Tank Corps

Alan Dick – NZ; RNZ Air Force, Wing Commander (Ret.)

Raymond Evans – Stollings, WV; US Army, Vietnam

Harry Hanen – Alberta, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII

Keith Iwen – Milwaukee, WI; US Navy, WWII

Mancel King – Agra, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, B-24 pilot

William Marshall – Vine Bluff, UT; US Navy, WWII

Edward Reimuth Jr. – Poughkepsie, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 7th Infantry & 11th Airborne Div.

Harold Wilbur – New Castle, DE; US Navy, WWII / US Coast Guard, Korea

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Fepows

F Force enroute to the Burma Railroad, by Otto Kreeft

F Force enroute to the Burma Railroad, by Otto Kreeft

Fepows – Far Eastern POWs

Countless films and books concerned with the Second World War have, through the decades, concentrated on Europe and the Holocaust and the Far East prisoners of war have barely been mentioned.  The official 5 volumes of British history for this war include only 10 pages devoted to the subject, compared to the Australian history with 170 pages.

sketch by Jack Chalker, Fepow;British Army, Konyu, Thailand

sketch by Jack Chalker, Fepow;British Army, Konyu, Thailand

Japan’s army conquered the Far East in 1941-42.  Prisoners were taken from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaya, Thailand, Java, Sumatra, Ambon, New Britain, Celebes, Guam and the Philippines.  According to the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, Japan took more than 50,000 British and Australian troops in Singapore alone; 42,000 Dutch (N.E.I.); 10,000 British in Java and 25,000 Americans in the Philippines and then transported to the mainland camps.

The Japanese government made its position known in 1942, through its legation in Bern, Germany.  They felt they were not bound by the Geneva Convention, but it would apply the rules as far as it was possible – mutatis mutandis (with necessary changes).  By Japanese standards, the men who were captured had shamed themselves; they were contemptible, expendable and “white.”  But, the Japanese treated their own soldiers as badly as the prisoners.  Although most every rule of the Geneva Convention was broken, not every huard was cruel and not every camp a hell-hole.

Australians, rice in the rain, by Ray Parkin, Fepow, Australian Army.

Australians, rice in the rain, by Ray Parkin, Fepow, Australian Army.

Generally, the prisoners conformed to national stereotypes.  The British tried to preserve the class system, with the officers maintaining their privileges.  The Australians were generous to their “cobbers,” but where also considered the most skillful at robbing or tricking the Japanese.  The Americans were the most entrepreneurial, but some of their rackets were worthy of the Mafia.

The Americans offended the Australians because of their ignorance about other countries and an unsubstantiated superiority complex and they made insulting remarks about the menial status as a pawn of Britain.  The Americans in turn found the Australians smug, opinionated and inexplicably fond of monarchy and pageantry.  Both saw the British as arrogant, stiff-necked, inflexible and acting superior.

40 km south of Thanbyuzayat, Burma (Hidden POW camera)

40 km south of Thanbyuzayat, Burma
(Hidden POW camera)

For most Britons, the war ended on VE Day in 1945 – the soldiers still fighting in Burma became the “forgotten army.”  That made the Fepows not only forgotten, but forsaken.  It would take them more than 50 years to receive any proper compensation from the British government.

Catholic Church at Chungkai, by Jack Chalker

Catholic Church at Chungkai, by Jack Chalker

According to Ronald Searle, former Fepow, “When the memories  have vanished, their story will be a mere milestone in history.  All the personal misery and suffering that captivity entailed will become simply words on a page.  The Fepows have been described as members of the world’s ‘most exclusive and impenetrable’ club… Something that is difficult to explain to those unfortunates who are outside our “club”, who have never experienced what it means to be dirt and yet privileged to be surrounded by life-saving comradeship.”

rice arrives, hidden camera, George Aspinall, Australian Army

rice arrives, hidden camera, George Aspinall, Australian Army

Resource: “Surviving the Sword: Prisoners of the Japanese in the Far East 1942-45″ by Brian MacArthur, Random House, 2005

Being as most of the POWs of the Pacific and CBI were in captivity until 1945, further accounts will appear throughout this series.

Click on images to enlarge.

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Fepow Humour – 

Dammit Freddie - you know perfectly well that Saturday night is formal!

Dammit Freddie – you know perfectly well that Saturday night is formal!

"Can I scrape out the porridge bins cookie - it's me birthday today." -( George Sprod - bamboo round my shoulder)

“Can I scrape out the porridge bins cookie – it’s me birthday today.” -( George Sprod – bamboo round my shoulder)

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Farewell Salutes – 

Roy Achilles – St. Paul, MN; US Navy, WWII

William Crump – Auckland, NZ; RNZ Army # 273977Flag at half staff with sunset

Richard Discher – Ft. Pierce, FL; US Army, Korea

Bernice Duncan – Shawnigan Lake, CAN; Canadian Women’s Army Corps, WWII

Elmer Hall Jr. – Metairie, LA; US Navy, WWII, PTO

Andrew Harper – El Dorado, IN; USMC, WWII, US Navy, Korea

Richard Kincade – Divide, CO; US Navy, Cmdr. (Ret. 25 years), Vietnam, USS Princeton & Midway

Will O’Donnell – Hawke’s Bay, NZ; RNZ Army, WWII

Bill Romano – Chicago, IL; US Army, Korea

Curtis Williams – Oberlin, KS; US Air Force, Korea, radar

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East and West (3)

FDR & Cordell Hull, 1940

FDR & Cordell Hull, 1940

If Manchuria was controlled, the Japanese felt they would have the advantage over Russia.  Since the Chiang Nationalist government did wish to spend the money or the energy to combat Japan – but – still have communism squelched in the country, Manchuria was given up.

When the US started economic sanctions in 1939, Japan required new territories to supply their resources.  They issued a request to the French  for permission to enter Indo-China.  In September 1940, the Vichy government agreed.  The southeast portion of Asia was occupied, without incident, by the Japanese on 27-29 July 1941.

Vichy government, 1939

Vichy government, 1939

The US was incensed and proceeded to convince other countries to freeze Japan’s assets; the ABCD, (American, British, Canada, Dutch), power’s economic blockade began.  By mid-1941, relations between Japan and the ABCD countries had basically reached a point of no return.  The New York Times newspaper called this action, “…the most drastic blow short of war.”

The Japanese newspaper's transport aircraft "Asagumo", a MC-20-I, 1940's

The Japanese newspaper’s transport aircraft “Asagumo”, a MC-20-I, 1940’s

FDR knew he had stretched the Lend Lease Program far beyond what was even known to Congress, and he was becoming nervous with the secrecy.  When the embargo was extended, the Tokyo newspaper, A Saki Shimbun (Morning Sun Newspaper), predicted: “It seems inevitable that a collision should occur between Japan, determined to establish a sphere of influence in East Asia including the southwest Pacific, and the US which is determined to meddle in the affairs on the other side of a vast ocean by every means short of war.”

Chiang Kai-shek, 1940

Chiang Kai-shek, 1940

Making the world situation much worse, FDR did not give the Australians the defense commitment it needed.  Yet, he did promise Chiang Kai-shek 50 pursuit planes and $100 million in financial assistance. (This was despite Madame Chiang’s insistence that the money was being siphoned by the government officials and military leaders.)  With all of Washington’s plans in play by the spring of 1941, Admiral Stark told Admiral Kimmel: “The question of our entry into the war now seems to be when, not whether.”  In Japan – Operation Z was a sure plan.

Prime Minister Konoye, 1939

Prime Minister Konoye, 1939

By this time, Cordell Hull was following the specific instructions of FDR.  Konoye in Tokyo agreed to abnegate the Tripartite Pact in his quest for peace, but Washington adamantly insisted there was “no meeting of the minds.”  Konoye, despite an attempt on his life, sent a last desperate plea to meet and talk with Roosevelt before his 15 October deadline — there was no response from D.C. and he was forced to resign as Prime Minister.

By Novemeber 1941, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff were investigating which Japanese cities were strategically most important to bomb.

 

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current news – 

The Olympian who had his obituary written 70 years ago!

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Please click on image to read the amazing story recently in “The Week” magazine.

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Farewell Salutes – 

James Bogan – Ocala, FL; US Navy, Korea

Lawrence Brown – Morton, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, C-47 engineer

Lloyd Doody – Windsor, MR; US Army (Ret. 33 years), Vietnamroseglitterdivider_thumb

Philippe Grignon – Keswick, CAN; RC Air Force, WWII, Flight Lt.

Thomas Kenny – Cradell, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 187th RCT, 11th A/B

Carl “Dal” Maas – Davenport, IA; US Marine Corps, WWII, PTO, 6th Marines

Alexander Morton – Detroit, MI & Palm Bch, FL; US Air Force, Vietnam

Kenneth Reynolds – Stuart, FL; US Navy, WWII, ETO, Naval Combat Demolition Team, 2 Bronze Stars

Christopher Scarrott – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Army # 768057

Stanley Walega – Manchester, NH; US Army, Korea

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East and West (2)

 

The caption should read, "Tenno HEIKA banzai"

The caption should read, “Tenno HEIKA banzai”

Caption correction of the shout is courtesy of Mustang Koji who can be found HERE!!

Click photo to read caption.

On 18 February 1931, the League of Nations, with America in the lead, issued the “Nonrecognition Doctrine” which pushed Japan’s anger even further.  [ to read what is also known as the Stimson Doctrine – click HERE!!   US Ambassador Joseph Grew in Tokyo persisted in his warnings against this action.  But, even the in-coming president [FDR] and Secretary of State, Cornell Hull argued for the status quo.

Ambassador Joseph Grew, 1939

Ambassador Joseph Grew, 1939

Stimson w/ the Doctrine, 1939

Stimson w/ the Doctrine, 1939

In 1936, FDR and his drive for naval appropriations caused 50,000 veterans to stage a March for Peace in front of the White House.  Children were organized under a banner of “Money for schools, not battleships.”  Privately, FDR raged about isolationists and pacifists as early as 1937 when he held a rally in Chicago in the attempt to gain support to “quarantine” Japan.  The Japanese quest to become a major world power became their primary goal.

In 1939, FDR sent $25 million to the Chunking government to carry on their war with Japan; while Britain told Australia and New Zealand not to worry – the US would not remain indifferent to the Japanese threat in the Far East.  The Australian Prime Minister told the Canberra Parliament, “What Great Britain calls the Far East is to us the Near North.”  Richard Casey met with the British Foreign Office and was told, “the defense of the territories in the Pacific would be determined by the needs in Europe” – they were virtually being abandoned.

FDR campaigning in Warms Springs, GA, 4 April 1939

FDR campaigning in Warms Springs, GA, 4 April 1939

By January 1940, Churchill was cabling FDR daily for more aircraft and supplies to help Britain keep good its promise, “We shall never surrender;” under the Lend Lease Program, [which was being stretched beyond its legal limits more and more each day].  Japan’s growing power was being ignored.  What was commonly misunderstood by Western cultures was that the Japanese Army and Navy Ministries were part of the governmental structure and the military was gaining power each day.

The British interwar plans for a conflict with Japan as early as 1940 depended entirely on the US.  The American plans named “Orange” envisioned a trans-Pacific projection of US power, with Manila serving as a base of operations in the Far East.  But, by 1941, “Plan Dog” foresaw the Atlantic as the offensive and the Pacific in a defensive state.

Japan's Second Cabinet, early 1940

Japan’s Second Cabinet, early 1940

By 1941, the regular cabinet members of the Japanese gov’t were on a need-to-know basis and entire civilian cabinets were forced to resign as the war drew closer.  Japan’s signing of the Tripartite Pact on 27 September 1940 with Germany and Italy, [was to Japan], a trade agreement, plus a way to keep Russia busy and unable to hinder her while she invaded Indochina.  This was not the view of the West and caused further deterioration of Us/Japanese relations.

In his campaign for an unprecedented third term in office, FDR spouted in Boston, MA, “I give you one more assurance.  I have said it before, but I shall say it again and again and again:  Your boys are NOT going to be sent to any foreign war.”  (As we all know now – that was merely a hollow political promise.).

To be continued…..

Click on images to enlarge.

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A View of the homefront – 1939 

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 Political Cartoon of the times – 

Neutrality%20Act

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Robert “Eggs” Avington – St. Petersburg, FL; US Army (Ret.), Korea, Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart

Thomas Cushing – Hopkinton, NH; US Army, WWII, PTOimg_96953714425802

Marjorie Effinger – Atwater, CA; US Army, nurse, PTO

Thomas Groom – Christchurch, NZ; RNZ Army# 19274, WWII

Patrick Holland – Halifax, Can; RC Navy, RC Army, RC Air Force, Major (Ret. 42 years) 3rd Clasp to the Canadian Decoration

William McFatter – Vernon, FL; US Army, WWII, ETO, Purple Heart

Robert McCurley – Springfield, IL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, POW

Melvin Shubert – NY & Lake Worth, FL; US Navy, WWII, Medical Corps

Tedrowe Watkins – Big Fork, Montana; US Marine Corps, WWII

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East and West (1)

There are centuries of information on this subject, but I’ve done my best to shorten the data, and maintain  the gist of affairs as they occurred:

A lithograph of Cmdr. Perry's fleet in Japan

A lithograph of Cmdr. Perry’s fleet in Japan

Japan’s involvement with the West began early in the 16th century.  The Western missionaries and the contrasting firearms trading caused a disruption of the feudal lord system.  Later on, Dutch trading at Nagasaki became an avenue of scientific and political knowledge.  After which, the US naval mission and “Black Ships” of Commodore Matthew Perry in the mid-1800s basically forced Japan to open its doors.

Commodore Matthew Perry

Commodore Matthew Perry

By the end of the 19th century, the views of the Asian world by the Anglos were of “Manifest Destiny” (global supremacy).  The British Union Jack flew over nearly one-third of the planet and the US wanted in.  But, after teaching the island nation how to conquer territory, the West became annoyed that they had learned so well.  In 1922, the Naval Limitation Treaty forced the Imperial Navy to limit her battleship tonnage to a ration of 60% of the British Royal Navy and US Navy. (This was easy to control being as the Japanese ships were built in British shipyards.  But, in 1937, Japan resigned from this pact.)

Lt.Colonel Ishiwara Kanji

Lt.Colonel Ishiwara Kanji

In 1929, Lt.Col. Ishiwara Kanji drafted “A Plan for the Solution of the Manchurian and Mongolian Problems as a Basic Policy to Change Our Country’s Destiny.”  This work was a remarkably close scenario for the Pacific War and by the 1930’s, the Japanese had started the plan by taking control of what the citizens would and would not be told of their agenda.

The great game of “Empire” was on!  Not only did countries vie for a piece of China, but major corporations came into play – Standard Oil, House of Morgan, The Pennsylvania Railroad, Bethlehem Steel and the Roosevelt family fortune founded on the Opium Road. (20% of Great Britain’s income also came from the opium trade.)  While President Hoover was in office, he feared any actions against Japan would lead to war – such as Henry Stimson’s proposed oil and trade embargo.  To Hoover, this resembled “sticking pins in tigers.”  The president felt his Secretary of State was “proving to be more of a warrior than a diplomat.”

Japanese soldiers entering Shenyang, 1931

Japanese soldiers entering Shenyang, 1931

In the 1930’s, the Japanese government crushed freedom of expression, pacifism and anti-militarism.  Their intent was to keep the public ignorant, but even this was not enough.  In the schools, children were taught a willingness to die for the country in time of war, chukan aikoku, along with a contempt for the Chinese.

Japanese gym class, 1930

Japanese gym class, 1930

During the Russo-Japanese War, school subjects were planned with militarism in mind:  Math classes were occupied with calculations of military matters; Science was information on searchlights, wireless communications, land mines, torpedoes, submarines and explosives; Gym included war games and Music Classes rang out with war songs and pictures of Japanese victories inspired compositions.  A new order for East Asia needed to be instilled; what the Germans called – Lebensraum.

To be continued….

Click on images to enlarge.

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Current news – 

Not all news is bad news_______

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Please click on to read.                                                                       Both items were taken from ‘The Week’ magazine

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Political Humor –  (Typical of the times)

From Dr. Seuss

From Dr. Seuss

Cartoon is courtesy of Chris @ Muscleheaded, which can be found HERE>

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Farewell Salutes – 

WWII Victory Medal

WWII Victory Medal

Louis Amundson – San Diego, CA; US Army, WWII (D-Day), ETO

Charles Corbitt -CA & FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, navigator

Clarence Frye – Lake Worth, FL; US Army, WWII

John Hardwick – Hartford City, IL; US Army, Korea

Ralph Locher – Nashville, TN; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT, MP

Charles Pine – Taupo, NZ; RNZIR # U50940, WWII

Jack Stewart – Salem, OR; US Navy, WWII

Robert Wallace – Rosalia, WA; US Army, Korea, tank driver

Howard German Jr. – Easton, MD & N.Palm Bch, FL; US Army, 82nd Airborne

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