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Remembering the Forgotten Theater of World War II


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 A Tribute to my Dad in CBI
A Tribute To My Dad
This site was created as a tribute to my Dad and his service in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II. It tells the story of his three years in the U.S. Army including the 2½ years he spent in CBI. Photos Dad brought back are used to tell the story and the site contains all his CBI memorabilia, including his Army service documents. Also included is a brief history of the China-Burma-India Theater and information about General Stilwell, Merrill's Marauders, the Services Of Supply, etc.
 The Ledo Road
The Ledo Road
Searching for information on the internet, I could not find a single comprehensive site that told the story of the building of the Ledo Road. In fact, many searches for "Ledo Road" resulted in "see Burma Road." I set about to build a site about the road that told the story in words and images. This site is a result of that effort and to this best of my knowledge it is the most complete site about the Ledo Road. It features over 300 images of the Ledo Road and related subjects, as well as engineer and convoy stories.
 LIFE In CBI
LIFE Reports and Pictorials
CBI Theater Commander General Joseph W. Stilwell was featured on the June 15, 1942 cover of LIFE magazine. Throughout the war LIFE covered many aspects of the China-Burma-India Theater. This page is a menu to over 50 reports and pictorials related to CBI from original issues of LIFE, published 1940 through 1945. (Many of these pages can also be accessed from links below).
 LIFE - The Ledo Road
LIFE - The Ledo Road
Famous for its pictures from around the world, LIFE during the Second World War featured many photographs from different theaters. This page contains the pictorial from the August 14, 1944 issue featuring "The Ledo Road." At the time the pictures were taken and the story written, the road was not complete, not yet having reached Myitkyina.
 The Ledo Road and other verses from China-Burma-India
The Ledo Road and other verses from China-Burma-India
Smith Dawless wrote what is widely recognized as the best soldier-written verse of World War II. Conversation Piece, about the building of the Ledo Road, was so closely associated with the road that it took its name and was often titled The Ledo Road. While serving in CBI, Sergeant Dawless also wrote many other verses about the experiences of a soldier in India and Burma. He published his works in The Ledo Road and other verses from China-Burma-India. All his verses are presented on this page, dedicated to Smith Dawless and his special insight into CBI.
 Stilwell Road - Story of the Ledo Lifeline
Stilwell Road - Story of the Ledo Lifeline
This booklet was prepared by the Information and Education Division of the India-Burma Theater. It was intended to familiarize truck drivers new to the theater with the Stilwell Road. The page contains images from the original booklet as well as the complete text from it. It tells the story of the building of the Stilwell Road written by U.S. Army personnel in 1945.
 YANK's Magic Carpet
YANK's Magic Carpet
A souvenir booklet specially prepared for U.S. Army personnel in China, Burma and India. Magic Carpet was the name given to the operation intended to quickly return U.S. personnel to the United States as the war ended. This page contains images from the original booklet as well as the complete text contained in it.
 Nick Sanchez Walkout Diary
Nick Sanchez Walkout Diary
On July 25, 1945, S/Sgt Nick Sanchez was radio operator on a Combat Cargo flight over China. An engine fire forced the crew to bail out over China. Separated from the rest of the crew, Nick spent 17 days walking out of China back to an American base. During this time he wrote a diary in the Survival Guide he carried with him. This site contains all the pages from his walkout diary and links to the text version at the Combat Cargo site.
 CBI Pointie Talkie
Pointie Talkie
The Pointie Talkie was a booklet to be used as a communication device between American soldiers and the Chinese people. It used English words and Chinese characters side-by-side to allow the soldier to communicate by pointing to the Chinese phrase or word and then having the Chinese point to a reply. This page explains its use and shows sample of pages from a Pointie Talkie used in CBI.
 Vinegar Joe Stilwell
Vinegar Joe Stilwell
Stylized image and story of General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell from a World War II historical trading card series.
 Stilwell: The GIs' Favorite
Stilwell: The GIs' Favorite
This article, from the October 6, 1944 issue of YANK - The Army Weekly, contains pictures and a story about "Uncle Joe" Stilwell by YANK writer Ed Cunningham. Also featured is the cover photo of GI Sgt. Earl Rivard with "Souvenirs from Burma."
 LIFE - April 22, 1942
Burma Front
LIFE's Reports: "U.S. General Stilwell Commands Chinese on Burma Front" by Clare Boothe. This short story preceded Burma Mission by two months. Clare Boothe writes of the worsening situation in Burma in April 1942.
 Burma Mission
Burma Mission
This story from the June 15 and 22, 1942 issues of LIFE is by Clare Boothe. Later and probably better known as Clare Boothe Luce, she was a wartime correspondent for LIFE and traveled extensively to many theaters, including CBI. The story was excerpted from her diary and tells of her experiences with General Stilwell, his staff, and other U.S. forces in Burma. One month after the articles were published, Stilwell's forces took "a hell of a beating" and he lead the famous walk out of Burma.
 Flight from Burma - LIFE - August 10, 1942
Stilwell's Flight from Burma
A report from This Week's Events in the August 10, 1942 issue of LIFE magazine featuring a story and pictures of General Stilwell and his party on the 140 mile, 20 day walk out of Burma.
 The War In Burma - LIFE - April 10, 1944
The War In Burma
A pictorial from This Week's Events in the April 10, 1944 issue of LIFE magazine. Photographs by William Vandivert feature General Stilwell and his Chinese troops during the Hukawng Valley campaign. Three-quarters of a mile from Maingkwan in northern Burma, the horrors of war were captured in photos, along what would become the route of the Ledo Road.
 YANK - China-Burma-India Edition
YANK - China-Burma-India Edition
A five-part compilation of stories and features from China-Burma-India editions of YANK - The Army Weekly. Published weekly from June 1942 through December 1945, YANK was popular for its war stories, news from home, cartoons and its full-page pin-up girl (the reason many of these magazines did not survive intact).
 Clearing the Burma Road
Clearing the Burma Road
A story from YANK - The Army Weekly. This story on the Burma Road comes from the March 17, 1945 China-Burma-India edition. The text is exactly as it was written in the original story and images are of the original pictures.
 Ledo-Burma Road Convoy Sidelights
Convoy Sidelights
Another page containing a story from YANK - The Army Weekly. This one contains short sidelights from a YANK writer traveling with the first convoy over the "Ledo-Burma Road." The first paragraph describes the confusion over what to call the road, as the name "Stilwell Road" had just been announced by Chiang Kai-shek.
 Joe Stilwell's War
Joe Stilwell's War
The pictorial from the April 17, 1944 issue of LIFE featuring General Stilwell's Chinese troops in action in the Hukawng and Mogaung River valleys of northern Burma during late 1943.
 Elephants at War in Burma
Elephants at War
From LIFE's Reports in the April 10, 1944 issue, a story about "Elephant Bill" and the big beasts that worked for the Allied armies in Burma.
 Short story about Dave Richardson
YANK's Dave Richardson
A short story tribute to YANK correspondent Dave Richardson in the CBI Theater. Thought to be the most decorated correspondent soldier of World War II, he was known for becoming an active fighting part of the unit he was covering. Stories he wrote are featured on Clearing the Burma Road, Convoy Sidelights and Rangoon Jump pages.
 LIFE - August 10, 1942
Chennault Fights to Hold the China Front
A Close-Up article on General Claire Chennault and his new air forces in China from the August 10, 1942 issue of LIFE magazine. The article was written following the disbandment of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) as they adjusted to Regular Army service.
 A Pocket Guide to China
A Pocket Guide to China
The War Department prepared booklets to help familiarize U.S. soldiers with the country in which they served or might serve. They give interesting insight into the subject country as well as America during the Second World War. While most of the subjects are serious, some are unintentionally funny. They are interesting to read. This page is based on the original booklet, "A Pocket Guide to China."
 A Pocket Guide to Burma
A Pocket Guide to Burma
This page is based on the original booklet, "A Pocket Guide to Burma." The booklet describes Burma, her people, and how to get along while in the country.
 A Pocket Guide to India
A Pocket Guide to India
This page is based on the original booklet, "A Pocket Guide to India." The booklet describes India, her people, and how to get along while in the country. Includes interesting explanations of the caste system and religions.
 Chinese Language Phrase Book
Chinese Language Phrase Book
This site features the introduction, instructions, and example pages from an original "Chinese Language Phrase Book" issued December 1943 by the War Department, Washington, D.C. and intended for soldiers in the CBI Theater. Common phrases which might be used by a soldier attempting to communicate, were followed by pronunciation instructions to speak the phrase in Chinese.
BOO~OO YOW! / KUH! chee.
 Illustrations from Cantonese Language Guide
Illustrations from Cantonese Language Guide
This page features the comic images used to illustrate the various Language and Phrase Books issued by the War Department for use in CBI. Images on this page are from the "Cantonese Language Guide."
 USAAF Survival Guide
Survival Guide
Interesting images and instructions from a U.S. Army Air Force Survival Guide used in the CBI Theater. This is not the complete manual, but images and text about jungle survival as related to flyers who may have bailed out or crash landed during missions over CBI.
 Red Cross Guide Book to Indian Cities
Red Cross Guide Book to India
Based on the original booklet, "A Guide Book to Calcutta, Agra, Delhi, Karachi, and Bombay," published by the Red Cross of the China-Burma-India Command. An interesting look at major Indian cities during World War II. Includes maps and directories of points of interest.
 Confusion Beyond Imagination: Ledo Road Signs
Confusion Beyond Imagination: Ledo Road Signs
Soldiers in the CBI Theater were familiar with Confusion Beyond Imagination, an alternate definition for the initials CBI. This page explores some of that confusion displayed on signs along the Ledo Road including one at the ceremonial junction of the Ledo and Burma Roads.
 Advertising CBI
Advertising CBI
"We are now in this war. We are in it all the way. Every single man, woman and child is a partner in the most tremendous undertaking of our American history." Those words spoken by President Roosevelt on December 9, 1941, were embodied in advertising during the war. Just about every magazine ad featured, or at least made reference to, the war. This site features CBI Theater-related and other interesting printed advertisements.
 LIFE - March 12, 1945
LIFE Goes Over the Stilwell Road
A pictorial from the March 12, 1945 issue of LIFE magazine featuring the first convoy over the Stilwell Road arriving in Kunming, China.
 LIFE - February 12, 1945
Stilwell Road
A pictorial from This Week's Events in the February 12, 1945 issue of LIFE magazine. Subtitled "The first truck convoy since 1942 reaches China over new road," it contains scenes of the first convoy in the Myitkyina area (only about ¼ the way to China). Correspondent's stories and pictures took two weeks or more to reach the States. The article was published one week after the first convoy reached China. The latest available pictures therefore, were of the convoy at Myitkyina, from two weeks before.
 Hospital Units in CBI
Hospital Units in CBI
A list of hospital units in the CBI Theater and story of Army nurses in CBI. Includes some personal histories of China-Burma-India Veterans Association (CBIVA) member nurses.
 LIFE Photographer in Burma
LIFE Photographer in Burma
Photos by LIFE photographer George Rodger from 1942 Burma. Most of the photos are of Rodger's own escape from Burma by jeep and then by foot, ahead of the advancing Japanese.
 Rangoon Jump
Rangoon Jump
Another of the adventures of YANK correspondent Dave Richardson. This time he is with British and Ghurka paratroops on a mission behind enemy lines to clear the way for the sea-borne invasion of Rangoon.
 Yanks in India
Yanks in India
A short pictorial from a January 23, 1943 edition of Yank - The Army Weekly. "Of the men who bomb Rangoon" and "a transport's flight Over the Hump."
 YANK ~ The Longest Pipeline in the World
The Longest Pipeline in the World
A pictorial from the December 8, 1945 CBI Edition of YANK - The Army Weekly featuring "The Longest Pipeline in the World" which ran from Calcutta, India, all the way to Kunming, China. Carrying fuel for trucks on Stilwell Road and planes flying missions against Japan, it was maintained by Engineer Petroleum Distribution (EPD) Companies. Tom Foltz, a member of the 789th E.P.D., provided the magazine on which this page is based. A short story from Tom is included.
 FUEL FOR FREEDOM - Story of the ABC Pipeline
Fuel For Freedom
The story of the Assam-Burma-China section of the pipeline that ran 1,800 miles from the docks of Calcutta to the Stilwell Road and air bases in China. This page was created using the original text document. Pipeline related images from various sources have been added to illustrate the original text. Leo (Sapienza) Leonhart, son of S/Sgt. Leo H. Sapienza of the 1381st EPD, provided the material on which this page is based.
 General Joseph W. Stilwell in the CBI Theater
The Stilwell Pages
General Joseph W. Stilwell in the China-Burma-India Theater. Stories, pictures and links to other sites about General Stilwell. Large slide show presentation of images of General Stilwell.
 Overseas Anniversary Banquet
Overseas Anniversary Banquet
Bud Osborn organized a Two Years Overseas Anniversary Banquet for his outfit, the 3rd Squadron, 1st Ferrying Group, Air Transport Command at Chabua, Assam, India. This page contains the story of the party as well as Bud's original artwork from the banquet program.
 Britain Closes Burma Road
Burma Road Closed
A report from This Week's Events in the July 29, 1940 issue of LIFE magazine on Japan's effort to strengthen the blockade of China by closing the Burma Road. The British, attempting to appease Japan, agreed to close the road for up to three months. The French had already closed their Indo-China Road, leaving Soviet Russia the sole route for supplies to China. Also included is a survey about the war titled "What the U.S.A. Thinks"
 Life Checks Up on the Burma Road
LIFE Checks Up on the Burma Road
When President Roosevelt needed an expert to go to China and check up on Lend-Lease supplies moving over the Burma Road, Harry Hopkins called ex-taxi driver Dan Arnstein for the job. Arnstein wrote this Life's Report which appeared in the October 6, 1941 issue. This article, published just two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, details the problems he and his party found.
 Pin-Up Girls of YANK
Pin-Up Girls of YANK
Pin-Up Girls from the pages of YANK - The Army Weekly. While only a few actually visited China, Burma, or India, they all served in the CBI Theater. No doubt many a basha wall was brightened by at least a few of these ladies. Would anyone dispute their contribution to the war effort?
 One Pilot's Journey in World War II
One Pilot's Journey
Bob Thompson has preserved an incredible amount of information about his service in the U.S. Army Air Force in the CBI Theater during World War II. His collection of photographs, memorabilia and stories is contained on a CD-ROM that Bob makes available for educational and historical purposes. This site provides but a glimpse of that history by bringing you Bob's stories, illustrated with images from his collection.
 Under Siege at Myitkyina
Under Siege at Myitkyina
The Allied capture of Myitkyina Airstrip began a 79-day siege for the town of Myitkyina. Correspondents covering the battle sought refuge under the wing of a disabled C-47. LIFE's Bernie Hoffman captured a photo of the correspondents and Tillman Durdin of the New York Times tells the story. David Quaid, Army combat photographer, looks back and comments on "Press Headquarters" at Myitkyina Airstrip.
 Opening the Back Door to China
Opening the Back Door to China
Stilwell's Campaign in Northern Burma summarized by Dave Richardson. A retrospective look at the land link to China and the impact of Merrill's Marauders, the Nisei Interpreters and the Ledo Road Engineers.
 Paintings of Army Medicine
Paintings of Army Medicine
During World War II, Abbott Laboratories commissioned Howard Baer as an Artist-Correspondent to depict the work of the Army Medical Department in the China-Burma-India Theater from April to September 1944. This site contains Baer's unique paintings of Army Medicine in CBI from the Abbott Collection.
 Blood Chits of the CBI Theater
Blood Chits of the CBI Theater
The first Americans ever to use Blood Chits were the American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers of the CBI Theater. Blood Chits were intended to identify downed flyers to friendly Chinese who were instructed to protect and help them. This site examines various Blood Chits used in the CBI Theater.
 Ramgarh Training Center
Ramgarh Training Center
Following the withdrawal from Burma in 1942, General Stilwell knew he would need a trained fighting force to retake it. American troops were not available. The Chinese soldiers available were under-equipped and poorly trained. He set up a Training Center in Ramgarh, India where thousands of Chinese troops were transformed by the U.S. Army into a well-equipped, well-trained fighting force. An untold story from the Forgotten Theater.
 Victory Over Japan
Victory Over Japan
From Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, this pictorial moves quickly from the beginning of the war in the Pacific at Hawaii to the "inevitable triumph" over Japan. Includes images of the atomic bombings, V-J Day and various surrender ceremonies. Not forgotten is the China-Burma-India Theater.
 A Masterpiece of Design
A Masterpiece of Design
A short story from Ex-CBI Roundup about the origin of the CBI Shoulder Sleeve Insignia. A masterpiece of design generally recognized as one of the most beautiful of all the patches to come out of World War II. A link is included to a site showing many beautiful variations.
 On The Ground Glass
On The Ground Glass
On The Ground Glass was produced by the Photo Lab Section of the 7th Photographic Technical Squadron operating out of Bally, India from March 1944 until October 1945. Volumes 1 to 12 are shown on this site along with several Special Issues. These single photo sheets were produced in 1945 as a photo-newsletter.
 The Mightiest Army: CBI Theater
The Mightiest Army: CBI Theater
Colonel Karl Detzer of the U.S Army General Staff Corps. wrote "The Mightiest Army" in 1945. It is probably one of the first historical summaries of the United States in World War II ever written, most likely in June of 1945. His book was published by the Readers Digest Association for no profit, with proceeds donated to the Army Emergency Relief Fund. Presented on this page is the chapter about the unique CBI Theater.
 National World War II Memorial
National World War II Memorial
The National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a magnificent tribute to the Greatest Generation. It honors all who supported the war effort from home, the 16 million who served in the Armed Forces of the United States, and the more than 400,000 who gave their lives in defense of freedom. Presented on this page are photographs of my visit to the Memorial.
 A Search of Sixty Years
A Search of Sixty Years
A story of Chinese-American friendship spanning sixty years. Wen Jiang tells of an American funeral in the heat of battle during the Salween Campaign and the search to discover the identity of the American soldier and his comrades remembered at the Tengchong Memorial Garden. Originally presented at the 2005 Annual Convention of the U.S.- China People's Friendship Association.
 China-Burma-India Christmas
China-Burma-India Christmas
Americans spent three Christmases in CBI during World War II. Here are memories of how this most special time of year was celebrated in all the traditional ways, in strange lands, 12,000 miles from home. V-Mail, cards, stories and photos of Christmas in CBI.
 Jack Thomas' Images of India
Images of India 1945
Scenes of World War II India. Although close to the fighting front in Burma, there are no GIs and no signs of war in these photos. The pictures are those that a tourist might take while visiting Calcutta, Dibrugarh or Ledo. Jack Thomas took these pictures while serving with the 191st Signal Repair Company in Ledo. Includes Jack's story of his time in India, his collection of autographed pinups, currency and cartoon calendars from India.
 Maps of the CBI Theater
Maps of the CBI Theater
Compiled here from various sources as historical reference are maps and illustrations of the China-Burma-India Theater. Map images are presented without caption or explanation.
 India-Burma Engineers
India-Burma Engineers
From airfields to the Ledo Road to pipelines that eventually reached China, they did it all. Text from Public Relations Base Section and photos by the Army Signal Corps tell this short story of Engineers in the India-Burma Theater. Originally published in Ex-CBI Roundup.
 Merrill's Marauders In Burma
Merrill's Marauders In Burma
Three thousand volunteers for a dangerous mission "somewhere," ended up in Burma as the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional). Their actions against the Japanese earned them the name "Merrill's Marauders" after their commanding officer Frank Merrill. Their mission became a six-month battle through the jungles of Burma until they just wore out. Marauder Capt. Fred O. Lyons tells the story. Originally published in the July 1991 issue of Ex-CBI Roundup with photos from the March 1991 issue and other sources.
 Mars Task Force
Mars Task Force
The 5332nd Composite Brigade (Provisional) was a long-range penetration force that carried on the fight begun by Merrill's Marauders. Mars was composed of the American 475th Infantry, 124th Cavalry, 612th and 613th Field Artillery (Pack) and other supporting units along with the Chinese 1st Infantry Regiment. A short story by Ralph E. Baird, originally published in the February 1997 Ex-CBI Roundup.
 The Jungle's Victory
The Jungle's Victory
In 1946 Dave Richardson returned to CBI as a foreign correspondent for TIME magazine. He revisited Ledo, Chabua, Myitkyina and points along the Ledo Road. What he found was a trail of ruins, ruts and creeping vines. This story of his return visit originally appeared in NEW REPUBLIC and was reprinted in the July 1951 issue of Ex-CBI Roundup.
 Building the Ledo Road
Building the Ledo Road
To open the Ledo Road in Burma, U.S. combat engineers did more than just build. A story of the 209th Engineer Combat Battalion and their dual role as road builders and combat infantrymen along the road and during the battle for Myitkyina. Originally published in World War II magazine.
 The Hoverfly in CBI
The Hoverfly in CBI
Helicopters in World War II?  Yes. Helicopters in CBI?  Yes again. In fact, the first recorded use of a helicopter as rescue aircraft by the U.S. Military took place in the China-Burma-India Theater. Here is the story of that early helicopter by one who was there from the start.
 Jake Jesse in CBI
Jake Jesse in CBI
Jake Jesse shares a large number of pictures from India and tells the story of his time in CBI with the 11th Air Base Communications Detachment.


 Evacuation Hospital
Evacuation Hospital
The 43rd Evacuation Hospital was activated June 1, 1941 and redesignated the 14th Evacuation Hospital on August 15, l942. Its medical staff came from leading medical centers. Enlisted men, mostly draftees, lived in almost every state in the U.S. Milt Eisenberg was a Master Sergeant with the 14th Evacuation Hospital stationed on mile 19 of the Ledo Road, Assam, India from 1943 to 1945. Milt tells the story of his service and the 14th Evac. Hospital.
 The Stars And Stripes China Edition
The Stars And Stripes China Edition
Originally published during the U.S. Civil War by Union soldiers, The Stars And Stripes returned in World War I and again in World War II, and has been published regularly ever since. This page presents a compilation of five issues of the China Edition from September and October 1945. Stories and pictures of post-war China including the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the continuance of the Chinese Civil War. Original issues of The Stars And Stripes provided by CBI veteran Tom Miller.
 CBI Connections
CBI Connections
Significant People and Events related to the CBI Theater, compiled by Lt. Col. Joseph B. Shupe, USA (Retired), 30 year veteran of the U.S. Army, including service in the CBI Theater during World War II.
 330th Engineer Regiment Unit History
330th Engineer Regiment Unit History
The history of the 330th Engineer General Service Regiment as written by members of the unit in 1945. From Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, to Canada and on to India and Burma, this detailed history tells the story of one of the primary units that built the Ledo Road. Original document provided by Ron Bleecker, son of 1st Lt. Francis A. Bleecker, Executive Officer, Company "D" 2nd Battalion, 330th Engineer Regiment.
 Into The Wildest Blue Yonder...
Into The Wildest Blue Yonder
The Memoirs of CBI Veteran Jack Russell. "Since I am now 82 years old and since I am no longer active in the military, I thought it would be safe now to put together a brief tale of my activities in that greatest war (WWII). Most of these stories my children have heard in their growing up years, so I write mostly for their children who may well have difficulty swallowing much of this." A story of flying in CBI. Lots of great pictures included.
 The Aerial Invasion of Burma
The Aerial Invasion of Burma
The Japanese were threatening airbases in India, just over the Burma border to the west. The Chinese were holding mountain positions against the Japanese in east Burma. If General Wingate could establish his men behind the Japanese in North-central Burma and cut their various supply lines, the Japs would be put in a difficult position regarding Allied attacks on three of their Burma fronts. Here is the story of the First Air Commando Group as told by General "Hap" Arnold, Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces, in 1944.
 Lines of Communication - Transportation in the CBI Theater
Lines of Communication
The dictionary includes this definition of communication: "A network of routes for sending messages and transporting troops and supplies." The Lines of Communication in the CBI Theater included modes described by logisticians in Washington as the most fascinating and complex problems in the world. Joe Shupe examines CBI Lines of Communication which consisted of rail, water, rail-water, water-rail and limited highway routes.
 The Woman's Army Corps in CBI
The Woman's Army Corps in CBI
WACs were first sent to the 8th Air Force in England. Their satisfactory performance led to many requests from other theaters. From Air Forces in the CBI came a request for several hundred WACs, while the Far East Air Force asked for more than 2,000. Monthly shipments began in April 1944 and continued until, by January 1945, almost 7,000 WACs were serving with distinction in every major theater of operations. Less than 300 served in CBI.
 1st Provisional Tank Group
1st Provisional Tank Group
The joint Chinese-American 1st Provisional Tank Group was as remarkable a unit as any raised in World War II. Commanded by Colonel Rothwell Brown, they fought in Burma supporting Merrill's Marauders and the Mars Task Force. Here is their unique story, as told by the men themselves, including Sgt. Leonard Farley, member of the 1st Tank Battalion, whose son Paul provided the material on which this page is based.
 Father Emil J. Kapaun - CBI Saint
Father Emil J. Kapaun - CBI Saint
A story of Father Emil J. Kapaun from his friend and fellow CBI soldier Howard Sherman. Father Kapaun ministered to soldiers along the Ledo Road. When the war was over he stayed until everybody else had gone home. He again went to war with his fellow soldiers in the Korean War. Refusing to leave wounded and dying men, he was taken prisoner. "Wherever he stood was holy ground, and the spirit within him a spirit of reverence and abiding faith went out to the silent listening men and gave them hope and courage and a sense of peace."
 789th EPD Unit History
789th EPD Unit History
The 789th Engineer Petroleum Distribution Company operated the first 350 miles of the 1,800-mile pipeline to China from Budge-Budge near the port of Calcutta to Pumping Station 13 at Dhubri in Assam. This is their unit history. Also included are unit commendations, pipeline maps, a copy of the company bulletin, a PX supply list for August 1945, tips on visiting Bombay and an original pipeliner's poem. Provided by CBI Veteran Tom Foltz of the 789th EPD.
 Ledo Road Insignia
Ledo Road Insignia
In April of 1944, with the Ledo Road progressing, General Pick approved a contest to design a new insignia for the road construction project. The contest was open to all who were taking part in the construction effort. Here is the story of the winning design and the origin of the "Road to China" theme. A link is included to S. Neal Gardner's Ledo Road page which shows many beautiful variations.
 Handbook of Burma and Northeastern India
Handbook of Burma and Northeastern India
A handbook prepared by the Artic, Desert & Tropic Information Center of the U.S. Army Air Force. This page features the maps, diagrams, illustrations and interesting text from the handbook. The handbook is part introduction, part survival guide. Original booklet from the library of the Derby City Basha, CBI Veterans Association.
 Handbook for American Troops in China
Here's How
"Here you are in China. The last place in the world you thought you would be..." A Handbook for American Troops in China published by United States Army Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater. An introduction to China, it's people and customs specifically written for U. S. Soldiers in China during World War II. The emphasis is on keeping good relations between the Chinese and American "guests." Original booklet from the library of the Derby City Basha, CBI Veterans Association.
 Hindusthan Standard
Hindusthan Standard
A re-creation of Calcutta's Hindusthan Standard newspaper published on August 16, 1945. The big news of the day was, of course, THE WORLD WAR ENDS. A look at events at the end of the war from a British-Indian point of view. Pages from the original VJ Day edition of the newspaper shared by CBI Veteran Charles Mette.
 Assam-Bengal-China Air Routes
Assam-Bengal-China Air Routes
Air Transport Command air routes between the many U.S. air bases in India and China. The maps give various details including distances between stations and radio frequencies along the route. Also included are the personal notes kept by Radio Operator Wendall Phillips.
 The Bull Sheet
The Bull Sheet
Twenty-two original issues of "The Bull Sheet," newspaper of the Ramgarh Training Center in India. A behind-the-scenes look at American men and women in CBI. No war news, but a wealth of interesting information from Ramgarh, where Americans trained and equipped the Chinese Army in India. The original issues of the newspaper were shared by CBI Veteran Chuck Louis.
 Hump Express
Hump Express
The official newspaper of the India-China Division, Air Transport Command, was published by its Public Relations Office in Calcutta. Hump Express was a weekly newspaper that featured stories and photos of ICD operations in China, Burma, and India, all recreated here for the Internet. Twenty-seven original newspapers shared by CBI veterans Steven C. King and Grover P. Fike.
 The Calcutta Key
The Calcutta Key
An Internet adaptation of a guide to Calcutta prepared by Services of Supply, Base Section Two, Information and Education Branch, United States Army Forces in India-Burma. Intended for U.S. Army soldiers stationed in or visiting Calcutta, it gives a brief over view of the country and then provides information for soldiers on where to go, what to do, and of course what not to do. An interesting look at the Army, the world in 1945, and a part of CBI.
 CBI Roundup
CBI Roundup
Roundup was the weekly newspaper of the United States Forces, published by and for the men in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II. Originally titled CBI Roundup, it became India-Burma Theater Roundup when CBI was split into the India-Burma and China Theaters. On these pages, 163 of the original 188 Roundup newspapers have been re-created for the Internet. The history of CBI - written as it happened.
 THE COMMAND POST
The Command Post
The newspaper of Headquarters, Base Section No. 2 in Calcutta, India. Eventually it became the newspaper of the China Theater and was called China Command Post. Shortly thereafter, a contest resulted in another new name, The China Lantern. Here are all the CBI stories, pictures and even cartoons from three original issues, recreated on the Internet. Original issue of The Command Post shared by CBI Veteran Roger Cook. Original issues of China Command Post shared by CBI Veteran Grover Fike.
 The China Lantern
The China Lantern
When the CBI Theater was split in two in October 1944, the Theater's newspaper, Roundup, stayed with the India-Burma Theater. The new China Theater of Operations had its own newspaper, The China Lantern. Here are stories and pictures from the original editions. News from the China-side of The Hump.
 Flying Tigers in Burma
Flying Tigers in Burma
A pictorial from the March 30, 1942 edition of LIFE Magazine featuring the famous American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers.
 TIME - China Crisis
China Crisis
The story of Stilwell's recall and the China Crisis from the November 13, 1944 issue of TIME Magazine.
 Operation Matterhorn
Operation Matterhorn
B-29's first struck Japan from bases in India and China. Without the experience gained by B-29 crews in the CBI Theater, the results of the war in the Pacific might have been different. Excerpted by Joe Shupe from the article, "Prelude to Armageddon" by former Air Force Chief Historian Dr. Richard P. Hallion.
 CHINA, BURMA, AND INDIA - FROM THE BACK SEAT
China, Burma, and India - From the Back Seat
Flight Radio Operator Douglas Devaux's memories of flying the "Valley" and the "Hump" as a soldier in the United Sates Army Air Force during World War II. Doug put together a book, intended for his children and grandchildren, so that they would know more than just the fact that he served in CBI. He shares it here for all to know the flying adventures and the day-to-day life "from the back seat," the radio operator's position, for the Air Transport Command.
 MY LIFE AS A G.I. JOE IN WORLD WAR II
My Life as a G.I. Joe in World War II
Tom Foltz, CBI Veteran of the 789th Engineer Petroleum Distribution Co. (E.P.D.) wrote this memoir of his time as a "G.I. Joe" in the U.S. Army in the CBI Theater of World War II. The story takes you from Ohio, across the Pacific in a Troop Ship to India, up and down "Infinity Line" pipeline, and finally, after three years, back home to "Uncle Sugar."
 THE RAT-TRAP OF BURMA
The Rat-Trap of Burma
LIFE magazine stories and pictorial from the May 18, 1942 issue reporting the early days of the war in Burma. "The Japanese Sweep Through Burma" describes the invasion of 1942. "How British in Burma Escaped a Jap Trap," is a first-hand report by correspondent Jack Belden of his experience escaping the invading Japanese. Photos show aftermath of Japanese bombing of Stilwell's Maymyo headquarters and Allied withdrawal along the Burma Road.
 YANKS MAKE A HIT IN INDIA
Yanks Make a Hit in India
LIFE'S REPORTS from the January 18, 1943 issue of LIFE about American soldiers getting along in the far-flung bases of India.
 CHINA AIR TASK FORCE
China Air Task Force
The story of the China Air Task Force, which came after the American Volunteer Group and eventually became the 14th U.S. Air Force. A pictorial from the April 12, 1943 issue of LIFE.
 BRITISH RAID BURMA
British Raid Burma
The author of the story called them "Wingate's Mob." They are probably better know as Wingate's Burma Raiders. In addition to a story about the raiders, the pictorial features photos of air drops and evacuation of wounded by plane. From the June 28, 1943 issue of LIFE.
 AMERICAN MAKES PLANES IN INDIA
American Makes Planes in India
William D. Pawley formed Hindustan Aircraft, Ltd. in Mysore, India and built American planes for the British and U.S. Army air forces operating in the CBI Theater. This page features the story and pictures plus interesting advertisements from the March 22, 1943 issue of LIFE magazine.
 MME. CHIANG IN THE U.S. CAPITOL
Madame Chiang in the U.S. Capitol
LIFE's REPORTS from the March 3, 1943 issue is a story of Madame Chiang Kai-shek's visit to the U.S. Capitol, where she addressed the Senate and House. According to the introduction, "Mme. Chiang's three hours at the Washington Capitol on February 19 are inevitably a part of U.S. history. What she said and did there was up to the level of world events. Not only were Congressmen completely captivated by her but also hard-boiled reporters confessed they had never seen anything like it."
 LIFE VISITS AN ARMY HOSPITAL IN BURMA
LIFE Visits an Army Hospital in Burma
A pictorial of Dr. Gordon Seagrave's famous hospital high in the hills of Burma. Pictures of the doctors and Burmese nurses saving Chinese, American and native lives close to the fighting front. From the November 1, 1943 issue of LIFE magazine.
 MADAME CHIANG SPEECH TO CONGRESS
Speech To Congress
An editorial from the March 1, 1943 issue of LIFE regarding Madame Chiang Kai-shek's call for the U.S. to join China in war and in peace.
 THE MISSIMO
The Missimo
This pictorial from the February 22, 1943 issue of LIFE is a brief look at the life of "The Missimo," Mei-ling Soong (Madame Chiang Kai-shek).
 INDIA SPEAKS TO CHINA
India Speaks To China
Jawaharlal Nehru hand-wrote a letter to the people of China just before being jailed by the British for speaking out about India's independence. Nehru expresses India's support for China. From the March 1, 1943 issue of LIFE.
 MASS TRIBUTE TO MME. CHIANG
Mass Tribute to Madame Chiang
Madison Square Garden in New York City was the setting for a huge tribute to Madame Chiang. Philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr., General Hap Arnold and nine Governors spoke her praise and pressed for support of China.
 MADAME CHIANG IN HOLLYWOOD
Madame Chiang in Hollywood
Madame Chiang concluded her early 1943 visit to the United States with a visit to Hollywood. After speaking to 30,000 at the Hollywood Bowl, she was guest of honor later in the week at a banquet at the Ambassador Hotel, attended by many Hollywood celebrities. From the April 19, 1943 issue of LIFE.
 MY FAVORITE WAR STORY
My Favorite War Story
Veteran war correspondent Moscrip Miller was on his way back from China when he heard his favorite story of the war. Lt. Col. Edward D. McComas, an old-time Chennault ace at 26 and commanding officer of the Black Lightning Squadron, was talking with pride of "his boys." Here is the story of the the 118th Tactical Recon Squadron of the 23rd Fighter Group, published in the May 29, 1945 issue of LOOK magazine and shared by Terrence Schwartz.
 PRAYED, SANG, CUSSED
Tennessean Prayed, Sang, Cussed as Japs Dug Grave
Brief story from the January 14, 1946 edition of The Nashville Tennessean about pilot James M. Taylor of the 75th Fighter Squadron, 14th Air Force. Downed by engine failure on November 11, 1944, he spent 10 months as a prisoner of the Japanese. The story continues in The Diddled Dozen.
 THE DIDDLED DOZEN
The Diddled Dozen
Lt. James M. Taylor's own account of the mission in which he was forced to bail-out when his engine failed during a dog-fight with Japanese fighters over Hengyang, China. He was captured by the Japanese and was a Prisoner of War for ten months, one of twelve POW's that called themselves "The Diddled Dozen."
 SUPER-FORT
Super-Fort
In 1944 plans were finalized for basing B-29 Superfortresses in India and China for raids on the Japanese homeland. The "Super-Forts" made the first attacks on Japan since the Doolttle raid of 1942. They also supported operations in China and Burma. To keep their men informed, the XX Bomber Command published the bi-weekly newspaper Super-Fort. Recreated here are two issues of the newspaper, shared by Earl and Diana (Duty) Ingram.
 WINGS OVER CHINA
Wings Over China
From the September 8, 1941 issue of LIFE comes this story by Clare Boothe. "An imaginary dialog wherein a distinguished American playwright (Boothe) looks down on the land and draws some wise conclusions." An informative look at China prior to World War II.
 HELLBIRD HERALD
Hellbird Herald
The 462nd Bombardment Group was activated on July 1, 1943 and was soon training on the new B-29 bomber. Early in 1944 they headed to Piardoba, India and later took part in the first raids on the Japanese homeland since the Doolittle raid of 1942. They called themselves the Hellbirds. This page contains a recreation of their newspaper, the Hellbird Herald, an above average unit newspaper from CBI. The original newspaper was brought home by B-29 Crew Chief, S/Sgt. Edwin O. Duty and shared by Earl and Diana (Duty) Ingram.
 THE FLIGHT OF NO RETURN
The Flight of No Return
Over four hundred and fifty planes took the Flight of No Return attempting to cross the Himalayas to China. Their wreckage, strewn across the Hump Route, formed what ominously came to be known as "The Aluminum Trail." This poem by Sunny Young pays tribute to the brave men who set out Over the Hump to China and never made it. From the book, The Aluminum Trail by Chick Marrs Quinn.
 CHINA: TO THE MOUNTAINS
China: To The Mountains
Madame Chiang Kai-shek graced the cover of the June 30, 1941 issue of LIFE and inside, publisher Henry R. Luce writes about his trip to the mountains of China to visit the Yellow River front. Photographs by Clare Boothe Luce.
 BOB FAGELSON IMAGES OF INDIA
Bob Fagelson's Images of India
Calcutta, Kanchrapara and Barrackpore are some of the places shown in these photographs brought back by CBI Veteran Bob Fagelson. They include street scenes, people and some Army installations in India, photographed in 1945 and 1946.
 PHILIP JOHNSON IMAGES OF INDIA
Philip Johnson's Images of India
More photographs from World War II India. These were taken by 1st Lt. Philip C. Johnson, Armaments Officer with the India-China Division, Air Transport Command, stationed at the 1330th Army Air Force Base Unit in Jorhat.
 HASTINGS AIR BASE
Hastings Air Base - A Pictorial Report
Hastings Air Base, also known as "Hastings Mills," was Headquarters for the U.S. Army Air Forces in the India-Burma Theater. As operations wound down in December of 1945, this pictorial history of the base and its operations was made as a momento for those who served there.
 AIRBORNE RAIDERS IN BURMA
Airborne Raiders in Burma
A pictorial of Colonel Philip Cochran's U.S. air force and the mixed force of Englishmen, Americans, West Africans and Gurkhas they landed in the jungle behind Japanese lines in Burma. There they harassed the Japanese and helped Lt. Gen. Joseph Stilwell's forces in their drive to reopen the land route to China. American light-plane pilots and their supply and evacuation missions are highlighted. LIFE photographs by William Vandivert. Also included is a background story on the June 12th issue, of which there were two versions due to the big news from Europe: Invasion!
 NIGHT AMBUSH
One-Man Air Force - Night Ambush
Flying in pitch blackness in a fighter not equipped for night fighting (except for a flashlight to see the instruments) Major John R. Alison ambushed a flight of Japanese "Sallys" on a bombing run over Hengyang, China. From the May 1964 issue of Man's Magazine comes this story of a CBI legend written by Glenn Infield and shared by Terry Schwartz.
 THE BEST OF CBIVA SOUND-OFF
The Best of CBIVA Sound-off
Dave Dale was editor of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association newsletter, CBIVA Sound-off, from 1981 until the CBIVA was dissolved in 2005. In addition to news of CBIVA Bashas around the country, over the years he also published an expansive history of CBI written by Lt. Col. Joseph Shupe (USA Ret.). Those stories, as well as others from CBI veterans, have been compiled into a memorial edition of the best of CBIVA Sound-off. Presented in PDF document format in eleven sections created by David Hanneke (Dave Dale's grandson).
 CHARLES BEARD'S STORY
Charles Beard's Story - Radar Counter Measures in the CBI Theater
Radar came of age during the Second World War and the U.S. took full advantage of the British development, sending teams to study and further develope it. CBI Veteran Roger Cook tells the little-known story of fellow Tampa Bay Basha member Charles Beard and Radar Counter Measures in the CBI Theater.
 BUCK SHEET
Buck Sheet - Along The Ledo Road
A two page single-sheet newsletter produced by Special Services for men along the Ledo Road. This one is from March 15, 1945, and contains war news from CBI and other theaters. Another way soldiers in CBI stayed informed about progress of the war. Shared by CBI Veteran Tony Bushur.
 SEAC SOUVENIR
SEAC SOUVENIR
The Services' Newspaper of South East Asia Command published by SEAC in Kandy, Ceylon (although printed in India). The paper features a definite British perspective. This issue features a year-end historical review of the Burma Campaign of 1944. Original issue shared by Roger Cook, Past Commander, Tampa Bay Basha, CBIVA.
 AIR COMMANDOS
Air Commandos
The place was Burma - some 200 miles behind the Japanese lines. The time - April, 1944. And the operation was a repeat - the second successful skyborne invasion of this territory within two months. In each case the pattern had been the same: spot open spaces from the air, send in glider-borne engineers and equipment to hack an airstrip from the brush, and within a matter of hours, fly in troops to harass the enemy and his lines of communication. A 1944 U.S. Army "Newsmap" pictorial of the Air Commandos and the aerial invasion of Burma. Shared by Charles Peterson.
 OF MEN AND MUD
of Men and Mud
"This is a story of men and mud, a story of a battalion of Aviation Engineers, activated, trained and shipped across half a world to become a part of the Allied striking forces which reversed the Japanese in their conquest westward to India, turned their greedy fingers from Burma and opened the lifeline to China." An unofficial history of the 879th Engineer Aviation Battalion "as told by its members." Shared by Charles Peterson.
 CBI SKETCH BOOK
CBI Sketch Book
John T. Fitzgerald embarked from the east coast for India in December of 1943 and returned to the U.S. in October of 1945. While in CBI with an Engineering Battalion (possibly the 879th EAB) he sketched just about everything he saw. After his return he compiled his drawings into this CBI Skecth Book, shared by Charles Peterson.
 FIRST CONVOY
First Convoy Over the Ledo Road - The Story of Pick's Pike
Although the title indicates this is a story of the first convoy over the Ledo Road, it is not. Instead, this is an informational handout prepared by the Public Relations Office of Advance Section 3, apparently to be distributed to correspondents and others on the occasion of the first convoy to China. It contains biographical information on some of the commanders as well as a brief history of the road building project with facts and figures. Recreated from the original shared by Charles Peterson.
 BROAD VIEWS
Broad Views
Prior to his Army service in World War II, Kin Platt had been a writer for many famous entertainers and publications. During the war, he served from 1943-1946 with the Air Transport Command of the United States Army Air Force. While stationed in India with the India-China Division of ATC he used his drawing talent to create a popular series of cartoons called "Broad Views." These cartoons appeared in the weekly newspaper, Hump Express, published by ICD's Public Relations section. Featured on this page are 25 "Broad Views."
 LAND ROUTE TO CHINA
Stilwell Road - Land Route to China
Nelson Grant Tayman was a Bridge Engineer attached to the Theater Branch, War Plans Division, Office of the Chief of Engineers, U.S. Army. He spent three months in Burma and China, determining the type and location of major bridges on both the Ledo and Burma Roads. He recounted his time on the "Land Route to China" for the June 1945 issue of The National Geographic magazine.
 LOUISE CAMDEN
In Her Own Words
A tribute to Louise R. Camden, a major in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps who served as Chief Nurse of the 69th General Hospital at Margherita (near Ledo) in the CBI Theater.  Her letters home create a timeline and tell of her years of service in the Army - In Her Own Words.  The letters were compiled and shared by her nephew, Rick Camden.
 IBT BASE SECTION
This Is IBT Base Section
The Public Relations Section, along with the Information and Education Division, prepared this pictorial history of India-Burma Theater Base Section. "We can take a good look at what we have done and be justifiably proud. We were a team and no matter where we might have been located, or what cog in the machine that we might have been, we did our part." Take a good look for yourself at the complete original book.
 U.S. ARMY PIPELINES IN INDIA
U.S. Army Pipelines in India
Veteran Kenneth C. Anderson, a captain with the 777th Engineer Petroleum Distribution Company in CBI, wrote this comprehensive story of the "Not so glamorous Corps of Engineers" and the India portion of the pipeline that ran from the Calcutta docks to the airfields of China. Also included is Kenneth's personal story of his Army service, "A Unique Military Experience."
 CHINESE ARMY IN INDIA-BURMA CAMPAIGN
Chinese Army in India-Burma Campaign
A unique pictorial history of the Chinese Army in the India-Burma Campaign, told from a Chinese perspective. Adapted from a rare 1947 Chinese/English book which has been donated to the Stilwell Museum in Chongqing by Charles Peterson.
 AERIAL VIEWS OF THE LEDO ROAD
Aerial Views of the Ledo Road
The road trace was through to Shingbwiyang by the end of 1943 but construction was still in progress all along the way. Fly along in a liaison plane as an Army photographer takes these "SECRET" shots to document places along the road from Ledo to Shingbwiyang. Over thirty rare photographs shared by Hal Baker.
 STILWELL ROAD
Stilwell Road Certificate
A souvenir certificate intended for "all individuals who have traveled over the Stilwell Road, including Cowboys, Cockpit-drivers, Six-by-Six Gear Strippers, Jeep Skippers and even mere Space Occupiers." Features great caricatures and map of the road by Melvin Shaw.
 DEAR MOM
Dear Mom
Two letters written by Andrew (full identity unknown), a soldier at Ledo, to his Mom and Pop and family back home. In his first letter he tells of the journey from Calcutta to Ledo, and how nice they have it at camp (Based on the date of his arrival, he is a replacement). In the second letter the theme is mostly when he thinks he'll be home. He laments that he has only 22 points as other soldiers go home. A look at what seem to be a typical letters home, written by a U.S. soldier.
 NEWSMAP
Newsmap for the Armed Forces
When America entered World War II, the U.S. Army Information Branch developed poster-size Newsmaps, which, as the name suggests, were part newspaper and part map. Each Newsmap contained stories from Europe, Asia and Africa and illustrated the latest moves of the Allied forces. Throughout the war, Newsmaps were produced weekly and posted in every American military installation around the world. Here, from the December 4, 1944 edition, news from Burma and China, and a map of North Burma. Shared by Hal Baker.
 INSIDE WARTIME CHINA
Inside Wartime China
Published by the Chinese Ministry of Information in Chungking, December 1, 1943, this book extols the virtues of China, it's people and soldiers. Most definitely a government propaganda book intended for China's allies in the war against Japan. That's an armed "Miss Free China" on the cover. Here the original book has been completely recreated for the Internet. Shared by Hal Baker.
 ATC IN INDIA-CHINA
ATC in India-China
This 1945 booklet produced by the Graphic Information Section of the India-China Division (ICD) of the Air Transport Command (ATC) tells the story of ICD in the CBI Theater. Shared by Jyotirmay Bareria.
 ROUND ROBIN
Round Robin
Go aboard the S. S. Marine Robin and read the ship's newsletter from November 28, 1945, as it steams from Calcutta to Seattle with 2,572 homeward-bound China and India-Burma Theater veterans. The Round Robin newsletter kept the ship's passengers informed of events onboard and provided some world news as well. This was the last newsletter of the voyage as the ship reached port on December 1. Original shared by Paul Shindelar.
 THE AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND
The Air Transport Command
Original pages of a United States Army Air Force booklet prepared for the general information and interest of Air Transport Command personnel in 1943. Original shared by Hal Baker.
 MY TRIP OVER THE LEDO ROAD
My Trip Over The Ledo Road
"This is the story from day to day on probably the most exciting trip of my life."  A first-hand account of the first ATC convoy over the recently completed Ledo Road to China in 1945.  Unable to send letters home while enroute, William Dawson wrote this day-by-day diary of his experiences in the form of a letter home in a book he kept with him, and later sent home from China.  Shared by his daughter, Carol Hoffner.
 CHUNGKING - CHINA'S WAR CAPITAL
Chungking - China's War Capital
The Chinese Ministry of Information published this booklet, part of a series of 24 about wartime China.  The booklet provides details about the city of Chungking, which served as the capital of China during the war.  An interesting look at the wartime city.  The complete booklet is shown.  Shared by Hal Baker.
 POST-WAR PLANNING IN INDIA
Post-War Planning
This booklet, produced by the Government of India, Bureau of Public Information, details the plans for post-war India.  The complete booklet is shown.  Shared by Hal Baker.
 THE HUMP
The Hump
From the September 11, 1944 issue of LIFE comes this pictorial story of the famous Himalayan airlift route by Theodore White.  Includes color aerial photographs by William Vandivert.
 BULL-DOZER
Bull-Dozer
An example of one of the many Soldier-written newsletters that kept the men of specific outfits informed of news of the war and their unit.  This one was produced by men of the 330th Engineer Battalion, who worked along the Ledo Road.  Shared by Hal Baker.
 THE HAIRY EARS HERALD
The Hairy Ears Herald
According to a Ledo Road pictorial in LIFE, "The Engineers have hairy ears and live in caves and ditches. They bang their jocks against the rocks, those hardy sons of bitches."  That's just one of the less bawdy verses.  The Engineers were known as HAIRY EARS and the newsletter of the 823rd Engineer Aviation Battalion in CBI was appropriately named: The Hairy Ears Herald.  Two examples shared by Hal Baker.
 CAMELCADE
Camelcade
An interesting look at the menu from the Red Cross "Camelcade" Enlisted Men's Club in Karachi, India.  Shared by Glenda Garrelts Mattes, daughter of Glenn Garrelts of the 181st General Hospital, Karachi.
 WELCOME TO BOMBAY
Welcome to Bombay
An informational booklet prepared by the Hospitality Committee in Bombay for soldiers newly-arrived in the China-Burma-India Theater.  Shared by the family of CBI Veteran John Sunne.
 GLENN GARRELTS' INDIA
Glenn Garrelts' India
The CBI photo collection of Glenn Garrelts of the 181st General Hospital, Karachi.  A typical look at life in World War II India as seen through the lens of a visiting American's camera.  Over 100 photos of Calcutta and Karachi.  Shared by Glenn's daughter, Glenda Garrelts Mattes.
 GUIDE TO KARACHI
Guide to Karachi
A locally produced informational booklet for soldiers in Karachi, India.  Shared by Glenda Garrelts Mattes, daughter of Glenn Garrelts of the 181st General Hospital, Karachi.
 BURMA - A MIRACLE IN MILITARY ACHIEVEMENT
Burma - A Miracle in Military Achievement
To conquer Burma without a port, or road, or railway worthy of the name, and with only six months of the year favorable for operations, was the problem which faced Lord Mountbatten when he took over Southeast Asia Command in November, 1943.  How he did it is briefly told in this wartime booklet about the Burma campaign from SEAC, newspaper of the Southeast Asia Command.  Shared by Jyotirmay Bareria.
 THE FORGOTTEN WAR
The Forgotten War
Frank Vierling, veteran of the 130th AACS (Army Airways Communications System), shares over 100 photos of China and tells the story of his Army service in "The Forgotten War" in CBI.  Adapted from an original presentation created by Frank.
 SPECIAL SERVICE BOOKLET
Special Service Booklet
CBI soldiers arriving at Replacement Depot No. 1 at North Malir, some 15 miles from Karachi, received this booklet to familiarize themselves with the Depot and the Karachi area as they awaited shipment back to the States.  The booklet brought back by T/5 Kenneth W. Clark was shared by his son John Clark.  Also included is Kenneth Clark's CBI story.
 WALTER OREY - MEMOIR OF WORLD WAR II
Walter Orey - Memoir of World War II
Walter Orey served as a member of the 1891st Engineer Aviation Battalion in CBI. Before becoming an engineer, Walter trained as an Aviation Cadet.  In the spring of 1944 the test requirements were raised, washing out about 70% of the Aviation Cadet candidates in the squadron, including Walter.  Read why and more in this memoir of World War II.  John Clark, who's father served with Walter in CBI, shared the story.
 ROUTE GUIDE - KUNMING TO KWEIYANG
Route Guide - Kunming to Kweiyang
Prepared by Highway Division, Engineer Section, Hq. S.O.S., China Theater and dated 12 January 1945, this five page guide shows a rough map and written directions from Kunming to Kweiyang, China.  A close look shows that the guide may have been used by a CBI soldier enroute from Kunming to the Hsing-jen, An-lung, Poseh area as this route is highlighted in red.  The original guide as scanned and shared by Graham Thompson is shown.
 SOMEWHERE IN INDIA
Somewhere In India
A stack of unanswered letters from home over two-and-a-half feet high from "no fewer than 56 people prompted this "form letter" home from an Air Corps sergeant in the CBI Theater.  CBI life from a veteran of over two years in India is detailed.  The original letter is shared by Graham Thompson.


 HISTORY OF ENGINEER SECTION
History of IBT Engineer Section
An official history of the India-Burma Theater Construction Service and Engineer Section prepared just after the war's end.  Construction projects such as the Stilwell Road and the pipelines to China are summarized.  Includes original maps and diagrams of engineer activities in the CBI Theater.  Shared by Graham Thompson.
 ROUTE OF THE LEDO ROAD
Route of the Ledo Road
A description of the route of the Ledo Road from the Historical Record of the Engineer Section - Construction Service - Services of Supply in CBI and IBT.  Ride along over the Patkais, through the Hukawng and Mogaung Valleys, and on to Wanting and the junction with the old Burma Road.  Shared by Graham Thompson.
 HISTORY OF THE LEDO ROAD
History of the Ledo Road 1942-1944
From the Historical Record of the Engineer Section - Construction Service - Services of Supply in CBI and IBT comes this detailed history of road building efforts from the start in March 1942 through August 1944.  Shared by Graham Thompson.
 AIRFIELD CONSTRUCTION
Airfield Construction 1942-1944
From the Historical Record of the Engineer Section - Construction Service - Services of Supply in CBI and IBT comes this information about airfield construction 1942-44.  Shared by Graham Thompson.
 WORLD'S BIGGEST AIRLINE
New York to China on the World's Biggest Airline
As the war progressed, the U.S. Army Air Force Air Transport Command grew into the world's biggest airline. It's routes circled the globe bringing planes, passengers and cargo to the war fronts. On this page is the story of the air transport operation that supplied U.S. and Chinese troops in the CBI Theater. A pictorial from the September 4, 1945 issue of LOOK magazine.  Shared by Gregg Millet.
 CBI ORDER OF BATTLE
CBI Order of Battle
Prepared by the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Military History in 1959, this history of CBI details names, dates, and locations of major commands.  One of the more interesting facts included is that "CBI" was initially "ICB" (American Army Forces, India, China and Burma).  Shared by CBI Historian Gary Goldblatt, whose web site www.cbi-history.com has more details including individual unit lineages and history.
 CBI ROUNDUP AND MEMO
CBI Roundup and Post-war Memorandum
The newest addition to the recreated CBI Roundups on the Internet is the January 11, 1945 issue which was also included as an annex to a post-war memorandum regarding control of and content in Roundup. The memorandum appears to be a lesson from the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. It is dated after the war was over and after Roundup had ceased publication. See the Memorandum and the January 11, 1945 issue included as an annex.
 THE MARS TASK FORCE
The Mars Task Force
A soldier-written poem about the "Men of Mars."  The original poem, hand-written on five pages and found between the pages of the book "The Marauders," was written by Pfc. Wade D. Hall of the 475th Infantry, a unit of the Mars Task Force.  Beautifully written, it has been transcribed for easier reading or printing.  The original hand-written pages can also be viewed.  Shared by Kathryn Thomason Cleveland.
 SERENDIPITY
Serendipity
 Like many CBI soldier's sons and daughters, John Clark knew very little about his father's service in World War II in the CBI Theater.  While searching for information, John made a truly unexpected and fortunate discovery, one that would forever tie two CBI veterans.  Story by John Clark.
 WALTER OREY'S CBI PHOTO ALBUM
Walter Orey's CBI Photo Album
 Follow Walter Orey's journey in photos from training at Geiger Field, Washington to India, Burma, and China and back as a member of the 1891st Engineer Aviation Battalion.  You can also read the story in Walter's Memoir of World War II.  Photos scanned and shared by John Clark.
 SOS FIRST ANNIVERSARY REPORT
SOS First Anniversary Report
 This booklet reviews progress of the Services of Supply Construction Service as of 1945.  The original booklet is shown along with links to related maps of progress of the Ledo Road and Pipelines.  Brought back from CBI by Major Cecil A. Hurt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a member of Lord Mountbatten's staff in 1944 and 1945.  Shared by his grandson Maury Hurt.
 SHWELI RIVER BRIDGE
Shweli River Bridge Construction
Major Cecil A. Hurt of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took these photographs of construction progress on the 450 foot Shweli River Bridge.  Shared by his grandson Maury Hurt.
 LAWRENCE TOMPKINS' PHOTOS
Lt. Lawrence H. Tompkins' Photos
In memory of Lt. Lawrence H. Tompkins who flew The Hump with the 1st Combat Cargo Group.  This page features photos of him and the C-47's he flew over CBI.  Shared by Larry Bowers.
 Trouble In Burma
Trouble In Burma
The pictorial story from the April 24, 1944 issue of LIFE featuring the Bengal & Assam Railway and the Allied supply problems in the CBI Theater. Also told is the story of the Japanese offensive into India at Imphal and Kohima to cut the Allied supply line.
 Japan Threatens to Close Burma Road
Burma Road - Japan Threatens to Close China's Only Supply Line
China's only link to the outside world for supplies was the Burma Road. Japan's invasion of Burma threatened to cut this supply line as documented in this pictorial story from LIFE. The story states "The remote Burma Road could well be the fuse that would set off the great Pacific war" and ironically this issue's publication date was December 8, 1941, one day after the actual fuse blew at Pearl Harbor.
 Japan Threatens to Close Burma Road
The A.V.G Ends Its Famous Career
The American Volunteer Group (A.V.G.) held the line against the Japanese in the air for six months before becoming part of the U.S. Army Air Force. This is their story from the July 20, 1942 issue of LIFE.
 Flight From Burma
Flight From Burma
The story and pictures from the June 8, 1942 issue of LIFE telling of the refugees' plight as they fled to India from the Japanese invading Burma in early 1942.
 Dear Mom, I Got A Valet
"Dear Mom, I Got A Valet"
This story was written by an unidentified Staff Writer for C.B.I. Roundup at the request of LIFE magazine.  American soldiers adapt to the Indian bearer system.  Indian bearers adapt to the "rich" American soldiers.
 Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
A LIFE Close-up of China's Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek from the March 2, 1942 issue. The leader of free China was also Supreme Commander of Allied forces in the CBI Theater. The story is an in-depth look at one of the top four Allied leaders of World War II (the others being Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin).
 War Explodes Into Bombay
War Explodes Into Bombay
What came to be known as the Bombay Docks Explosion occurred on April 14, 1944, at the Victoria Dock of Bombay. The freighter SS Fort Stikine, carrying a cargo of cotton bales, gold, and ammunition including around 1,400 tons of explosives, caught fire. The fire led to two giant explosions which destroyed the Fort Stikine and sunk many surrounding ships. Hundreds died and thousands were injured. LIFE photographers captured the aftermath.
 Chinese Pilots
Chinese Pilots
A story about the training of Chinese pilots at Thunderbird Field in the United States from the May 4, 1942 issue of LIFE.
 Yanks In Shangri-La
Yanks In Shangri-La
LIFE Reports on U.S. Army Tenth Air Force repair depot personnel in India and the Maharaja who befriended them.
 To India And Back In 10 Days
To India And Back In 10 Days
LIFE photographer Tom McAvoy documents the longest supply line of the war, often called "12,000 Miles From Main Street," by traveling the Air Transport Command airlift route from Miami to Chabua, India. The June 5, 1944 issue's cover features U.S. infantry, ready for invasion. The publication date interestingly enough is D-Day minus 1.
 B-29 Superforts Bomb Japanese Mainland
B-29 Superforts Bomb Japanese Mainland
A new bomber was big news and many news agencies, including LIFE, covered one of its first missions: bombing the Japanese homeland from bases in China. The 20th Bomber Command was formed to carry-out the missions from China with bombs, fuel and other supplies flown over The Hump from India. This pictorial is part of "Our War Against Japan" from the July 10, 1944 issue of LIFE.
 Peace Comes to Shanghai
Peace Comes to Shanghai
LIFE's Theodore H. White reports on the situation in Shanghai following the Japanese surrender.
 Jinx Returns From The War
Jinx Returns From The War
Jinx Falkenburg was one of the highest-paid and most popular cover-girl models in the United States during the war. She is regarded as one of the first "supermodels." LIFE photographs tell the story of her very successful visit to CBI as part of a USO tour.
 China Fights On
China Fights On
Thought by many, as the article states, to be "on the ropes," Chinese troops stop a Japanese offensive and win a victory on the Salween River front.
 U.S. Foot Soldiers In Burma
U.S. Foot Soldiers In Burma
They had already become known as "Merrill's Marauders" and had just taken the Myitkyina airfield when this pictorial appeared in the June 26, 1944 issue of LIFE. Graphic photos tell the story and include a visit from General Stilwell and the work of Dr. Gordon Seagrave.
 The Mules of Myitkyina
The Mules of Myitkyina
LIFE Reports on the four-legged members of Merrill's Marauders - Army mules from the U.S. who helped carry the fight to the Japanese in Burma.
 Claire Chennault
Claire Chennault
Story and drawings from "Three Airmen" in the May 29, 1944 issue of LIFE about U.S. General Claire Chennault.
 Man And His Dog
Man And His Dog
General Stilwell rests at home after his recall from China and is shown on the beach at Carmel, California with his dog Gary. This article from LIFE also includes his family and Chinese art by his daughter Alison.
 G.I. VAGABOND JOURNEY ACROSS INDIA
G.I. Vagabond Journey Across India
A fanciful map from the CBI Theater showing railway routes from Karachi and Calcutta to Ledo. Six-and-a-half days to go 2407 miles from Karachi to Ledo.
 THE STORY OF THE HUMP
The Story of "The Hump"
"The world's most dangerous overland air route" was featured in this advertisement from the June 5, 1944 issue of LIFE magazine by the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. After reading it you might think that only the Liberator Express (C-87) flew The Hump. Of course that wasn't the case but no need for details when you're promoting your own aircraft now and for in the future. The C-87, by the way, was the cargo version of the B-24 Liberator bomber and was developed because of the need for a heavier lift capacity quick replacement for the C-47.
 4 DAYS OUT - 4 DAYS BACK
4 Days Out - 4 Days Back
Another advertisement from the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation. This one tells the story of the 4 day, 14,000-mile supply run between India and Ohio.
 RANGOON RAMBLER
The Rambler Roars into Rangoon
Another advertisement, this one from the Army Air Force Recruiting Service, takes you on a mission with the crew of the B-24 "Rangoon Rambler." Specifically intended for "men of 17," it urges them to sign-up now for service after high school.
 THE U.S. IN CHINA
The U.S. In China
An editorial from the November 13, 1944 issue of LIFE about the removal of General Stilwell and the complex problems of U.S./Chinese relations.
 CHINA FLEES
China Flees
A Japanese push in Kwansi province resulted in the loss of U.S. airbases in the area and the neccesity for the Chinese people to flee the advancing Japanese. From the November 20, 1944 issue of LIFE.
 CHINESE TRAGEDY
Chinese Tragedy
A pictorial report on the inflation and resulting black market in China during the war.
 VICTORIOUS CHINA
Victorious China
Military action by Japan against China began in 1931 and by 1937 full-scale war had broken out. Many historians trace the beginnings of World War II to this conflict. In this pictorial from the August 27, 1945 edition of LIFE, China celebrates victory over Japan and looks to the uneasy peace it brings.
 A BIG DAY IN CHINA
A Big Day In China
LIFE reports on the United Nations Day celebration in China in its October 25, 1943 issue. Festivities in Chungking honor the four great powers: the U.S., Great Britain, Russia and China. Included is a link to an earlier story about the bombing of Chungking in the August 12, 1940 issue.
 LIGHTLY ARMED JAPANESE FILTER UP THROUGH BURMA
Lightly Armed Japanese Filter Up Through Burma
A story and pictures of the February 1942 Japanese invasion of Burma.
 CHINA ASKS INDIA WHETHER IT WILL FIGHT
China Asks India Whether It Will Fight
Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai-shek traveled to Calcutta to meet with India's leaders Mohandas Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru to discuss India's participation in the war against Japan.
 LIFE GOES ON A DATE IN INDIA
LIFE Goes on a Date in India
Photographer William Vandivert recorded this pictorial of a U.S. officer on a "date" while on leave. The officer's date was with a British girl doing censorship work in Bombay and working as a hostess at the Srinagar club. Together they escaped the war for a while in beautiful Kashmir.
 Miss Lace is GIs' Heroine
Miss Lace is GIs' Heroine
From "Speaking of Pictures" in the June 4, 1945 issue of LIFE comes this pictorial of Milton Caniff's Miss Lace, star of the comic strip Male Call. This series of comic strips was drawn specifically for the Camp Newspaper Service by Caniff as a free service to GIs. It featured CBI GIs somewhere in China. (Check out the shoulder sleeve insignia on the GI at left). Eight of the Male Call comic strips are featured.
 Woodcuts Help Fight China's Battles
Woodcuts Help Fight China's Battles
This LIFE article explains the ancient oriental art of woodcuts and their use as propaganda by the Chinese during the war.
 U.S. Snubs China's Army Mission
U.S. Snubs China's Army Mission
The enemy is not the only thing presenting problems during war. Dealing with allies can also present issues of a different sort. Read how this applied to the U.S., China and Russia during World War II.
 Japs Split China in Great Land Victory
Japs Split China in Great Land Victory
A Japanese drive late in 1944 cut a path between Chinese forces and isolated forward U.S. air bases, forcing their destruction and abandonment. This short story from the November 27, 1944 issue of LIFE includes a situation map.
 Eggs Stand On End In Chungking
Eggs stand on end in Chungking
A silly story examining the phenomenom of eggs standing on end during the change of season's from winter to spring. As the story states, after eight years of war it was probably a needed diversion for the Chinese wartime capital.
 Bottoms Up in China
"Bottoms Up" in China
A soldier story about the Chinese custom of toasting called kan pei. The toast is made with a potent rice wine known as jing pao, which literally translates to "air raid alert." Soldiers also called it air raid alert and the nuances of avoiding drinking too much are discussed in this article.
 Brereton
Brereton
General Lewis H. Brereton spent only a few months in CBI. After forming what would become the 10th U.S. Air Force, organizing the 12,000 mile supply line from the United States and shortly after this article appeared in LIFE, General Brereton was transferred to North Africa along with the best bomber aircraft and crews then in India, in response to the German threat to the Suez Canal.
 China Bowl
China Bowl Football Classic
November 1945. The war is over but Army and Navy personnel are still in the CBI Theater "cleaning up." What better way to spend your free time than playing football? What better way to play football than Army vs. Navy? Here's a story and program from the Army-Navy "China Bowl Football Classic" of December 1, 1945. Shared by Bruce Uhler, son of Army running back Lt. Earl Uhler.
 Earl Uhler's Photos
Earl Uhler's Photos
A handful of photo memories from Lt. Earl D. Uhler, Jr., who flew C-46 transports in CBI. Shared by his son Bruce.


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The China-Burma-India Theater of World War II

  Officially established March 3, 1942, the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) is often referred to as The Forgotten Theater of World War II.  Of the 12,300,000 Americans under arms at the height of World War II mobilization, only about 250,000 (two percent) were assigned to the CBI Theater, making CBI Veterans are Unique more than just a slogan.

  Initially important to the Allied war effort because of plans to invade Japan from the Chinese mainland, it became mainly an effort to keep China supplied and in the war.  Allied forces, mostly British, Chinese, and Indian, engaged large numbers of Japanese troops that might have otherwise been used elsewhere.  The less than 3,000 volunteer soldiers who became famous as Merrill's Marauders, and the units of the Mars Task Force, were the only dedicated U.S. ground fighting forces in the Theater.

  America's role in CBI was to support China by providing war materials and the manpower to get it to where it was needed.  The majority of Americans in CBI worked to bring lend-lease supplies to China.  The Flying Tigers fought the Japanese in the air over China and Burma.  Army Air Forces flew supplies Over The Hump from India to China.  Merrill's Marauders and the Mars Task Force fought through the jungles of Burma.  Army Engineers built the Ledo Road to open up a land supply route.





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Share Your CBI Memorabilia

   Most of these sites were created using World War II era publications and printed material from CBI.  Some of the material was provided by people like you.  Your CBI story, photos and other memorabilia is of interest to veterans and friends of CBI and is an important part of history.  This history can be preserved and published to the Internet so that anyone interested can readily access information about the CBI Theater.  You don't have to part with your piece of CBI history as good photocopies or scans are acceptable.  If you have photos or memorabilia from CBI and would like to share it and your story with veterans and others interested in CBI, please click below to send an e-mail.

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Many thanks to these veterans and friends of CBI whose generosity helped make these pages possible:

Hal Baker  Jyotirmay Bareria  Linda Berthow  Ron Bleecker  Matt Brinkman  Miriam Burrows  Tony Bushur

Rick Camden  Matt Campanella  John Clark  Kathryn Thomason Cleveland  James R. Cobb  Roger Cook

Jim Corbitt  Sean & Stefani Curley Dave Dale  Douglas Devaux  Virginia Dyer  Milt Eisenberg  Bob Fagelson

Paul Farley  Grover Fike  Tom Foltz  S. Neal Gardner  Gary Goldblatt  Jim & Jill Hanratty  Carol Hoffner

Maury Hurt  Earl & Diana Ingram  Joan Isham  Linda James  Jake Jesse  Wen Jiang  Steve Johnson

Steven C. King Carlton W. King  Leo (Sapienza) Leonhart  Chuck Louis  Glenda Garrelts Mattes  Charles Mette

Tom Miller  Gregg Millett  Richard Mowbray  Bud Osborn  Charles Peterson  Wendall Phillips

Timothy Rogers  Jack Russell  Nick Sanchez  Terrence Schwartz  Robert Shaw  Howard Sherman  Paul Shindelar

Joe Shupe  Larry Stockwell  John Sunne  Jack Thomas  Bob Thompson  Graham Thompson

Frank Vierling  Christine Weidenburner  Joseph Weidenburner  Glenna Wilding and the Derby City Basha


DEDICATED TO THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE CHINA-BURMA-INDIA THEATER
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