Tom Foltz in the 789th Engineer Petroleum Distribution Co.

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  We were the last Pipeline Co. to leave Camp Claiborne in February 1944.  Upon our arrival in India on May 25, 1944, we were chosen by Engineer District 12 to be the Headquarters Pipeline Operating Company at Budge-Budge.  This is where the sea-going tankers were unloaded to huge storage tanks.

  It was our duty to pump 100 octane aviation fuel in a 6" pipeline that started 15 miles southwest of Calcutta, India, along the Hooghly River.  Our company was stretched out with pumping stations 30 miles apart for a distance of about 350 miles.  The entire 4" and 6" pipelines were buried alongside the railroad beds of India into Assam.  In Burma, the Pipeline Construction Company placed the pipeline near the Stilwell Road, sometimes short-cutting over mountainous terrain, eventually to end at Kunming, China.

  The pipeline was a 24 hour a day pumping operation to the various B-29 bases in India, the ATC airfields in Assam and the fighter airfields of Burma and China.

  I was only 19 when I arrived in Bombay.  The sights, sounds, smells, poverty and the life of the average Indian in those days were quite overwhelming to me.  After a while I realize this was just the way of life in India in 1944.

  I was fortunate to visit Darjeeling, to spend Christmas 1944 in Madras and to participate as a GI trumpet player when a 1944 USO troupe of Andre Kostelanetz and Lily Pona traveled in Assam.

  My Army experience ended on April 8, 1946.  The 789th E.P.D. Co. sailed from Newport News, Va., and I arrived stateside landing in Seattle, Wa.