Eldridge Tells 'Inside' of Lusty C.B.I. Roundup
Inside "success story" of the Army's lustiest newspaper - the C.B.I. Roundup - was told here yesterday by Maj.
Fred Eldridge, Times reporter on leave, to brother members of the Beta Theta Pi Alumni Association at a
University Club luncheon meeting.
A press relations officer for Lt. Gen. Joseph (Uncle Joe) Stilwell, Maj. Eldridge has been the guiding genius behind
the five-column, 12-page tabloid distributed weekly to American troops throughout the China-Burma-India Theater.
But Eldridge gives the credit to his editors, particularly 1st Lt. Floyd Walter, former sports writer on the San
"I'm just known as the officer in charge," he grinned.
The Roundup, Eldridge explained, is devoted to "limited fearless journalism" and is well-known largely because it
is usually in trouble. "We're always raising hell about something," he said, "Uncle Joe will let us go after almost anything as long as we're
sure of our facts. He figures the paper is a safety valve wherein the groaning G.I. soldier in the bush can get rid of
Among the Roundup's campaigns was a blast at the Treasury Department for requiring payment of duty
on gifts sent from soldiers to friends and relatives at home. The tabloid also tangled with a couple of chaplains over
its racy humor and frequently has poked sarcastic fun at high-ranking officers.
"The greatest help is that we're answerable only to the 'old man' himself," he said. "If a colonel wants
three columns on page 2 he doesn't get it unless the Roundup editors think he ought to have it. Of course he
can complain to Uncle Joe, but the general usually tells 'em the editors are running the paper!"
The Roundup's famous front page "cheesecake" art has been missing from only one edition - the first,
Eldridge said, adding: "but we sure have to scurry around sometimes to keep from disappointing the boys."
Characteristically Maj. Eldridge spoke of his 140-mile trek out of Burma with Gen. Stilwell merely as "quite
"We were racing both the Japs and the monsoons," he said casually, "and by luck we won over both."
Hike Without Smile
"It was a hike without a smile," he continued. "Uncle Joe, oldest man in the party, kept insulting everyone,
telling the laggards they had no guts and getting each man mad enough to go on just to show the general they could do
it if he could.
"It was only through this competitive spirit engendered by the general's sarcasm that we were able to
make the trek. We all realize that now, but we didn't then."
General Stilwell has two great qualities in addition to his military ability - "his personal integrity and his
sense of humor," Eldridge said, concluding: "And he never loses either."
Los Angeles Times - December 30, 1943