Vol. IV No. 12 Delhi, Thursday, Nov. 29, 1945. Reg. No. L5015
25,783 Motor Vehicles Delivered Over Road
For China Use
Roundup Staff Writer
The Stilwell Road paid off dividends to the tune of 25,783 motor vehicles and 6,539 trailers delivered to China between the time the "lifeline" opened last Feb. 1 and Oct. 8 when the last official U.S. Army convoy arrived at Kunming.
This achievement was disclosed today by Transportation Service Theater Headquarters, in the wake of the official closing of the "Lifeline to China" on Nov. 1.
The vehicles shipped to China, consigned to both Chinese and American military forces there, accumulated a total of 31,736,078 miles on the arduous trip from Ledo. Gross cargo tonnage was listed as 146,948, exclusive of local supplies for the pipeline and communications - which represented additional dividends made possible by The Road.
The first convoy to China was dispatched from Ledo last Jan. 14 and arrived in Kunming Feb. 4 after being delayed by fighting in the vicinity of Mong Yu, Burma, where the Ledo and Burma Roads join to form the Stilwell Road. Construction of the Ledo Road started in December, 1942.
Vehicles destined for China, which urgently needed transport to help halt her losing battle against the Japanese, arrived in the India-Burma Theater in Calcutta and were delivered to Siltgurl by train and then sent on to Ledo.
In the first month of operations over the newly opened Stilwell Road, named for Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell, 22 convoys representing 1,942 motor vehicles were delivered in Kunming. Operations were in charge of Motor Transport Service. In addition to personnel from QM truck companies, many trucks were being driven by Chinese soldiers and, later, by G.I. volunteers. In April, convoy stations were in operation at many points along The Road to help ease the rigors of the trip, which normally required an average of 12 days.
Motor Transport Service officially took over entire operations of The Road's activities in June, when the Army delivered 82 convoys comprising 4,901 motor vehicles and 964 trailers. This represented the largest number of convoys and vehicles to be delivered despite the fact that the monsoon, after arriving late this year, brought record rainfall.
The impact of the monsoon caused July shipments to drop to 75 convoys comprising 4,745 motor vehicles and 828 trailers. In August worsening conditions caused The Road to be closed a total of 17 days to all vehicles, and 27 days to those vehicles having only two-wheel drive.
Following V-J Day, September's convoys totaled only 52, comprising 3,060 vehicles and 408 trailers. During the week's operations in October, 916 vehicles and 50 trailers were delivered.
The last Army convoy, No. 500, was dispatched from Myitkyina, Burma, Sept. 28 and arrived in Kunming 10 days later.
The last Army convoy dispatched from Ledo, India, was No. 422, which departed Sept. 26 and carried 500 Chinese soldier hospital patients to a rehabilitation camp at Yunnanyi, China. This convoy continued on to Kunming, arriving two hours before the last official convoy. Convoy 422 was furnished drivers by the 3648th QM Truck Co., 68th Group. The convoy commander was Capt. William W. MacDougall of Atlanta, Ga.
The last actual convoy to go over The Road was sent by the U.S. Navy several days after the Army's last convoy and comprised 350 vehicles.
MORE TURKS FOR XMAS
Roundup Staff Article
More than 400,000 pounds of Stateside turkey valued at $188,140 was on hand in the India-Burma Thanksgiving Day to feed G.I.'s and their guests - and enough was left over to take care of an even bigger Christmas dinner.
Theater Quartermaster also revealed that about 27,266 birds died that I-BT G.I.'s might enjoy the holiday in the traditional way.
Arrangements for the feed began as far back as June 14. The U.S.S. Phoenix, loaded with the Thanksgiving and Christmas fare, arrived at Calcutta on October 5. It was the first genuine Stateside turkey for the two holidays in the history of the Theater.
Refrigerated boxcars carried the turkey from Calcutta to Chabua and Ledo and ATC provided special planes on a high priority basis to fly the gobblers from Calcutta to Karachi, Delhi, and isolated East Bengal installations.
Planes also supplied units left in Burma. Even G.I.'s on the long trans-Indian railroad trip to Karachi during the holiday got Thanksgiving dinner at Lucknow.
The meal cost Uncle Sugar 75 cents per head - not counting the cost of 17,000 miles of transportation to India.
The unsung, un-medalled G.I.'s of India-Burma's SOS should find comfort, hope and amusement in the recent findings of Capt. James K. Matthews, historian with a flair for the Biblical.
Matthews, of the Intermediate General Depot, APO 629, writes the Roundup "According to a communiqué dated about 1,000 B.C., from Headquarters, Southwest Palestine Command, self-conscious SOS troops have nothing to worry about. They have every right to the privileges and prerogatives of the combat soldier. This is based on no less an authority than the Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of Israel - King David, soldier, shepherd, statesman, musician, poet.
"It seems that in one of David's campaigns, while some of the soldiers were engaged in battle, others stayed back to take care of the supplies. After the fighting was over, some folks wanted to deprive the supply troops of their share of the spoils. After all, the combat men had risked their necks and wanted the glory, the gravy, the decorations, the baksheesh, in fact, it looked about as grim then for the boys of the QMC, et al, as it does in India, 1945.
"But this fellow David was strictly on the beam; he knew that wars weren't won merely on the battle-line, but on the supply-line as well. So he issued a general order that makes good reading for the G.I. of SOS even after 3,000 years. It goes like this:
"For as his share is that goeth down to the battle, so shall his share be that tarrieth by the baggage. They shall share alike."
And, brother, that order hasn't been rescinded - it still stands in David's AR's. You can read it for yourself in I Samuel 30:24."