Hump Express
Vol. 1,   No. 2                      Published by India China Division, Air Transport Command                      Jan.  25,  1945
Camera Catches C-46 Over Ancient Taj Mahal
This remarkable shot by Sgt. James V. Reme, of the Third Air Depot, brings together two subjects of exceptional interest, the Curtiss C-46 Commando and the Taj.

Rush Combat Men
To Halt Japanese Push

Maintenance Crews Shiver as
They Work in Snow, Ice, Cold

    ICD's part in carrying northern China troops to Yunnan province to halt the surge of Japanese who threatened to take Chungking or capture air terminals of the aerial supply line has been revealed this week, with the lifting of censorship on the operation.
  The troop movement - one of the largest and most hazardous in China's history - began with the launching of the Jap offensive on Kweichow province. Decision to shift an undisclosed number of troops from North China to Yunnan airfields, from which they could be used to stem the Jap tide, was made at a conference of U.S. and Chinese commanders.
  Ground transportation would have consumed weeks if trucks had been on the spot, and months if they had been driven in over the rugged mountainous terrain.
  In preparation for the movement, Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner, ICD commander, made a survey flight and determined that complete facilities would have to be moved to a northern airbase, from which troops would be flown.
  China Wing personnel swung into action and loaded planes with tents, lighting equipment, radio and navigational apparatus and required personnel. Officers and men braved intense cold to live in tents which also housed operational offices. The pioneers strung telephone lines about the field, extended runway lights and set up navigational aids.
  The troops movement, over a route pilots labeled "tougher than the Hump," was hampered by ice-filled clouds which built up to 18,000 feet. Pilots flew through five hours of rough weather to launch the movements, which started slowly and gathered momentum as the number of troops began to swell daily. At its peak, the movement exceeded 1,000 men a day.
  Pilots flew night and day, making instrument letdowns through thick cloud banks into the valley onto the northern airfield, surrounded by 14,000 foot mountains less than 30 miles away.

Flew without "Fixes"

  Several times Maj. Sam Lane, Jr., of Fort Worth, Tex., CO of the China Wing, made the ten-hour round trip himself. On his return he praised the other fliers thus:
  "It took the utmost ability in instrument flying and sheer guts to battle through the weather encountered. The terrain over which these pilots flew, on a course previously unused, is as rugged as any in the world. Navigational ability, too, was at a premium. Even after more radio transmitters and other aids were installed, there were still vast distances to be flown without radio "fixes."
  Maj. Caroll D. Gregory, CO of the ICD detachment at the northern field, had under him a hand-picked staff of maintenance and other personnel required to expedite the troop movement. Maintenance crews battled the elements, too, as they worked on engines out in the open, with temperatures below freezing. Ice and snow added to the discomfort.

Carry Complete Facilities

  Planes making the run had to bring their own gasoline which had to be pumped from cargo drums into fuel tanks before the return trips. Each ship carried maximum loads, and troops and equipment were crowded in on the floor.
  The northern troop movement was only one of many special missions in which China-based ICD aircraft have played a banner role. The planes were organized into mobile squadrons which can be moved to any point in China in a matter of hours. The units carry with them complete facilities repair parts for planes, mess equipment and food, and even finance clerks to handle payrolls.
  The squadrons have moved troops a thousand miles in a short span of hours. In addition to carrying troops, the units saved thousands of pounds of valuable equipment for U.S. and Chinese forces in the evacuation of Kweilin, Liuchow and Nanning.
  In direct support of tactical movements, ICD aircraft have moved ammunition and guns right up against enemy lines and shifted personnel around China in accordance with dictates of the tactical situation.

Fliers Move North China Combat Troops to Protect Yunnan Airfields
These photos depict the part played by ICD in the movement of troops from North China to Yunnan province. At left are Maj. Thomas D. Park, of Dallas, deputy chief assistant chief of staff, operations (left) and Lt. Col. Floyd H. Davidson, of Atherton, Calif., China Wing operations officer, the pair which helped to organize the operations, and a Yunnan citizen. In the center is a sample of the terraced terrain, termed by pilots a route "tougher than the Hump." At the right the Chinese troops board an ICD plane for the trip southward. Planes flew day and night to accomplish the mission.

Hump's Worst Weather Bats Planes About
Winds up to 125 m.p.h. Harass Fliers as Equipment Goes Out, Ships Tip

    HQ., CALCUTTA - Hump pilots recently flew into the worst weather ever encountered in the always dangerous Himalaya mountain region.
  Not all the crews have returned, but most of them flew safely through the hurricane-like storm, while a few were forced down and several have walked out.
  Those who have returned told about weather conditions as phenomenal as ever have been reported. Winds up to 125 m.p.h. swept the mountain peaks. Violent rain, snow, and hail storms knocked out astro-domes and caused other
Holterman, Official Greeter
Lt. Col. Edward H. Holterman, CO of the 1303rd, greets another veteran airman, Air Marshall Breadner, commander in chief of the Canadian Air Force when the latter recently stopped at Agra. The amiable air-minded CO manages to meet almost every passenger ship.
aircraft damage. Severe icing conditions forced some crews to jettison cargo. Radio contact with ground installations was impossible and some navigation instruments froze tight.

Speeds to 200 m.p.h.

  One crew told of wings and props icing up. A few minutes later the plane flew into an intense hail storm, which knocked the ice from the wings and props.
  C-87 pilots talked about speeds fluctuating between 120 and 200 m.p.h. Altitudes varied from 14,000 to 25,000 feet, with severe turbulence. C-46's were pitched from a 45-degree left bank to the opposite 45-degree right bank. It took all the skill and endurance of pilots and co-pilots to keep ships upright. Trips from China to India took a full hour longer than trips to China.
  Only incredible courage and ability saved 1st Lt. Thomas M. Sykes and his crew from calamity. Harried and worn, the crew land safely and told this story:
  "With our airspeed going from 300 to 400 m.p.h., the rate of climb went up to 4,000 feet a minute and suddenly we were on our back. While hanging in my safety belt and with the dirt from the floor falling all around, I realized that it would be impossible to bail out.
  "The co-pilot and I fought the controls until we finally righted the ship at 21,000. We had made a complete 180-degree turn and were headed in the direction from which we had come. We had been in the air quite long and decided that our destination must be closer than the point of departure. We turned and bucked our way through the storm and made it."

Division Initiates All-out Campaign To Cut Down Aircraft Accidents

Poster, Publicity Drive Gives Impetus to Safety - Tough Route, Overworked Fields, Crews Cause Concern

    HQ., CALCUTTA - "Follow your check list," cautions the tower operator to a pilot who swings his ICD transport into the warm-up circle prior to take-off and then again when he breaks into the traffic pattern preparatory to landing.
  Once on the ground, the pilot constantly is reminded through signs and posters of the importance of following procedure for warm-up, take-off, flight and landing as outlined in the aircraft "check list."
  As operations have been expanded, so the new flying safety program has been stepped up. Each base now has its own flying safety officer. Personnel in division headquarters has been more than doubled. An overall publicity drive aimed at those who handle aircraft in the air and on the ground, as well as all supervisory personnel, is being launched.
  The section was confronted with a knotty problem - the accident rate was greater than that of any other ATC division.
  The high rate was due to many factors. As conceded by pilots everywhere, the Hump route is one of the toughest in the world. Tremendous increase in volume of cargo was crowding airfields and traffic patterns and overworking the maintenance crews. Poor conditions of runways in Burma and China was contributing to landing gear and tire trouble. Hump pilots were scarce and were flying too many hours.
  Starting at the root of the trouble - pilot fatigue - the section obtained more pilots for the division and paid strict attention to their training. With the influx of pilots, maximum daily and monthly operational hours for the individual were shortened.
  While the personnel problem was being solved to some extent, the general condition of airfields was improved as much as available material permitted. Procedures were standardized and the use of check lists was stressed and incorporated into the campaign.
  The current publicity program is conducted through posters, bulletins, special letters and bulletin boards. Twice each month posters are distributed bearing the slogan "Think When You Fly!" and generally illustrating an accident caused by carelessness.
  A "Flying Safety Bulletin" is issued monthly, describing accidents for the past two months and giving helpful corrections and constructive criticism on pilot technique.

This Week - Streamlining the Sarong
Dotty Lamour has put aside that semi-dhoti which so disfigures her and has poured herself into this smug number to show Humpsters what they are fighting for. Also has a towel to show that she likes the water. Paramount portrait.
TEEK AND HI By Pvt. John Babnis

Editor's note: "Teek and Hi" come to you through the courtesy of Pvt. John Babnis, of the 1327th BU, Assam. He is one of several aspiring cartoonists at various ICD bases who have submitted their work for edification of HUMP EXPRESS readers. Other contributions adjudged by the editors to have merit will be printed in subsequent issues.

Rubber Conservation Program Launched To Prevent Tie-up Of Aircraft, Motor Vehicles

Division Determined To Beat Arnold's Goal of 25% Reduction in Use of Airplane Tires, Tubes;
GIs Sent to Factories for Training

    HQ., CALCUTTA - In line with the new AAF rubber conservation program, the ICD is conducting an expanding tire maintenance educational course with the ultimate goal a 25 percent or more reduction in tire consumption.
  With the production of airplane tires and tubes considerably less than the 1945 requirements, immense steps in the saving of these items are being taken to avoid grounded aircraft and dead-lined vehicles.

Set Up Program

  In November, 1944, Maj. A. A. McCarthy and Capt. P. D. Cook, both formerly associated with the rubber industry, were assigned here as rubber coordinators. They found that 50 percent of the so-called 'unserviceable tires' received at the depots were entirely serviceable and should not have been removed.
Smith Takes a Gander
HQ., CALCUTTA - Maj. Gen. C. R. Smith, deputy commander of the ATC (seated), looks through the first issue of HUMP EXPRESS on his arrival at headquarters. With him is Col. Temple G. Bowen, newly appointed deputy commander of ICD.

  Part of this program consisted of a factory tire school. With the cooperation of the Firestone factory at Bombay and the Goodyear-Dunlop plant near Calcutta, aircraft tire maintenance schools were established at both. An intensive two-week course taught the men what tires were unserviceable and what others could be quickly repaired on the aircraft. A total of 57 enlisted men were graduated and are now at bases applying their knowledge.

Average 65 Landings

  As early as February, 1943, the ATC set up a Rubber Research branch under the direction of Maj. Frederick Grimm, long associated with the rubber industry. Maj. Grimm came to India to investigate the practicality of a rubber conservation program. He found a number of C-46s grounded on the India side of the Hump because of lack of tail wheel tires in this division, the tires in use averaged only 15 landings and an adequate supply could not be maintained. A change in tire design as well as fabric content has increased the life of these tires to 65 landings.
  Gen. Arnold stated "it has been conservatively estimated by the rubber industry in the United States that the officers now assigned to every Air Force and command should be able to accomplish a 25 percent reduction in total use of airplane tires and tubes."
  Says Gen. Tunner, "ICD can be counted on for the whole-hearted cooperation called for and we are determined to beat Gen. Arnold's 25 percent target."

Greene Operates 'Motel'
T/Sgt. Richard K. Greene, New York, stands below the inviting sign he cooked up to greet Hump travelers at the 1330th. At the moment it seems to have attracted a monkey which apparently would like to move into the miniature basha. It is rumored that the "motel" is really no motel, but just another transient area.

Steaks and Chops?
Don't Get Fooled By Come-on Sign

    1330th BU, ASSAM - "Greene's Motel," the sign says, and adds, "Steaks, Chops and Iced Drinks, Our Specialty - R. K. Greene, Prop." But the wary GIs long since have learned not to take signs too literally, as many of them turn out to be GI-version booby traps. This one is no exception.
  Below the sign is an inviting miniature basha, bringing so many thoughts long discarded by soldiers in India.
  The sign and basha are products of a mind tortured by having been too long in CBI - the mind of T/Sgt. Richard K. Greene, stationed here. This is the catch: behind that inviting sign - reminding many of similar motel signs along U.S. highways - is just another transient billeting area!
  If the new GI is from China or farther up in Assam he gives the little basha just a bored glance - he has seen too many of the real ones. If he is new to India, coming from the States, he is intrigued - but time will change that.
  T/Sgt. Greene, of New York, is transient area first sergeant.

Plane Rushes Medical Aid to Crash Victims

Officers Round Up Medicine, Get it to Crash Scene in 3 Hours

    HQ., CALCUTTA - It took ICD less than 3 hours, one day this week, allowing for delay of more than an hour, at that - to deliver 335 pounds of medical supplies, including blood plasma and penicillin, to the scene of a bomber crash where they were urgently needed.
  Capt. J. B. Langley, SOS medical officer who supervised the actual assembly of the precious cargo, began his warehouse negotiations on one phone and simultaneously put through a call to ICD on another, immediately after he received the request. It was then 1145. Lt. James L. King, priorities and control officer, got his call.

Got Another Call

  Within ten minutes Lt. King had called Capt. Langley back and given him the number of the plane which would be readied for the shipment.
  Capt. Langley, with supplies to be obtained from three widely separated warehouses, was a busy man during the next hour. At 1245 the supplies all reached the field - and found the plane warming up.
  Unluckily, at 1240 Capt. Langley had received another phone call requesting vaccines and other badly needed supplies to be added to the shipment. Procurement of the additional materials cost a lengthy delay, with plane and crew sweating them out.

Bergin Is Pilot

  The takeoff was at 1401. Forty minutes later the plane had returned to its base, after leaving the supplies in the hands of medical officers at the scene of the accident.
  Pilot of the rush flight was Lt. Charles L. Bergin, with Lt. Robert E. Lerwick , co-piloting. Crew chief and radioman, respectively, were T/Sgt. Frank Agnew and Pfc. Edward McRoberts.

Indian labor is used at all emergency fields. Here fuel is being unloaded from the "Flying Lamplighter" for a dynamo.

GIs Plant Feet In Good Earth

Pile of Chinese Soil Grows as Monument to Materials Crossing Hump

    1345th BU, INDIA - An ever-increasing mound of dirt here stands as a permanent monument to the co-operation between American and Chinese forces.
  Carried to the base in giant Hump aircraft on their return from China, the "Good Earth" is used as ballast to replace the original load weight on the eastward flight. As "Little China" mounts, the GIs are reminded of the vast essential war supplies flown to the embattled Chinese.
  Men fresh from the States and eager to be the first to plant their feet on Chinese soil, rush to the scene and jump on the pile, splattering "China" all over India. Then they write home to Mom 'n' Pop - and perhaps the girl friend - telling them all about having trod the Good Earth of China, without leaving India.
  More significant than the novelty of course, is the fact that every ton of dirt piled on the heap furnishes mute evidence that several tons of vital materials - bombs, gasoline, food, motor vehicles - have been thrown into the battle against the Japanese by ICD.

Servicing Prefabricated Beacon Tower
One of the few aerial beacon towers ever transplanted by air from one base to another is shown here. No lumber being available at an emergency landing field, ICD carpenters constructed frame and loaded it in a C-47, which flew it to field for assembly.

Trans-India Night Safety Plan,
Paced by 'Flying Lamplighter,'
Slashes Aircraft Accident Rates

Million and a Half Dollars' Worth of Aircraft, 150 Lives
Calculated Saved by Far-flung "Beacon Run,"
Guiding Pilots to Remote Strips

    The gas gauge on the big passenger plane hovered near the zero mark. With lives of the crew and passengers, plus a valuable airplane, hanging in the balance, the pilot strained his eyes desperately to pick out the beacon from the field. But he was too far off course. No light pierced the darkness.
  He was hopelessly lost in the heavy weather, with only enough fuel for minutes more of flying. Regretfully he made the only possible decision. Passengers were ordered to put on parachutes, and, while he held the ship steady, they walked through the door. There was a burst of white as each successive 'chute opened, and they disappeared into the blackness leaving him and the crew to crash-land the ship.
  He brought it down, wheels up, and all aboard were lucky enough to get out alive. But the ship was a total wreck. Today its remains lie in the rice paddies, a $125,000 skeleton.
  That was in December, 1943. Flying safety was at a low ebb. Month after month planes were lost as they flew through the world's worst weather with little radio aid and few beacons to guide them. A P-47 crashed in the salt-flat area, killing the pilot. Two C-47's got off-course and plowed into hillsides.
  On another occasion a pilot flying cargo out of Karachi at night became lost in heavy weather. With his gas supply low and his destination completely socked in, he and the crew were forced to bail out, leaving the ship and cargo to be destroyed by the resulting crash.


  More reports of crackups came in. With air traffic in India fast increasing, it became obvious that something must be done to curb the accident upswing. That something would be done was the decision of two officers of the India Wing, Col. Richard F. Bromiley, Philadelphia, the commanding officer, and Lt. Col. George S. Cassady, Kansas City, then operations officer. Col. Bromiley is now assistant chief of staff, operations, ICD. Lt. Col. Cassady is CO of the 1337th BU.
  The result of the work begun only a few months reads like a fable. Already the lives of 150 people and a million and a half dollars worth of aircraft have been saved by emergency landings which would have been impossible before this program was in effect.

Began in February

  The story behind the safety program is one of hard work, a constant search for improvements, and the stuff called "Yankee Ingenuity." First step was the installation of airway beacons at strategic points along established routes. Last January the first rotating beacon for the new fields arrived in India. Maj. William Hinto, Douglaston, N.Y., an operations officer, loaded it into the back of a C-47 and flew it to the selected spot. By February 1, it was in working order and the first gain had been made against the accident bogey.
Fuel for the Sit-down Spots
Indian labor is used at all emergency fields. Here fuel is being unloaded from the "Flying Lamplighter" for a dynamo.

  But both Col. Bromiley and Lt. Col. Cassady could see that their job barely had begun. A close check of the past crashes revealed one outstanding fact - in almost every case of engine failure or of a lost plane nearly out of gas on a night flight, the pilot could have come down at one of the landing strips in the immediate vicinity if there had been some way to guide him to the field.
  Strips, already built, dotted the whole of India. Some of them, constructed by the British as fighter strips, were out of use since the Japs had been pushed back in Burma. Others were privately owned. Each of them was a potential lifesaver - if pilots were able to see them at night. Blacked out, however, their value was nil. The records tell sad stories of lost planes flying directly over good landing fields only to grope on in the darkness and eventually crash.

Veteran Pilot

  Why not, the India Wing officers reasoned, light these fields and thus provide not only emergency landing strips, but also check points for fliers over these routes? Last August they set about answering their own question. An ICD pilot, First Lt. Thomas E. Dick, La Junta, Colo., was put in charge as Airways Lighting Facilities officer. ironically enough, Lt. Dick recently lost his life in a crash. With a knowledge culled from years of flying in his native Colorado where he held a commercial license prior to the war, he realized how valuable such a safety system would be. It became his job to put into operation a program which would give the ICD emergency fields or regular fields no more than 100 miles apart on all India routes.
  For the work, Lt. Dick was assigned a veteran C-47 which he immediately dubbed the "Flying Lamplighter," because of the nature of his new duties.
  On paper everything looked good, but the problems of such a vast program soon became evident. Permission was gained from the British to use their fields, and the installation of beacons began. The first snag was hit when Lt. Dick discovered that no lumber was available at prospective sites of the beacon towers. Carpenters at one of the ICD bases were put to work fashioning the pieces to build the first tower. When everything was completed except for assembling, the entire load was flown to the emergency field and set up. So successful was the operation that it was duplicated at several other landing strips.

Used Flares

  Dynamos to provide electricity for the beacons were flown in and installed. Since no flare pots were available for runway lights, another of Lt. Dick's innovations was born. By using discarded containers from fire extinguishers he was able to improvise enough flares to line both sides of the landing strips in borders of light, making night landings simple.
  All was now ready to open the fields - except for one thing. There was still no one to operate them. As each place required only two persons, it was decided to employ Indians.

Linguist Needed

  Here Lt. Dick was stymied. He didn't speak the many different dialects of the Indian people so the chances of acquiring good employees was remote.
Family Team Gets Malum from Mouthpiece
Jan Mohd Kahn, interpreter who has worked with the night-safety outfit since its inauguration, gives instructions to an Indian family charged with caring for one of the fields. Since numerous dialects are spoken, orders must be given in several tongues.

  He solved that riddle by employing his former bearer, Jan Mohd Khan, to fly with him and act as interpreter. Master of many dialects, Jan was given full power to hire and fire. Within a short time he had selected Indians to care for all the fields. In most cases he chose complete families. It is their duty to light the flare pots and turn on the beacon at night. An additional job, at fields where the cows stroll leisurely across landing strips, is to chase them off at the approach of a plane.
  Though still in its infancy, the "beacon run" is now past some of the earlier stumbling blocks.
  During the months since the complete system went into operation, its value has been proved many times. Recently a C-47 was flying to an ICD base when one engine conked. The plane was too heavily loaded to return "home" on one engine, but it was not much of a problem for the pilot to bring his ship down at a well-lighted emergency strip close at hand. A new engine was flown in and installed, sending the passenger ship on its way within 36 hours.
  As the weeks pass, more and more pilots are indebted to the emergency system of landing fields. At one strip in the heart of rough country three forced landings were made in 60 days. At another, one - at another, two - and so on down the list. The enormous dollars-and-cents savings accomplished is obvious - but there can be no figures to reflect the infinite value of lives saved.
  Despite the success of the program, India Wing officers are not yet satisfied. Lt. Col. Cassaday summed up his attitude this way: "We have established a beachhead in our war against accidents. But the real battle is ahead. Before we are through, it is our hope to make air travel in India every bit as safe as it is in the United States.

'Pieces and Bits' Gadget Solves Battery Problem

    1303rd BU, AGRA - S/Sgt. James B. Wheeler of the engineering and maintenance department, is a mild, unassuming electrician with a knack for simplifying jobs and expediting overhauls.
  Some time ago, after a hard day's grind, he decided that pushing two battery units to service aircraft with different voltage installations was a waste of time and concluded a better system should be devised.
  Thinking the matter over for several days, he hit on the idea that if he could rig up a standard gasoline
1303rd Stages Review for DFC Men
Following appropriate ceremonies during which two enlisted men received the Distinguished Flying Cross, a review was held at the 1303rd, Agra. As the adjutant takes his post, squadrons dress up prior to the beginning of ceremonies.
driven generator unit and use it as the central power supply, feeding two separate 12-volt aircraft batteries, he could regulate the output and thus solve his troubles. With this theory in mind, he set about collecting the necessary odds and ends, all of which were found in the reclamation pool.

'Pieces and Bits'

  In his spare time S/Sgt. Wheeler slowly pieced together his 'pieces and bits,' as he calls it, and it soon was ready for the proving grounds. The finished product consists of a battery cart, with a 28-volt power plant and two 12-volt aircraft batteries with two outlet and main line switches mounted on a panel. In order to work the ingenious device, two batteries in series-parallel are connected to the power plant which supplies 24 volts at one receptacle while one battery gives 12 volts at the second source. By using only one series cable to the aircraft, a change can be effected in a matter of seconds.

GIs Cook Up Sending Device For Class Use

Solve problem at Navigation Aid School for Radio Operators

    1337th BU, ASSAM - Two inventive corporals, by a timely bit of brainwork, have enabled this field's navigation-aid school for radio operators to get into operation on schedule.
  The new school was necessitated by novel navigation equipment being installed in transports, which the radio ops must learn in a hurry to operate. An excellent receiver was located for the school without much trouble, but - a transmitter? No dice.
  Cpl. William Travis, Corsicana, Tex., and Cpl. A. L. Aikins were the GIs called in to solve the problem. These two ingenious radio trouble-shooters took a schematic diagram of a transmitter left behind by a traveling training crew, and started to work.
  They found an extra receiver somewhere, stripped it to the chassis and, spreading the diagram before them, built a signal generator from scratch. Finishing the job several days later, they tested it in one position and then another. It worked perfectly in every phase. The school got off to a flying start.

F/O Clayton Stolz straps down Pvt. T. Jeffries, wounded British soldier, as Sister Elizabeth Smith looks on. Within a few minutes he will be on his way to a hospital by C-47.
A life-and-death phone call: Capt. Denis Robinson, British movement control officer (left) calls Lt. James K. Anderson, priorities and traffic officer at the 1333rd, requesting passage for wounded infantrymen.
Wounded Fly To Hospital
In Mail Ship

Yank MD Performs Operation On British Infantrymen In Pinwe Battle

    1333rd BU, ASSAM - A C-47 mail plane here was converted into a hospital ship recently to carry a wounded British captain and private to a rear echelon hospital.
  The arrangements were made by Capt. Denis Robinson of the British Movement Control office here, co-ordinator with the priorities and traffic office.
  Lt. James K. Anderson, assistant director of P & T, made space allotments on the very next plane, booking passage for the two patients and their nurse, Sister Elizabeth Smith. The plane was piloted by Flight Officers Clayton R. Stolz and Leo B. Craun.
  The men were wounded during the battle for Pinwe in Burma, while their division was making its way down the "railroad corridor." Capt.. D. L. Evans was hit in the stomach by Japanese machine gun fire during the attack. The Japs were soon on the run, but snipers remained behind to harass the victors. During the cleaning-up operations, Pvt. T. Jeffries, rifleman, was felled by a sniper's bullet which pierced his hip. Within an hour, both were on operating tables of an American forward surgical unit, where a Yank doctor performed operations within hearing of enemy fire.

Aluminum Drums Take Rough Beating in Road, Flight Tests Conducted in India and China

Maj. Irvine Jogs Across Rugged Roads To Punish New Gasoline Drums

    HQ., CALCUTTA - Tests in which everything conceivable was done to "make it tough" for aluminum gasoline drums have proved the worth of the new containers as possible successors to the old steel variety, according to ICD officials.
  The drums were hauled over the Hump, jogged along hundreds of miles of rugged roads in China, parachuted to the ground and even free-dropped from aircraft over land and water in tests conducted by Maj. James Irvine, Radnor, Pa., traveling out of ATC headquarters, Washington, to put the aluminum kegs through their paces.

Fired Shots

  The tests were fraught with perils, for testers as well as for the drums, as Maj. Irvine and Maj. Frank R. Kossa, QM officer with the Allied Military Petroleum committee, Calcutta, were approached by bandits during the tortuous 782-mile truck haul over the upper Burma Road. The officers also were in five air raids in nine days.
  Drivers of the trucks - Cpl. Edwin Burr, Lancaster, Wis., and Sgt. Alfred Diez, Jackson, Mich., of
BROAD VIEWS    By Pvt. Kin Platt
a QM truck company - saw the bandit gang approaching and shouted to Maj. Irvine to grab his .45 and fire shots into the air. The shots did the trick, and the marauders didn't molest the truck.

Food Dropping

  Aluminum drums, ringed with neoprene, synthetic rubber plastic, made the rough truck trip without a dent and without leakage. The new containers are returnable, whereas the steel ones have been used for only one Hum hop and then discarded. The aluminum drums are 32 pounds lighter than 19lgauge steel and 55 pounds lighter than 16-gauge, increasing the carrying capacity of planes by cutting down dead weight. Sturdiness of the light drums increases the safety factor because they can withstand greater pressure than steel.
  Other advantages of the aluminum containers listed by Maj. Irvine after the tests are ease of handling, non-sparking nature of aluminum, ability to decant directly into a plane, freedom from rust and corrosion, lack of seams which hold fumes, ease of cleaning and sealing, and freedom from contamination by water due to "breathing" during rain.
  Maj. Irvine predicted that the aluminum drums may play a big part in parachute dropping of water, soup and other liquid foods to troops in combat or at isolated outposts, because they are more sanitary than steel. In the tests the officers 'chuted drums of 100-octane gasoline from a plane traveling at 150 m.p.h. at an altitude of 100 feet. The drum landed within feet of the target. Loaded drums also were free-dropped onto land and water, to determine the ricochet effect.

  HUMP EXPRESS is the official newspaper of the India-China Division, Air Transport Command, APO 192, c/o Postmaster, New York, N.Y., and is published by its Public Relations office.  Camp Newspaper Service and Army Newspaper Service features are used, reproduction of which is prohibited without permission of CNS and ANS, 205 East 42nd St., New York, 17, N.Y.  Other material is submitted by staff members, ICD-ATC base Public Relations sections and other soldier correspondents.  Printed weekly by the Hindusthan Standard, 3 Burman St., Calcutta, India, and distributed each Thursday.  Passed by U.S. Press Censor for mailing.

Military transport schedules over India for cargo, personnel and mail ... maximum tonnage of essential war materials over the Hump ... movement of troops and supplies in support of tactical operations in China ... evacuation of the sick and wounded - these are the missions of ICD-ATC.

JANUARY  25,  1945    

Original issue of HUMP EXPRESS shared by CBI veteran Steven C. King, author of Flying the Hump to China.

Copyright © 2006 Carl Warren Weidenburner