The China-Burma-India Theater of World War II
Officially established 22 June 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
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.