Christmas 1944 - Chabua, India
After eating "Bully Beef," Australian Mutton, for so long, I could eat it no more.
The only guy I knew that could was my good buddy Don Haggerty.
Just smelling the Bully Beef would make you half sick.
Christmas 1944 - Kunming, China
I recall we got a half day off on Christmas and we were furnished two cans or bottles of warm beer
(the only PX items we got, only essential military supplies were sent over the Hump).
My how good that warm beer tasted!
To this day I don't mind warm beer as a remembrance of that day.
Christmas 1944 - Tushan, China
Yes, I remember Christmas 1944 very well. Or shall I say, I will never
forget it. We were on the road south to join the Chinese Army front, which
at that point was centered on the railroad center of Lushan, which later
became the airbase for the 74th Fighter Squadron.
Leonard J. O'Dell
Christmas 1944 - Syhhet, India
My Christmas in CBI was rather unusual. We were in Syhhet, India and so that I could go to Christmas Eve Mass, I went to bed early that night, while three or so other guys in our basha were playing cards.
I was sound asleep when it seems the entire basha was shaking, and I woke up still not fully awake. Wondering what was happening, one of the guys said that it was probably some drunk outside who was shaking the basha, "So, don't worry, about it," they said, which I did and went back to slumberland.
Only when I did get up and went to Mass, did I find out that it had been an earthquake. Apparently not a very severe one, but one that I will certainly never forget, and hope that I will never go through one again.
Christmas 1944 - Alipore, India
I was a Sgt. in the 40th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, stationed at Alipore, India at Christmas time 1944.
All of our supplies were flown in, of course, and because of some erratic shipments our squadron had received no
mail for several weeks around that time.
We ate a wonderful Christmas dinner (if eating out of a mess kit can be called wonderful) of turkey and all the
fixings... but no Christmas cards or packages!
M. Ross McLeod
Christmas 1944 - Tezgaon, Bengal, India
Because of engine troubles and weather, it took us two months to fly to India.
We landed at Karachi December 24th.
When we caught up with our mail.
Reacting to finally hearing from home, I wrote the following letter before going on to Tezgaon
where we enjoyed a Christmas dinner!
Christmas 1943 - Agra, India
I was in Agra and spent Christmas 1943 there. However, on December 27th I was introduced to The Hump via Chabua, for that was our destination. Little did I know that I would be stationed at Misamari in nine months for Hump duty.
Christmas 1944 was a happy day. I was informed that I had completed my tour of duty on December 20, 1944, and would be heading for home.
I'm sure I went to Christmas Mass and thanked God for all of us. Christmas Dinner? Don't Remember, for that was not important at the time!
God bless all CBIers.
Francis J. Zurawell
Christmas 1943 - Chenkung, China
Christmas 1943 was a memorable one for the members of the 375th Bomb Squadron [Heavy], stationed at Chenkung (not Chunking), China, particularly for the flight crews.
We had saved our shots of medical whiskey that the flight surgeon would give us when we returned from a bombing mission. We did not know how this procedure got started, but we liked it!
We had just completed missions over Canton, China on December 22nd and 23rd. The Japanese bombers paid us a visit on the 24th, but the Fighter Groups from our base and Kunming did a good job getting rid of the pests. Little damage was done to our base or the base at Kunming, and there were no casualties.
Therefore we had good reason to celebrate and did we ever celebrate Christmas that year, as we were still alive and well. That time was also the Holiday of Hanukah for the Jewish people and Jewish members of our Squadron. That Christmas Eve and day we all gave thanks to God, Christian and Jew alike.
We left Shanghai about December 16, 1945, homeward-bound for Seattle.
Three days out we hit a monsoon and the ship made very little progress.
In the hold there were these big G.I. garbage cans.
If you ever did K.P. you'd know. They were there to collect vomit.
They turned on their sides and as the ship rolled, they rolled - back & forth, back & forth,
Everyone was too sick to right them up. They would have rolled on their sides anyway.
We were given sandwiches and a lot of crockery was broken and food trays were sliding all over the mess halls.
Frank Pinchak, 21st Photo Recon Squadron
Another Two Christmases
I was with the 130th AACS (Army Airways Communications System), stationed in Kunming, China and attached to
General Chennault's 14th Air force. We had a gala Christmas feast. That day we boycotted the usual mess hall water
buffalo "steak" for a "home cooked, stateside dinner."
Frank Vierling, 130th AACS
"Home for Christmas"
James M. Taylor
From The Boss
Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell's 1943 Christmas greeting:
"As Theater Commander, I extend the season's greetings to all officers and men of this command and express my sincere appreciation for the splendid spirit shown in the performance of duty often rendered under trying and difficult conditions. Each and every member of this command must be aware that it will be the result of our combined effort that will eventually make possible a powerful blow at our enemy. The work of each unit and of each individual plays its own important part. Let us all do our individual utmost to make the blow crippling and decisive."
GEN. DAN TO HIS TROOPS
GEN. SULTAN'S HQS., MYITKYINA - From Lt. Gen. Dan I. Sultan to his troops in the India-Burma Theater:
"We are celebrating another Christmas in India and Burma. For some of you, it is the third. It may not be much of a celebration, but I hope it will be your last away from home.
"In addition to wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year. I want to compliment you on what you have accomplished and for your cheerfulness in doing it.
"Being in a theater of operations located at what has been termed 'The End Of The Line,' you haven't made the headlines perhaps that others in Europe may have made. At times you may have thought you were forgotten.
"However, you who are the ground troops have defeated the enemy wherever you have met him and will continue to do so. You airmen have not only whittled the enemy air strength to almost nothing and disrupted his communications and supply, but you have also supplied Chinese and British as well as American ground troops in all kinds of weather.
"You service troops have been building a road and a pipeline which will stand as permanent monuments to U.S. Army achievements. You have made world records for ship unloadings and have improved overland communications until the greatest stream of supplies in local history flows to Assam for trans-shipment to China. You have furnished the Chinese Army with its first medical service.
"All of you have done the job well and often nobly. In many cases it has been done despite great personal hardship and danger. It has been a job that has lacked the great, elemental drama of huge armies feinting and butting heads on thousand mile fronts, but it has been a job which at the same time will leave permanent, constructive achievement in its wake.
"I congratulate you on what you have done and what I know you will do in the future. You have been a great team and a solid team. You have been builders as well as destroyers. Above all, you have been men and women in the finest tradition of America.
"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you."
FROM GEN. WEDEMEYER
GEN. WEDEMEYER'S HQS., CHINA - From Maj. Gen. A. C. Wedemeyer to his troops in the China Theater:
"Christmas 1944 finds us all half a world away from home, engaged in one of the greatest struggles in the history of mankind, such a terrible struggle that few of us can be home this Christmas.
"For us, Christmas must carry its spiritual message, the same message it has carried to men of good will for more than 19 centuries - the message of 'peace on earth.'
"And those whom we love, those who wait for Christmas as we begin to celebrate Christmas Day, know that we in far-off China pray in one voice with them that peace through victory will be attained in 1945."