25th Air Service Group

Hq and Base Services Squadron 35th Air Engineering Sq 578th Air Material Sq



APO #493


The month of February was one of much activity in our Squadron.  Half the squadron departed on the advance detail for "Destination Unknown".  Prior to their departure there was the usual checking of clothing and equipment; shortages were filled by the Quartermaster very satisfactorily.  A spot POM inspection was conducted by officers from the Air Inspector's Office of the XX Bomber Command under the able supervision of Harris K. McCauley, Colonel, ICD.  The few irregularities noted were quickly corrected.  All men on the shipment patiently waited for the 'green' light which meant to them that they were leaving India, which in itself is something to be very happy about.  Having been in this country ten months and longer, such a change is very welcome to everyone and especially at this time when the very hot and torrid summer season is with us.  In the wee hours of last Sunday morning the advance detail departed via truck convoy for the railroad station in Kharagpur.  The task of loading on cars was quickly and efficiently accomplished after which the short train ride to Calcutta was started.  All were very thankful the ride was to Calcutta and not Bombay since everyone is too well acquainted with means and conditions of travel in India.  With their departure, the many sections of the squadron have been handicapped by lack of personnel, but those left have gladly assumed additional responsibilities and everything is working out very satisfactorily.

Our mess hall is the only one of the group now open and all remaining personnel of the three squadrons are eating there.  The additional burden of feeding more than the usual number of troops has been compensated by the fine spirit of cooperation exhibited by everyone.  The food served has been very satisfactory and the increased menu has proven very popular.  We have recently been receiving very good canned American pork and beef which is a considerable improvement over the local meat that had previously been purchased.

All men are now living in barracks, the tents having been taken down and bundled.  There are ample barracks on hand to take care of all personnel and overcrowding has been eliminated.  In some barracks there is ample room for ping-pong tables and a card table or two.  Men are permitted to retain any pieces of furniture they have made and every effort has been made to make the barracks as 'homey' as possible

Our PX also moved from its former very small and cramped quarters into a much larger building.  A new counter was constructed from scrap material at hand and a small bowling alley was set up.  This bowling alley has proven very popular with both officers and enlisted men and is seldon found idle.  PX rations have increased with a variety of candy, fruit juices, cookies, cigars, toilet articles and many other items.  We have experienced no shortage of cigarettes, each man being permitted to buy three cartons each month.

During the past month several promotions were made in the squadron bringing many smiles of satisfaction to the recipients.  These promotions were made possible by the acceptance to OCS, Air Corps Administration, of our first sergeant Milton R. Broschat.  Sergeant Broschat was the only enlisted man of the XX Bomber Command at this station who was selected for that school.  His return to Shangri-La was the cause for much favorable comment among all his buddies and all are very envious of him.  Sergeant Broschat's work has always been of a superior nature and he was very popular with all the men of the squadron.  His loss in the ranks of the enlisted men is a gain in the ranks of the officers.  His appointment to OCS made possible the promotion of T/Sgt Sylvester H. Voll to First Sergeant; of S/Sgt Hubert V. Fixmer to T/Sgt; of Sgt. Paul B. Feldberg to S/Sgt.  Cigars were passed around very freely.

There has been a marked change in the weather within the past two weeks.  The cool air of the so-called Indian winter has changed into the very hot air of summer.  The sun has been blistering hot with in-the-shade temperatures of 100 degrees and more being very common.  Everyone dreads to see the hot, torrid summer season approach and long for a change to a more suitable climate.  This country of India holds no lure for any GI.

Now that the advance detail has departed, we are all hoping that soon we will receive orders to pack up and leave.  It will be a very happy day when we depart from the shores of India.  All we want is just 'a faint recollection' of our stay in this country.  The above statement has been confirmed thru the medium of concensus of opinions over a period of time.

At this writing our Supply Section is nearing the completin of its tremendous packing and crating work.  As for the future months to come -- Its on to fresher fields and perhaps greener pastures.