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ACCESS TO CARE
THE DIARY OF COLONEL JOHN M. TAMRAZ, MC
A Record of Trial and Error
John M. Tamraz, Colonel, Medical Corps, United States Army--the Regular Army--held one of the highest offices in the medical establishment of China-Burma-India from March 1942 to May 1944. Only Col. Robert P. Williams, the Theater Surgeon, exceeded him in authority. As Services of Supply Surgeon, Tamraz was the chief administrator of all medical activities in CBI except those carried on by small units attached to tactical troops in the Air Forces, Air Transport Command, and Northern Combat Area Command. Even they depended upon his large system of hospitals, his medical supply depots, the arrangements he made to evacuate their patients, and his success or failure in the campaign against malaria.
It is the diary of this dignitary which is presented here. He kept it meticulously in a large red ledger. His relatively brief entries were carefully composed, seldom amended by afterthoughts or blurred by illegible script. He often wrote in it twice a day, and rarely did he succumb to the temptation to combine several days' accounts in a single entry. His summary of official business, which was the diary's chief raison d'etre, was bland and succinct, dignified and circumspect, as befitted a journal to which he gave the title of "A History of the Med. Dept. Activities in India." Yet the asides and exclamations which he often permitted himself, brief and guarded though they were, added a personal dimension to the formal narrative.
Long after the fact, it is the human aspect which is the diary's chief point of interest. Historically, the notes of Colonel Williams are at least as significant, because he was intimately involved with the Chinese and because he was the senior medical officer in the Theater. But the brisk, literal, and practical style of his diary reveals little of its author's personality (except insofar as these admirable qualities did, indeed, mark his manner). Doubtless other, yet-unknown journals may contain stories more exciting, exotic, or intimate than that Tamraz told. But Tamraz's diary contrasts with North Tirap Log andChinese Liaison Detail-and all materials of their class--because his decisions affected so many more people, including the soldiers in the cabin at Tirap and the liaison officers with the Chinese. Contrariwise, its revelations of the Surgeon's personality differentiate it from the official documents issued over his signature. They are the utterances of an institution rather than a man. The fascination in the Tamraz Diary arises from its mixture of values. It is a formal record of important events and an informal revelation of pride and disappointment. Its magisterial pronouncements are mocked by private murmurs.
In military parlance, a Surgeon--capital S--is a staff officer, an administrator. Tamraz's job was to advise his commander, Maj. Gen. (later Lt. Gen.) Raymond A. Wheeler, how to perform two tasks. The first was to maintain the health of the many troops in the Services of Supply. The second was to provide the hospitals, supplies, and evacuation facilities which backed up tactical medical units giving first aid and short-term treatment to men in combat units.
Several factors were "given" in any calculation Tamraz might make to solve a medical problem. First, commanders, not staff officers, were officially responsible for the health of the troops. Hence, Tamraz could offer opinions and propose plans, but he could not make demands. Second, as a technical officer, he belonged to a complex system directed by The Surgeon General in Washington, D.C. Official regulations covered many aspects of medical organization and administration. Within the limits set by rule, Tamraz had room for independent judgment, but to go outside the established system required special sanctions.
For example: As a result of decisions which the Joint Chiefs of Staff made in Washington, D.C., the Tenth Air Force expanded in 1943. It required new bases which Theater Headquarters ordered S.O.S. to build and maintain. In due course, Tamraz learned of the plan, the approximate troop strength to be stationed at the bases, and the time available to make them ready. He estimated the probable sick and wounded rates and presented a hospitalization plan to the S.O.S. general staff. When it had been adopted (not without modification), detailed orders went out to subordinate S.O.S. regional commanders. They in turn called in their staff Surgeons, who helped determine how to carry out the instructions for providing the base with a hospital, supply depot, evacuation system, and disease control program.
In all these phases of planning, calculations were carried out in terms of standardized medical department troop units, and with respect to established scales of equipment and supply. Tamraz was expected to know the Medical Department system thoroughly enough to select appropriate types of units to fit the circumstances, and to anticipate both normal and special needs for logistical support.
In addition, however, he had to convince his superiors of the validity of his technical knowledge and administrative acumen. No one doubted the need of medical service for the bases, of course. But the severe shortage of shipping, storage facilities, and local transportation in India, and the fierce competition for the troops, supplies, and equipment still in the United States led inevitably to strict priority decisions. There was little margin for error or delay. If Tamraz committed technical mistakes in planning, or if he were unable to hold his own in the struggles over priorities, ultimately the consequences would involve hundreds of men in an emergency.
Thus the Surgeon's official and personal character were interdependent. As an officer and a man, Tamraz might play the part of a demigod or bureaucrat. If the former, a happy conjunction of technical judg-
ment and personal forcefulness could lead his superiors to issue wise orders with respect to medical organization and supply. If the latter, his horizons contracted to the size of his office in New Delhi and his influence declined to that of a clerk. Then, on a quiet day, the disappearance of a routine memorandum could provoke him as much as a telegram reporting that a supply ship had been sunk. The arrival of a Regular Army friend from peacetime days was as notable as the opening of a new supply depot in Calcutta. The discovery that one might have to share his hotel room with a transient officer was as displeasing as the report of overcrowding in the Chinese wards of a jungle hospital.
The Tamraz Diary begins when its author arrived in India on 29 March 1942. Several months before, he had been summoned to Washington, D.C., to join General Wheeler, who was heading up an advisory group going to Iraq. He left San Francisco on 5 December 1941, in a Pan-American clipper. Outbound from Wake Island on 7 December, his plane was suddenly recalled and landed on Wake just ahead of Japanese bombs. The plane escaped damage, however, and returned to Honolulu. Two weeks later, Tamraz was back in the United States.
Off again in mid-January, this time by ship, he landed 2 months later in Basra. There he learned he was needed in India. In Karachi, he once more met General Wheeler, who told him he was to be the Surgeon of the newly-formed Services of Supply, China-Burma-India Theater. By then, General Stilwell and his staff were in the field in Burma with the Chinese Fifth Army. A few combat squadrons of the Air Force, Chennault's American Volunteer Group of "Flying Tigers," and some miscellaneous service troops constituted the entire American military establishment.
For several weeks, Tamraz bustled about Karachi, conferring with British civil and military officials, fretting about negotiations to acquire hospital and dispensary buildings, even occasionally holding sick call. He learned that there were plans already for several hospital units to come to the Theater. One of them, the 750-bed 159th Station Hospital, would soon arrive. During April and May, therefore, he spent much of his time watching over the construction of a hospital on the outskirts of Karachi. When the 159th reached port, he saw it safely to its quarters in the partially-finished hospital, and then he went off to New Delhi. There the Headquarters, S.O.S., and the rear echelon of Theater Headquarters were being permanently established. Thenceforth he made his home in the Imperial Hotel and began to assemble a staff around him to give status and dimensions to the Office of the Surgeon, Services of Supply.
By July, the disastrous First Burma Campaign had ended. Stilwell had realistically acknowledged the "licking," and he was already talking about a regular air supply system into China, possibly even a Second Burma Campaign. By then, also, S.O.S. had laid out a line of com-
munications from Karachi and Bombay to Assam. Hospitals were needed where troop concentrations were largest--Ramgarh, where the battered 22d and 38th Chinese Divisions were being rehabilitated; Chabua, the main air transport base; New Delhi, Agra, and Gaya, administrative and supply centers of Central India. Fortunately, five small hospitals, in addition to the 159th, had been promised to Stilwell, and they soon reached the Theater. As the fierce summer heat began to abate, Tamraz presided over a tidy little medical system.
Early in the autumn, Tamraz heard about the Ledo Road project. Theater Headquarters and Washington had already outlined the plan and had decided what medical facilities it would require. Tamraz learned that four new hospitals were to support the project, a general hospital at the base, three semimobile evacuation hospitals at intermediate locations, and a medical battalion behind the roadhead. A Base Surgeon was appointed and sent to Ledo to make preliminary estimates of the situation. Finally, Tamraz himself went to Assam to give his final approval to the plans.
It is at this point that the excerpts from his Diary begin. With his inspection of the Ledo area and a few miles of the new Road, the scene is set for the later adventures of the men at North Tirap and the journeys of Major Jones, the liaison officer. With this episode, also, Tamraz really starts to act as the Surgeon, S.O.S. For until then, all major decisions had been made beforehand, and his duties were perfunctory.
Three aspects of the Diary deserve notice. They are Tamraz's attitude toward administrative routine, his efforts to develop the medical system, and his personal relationships with the staff and line officers with whom he customarily dealt.
Of the first, administrative routine, the Diary displays an almost classic picture of the individual whose interest in fussy paperwork alternates with conventional complaints about ennui. His staff is too small, his mailbags are too heavy, his attention is too often distracted from "real" matters by mere administrative routine. Only from prior and external understanding of the medical system itself would a reader surmise that some of the routine reports and messages were significant. They provided a continuous source of information on the health of the command, registered the rise and fall of supplies, and recorded the effectiveness of the many officers and men in S.O.S. medical units. It is not, however, with these values that the entries deal, whenever they make note of office affairs. More commonly, the picture is of an excessively full day spent on excessively trivial administrative matters.
Tamraz's reports of his efforts to develop the medical system show two interesting features. The first is the relatively scanty comment upon planning. The reader must imagine either a great amount of unrecorded effort--which, incidentally, the Headquarters files only partly suggest--or a relatively small amount of confident, but simplis-
tic, response to any queries about plans. That it is the latter alternative is increasingly evident. As time goes on, more and more improvisation occurs. Larger units are split up to provide hospitalization for bases yet unsupported. Nurses and officers are shuffled back and forth to strengthen understaffed facilities. Some units arrive with relatively few duties to perform; others reach their destination to undertake tasks well beyond their capacity. Tamraz is imperturbable. Only occasionally is there a suggestion that he senses the existence of problems greater or more complex than those he had foreseen, and his reaction in such cases is to note the failure of others to carry out their share of the overall developmental program.
One thing he loves, however: to inspect his establishment. To be sure, travel is tedious and often uncomfortable. But to arrive as the Surgeon, to be entertained by local hospital officers and nurses, to express his satisfaction with the medical effort to local commanders, and to report to General Wheeler, in calm and confident terms, the success of his efforts--these aspects of his duties are most gratifying. How astonished would be those local officers and men, had they read his Diary--not displeased to learn that he praised them, but alarmed to learn that he phlegmatically accepted as inevitable, or that he simply ignored, the imperfections, trials, and frustrations of their lives. To some degree, it is clear, his attitude was an official one, realistically appraising what was possible in an overseas command. An old hand, he well knew the necessity to discount the complaints and demands made on headquarters by the troops in the field. Yet, as events were yet to prove, those successful inspection trips which were so eagerly scheduled and so serenely reported missed vital facts and overlooked increasingly dangerous lapses in the medical establishment.
Finally, by the end of this first section of the Diary, some features of the Surgeon's personality have begun to appear. What composes the image of the Surgeon? His comings and his goings from the office; his formal defenses of prestige; his skirmishes with the general staff, especially with respect to the appurtenances of his office; his concern for his place in the military pecking order; and his fixed loyalties to his particular sector of "the system"--above all, to the Regular Army; then to important medical officers, such as hospital commanders; then to those whom he personally has chosen as his associates or subordinates.
It can hardly be supposed that these interests represented the whole of his personality. Was he fidgety or impassive? Was he temperate or irascible? Attentive or distracted? Pompous or accessible? Original or commonplace? Content or ambitious? Efficient or unreliable? On these questions, the reader's imagination may dwell without satisfaction. The mask of circumspection conceals all except what Tamraz felt a proper Surgeon ought to be.
Feb. 9. Left New Delhi today at 11:45 A.M. Major Walter J. Newton1 is accompanying me. Our destination is Assam. Our mission is to go there and make a thorough study of the medical problem around Ledo and Margherita. From the above mentioned places we are building a new road to Burma for the use of the Chinese troops in their attack on the Japs. The SOS [Services of Supply] USA Army is supplying them, in addition to building the road. Left Delhi by automobile and after a four hour ride we arrived in Agra. At Agra the 3rd Air Depot Group U.S.A.A.F. is located. All the repair work of the U.S.A. forces is done here. Here is also located one of our station hospitals #97th with Major Frank Richardson commanding. The hospital is just about completed and it is going to be up to date in every respect.2 Rooms were obtained in the Cecil Hotel. Agra is the home of the famous Taj Mahal. Tonight the nurses gave a little party for us and a pleasant evening was enjoyed.
Feb. 10. Soon after breakfast went to visit our station hospital. I am very well pleased with the set up. While visiting there we had the pleasure of a visit of two distinguished visitors Lt. Gen [Brehon B.] Somerville [Somervell] and Maj Gen [Raymond A.] Wheeler.3 Gen Somerville made a thorough inspection of the hospital and appeared to be very well pleased with the set up. The kitchen particularly pleased him. He was served with coffee and doughnuts. It is going to be a hard proposition to contact a plane from here to Chabua. We may have to take a train.
Feb. 11. Left early this morning for the air port only to be told that the only plane leaving for Chabua was carrying nothing but oxygen tanks. Returned to the hotel. Spent part of the day in the hospital and later visited some historical old cemeteries, and finally the "Deserted City."4
Feb. 12. Left Agra bright and early in a brand new transport plane (DC-3). After flying for 3½ hours arrived in Gaya. We stopped here for an hour for luncheon. Phoned Major [James H.] Hoskins the C.O. of the 99th S. H. at Gaya to come to the air port to see me. He stated that some of our planes located at this place had made a raid on Japanese occupied
1Newton, a Dental Corps officer, was one of the original
members of the military mission to Persia which had been sent on to India. Tamraz relied
heavily upon his assistance, and by the end of 1942, he was the chief medical supply
officer of the Theater. For a time, he also served as the chief dental officer for the
Tenth Air Force.
territory, and that in the encounter two of our air men were badly wounded, one thru the head and one thru both legs. The head wound case is expected to die. Continued journey and arrived at Chabua air port at 4:30 P. M. * * *
Saturday Feb 13. After breakfast visited our medical supply installations and later the 95th Station Hospital located at Chabua and commanded by Major [Robert D.] Bickel. This officer is rather young and has just been promoted, replacing Major M---- [Editor's deletion] the former C.O., relieved because of too much drinking. Bickel has a very nice hospital still under the process of construction and expansion. When constructed this will be almost a 300 bed unit.
Feb. 14. Left Chabua today at 8:30 A. M. and headed for Ledo by car. This is the area known as "X-Ray," also Basic section #3. Here is where the new road into Burma begins. It is being constructed by the US Army Engineers headed by Colonel John Arrowsmith. The troops mostly colored. The actual fighting is going to be done by some 40,000 Chinese troops who have been undergoing training at Ramgarh. I am furnishing the hospitalization for these troops and for this purpose there are being built dozens of "Bashas" (houses out of [bamboo] cane and brush). Eventually we shall have [1-] 1,000 bed General and 3-750 bed evacuation hospitals located in this area. The hospitals are on the way now and are expected to arrive shortly. Medical supplies are accumulating rapidly. They are dispersed in 6 different warehouses, scattered over a 10 mile radius. More and more supplies are arriving regularly. I saw Col Arrowsmith and visited all the supply dumps. I shall visit the hospital areas to-morrow.
Feb 15. Spent to-day with Lt. Col [Victor H.] Haas,5 Surgeon Base
Section #3, and [Maj. Clarence B.] Warrenburg
Feb 16. Last night a very severe wind and rain storm blew over Assam. It knocked down a great many of the unfinished bashas. * * *
Feb 17. The rains of last night have made the roads around the 95th Station Hospital at Chabua impassable. Major Newton left this morning for Delhi. I returned back to Ledo. It rained part of the day. I am looking around the camp area and getting ready for a trip of reconnaissance I am going to start on tomorrow into Burma.
Feb. 18. Left Ledo this A. M. at 10 for our "hike." Our purpose is to follow the new road as far as possible in a car, and then walk for 4 days
5Haas and 14 other U.S. Public Health Service officers were in Burma early in 1942 to provide medical assistance in the construction of the Burma-Yunnan Railroad. Attached to C.B.I. after Burma fell to the Japanese, they soon were scattered throughout India as advisers on health, sanitation, and disease prevention. Haas first worked with Tamraz. Then, after being sent to conduct a preliminary inspection of the Ledo area, he became the chief medical officer of S.O.S. in Base Section 3. He served in this important post until the later part of 1943, when he was succeeded by Lt. Col. John Smiley: see Chinese Liaison Detail, p. 112.
along the route of the road to be built, with the idea of selecting sites for the proposed advanced hospitals. Our route is West by South. Naung Yang is where our second night will be spent.6 From Hell Gate we (Lt. Col. Haas and I) were accompanied by Capt Frank Fiske U.S.P.H.S. who is stationed at Hell Gate as anti-malaria campaigner. Our supplies and equipment were to be carried by 20 porters. I started the trip not in the best of physical condition--so that at the end of the day's walk I was quite pooped up.
Feb 19. After a good breakfast began our trip again. Left Hell Gate at 8:00 AM. Our luggage consists of "C" rations, bedding rolls, cots, tents and various sundry articles to make the trip comfortable. After hiking for 7 miles thru most hazardous mountains we arrived at the 1st porterage camp, when the porters were changed. The trip up to here was terrific, the path led us up and down the mountains over tracks suitable for goats. I am not conditioned for this sort of thing, and, naturally, am suffering the consequences. We hiked up from last our last [sic] night's camp up almost 4000 ft and camped at Naung Yang. On the trip we saw dozens and dozens of human skeletons. This is the path that the refugees took. You see every few yards a pathetic looking bundle of clothing and nearby a human skeleton.7 The Jap invasion of Burma had its disastrous repercussion on the poor refugees, deserting Burma. The trip from the porterage (the summit from where one looks at the awe inspiring sight of the Himalayas with their eternal snows) was mostly downhill and just as damnably difficult. The few miles from there to Nawng Yang required almost 4 hours. We arrived at Nawng Yang at 3:30 PM. Here Major Carroll and Lt. Davis of the Royal Engineers, have their station here [sic]. They are in charge of the sappers and the surveying party.8 They were most gracious and put us up for the night, after treating us to a very good dinner. I was so "dog tired" that I went to bed at 8 PM hoping for a good night's rest.
Feb 20. Saturday. Left Naung Yang at 8:30 AM. Major Carroll of the Royal Engineers accompanied us. Immediately upon leaving the camp we started climbing a very stiff hill for over 2 hours. It was wet and extremely muddy. We slipt and slid all over the area. It was awfully hard on my legs. We climbed about 1500 feet by the time we made the top. Then from there on was a 2500 feet downhill progress. We finally came to Tagung Hka River. A rather shallow, but swift river. Here there are some flat lands and it was intended to build an airfield here. The trees for a distance of 3500 ft. long by 450 feet wide have been cut down, and the land is flat, but evidently the project has been discontinued. During the entire trip of 8½ miles we came on gruesome sights of human skeletons lying on the pathway. This was the old refugee trail, and the refugees, evacuating Burma and escaping into India died on the path by the thousands. We arrived at our bivouac by the side
6Here Tamraz inserted a rough sketch of the route.
of the river at 2:30 PM. and pitched camp. Lt. Col. Haas has twisted his ankle and is quite lame.
Feb 21. Sunday, after spending a more or less comfortable night in our camp Tagung Hka we struck camp and began our trek back, and arrived at Naung Yang at 2:00 PM. My impression of the country having been made in the so called dry season has made me come to the conclusion that it will be next to impossible to continue operation in this country after April the 15th, when the Monsoon season begins here in earnest. Even now with only occasional rains it looks formidable. The country honeycombed with streams and lagoons which are ideal breeding places for mosquitoes. I believe the sick rate amongst the Chinese troops will run into 50%-75%, and amongst the American troops to 20% or more--as for the cooley [sic] labor, they are practically all chronically infected. The native labor, will in all probability, desert the work while the Chinese troops will be too much malaria infected for either construction or combat work. My recommendations will be to build the road up to Tagung Hka and then maintain it with a minimum of laborers and begin it again next dry season. This brings up the subject of the hospitals. Would it be sensible to bring our personnel to Ledo. I think not. They should be kept either in Karachi or Calcutta and then be brought on to Ledo in Assam [after the monsoon].9
Feb 22. Monday. Left Naung Yang at 8:00 AM. It was terribly foggy. We crossed the Tagung River on a rickity bamboo bridge a few minutes later. Today Maj. Carroll of the Royal Engineers begins the construction of a wooden bridge across the river, and expects to finish it in 3 weeks or in time to have it ready for the leading buldozer [sic] of the 283rd Eng. Bn. U.S. Army which is the vanguard of the road building operations. After crossing the river it took us 2 hours of killing hill climbing to reach the top of the summit, and then from there a 1000 foot descent to the Pang Sau pass, which is the India Burma border. At the border is a sign Welcome to Burma. Still another sign under a bamboo bridge says "Reserved for Generals only." From the pass it was another hour's walk to Mr. Merrill's10 porterage. To our surprise we learned that the leading bulldozer had already passed this spot, in other words during the four days that we were away they had advanced nearly 3 miles, not bad going at all. The weather has been good now for 5 days. Here we took ride on a command car and drove 7 miles to Hell Gate where Capt [Gordon] Smith and Lt. Col. [Earle M.] Rice11 met us, our porters arrived about 2 hours later and we piled into a command car and drove back to Ledo where we arrived just before 6 PM. * * *
9Whether Tamraz made such a recommendation to General
Wheeler is not known. In any case, the idea of holding back medical support until after
the monsoon season, like his idea of delaying road construction, contrasted sharply with
Stilwell's determination to hasten back into Burma. The fears of being overwhelmed by
disease which Tamraz expressed were traditional among experienced British residents, and
he apparently discounted his own responsibilities to develop vigorous antimalaria and
other disease prevention measures. As events proved, his trepidation was not unwarranted.
Disease rates were high enough to be a serious drain upon the military forces. But they
never reached, by a considerable margin, the peaks Tamraz predicted. See North Tirap
Log, p. 24, n. 90, and Chinese Liaison Detail, p. 94, n. 38.
Feb 23. Tuesday. Spent a very comfortable night with my hosts Mr. and Mrs. Burgh at Margherita * * * For the last few days I have been having a little gastric distress, with evidences of blood in stools. I am watching my diet carefully, and have quit what little smoking and drinking I did. * * * This evening at 5 some Jap planes attacked the Chabua airdrome (U.S.A.F.). One American Army Officer was killed and 13 coolies were killed or wounded. The American Army Officer was an anti-aircraft officer and was killed while running to his gun and by being struck in the head by a piece of shrapnel.12* * * * *
Feb 27. Left Ledo and Margherita early this morning and after being driven for about 2 hours in a car arrived at Chabua air port at 5:30 AM. Waited there until 7:30 AM for a plane. Took off for Agra. Made a half hour stop at Gaya and arrived at Agra at 3:30 PM. At the SOS headquarters here met Maj Richardson C.O. 97th Station Hospital located at Agra. Col. [Thomas H.] Reese [Rees] C.O. of the S.O.S. here was kind enough to give me a car with driver and I proceeded to Delhi, arriving there at 8 PM. My room was occupied at the [Imperial] hotel. They were removed, and I was given my old room. * * *
Feb. 28. Arrived in my office early and found a great deal of mail waiting for me, both personal and official. During my absence Maj. [Thomas L.] Tomlinson13 has carried on in my place very satisfactorily. * * *
March 1. Still at my desk trying to clean up my correspondence. There were 10 letters waiting for me from Freda [Mrs. Tamraz]. Received word that our Hospitals are expected to arrive in Bombay tomorrow or the day after. These consist of 1 Gen. Hospital and 2 evacuation hospitals. They will be assigned for duty in the Ledo area.
March 2. Have prepared the report on my trip of inspection to the General and have submitted it. * * * Ordinary routine work is being carried on. Nothing unusual happening.
March 3. The question of proper housing of our nurses has arisen. They are living at the Marina Hotel. The accommodations and meals are most unsatisfactory. I am trying to remedy this. Brig. Gen [Robert C.] Oliver A. C. who has been in the hospital for over a month with Typhoid fever is recovering nicely.
March 4. Our most important work right now is preparing for our anti-malaria campaign of the coming monsoon season. Lt. Col. Rice who is the Theater malariologist has been doing fine work in this respect.
Heard news of the coming to this Theater of Lt. Col. Hardy Kemp, who is one of the leading teachers of medicine in our colleges. He is to report
12Chabua was the main center for air transport operations
between India and China and for the Tenth Air Force--hence the attacks on it. A second
occurred the following day with considerable losses to the enemy, according to Tamraz.
for duty in my office. I shall assign him the duties of Preventive Medicine, also Chief Medical Inspector. He is expected to arrive here in a few days.
On my next trip of inspection I intend visiting Bangalore and Bombay. This will be sometime next week.
March 5. A routine day at the office. Many letters received and answered. Our units (Gen Hosp. Evac. Hospitals etc.) have all arrived in Bombay, and are now in the process of being distributed to various parts of India where their duties will be. Two more of our anti-malaria workers arrived, but both of them have been assigned to duty in China. I wrote a letter to Col. [James S.] Steve Simmons14 protesting about the Malaria Control set up, also about assigning Lt. Col. Rice to the Theater Surgeon, rather than to the S.O.S. Col. [Robert P.] Williams, Theater Surgeon, interferes no end with the functions of the Medical Dept. S.O.S.15
March 6. Received a letter from Col. Williams in which he appraised [sic] me of the fact that we are expected to look after additional large numbers of Chinese troops--that their numbers are increasing in Ramgarh. Also that he was directed by Gen. [Joseph W.] Stilwell to instruct me to "lay off Seagraves" [sic]. I don't get this. We printed an article by Seagraves in our medical bulletin,16 this was about treatment of Syphilitis. It was so unorthodox that I had it discussed by our venereal disease control officer. Evidently Seagraves is Stilwell's pet and no one can criticize him. In my opinion Seagraves is a very second rate medical officer, and just because he happened to be with Gen. S. on the great retreat from China, he is sitting on the high throne.17 Nothing unusual has happened today. * * *
March 8. We are asked to furnish hospitalization for some new areas. The air force is opening up new fields and we are asked to furnish them with hospitals and personnel. One 250 bed unit is to be started at Panagarh, and
14In the office of The Surgeon General, Washington, D.C.
a smaller unit at Pandaveswar all in the Ganges River Valley area. Had a radiogram from Col. Arrowsmith (C. O. Base Section #3, where the 20th Gen. Hosp. will be) to furnish the nurses of the 20th with Khaki uniforms. Seems like they left the U.S. without any light uniforms. Made arrangements with the Q.M. to ship cloth to Chabua for this purpose.
March 9. Yesterday Lt. Col. Hardy A. Kemp, M.C. reported for duty. Col. Kemp is reserve officer on active duty. In civilian life he is the Dean of the Medical School at Ohio State University. I have assigned to him the duties of Chief of Preventive Medicine for the Services of Supply. * * * Long distance call from Major Richardson C. O. 97th S.H. at Agra. Richardson is very much distressed because of rumors--which did not originate in my office--that the nurses now on duty at his hospital, who have been detached from the 159th S.H.18 were to be ordered back to duty with the 159th on the arrival from the U.S. of nurses assigned to the 97th. I assured him that we had no such intentions. There are rumors that [Headquarters] Advance Section #1, S.O.S., now at Agra is to be moved into Gaya.19
March 10. Today received word that Lt. Col. Seagraves and part of his unit (until recently on duty at Ramgarh, running the Chinese hospital at that place) has been transferred to duty at Base Section #3.20 This is where we shall build the 20th G.H. and two evacuation hospitals. I wonder how this is going to work. Gen. Wheeler approved this without consulting me. * * * A routine day at the office.* * * * *
March 13. My visit to Bombay, Bangalore and Madras temporarily postponed, because of the imminent arrival of our additional medical units (e.g., additions to our five small hospitals, and the 112th Station Hospital).21 They are expected to arrive in Bombay on March the 18th and are to tranship from there to Karachi. On arrival at Karachi (3/22/43) the 112th is to stay there indefinitely or until we find a place for it. The other units are to proceed to their proper stations namely to the 100th S.H. at Delhi, to 97th at Agra, to 95th at Chabua, to 99th at Gaya, and to the 98th at Chakulia. Their moves should be completed by March 26th. Just learned
18The 159th Station Hospital was the first to reach India,
arriving on 16 May 1942 and occupying new buildings outside the city at North Malir. Much
of its staff had been sent to temporary posts throughout India in 1942, for, on the one
hand, it was larger than it needed to be for several months, and, on the other hand, the
small station hospitals were very soon in need of reinforcement.
that an Engineer Regiment and QM Regiment22 are staying temporarily near Calcutta waiting for the arrival of their trucks in order to proceed with them to Ledo in Assam. I have to arrange about hospitalization facilities for them.
March 14. Radiogram from Haas complaining that his antimalaria material not arriving at Base Section #3. These materials have been indented from the British sources and have been shipped in proper time, but somehow shipping facilities being what they are, their arrival has been delayed. We are getting altogether too many radiograms from Haas and I have to write him and tell him to "pipe down" a little.
From all hearsay the method of handling of the troops that arrived in India about 12 days ago was very faulty. They arrived in Bombay--and from there various units were sent to various staging areas. The Medical units were staged near Poona--near Bombay. Two regiments 1 Engineer, and one QM were staged about 150 miles from Calcutta. No preparations whatsoever had been made for their reception, no tents, no cots, no water or any other comforts. I am afraid my friend Lt. Col. H.---- [Editorial deletion] QMC will be the responsible party.23* * * * *
March 17. Had a long conference with Gen. [William H.] Holcombe24 and the Chief of Staff [Col. Samuel M. Lansing, GSC]. Told them of the organization in my office. I now have an executive officer (Maj. Tomlinson), a second in command, who is also the head of Preventive Medicine Department (Lt. Col. Kemp), a Venereal Disease control officer (Lt. [Malcolm A.] Bouton), a Food and Nutrition Officer (Lt. [Maclean J.] Babcock), Chief of Medical Supplies (Maj. Newton), a Chief Clerk (Lt. [Irvin G.] Luthi) and sufficient office force. I told them that it would be necessary for me from now on to spend a great deal of my time in the field. That there are certain places where I have not been at all--and therefore know little or nothing of the situation there.
Had a letter from Lt. Col. H----. He writes me that he has been involved in certain investigations in which certain officers are accused of misappropriating government articles. It is evidently a mess.
March 19. This morning early to work. Went to the Station (Railroad) at Old Delhi to meet Maj. [T.S.] Gabreski (Surgeon Base Section #1 at Karachi) who is on his way to Bombay with 15 patients. We had a half hour conversation relative matters [sic]. Heard indirectly today from Col. [Elias E.] Cooley, surgeon25 20th Gen. Hosp. now at Base Section #3 (Ledo and Margherita in Assam). Received two letters from Freda today. Big
22The 330th Engineer General Service Regiment and the 21st
Quartermaster Regiment. See Chinese Liaison Detail, p. 77. They were part of the
"4201 Shipment," which had included the several medical units sent to Ledo, and
they took over the construction of the Road and the establishment of supply lines. The men
at North Tirap became well acquainted with troops of the 21st QM: North Tirap Log, passim.
changes are taking place in this theater. Brig. Gen. [Claire] Chennault is in command of a new air force unit, the 14th U.S.A.F. and is going to be independent of the 10th A.F. now commanded by Brig. Gen. [Clayton L.] Bissell now at Delhi. My guess is that within 3 to 6 months a much greater shake up involving still higher commands will take place.26 The hot weather has arrived upon us in earnest. It was 110 F. in the air port.
March 20. My assistant Maj. Tomlinson has been ill for the last day or two. He is complaining of a stomach ailment. Today being Saturday there was a conference of officers at Headquarters. Policies were discussed. A new advance section was announced. It is Advance Section #4, and takes in territory as far out as Shanghai. We've got to chase the Japs out of the country first before we can claim Advance Section #4. Heard word that Gen. [H.H.] Arnold27 is a 4 Star General now. I suppose it means that the next thing to take place will be an air corps commander for this theater, anything will be an improvement.
March 21. Sunday and a very beautiful day. All morning in the office. In the afternoon there was a session of all heads of sections planning. The new plans call for increase of American troops in this theater by July the first 1943 to 50,000 men. I have asked for 2 additional medical supply platoon units with 6 officers and 84 men, and 1 medical supply section with 3 officers and 42 men. I intend to build a 500 bed hospital at Kunming and another 250 bed unit at Chabua. This with the construction of a 750 bed hospital at Calcutta and a 250 bed hospital at Panagarh, should do well. I am also asking for the construction of a 3000 bed convalescent hospital at Tinsukia or in Panitola. This for the use of the Chinese.28 There is nothing more of importance.
March 22. Completed Plan of Evacuation of sick and wounded for CBI and submitted it for consideration. I have asked for the construction of a 3000 bed convalescent hospital either at Panitola or at Tinsukia. It is not contemplated to evacuate Chinese sick and wounded any farther back than
26General Chennault had led the American Volunteer Group
until its disbandment on 4 July 1942. His Fourteenth Air Force was the chief air arm in
China. Its mission was to provide air-ground support for the Chinese Army and to harass
Japanese communications in south and east China. He and Stilwell disagreed bitterly on
C.B.I. strategy. He believed that a major air offensive should be started as soon as
possible. Stilwell believed that Chennault should wait until ground communications between
India and China were restored, and until the Chinese Army had been remodeled so as to
assure ground security for Fourteenth Air Force bases. Tamraz's knowledge of the situation
was very limited, and his prediction seems to reflect only the typical uneasiness of all
those who were involved in the notoriously tangled command structure of C.B.I.
Dibrugarh, unless it were evacuation by air to China. The 3000 bed convalescent hospital will be in two sections one of 500 beds for American troops, and one of 2500 beds for Chinese troops. If further evacuation of American troops is necessary they will be taken either to the 112th Station Hospital at Calcutta or the 159th Sta. Hospital at New Malir [Karachi]. We had our first surgical death at the 100th Station Hospital Delhi, from acute appendicitis complicated by generalized peritonitis. Maj. [Allan] McLellan tells me on his arrival at the hospital the patient had symptoms of peritonitis, so Oschner treatment was instituted. In other words the case was too late for an early operation and too early for a late operation.
March 24. * * * Received word that some of the expansion units of our 5 smaller hospitals as well as members of the 112th Station Hospital instead of being sent direct to Karachi from Bombay came via Delhi. It does not make sense. In the first place it was quite asinine not to send them direct from Bombay to their particular units, e.g., the unit belonging to the 100th S.H. could have come directly here, also the ones to Agra Chakulia and Gaya. I have had a car assigned to me now, and I shouldn't have to walk back and forth any longer to the hotel and my office.
March 25. In studying the passenger list of the newly arrived medical units I found out that Capt. Ed[ward] Schwartz M.C. who used to be with me at Ft. Warren, Wyoming [is] with the 151st Med Bn. He is in command of B. Company of that organization and is now stationed at Base Section #3, Ledo Area.29 I wrote him a letter. Maj. McLellan returned from Dera Dun with a patient with G.S.W. [gunshot wound] (accidental). Received several letters one from Lt. [Preston R.] Clark at Kunming.30 He too is having medical supply problem troubles. Attended a musicale in the evening at the Imperial Hotel.
March 26. Several letters from Freda. Freda's health is very good. For the first time I learned that Gen. [Dwight D.] Eisenhower was made a 4 Star general, as is General Arnold. This gives us 4 full Generals. Seems like promotions take place in every branch now except in the Medical Corps. Dealing with British Medical Officers of high rank, Brigadiers, Major Generals & Lt. Generals--while the highest rank our medical officers hold in this theater is that of Colonel. With the coming of Summer the dust storms in Delhi have started. Terrific!
March 27. Today we had our weekly staff meeting. The discussion was mainly of supplies. I heard today about [that] our supplies arriving in Calcutta are being badly manhandled. That they arrived in good condition at Calcutta only to be ruined by poor unloading. Many valuable articles of equipment are destroyed and supplies broken into.
There has been a minor disturbance in the ranks of nurses attached with 100th S.H. in New Delhi. One of their members--a Miss E---- M---- [Editorial deletion] has been ordered to go to Karachi with the 159th S.H.
29See North Tirap Log, p. 8, n. 15.
This was done because this young lady has been completely enamoured to and by a young Captain (married man with 2 children). This officer has been taking her out every night purchasing for her expensive gifts etc. and told her he is going to divorce his wife and marry her. We wanted to break up the romance. The rest of the nurses objected to this, and the riot act had to be exercised on them. They were told that they were officers and would obey orders or else. Things are quiet now.
Sunday March 28. In the office as usual altho a little later than ordinarily. Weather was cool and wind blowing the sand in all directions. "Kus Kus's" are already making their appearances. These are grass mats attached to bamboo poles and hung in front of windows and doors far enough away not to interfere with their opening and shutting. Then "Pani Wallas" (water carriers) come every few minutes and throw water on the Kus Kus. The hot winds blowing on them cool off by the time they filter into the room. This way the temperature may be lowered as much as 20° F.
This afternoon I visited my friends the Hummers. They are Americans and live in old Delhi.
Today we began sending all the personnel on detached services from our hospitals, and on duty at Base Section #3 to their proper organizations. The 20th Gen. Hosp. is on the grounds and operating at Base Section #3. Tonight played a little bridge with 3 other Colonels, and lost all of one rupee and 4 annas or about 40 cents.
March 29. This is the 1st Anniversary of this diary. Exactly a year ago today it was started in Karachi, India. Looking back over the past year I feel proud of the accomplishments of the Medical Department S.O.S. On my arrival in Karachi on March 28, 1942 I was the sole representative of the Med. Dept. S.O.S. with 3000 troops on my hands and no hospitalization facilities. The British helped me magnificently, and have continued to help whenever occasion has arisen to ask for their help.
During the year we have mushroomed with a Gigantic organization with 2 General Hospitals, 3 Evacuation Hospitals, and about ten other hospitals of from one hundred to 400 beds, and more and more on the way.31 Besides we now have a complete Medical Bn. 2 Medical Supply Platoons, and with Med Supply Depots and sub-depots scattered all over the map of India and some in China. What will the coming year bring forth is a big problem. The pendulum has certainly swung in our favor, and I predict that within the coming year the backbone of Germany will be broken and we shall turn our undivided attention on Japan.* * * * *
April 1. April the 1st, my but time is flying. Looks as if there isn't enough time.
31Only one general hospital was in the theater. Tamraz apparently was anticipating the enlargement of the 159th Station Hospital; 4 more months elapsed before this step was taken, however. The other units he refers to were the 20th General Hospital, the 48th and 73d Evacuation Hospitals; the 14th Evacuation Hospital en route to India; platoons of the 2d and 7th Medical Depot Companies; the 95th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th and 112th Station Hospitals; and provisional hospitals at various stations manned by staff on detached service from the numbered hospital units.
The space of Headquarters, S.O.S. is becoming very much overcrowded; so all sections have been asked to sacrifice a little of their space for establishment of additional office space for newcomers. The surgeon's office is losing one of its rooms. We shall be very much crowded. * * *
Learned thru the grape-vine that S.O.S. chief will be a Lt. Gen. and will have as assistant a Major General. That all heads of Base Sections will be Brigadier Generals as well as the Chief of Staff. So far nothing for the medical corps. Attended with Maj. McLellan, as guests of a local Indian Physician, a performance of Indian classical dancing. In spots it was all right, altho I wouldn't want to attend such performances more than once. * * *
April 3. * * * I had a pleasant surprise today. In looking over list of officers with one of the Evacuation Hospitals now at Base Section #3 at Ledo (Assam) I ran across name of Lt. Col. Edward R. Ware. This officer is a class mate of mine from Columbia U. (College of P.S.) 1917. Have not seen him since day of graduation. * * *
April 4. Sunday. All Sunday morning in the office attending to letters. This morning a request received from 10th Air Force for hospitalization facilities at Jorhat and Tezpur. Both these places are in the Assam region, and are to be occupied shortly by fighter groups. I have asked for the construction of a hundred bed hospital at Jorhat. Temporarily in each one of the two places we are putting up 22 bed British Crash-ward type of sick bays. This afternoon I went out to the Lido Golf Club, and played 18 holes of mediocre golf, strange clubs, walking shoes, and first game in 3 months.
April 5. The top ranking enlisted man in my office a Tech. Sgt. was sent to the hospital with a venereal lesion on his penis, which turned out to be a chanceroid. Still another one of my office men, also a Sgt. was sent to the hospital, and the diagnosis of Pulmonary Tuberculosis on him was made. A third temporary casualty is Lt. Col. Kemp (M.C.) of my office who has acute sinusitis and has been laid up in the hospital now nearly 10 days.
Received a very nice letter from Lt. Col. Haas Surgeon Base Section #3 at Ledo, Assam. He gave a clear-cut picture of the situation as it exists there. On the ground are now the 20th Gen. Hospital, the 48th Evacuation and 73rd Evacuation Hospital, a Med. Bn. [the 151st] a Med. Supply Platoon [of the 7th Medical Depot Company] and Vet. Co. [the 1st]. The monsoon is about to start there now, and it is going to tax the resources of all our installations there to meet the problem successfully.
Received also a letter from Capt. Ed. Schwartz (M.C.) who used to be with me at Ft. Warren, Wyo. He is with the Med Bn. at Assam. Wants to come with me.
April 6. A few days ago received a radiogram signed Stilwell wanting 5000 tablets of Santonin, to be here at Delhi and to be ready to be delivered to him today. We only had 100 tablets on hand here, so we sent a highest priority radiogram to Karachi, where our main depot is located and the drug was flown here yesterday and delivered as per. There must be a large number of cases of Ascaris lumbricoides amongst Stilwell's personnel to need
so much Santonin.32 Today the expansion unit of the 100th Station Hospital arrived. It consists of 4 Medical Officers (Captains) 10 nurses and 20 enlisted men. A similar expansion unit belonging to the 97th S.H. at Agra passed thru here yesterday, and should have arrived in Agra last night. Other expansion units belong to 98th at Chakulia, 99th at Gaya, and 95th at Chabua. They should all arrive and be functioning by the end of this week.
Had letter from Maj. Bickel (95th S.H.). He is badly in need of help, even with the arrival of the expansion unit he will be short of help. He is averaging better than 200 patients, and now he is receiving as many as 20 fresh malaria cases each week. To help him out I asked for orders to send 1 M.A.C. 2 medical officers, 5 nurses, and 30 E. men from the 112th S.H. (750 beds) now at Karachi. This will give Bickel 10 officers, 23 nurses and 95 enlisted men which should be sufficient.33
April 7. * * * There was quite a "bomb shell" dropped into the working of the 100th Station Hospital. Maj. McLellan the C.O. asked to have all the nurses (5) who were on detached service from the 159th (Karachi) be [sic] sent back to their organizations. Ten nurses (Expansion Unit) of the 100th S.H. have just arrived and Major McL. states he does not need all of the 15 nurses. The nurses who have been here for almost 9 mos. became quite attached to the place.34 Lt. Col. Kemp is still in the hospital, he has acute sinusitis (ethmoidal). This evening I went to the Cinema and saw Mrs. Minever, a very good picture.
April 8. * * * Am having much trouble with the acting Chief of Staff. This officer in peace time a Captain, has within the year received temporary promotions up to Colonel. He incidently is one of the rare specimens who do not like the Med. Dept. The Commanding Gen. who is away now had assigned a car to my office which was a necessity. This officer took it away from me. He questions the advisability of every move made in my office. I can see a showdown coming very soon. Lt. Col. Kemp (MC) a patient in 100th Hosp. not doing so well; so we are going to transfer him to the 159th Karachi.
April 9. Unusually quiet day. Many routine letters to answer. Received a letter from Headquarters 10th [Air Force]. Am having much trouble with the Chief of Staff. I had asked to go on a trip of inspection. This was granted by C.G. but the Chief of Staff had talked him out of it. There are pressing needs for my traveling and if things happen which would not have happened had I taken the inspection tour, I shall lay it right to the door of the C/S.
April 10. * * * Today I had a conference with Gen. Holcombe. The Chief of Staff was also present. I brought up the subject that in my opinion the Chief of Staff was unnecessarily interfering with activities of the Medical
32As Tamraz should have surmised, it was the
Chinese--probably another batch of troops coming into Ramgarh for training--who were
typically infested with worms, the consequence of the usual miserable diet and neglect in
the Chinese Army.
Dept., such as canceling intended trips, changing policies etc. At the end we came to a satisfactory understanding but I am still keeping my eyes "peeled" and watching.
Received word that another Evacuation Hospital was scheduled to leave the U.S. for these parts. I heard indirectly that Col. Cooley, who commands the 20th Gen. Hospital at Ledo is much dissatisfied with the surroundings. He particularly disapproves of the Basha type of buildings (bamboo).
April 11 Sunday. It rained in Delhi for the first time in almost two months. I have just heard from Ledo, Assam, where several of our hospitals are located, that it has been raining there almost every day for the last two weeks. Evidently the monsoon season has started early. It usually does not begin until about April the 15th. Our hospitals there are in Bashas (bamboo structures), and I understand it has been raining right thru the roofs, and everything is wet. Col. Cooley the C.O. of the 20th Gen Hospital, I understand is very much disgusted.
Lt. Col. Hardy Kemp M.C. (my office) was transferred to the 159th Station Hospital Karachi, for further observation and treatment.
April 12. Maj. Gabreski Surgeon Base Section #1 at Karachi is in Delhi. He brought me full reports of the doings in Karachi. We have a medical supply depot there and some of the enlisted men on duty there had been caught stealing Med Dept. supplies and selling them in town. There are 8 men in all involved. We also caught one of our Medical officers (Lt. J----P----) [Editorial deletion] attached to the 159th St. Hospital stealing narcotics. He is an addict.
There was a telephone call from the British Med. Directorate that our Base Section #2 Med Officer35 had asked for a 750 bed hospital equipment complete from the British to establish a hospital at Calcutta. This was perfectly silly, since I had a 750 hospital complete with personnel and equipment earmarked for Calcutta.36 So I cancelled the requisition from the British.* * * * *
April 23.37 No sooner had I arrived in Delhi than Maj. Newton told me that there were orders waiting for me to proceed at once to Ledo for a conference with Col. Williams the Theater Surgeon. He has come to Ledo from Chungking China, and wishes to discuss with me questions of Sanitation, Hospitalization, and medical supplies. Maj. Tomlinson, my assistant, had made all arrangements for me, so after spending a busy morning in the office reading many letters, answering radiograms and attending to a thousand and one other things, I left for the hotel to re-pack. Before I left I had a short talk with Gen. Wheeler. It seems like Gen. Stilwell has found
35This officer had first commanded a station hospital. He
soon proved unsatisfactory and was transferred to Ramgarh, where for a time he commanded
the post hospital. This time, Stilwell relieved him peremptorily. Tamraz, with misgivings,
decided to try him as Surgeon, Base Section #2. Again, Tamraz must have felt, he was on
the verge of another catastrophe.
fault again with one of our doctors. This time he has released Maj. C--- [Editorial deletion] from duty at Ramgarh. I asked Gen. Wheeler to allow me to go to Ramgarh on my way back to Chabua and Ledo and see what the trouble was at Ramgarh. I shall do so. Left Delhi at 2 P.M. in company with Lt. Col. Rice and Col. [Charles L.] Leedham. Col. Rice is our malariologist and Col. Leedham is the C.O. of Evacuation Hospital #48 at Ledo. He has been to Delhi to visit me, and has been here several days. We arrived in Agra (120 miles from Delhi) at 5:30 P.M. and registered at the Cecil Hotel. Later on we visited the 95th [97th] Station Hospital as guests of Major Richardson. His personnel is complete now and he has almost 10 officers, 14 nurses, and 62 men. He runs a very beautiful hospital & everyone appears to be most happy.
April 24. After a few hours sleep, at 4:30 A.M. we were taken to the air field, and we took off in a plane for Chabua. [From Chabua] we proceed to Margherita (close to Ledo) where I have been asked by my charming English friends the Burgh's to stay as their guests. So here I am quite comfortable and shall meet Col. Williams tomorrow.
April 25 Sunday. Awakened up at the Burgh bungalow to a rainy, drizzly day. The C.O. of the 151st Med. Bn. [Col. York N. Pitkin, MC] (located a mile from here) has placed a car with driver at my disposal. I wonder if Col. Williams will show up today. He had to come from Kunming. Went to headquarters and reported. Later had an hour's conversation with Col. Arrowsmith A.S.F. Base Commander at Base Section #3. Made proposition to him to send part of the 48 Evacuation Hospital to Ramgarh to work in conjunction with personnel of hospital at that place and be kept away from here during the monsoon season. He agreed.38 Col. Williams has not arrived. In the afternoon made visits first at 73rd Evacuation Hospital. The C.O. [Col. Wallace N.] Davidson Reserve officer who impressed me very highly. He is now open for business and ready to receive patients. Saw Lt. Col. Ware a classmate of mine from Columbia. Later still visited the 20th Gen Hospital about 1 mile away from where the 48th is and close to Margherita. Col. Cooley the C.O. is a regular cry baby. He is not satisfied with anything we have done. I impressed on him the fact that this was not the U.S. and that because of the fact that we could not (not allowed to) evacuate Chinese any farther back than the Assam area, this was the only place when we could put him. Also because of the lack of building material Basha type of structure (Bamboo) was all that was available. Two of our three large hospitals are commanded by regular Army Colonels, and they are the only ones who do the crabbing.39 After my visit here I went to the Burgh Bungalow where I stay had dinner and went to the cinema.
April 26. Col. Williams not yet in. Had a radiogram from Kunming from him stating that he would leave Kunming as soon as transportation was available. Met with Col. Haas, Maj. [Walter H.] Bush, Capt. Campbell and Col. Rice and discussed many questions regarding hospitalization, sanitation,
38See Chinese Liaison Detail, p. 80.
med. supplies etc. at Base Section No. 3. Later visited the Medical Supply Depot at Namdang. Campbell has a fine Supply Depot going. Received word that Japs are going to strafe us this afternoon--12:30 P.M. Still no sign of Col. Williams. At about 3:30 Col. Williams showed up. Soon after his arrival we called on Col. Arrowsmith. Then had a conference with Col. Rice and later with Brig. Gen [Haydon L.] Boatner.40 Gen. Boatner wants some Medical Officers from our three Hospitals here to be detached and assigned to various Chinese units--scattered around the Ledo Area. I think well of the scheme, also of sending part of the 48th to Ramgarh--to work in the Ramgarh Station Hospital. Later Col. Williams and I visited the 73rd Stat [Evacuation] Hospital. Col. Williams (Little Caesar) made a little speech to the Med. Officers and nurses. Col. Rice is to take a group of Med. (6) Officers and 300 men in to a malaria infected area and try out a certain drug as a malaria prophylactic agent.
During the Evening I was guest of Capt. Campbell at dinner in his Bungalow.
April 27. After breakfast met Col. Williams in the office of Surgeon Base Section No. 3. Our schedule is to visit the 48th Evac. and 20th Gen. Hospitals. Col. Williams asked to visit and have a talk with the C.O.s of the three hospitals alone. So I spent the morning in visiting supply depots. There is a rather noticeable dissention [sic] in the 20th G.H. Col. Cooley does not seem to be satisfied with conditions under which his hospital is to function. Supplies are in good shape. In the afternoon Col. Williams, Col. Haas and I had a 3 hour conference and discussed thoroughly the plans (medical). Col. Williams appears to be thoroughly in accord with the various plans that have been made, relative to the way we expect to distribute our forces and resources. Later in the evening I visited the 48th Evacuation Hospital and spent 2 hours with the C.O. Col. Leedham.
April 28. Awakened up at 6:30 weather is clearing. Looks like one of the rainless days which will be quite welcome. I have a great many places to go to. On arrival at A.S.F. headquarters met Col. Williams, & Brig. Gen. Boatner. Decided to go down the road to-day and investigate our medical establishment down the road. We drove in Jeeps. (Others with us were Lt. Col. Haas & Rice and Dr.---- [undecipherable]). We drove about 30 miles to Namgoi. Here we have established a 150 bed hospital in Bashas right by the side of the new road. It is being handled by personnel of the 151st Med. Bn. They are doing a good job, and have established a very good hospital. After a thorough inspection of the place we retraced our steps and visited some Chinese units, first the 10th Eng. regt. Their hospitalization facilities were very poor, and we advised them to send all their cases to our hospitals. The Medical Officer of the 151st Med. Bn. told me that the Chinese officers were interfering with the hospitalization of their soldiers. For a while some 20-50 men would report on sick call some with T. of 105° F. and would be hospitalized. The Chinese officers put a stop
40As Deputy Commander, Chinese Army in India, Boatner was beginning to arrange for medical liaison officers to aid the Chinese infantry divisions about to move into Burma for final training. See Chinese Liaison Detail, p. 81.
to soldiers going on sick call because too many were being hospitalized.41 So the last few days there have been no men on sick call. After visiting the 10th Eng. we came back towards Ledo and about 10 miles out visited the 38th Division (Chinese). This organization has very good morale, and we found their camp in excellent condition went thru their sick bays, and their hospitals. They also have some 1000 horses and mules. I was quite pleased with the looks of things here. Returned to the office and then home for rest. Am invited to a dinner to Gen. Boatner tonight.
April 29. Yesterday afternoon and last night completed all my talks with Col. Williams the Theater Surgeon. The following decisions were made. 1. The two Field Hospitals which are soon to arrive for the use of Y Forces to be staged here until called for.42 2. To take the 48th Evac. Hospital which at the present time is staged near Margherita and is not taking patients to be temporarily broken up one part of its personnel to be sent to Ramgarh to take care of Ramgarh hospital, part of personnel to be loaned to the Chinese Medical establishments such as those attached to 10th Eng. and 38 Div. until such time as they are called for, a part to be loaned to the 95th St. Hosp. at Chabua a part to establish and operate the hospital at Jorhat, and the rest mostly troops and MAC. Officers43 to maintain what they have in their staging area. When the time comes when they will be needed they will all be collected again at Margherita-Ledo Area. Col. Williams was in thorough agreement with all my policies regarding sanitation hospitalization & Medical Supplies. He is leaving today for Ramgarh. I shall finish my work today and leave for Chabua tomorrow.
First of all I visited the 48th Evac. Hosp. This hospital is inactive (reserve) they have a camp just off the Assam Truck highway, about 1 mile from Margherita, between the latter town and Digboi. The Personnel live in Bashas and tents. It consists of 47 officers, 53 nurses and 235 E.M. They are busy making a home for themselves, but it is evident that long inactivity has impaired the morale of the personnel particularly the officers. For this reason I strongly recommend breaking this organization up temporarily and sending part of them to Ramgarh a small number to Chabua, Jorhat and even Kunming until such time as their services will be required at Ledo. This will not be probably until after the monsoon season. I next visited the 151st Med. Bn. This organization is also located on the highway about a half mile from the 48th E.H. It is doing good work in making camp, running a 150 bed station hospital at Namgoi and evacuating Chinese and American sick and wounded injured from the forward area. The third place to be visited was the 73 E.H. This organization has organized & is functioning. It is located between Margherita and Ledo. It is receiving patients and doing fine work. The last on the list was the 20th Gen. Hospital located just outside of Margherita, and between it and Ledo. This
41It seems very likely that this was when the decision was
made to provide the 10th Engineers with a medical liaison officer; see Chinese Liaison
Detail, p. 82.
organization consists of a group of rather prominent physicians and Surgeons. It has two distinct parts. One part Chinese and the other an American Hospital. It is in Bashas with a few semi-permanent type of buildings scattered here and there. The Bashas are poorly constructed, are leaking, too closely spaced, a distinct fire hazard. The covering of the roofs, bamboo matting and straw does not prevent leaking, the bamboo leaves placed on the roof were not properly treated and are therefore full of bugs, which constantly gnaw on the leaves and deposit a fine powder on the floors. The two hospitals are separated by a ditch about 200 yards wide. This ground (former polo field) is a few feet below the two surrounding areas where the two parts of the hospital are located. In the monsoon this ditch is covered by from 1 to five feet of water. A new road has been constructed around this area connecting the two hospitals. Unfortunately this road was only recently constructed and I don't believe sufficient care was exercised in its construction even now it is tearing down badly. Despite all of these handicaps Col. Cooley has the makings of a splendid hospital and given half an opportunity in the way of sewering, proper covering of roofs, construction of additional semi-permanent buildings to house acutely ill surgical and medical cases, he will have a hospital which will be a credit to the Army and the Medical Department.
April 30. This morning soon after breakfast together with Lt. Col. Haas I called on the Commanding Officer Base Section #1 [#3] (Col. Arrowsmith) and had a long talk with him. We discussed all matters pertaining to the various hospital units. I explained and showed to him our wants and needs. He is very touchy and resents any suggestions or reminders. Some of our wants particularly at the 20th Gen. Hosp. are very acute. For instance sewering kitchens and mess halls, repairing leaky roofs, and attending to the roads. Another important thing is we have the need for large number of "pucca" [stucco] buildings to house cases recovering from acute surgical operation or cases of severe illnesses. After my talk with Col. Arrowsmith I had a conference with Haas & Rice and then I left for my quarters. After luncheon I started for Chabua. On the way I stopped at the 151st Med. Bn. Area, saw Capt. Ed Schwartz. Then in an ambulance and headed for Chabua. I arrived at 95th S.H. area at 6:30 P.M. Bickel met me and we had supper after which to quarters--this note--and to bed.II. 25 MAY-l7 NOVEMBER 1943
About the time the men at North Tirap finished their log cabin, and Major Jones joined the Chinese 10th Engineers, Tamraz celebrated his 54th birthday. Soon afterward, he started his second year in New Delhi. As the blazing days of the summer gave way to the humidity and rain of the monsoon, he and his subordinates began to show tension. More than a few of those he admired gave way to boredom. His loyalties unimpaired, however, he hid his dismay and stubbornly de-
fended them against charges of drunkenness, maladministration, and various other forms of misconduct. Whenever possible, he put them out of harm's way by sending them home or to another post.
Tamraz's restiveness displayed itself in an increasing concern over promotion. Being aggrieved, perhaps he was a little inattentive when a specialist in medical supply visited him in October. Whatever he learned led him to look around for a more expert supply chief than Major Newton, his oldest associate, but his notes do not suggest any serious concern about supply problems.
In any case, in the autumn he was excited by the establishment of the new Southeast Asia Command under Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. General Wheeler, it seemed, was to leave S.O.S. for S.E.A.C., and Wheeler, once more, wanted Tamraz to come with him. Tamraz's replacement reported in, he packed his bags for one last inspection trip--and then it turned out it was all a mistake.
May 25. This is my birthday, and I am now 54 years old. This is my second birthday away from home, and I don't like it. I wonder if by some good fortune this might be the last birthday away from home. I do hope so. Maj. Ml----, C.O. of the ----th S.H. at ---- [Editorial deletions] is "under a cloud." A Sgt. whom he reduced to private has brought charges against him for undue harshness, and drinking on duty. This is certainly a blow, because I thought he was one of the best officers I had.
May 26. My assistants gave me a very lovely birthday cake. Very thoughtful of them, also had telegrams, letters, and other rememberances from friends in different parts of the world. The day was uneventful in other ways. I have spent the entire day in the office routinely. A deal of correspondence. I am scattering the 112th S.H. to the seven corners of India, the 159th on the other hand is being collected in its permanent station at North Malir.
May 27. Col. [Samuel M.] Lansing, the Chief of Staff is ill and is in quarters. Maj. Richardson C.O. of 97th S.H. at Agra was here today and had a few problems which we thrashed out together. He is having a great deal of trouble with his C.O. who is an Engineer officer and will not back him up. Had a very nice letter from Col. L---- [Editorial deletion]. His outfit has arrived in ----, and are [sic] busy with their new duties. Two applications from 2 of our nurses with the 48th Evac. Hospital to marry two British Officers were received & turned down. No other thing of importance.
May 28. It has been hellishly hot. It has been from 115 to 120º F., and there is a shortage of water to complicate matters. In addition we are having severe dust-storms. Read the findings and recommendations of the I.G. [Inspector General] regarding the case of Maj. Ml----. An enlisted man whom Ml---- has reduced because of inefficiency has made accusations against Ml---- for inhuman treatment of soldiers, and also for drinking while on duty. The I.G. has recommended reprimand and also relief from duty as C.O. of the Station Hosp. ----. I don't agree with this. I have recom-
mended that he be sent home with the Training Cadre that we are sending home. * * *
May 29. Maj. Tomlinson in my office is ill. Requests came to my desk for 3 officers to be sent to reinforce hospital at Kunming. 2 are being sent. Also for an MAC officer to replace Lt. Clark at Kunming. Clark was wounded during a Jap raid on Kunming. Lt. Col. Pitkin sent letter requesting that Capt. Abraham Cohen M.C. (151st Med. Bn. at Ledo) be transferred from there to a fixed hospital because of heart ailment. Orders requested. Col. Lansing (Chief of Staff A.S.F.) is sick in quarters. * * *
May 30. Sunday. * * * The day in the office uneventful. Stayed home in the P.M. and slept. In the evening had a long consultation with Col. Rice, Theater Malariologist. Rice tells me that our malaria ratios are remarkably low for this time of year especially in upper Assam. He contributes [sic] this to the heavy rainfall which has cleared up the streams. Thus far we also have had only very few cases of heat exhaustion.
May 31. The Chief of Staff is back on duty. Maj. Tomlinson still in hospital. Received request from Tenth Air Force surgeon for hospitalization facilities at [undecipherable]. Now we have hospitals being constructed at the following places: Calcutta, Bombay, Tezpur, Jorhat, Panagarh, and Kurmitola. Calcutta is 750 beds, Panagarh 250. The rest are 100 bed affairs. Today Maj. [Robert S.] Crews and Captain [Thomas T.] Kachendoufer [Kochenderfer] 159th S.H. who have been on duty at Ramgarh, were at New Delhi. They were on their way to Karachi. They stated that all of the personnel belonging to the 159th had left Ramgarh. Had a long letter from Lt. Col. [Charles R.] Williams (159th). I had heard rumors of dissention [sic] there, but Col. Williams reassured me. Had also a letter from Col. L---- C.O. Hospital at ----. He is very optimistic about things there.
June 1. * * * Asked orders for Newton authorizing him to go on trip of inspection of the Karachi, and Calcutta medical supply depots. We are not satisfied with the work of Lt. L---- at Calcutta, and think that it will be better to have [1st Lt. Knud] Olsen44 transferred from Karachi to Calcutta. * * ** * * * *
June 3. * * * Telephone conversation with Karachi. Maj. Gabreski and Lt. Col. Williams on the other end of the line. Gabreski usurping the powers of his [William's] Supply officers. Straightened him up on this matter. * * ** * * * *
June 5. Saturday, the usual weekly conference. There wasn't much to discuss and nothing of any importance concerning the Medical Dept. except I recommended that all pet dogs be gotten rid of around headquarters. Too much danger of rabies. There is acute water shortage in Delhi. The hotels shut off the water supply most of the day. I am having the Delhi ice plants investigated to determine whether the ice is safe for usage. Gen. Wheeler arrived in Delhi. He has had quite an extensive trip into China,
44Commander of Medical Detachment 2 (Supply), Section 1, Advance Depot Platoon.
and looks worn out. I am going to recommend that he take two weeks leave of absence. * * *
June 6. Had argument with Chief of Staff Col. Lansing [(Temporary) permanent rank in regular army is Captain] [Tamraz's brackets] in Brig. Gen. Holcombe's office. I am under the impression that neither of these two gentlemen is particularly fond of the Medical Dept. A sedan has been assigned to the 100th Station Hospital here, and they are claiming that this car is being used too much. This car has to be used to haul nurses back and forth, take dispatches, and also it is used occasionally by myself on official work. It is very tiresome how some persons will try to find fault with little things, and forget the big future [picture?]. * * ** * * * *
June 8. Another anniversary. Today completes the year of my arrival in New Delhi. Exactly a year ago today I left my office at Karachi, and came to Delhi by air arriving here in the afternoon, and began the organization of the "Headquarters, Med. Dept. S.O.S. C.B.I." Since then my office has been expanded into a very respectable organization, each section having a representative. Now we have numerous hospitals scattered all over India, and we are giving what I consider very efficient service to the U.S. Army and the Chinese Army in India. * * *
June 9. This morning I had two British R.A.M.C. visitors. Later in the morning I called on the new D.M.S. (Director Medical Services) of the Royal Army Med. Corps. * * * To see him I had to first see ½ dozen Brigadiers. It is most unfortunate that promotions are so slow in our Army. The man who has my job in the British Army is a Lt. Gen. We don't even rate a Brigadier General. O Well! Heard via "grape vine" that great changes are impending in the theater including the Theater Surgeon! Can this be true?* * * * *
June 11. We are having a very quiet period. Luthi (Lt. M.A.C.) who is in charge of our clerical force is ill, and hospitalized. Maj. Ml-----'s case came to an end. He commands the ----th S.H. and was accused of drinking while on duty. He is to receive an official reprimand, and probably be relieved from his command. * * *
June 12. * * * Sent a letter (following a wire) to Col. Williams, Theater Surgeon, to the effect that I believe Lt. Col. L---- G---- [Editorial deletions] who has recently arrived in this theater be hospitalized and possibly sent home. This medical officer in my opinion is showing signs of progressive mental and physical deterioration. He is now hospitalized. Lt. Luthi from my office is sick and in hospital with "Delhi belly" [diarrhea].* * * * *
June 14. * * * Lt. Col. L---- G---- has been transferred to the 159th St. Hosp. for further observation & treatment. He is definitely a mental case. Maj. [Sidney] Waud (M.C.) from our hospital at Pandaveswar is here. He is on his way to a two weeks stay in a rest camp.* * * * *
June 18. Lt. Col. V.C. Haas, Base Surgeon Base Section #3, Ledo, is here. He has come for a conference. * * * I am very much disturbed about the attitude of the Chief of Staff, and G-2, it seems like every request or recommendation we make pertaining to personnel is being questioned or turned down. The latest one is about the temporary detached service of a Dental officer. Something has to be done about this. * * *
June 19. One of the soldiers in my office Sgt. C---- [Editorial deletion] was hospitalized. He seemed to be under a mental strain of some sort, and going to pieces. Lt. Col. G---- (M.C.) is being transferred from Station Hosp. #100 Delhi, to 159th at Karachi. He is a sick man mentally and physically, and should be sent home. Came to my room and raved for an hour. His main theme is "I have been in the Army 19 years and am still a Lt. Col." * * *
June 20. Sunday. A very quiet day. Spent the entire day in my office catching up with my correspondence. Lt. Col. Kemp has been working very hard for the last few days getting up statistics. He has analized [sic] all our S & W [sick and wounded] figures for the past year and has made a comprehensive report showing percentage of admission for various causes, also permanent separations from this theater. It is a very good work, and interesting study.45
Two of our nurses with the 48th Evac. Hosp. at Ledo, who have not been here for only about 3 months want to marry two British officers. We are having them transferred to Karachi, and possibly back to the U.S.
June 21. This was one of the worst days I have ever had in my service in India. It seems like the Medical Dept. was kicked from pillar [sic] to post by the G's and the Dep. C.G. First, of all Maj. Ml----, after having been officially reprimanded, was relieved of his command, and sent to "Siberia" namely Assam, and on duty with the 20th Gen. Hosp. I consider this a very harsh punishment for one episode of drinking and on the say so of lots of gossip-mongers. Then when I recommended Capt. [Sidney W.] Scorse of the 100th Hosp to be the next C. O. of the 100th this was flatly turned down, and Lt. Col. Kemp of my office was assigned as C.O. Sooner or later there has to come a show down. If I am the S.O.S. Surgeon I must have some say in the internal administration of the Med. Dept.* * * * *
June 29.46 Our plans this A.M. are to take a trip up the new road the Engineers are building into Burma. Left Ledo Headquarters at 8:30 a.m. and drove on the new Ledo Road to Burma. It rained. After traveling 26 miles, we came to the Namchik River. The temporary bridge is washed out, so we had to cross the new temporary bridge on foot because the approaches to it
45Four days earlier, Tamraz had noted the failure of his
effort to have Colonel Kemp transferred from his office to that of the Theater Surgeon.
on either side are impassable because of the mud.47 They are working on the roads. We walked across the bridge and on the other side took another car (Peep) and drove on to the 32-mile mark where the Clearing Company of the 151st Med. Bn. has established a 150-bed hospital. This hospital is doing for all intents and purposes a Station Hospital work. They are taking care of approximately 100 patients. Because of road difficulties, it will be a good idea to establish a larger hospital here and not to evacuate so many patients back to Ledo and Margherita. After going over this hospital thoroughly, we traveled on as far as we could in the Peep which was the 32-mile mark.48 This was Hellgate. Here we changed into a Jeep and went on. At Hellgate the Q.M. Advanced Depot is located. Here we also have an advanced Medical Supply Depot where we keep 10 days supplies. At the 40-mile mark we have a first-aid station.49 Here, even the Jeep got bogged so we walked a few hundred feet to the first-aid station. General [Hugh] Morgan is very enthusiastic and saw and questioned many of the Medical Officers. We returned to Ledo at about 7:00 p.m.
This is the day of my wedding anniversary--the 21st.* * * * *
July 19.50 Returned to my office, and to a large amount of mail. * * * Today I called on Gen. Holcomb[e], and gave him a resume of my trip.
July 20. Gen. Wheeler is here. Had long conference with him. He is an extremely understanding person, and seems to be sympathetic towards Medical Dept. activities. I asked him whether or not the work of the Medical Dept. since its inception here about 16 months ago had proven satisfactory in his estimation. His answer was an emphatic, "Yes." He also told me that my work as Surgeon S.O.S. had been highly satisfactory. I felt very good about it especially since the poor backing I have been getting from the Deputy C.G. The day was spent in answering many official and non-official letters also in preparing my report regarding my recent trip. Lt. Col. L---- G----, M.C. who was sent to the 181st G.H.51 at Karachi and who was sent back to duty once more was once more sent back to Karachi, this time with instructions to be evacuated to the U.S.
July 21. Lt. Col. Ralph V. Plew, M.C. came to the office. He is on his way to China to report to Col. Williams for duty. Looks like the Theater Surgeon is getting a large number of officers in his office.52 Lt. Col. Kemp's case was re-opened. This Medical officer was in my office and was superfluous. I recommended his transfer to the rear echelon [of Theater Headquarters]. This was disapproved by the Deputy C.G. Gen. Wheeler heard
47See Chinese Liaison Detail, p. 95, for the opening
of the permanent bridge.
about it and revised Gen. Holcombe's (Dept. C.G.) decision in my favor. Was advised that Lt. Col. B---- M.C. who arrived in this theater as C.O. of Field Hospital #---- [Editorial deletion] (destined for use in China) was being transferred to the S.O.S. because he was not temperamentally suited for duty with the Chinese. Investigation showed that this officer is a heavy drinker incompetent to command any unit, 59 years old who actually looks much older and is senile. So I disapproved it.53* * * * *
July 23. The day is scorching hot. Have developed a diarrhea. Not feeling too fit. Col. [H. B.] Porter (Surgeon 10th A.F.) droped [sic] in and showed me new medical plan of that organization. Amongst other things he is receiving one Medical Squadron air-borne.54
July 24. Still have a little diarrhea, and am not too comfortable. Maj. Tomlinson, U.S.P.H.S. my assistant was promoted to Lt. Col. a couple of days ago. He well deserves it, and is a great help to me in the office. He has an excellent grasp over the medical situation. Wrote a letter to Col. J. R. Hudnall M.C. Chief Personnel Division Office of The Surgeon General and complained of the quality of the M.C. and M.A.C. officers that we have been receiving at this theater. Only routine matters. We are well caught up with our work in the office.* * * * *
July 28. Today I am having some pictures taken of myself to go into this diary. Gen. Wheeler left Delhi, and is headed for Base Section #3. Today I am expecting Maj. R---- from ---- [Editorial deletions]. He is coming to assume command of the 100th Station Hospital. Maj. R---- reported at 6 p.m., and officially took over the 100th S.H. Today I had a long talk with Deputy C. G. Gen. Holcombe--again, as usual, it was in regard to personnel. I recommend one thing and G-1 disapproved it--hence the fight.
July 29. Today I gave up a room in the [Imperial] Hotel that I had occupied for nearly a year, Room 233, and moved into room 105. The hotel is so darned crowded that my former room, which is a large one is to be used for putting several officers in it, whereas the room I now have I can keep without having a room mate. Maj. R---- took active charge of the hospital, relieving Lt. Col. Kemp, who in turn has been assigned to the Rear Echelon. * * ** * * * *
July 31. The last day of July. The regular Saturday morning pow-wow with nothing much said. Yesterday I had a bomb shell thrown in my lap. Col. L---- M.C. C.O. of the ---- Hosp. at ---- [Editorial deletions]
53The 400-bed field hospital was a mobile unit designed to
work behind divisional areas--that is, in relatively close support of troops in combat.
Once again, the shifting from post to post of unsatisfactory officers had become a game.
wrote me that he had asked for an Inspector General because the C.G. at that post had instituted investigations regarding L----'s relations with one of his nurses. The regular ---- [Editorial deletion of place name] jinks.
Aug. 1. Another month starts. Going rather fast. We learned that a freighter carrying 67 tons of anti-malaria supplies for us was sunk in Mozambique channel. This is the 2nd ship that we have lost which were [sic] carrying large quantities of anti-malaria supplies. This is going to make our anti-malaria campaign very difficult, since our supplies on hand are limited. The supplies will be automatically replaced by the port of embarkation, but I fear that they will arrive too late for this years anti-malaria campaign. Had a letter of Lt. Col. Haas in regard to Lt. Col. B---- the C.O. of the ---- [Editorial deletions] Field Hospital. This officer evidently is not much good, so we shall have to get rid of him somehow.
Aug. 2. Received word that a Jap raider in Atlantic Ocean was the ship that sank the freighter mentioned above. I hope we soon get this raider. We also received word that sometime this month 22,000 troops of all kinds are expected to arrive in India. This will bring our numbers in this theater to nearly 60,000. 1 still don't know what medical troops are arriving.55 Wrote a letter of complaint to Commanding General that too many of our medical troops are being used for other purposes than that for which they have been trained. Also too many of them are being wooed away from us by promises of promotion. Started the Monday with my desk absolutely clean. Am intending to take a trip to Karachi very soon. Col. [Francis H.] Griswold the Theater Inspector General advised in regard to his inspection pertaining to Col. L---- (M.C.) behavior at ----. It seems like L---- has not been very careful in his associations with one of the nurses.
Aug. 3. Gen. Stilwell had sent message to me to have Col. L---- transferred from ---- to some other post some other post [sic] so I am going to have him transferred to command the ---- St. Hosp. at ----. The nurse will be sent to Karachi and thence home. Looks to me like the Med. Dept. is having a hell of a time. We are also going to try two nurses who got married without permission, and were in addition AW.O.L. for some 30 days. There is a question, however, of whether or not Gen. Wheeler had right to deny them permission to get married.56 Wrote letter to [Brigadier] Gen. [John A.] Warden at Calcutta telling him of L----'s (Col.) transfer to command the ---- S.H.* * * * *
Aug. 6. It has turned definitely cooler and much more agreeable. We are having occasional rains. As I was looking around the dining room today I could see all kinds of rank. There are now Brig. Generals heading almost every branch except the Medical Dept. The Medical Dept. certainly is dis-
55This complaint was only relatively appropriate. His office
had been informed some time previously of the forthcoming hospital troops en route or
scheduled for arrival during the remainder of the year. Precise and final information was
criminated against here. Any recommendations for promotions are being held up unnecessarily or rejected outright. Maj. [General George E.] Stratemeyer (A.C.) has just arrived in this theater. There are rumors floating of impending major changes amongst the key position holders in A.C. here. Rumors further say that Bissell is scheduled to go. Maj. R---- made a report of certain narcotic shortages in 100th S.H. This is being investigated.
Aug. 7. * * * This morning while in the Station Hosp. I met a Col. W---- who as Engineer had a great deal to do with building of the Alaskan Highway. He was sent here to help in building the Ledo Road to Burma. He has immediately on his arrival in Ledo run afoul of Col. John Arrowsmith (now Brig. General). He as well as any number of officers consider Arrowsmith a joke, and the road he is building an obvious failure. Some months ago when I made my trip of reconnaissance I made a statement that during the monsoon only maintenance be considered, and that all the coolie labor (a potential malaria carrier group) be moved from there.57 But my recommendations were ignored. I was practically told to mind my own business--that what does a medico know about engineering. Well we are paying for it now with our malaria rates, and, what is more, the road is not progressing worth a damn.
Aug. 8. * * * Had another argument this morning with Gen. Holcombe. This is getting to be a habit. I know darned well he doesn't like the Med. Dept. in general and myself in particular. This time it was in regard to medical reports demanded by the Rear echelon. I am going to be damned glad to leave this theater.* * * * *
Aug. 10-Aug. 19 Inclusive. During this period I made a trip of inspection to Karachi.58 * * * During my absence from headquarters nothing of extreme importance had taken place except that the 14th Evacuation Hospital destined for duty at Base Section #3 (Ledo) arrived from the United States. Also during my absence Lt. Col. B---- ex-C.O. of ---- Field Hospital had reported and was sent for duty at Calcutta. He is a big, fat senile no account from all reports.* * * * *
Aug. 26. The weather has turned cool and is quite wet. Has been raining for two or 3 days. Gen. Holcombe returned yesterday and is now in command. My desk is clean. Newton leaving today on trip of inspection of medical supplies he will be gone for 10 days to 2 weeks. Tremendous
57See p. 143.
changes are in the makings in this theater.59 Lord Louis Montbatten [sic] has been named Supreme Commander Operations in India & Burma. What is going to happen to Gen. Stilwell. Is he going to stay in China? Is he going to have anything [to do] with this theater? Then again Gen. Arrowsmith is here, with a large amount of baggage. Is he through at Base 3? What is going to happen to the Ledo Road? Had a letter from Col. Williams Theater Surgeon he asked news regarding several officers. I wrote him a long letter in answer.
Aug. 27. News continue good from all theaters. The air is somewhat chilly. It has been raining. Our malaria rates for the whole theater are about 2%. This is quite satisfactory. Our anti-malaria campaign is bringing moderately good results. I am going to request a 15 day vacation. Request was granted and I am to leave on or about Sept. 15th for Bombay, Bangalore & Calcutta. There was a great deal of discussion today regarding the issue of opium to porters (Chinese & Indian Hillmen) working on the new Ledo road. It appears that we are supplying 55 lbs. of opium each month and the Medical Dept. has been getting these from the British. So far we have been giving them medicinal opium. The British maintain that we should give them crude opium, not yet settled.* * * * *
Aug. 29. * * * One of my hospitals (112th at Calcutta) reported its first case of cholera. This was in a merchant seaman. Condition critical. Capt. Ed. Schwartz is being ordered from the 151st Med. Bn. to duty in my office. This officer is a Medical officer who served with me three years ago at Ft. Warren Wyoming. Today I wrote a letter to all the C.O.s of my various hospitals calling their attention to the fact that all too many of our nurses are becoming pregnant and have to be sent home in disgrace. One small hospital in the last month has reported 3 cases of pregnancies. Spent the afternoon--or part of it playing game of Golf, my first in months. Naturally my game was not luke warm much less being hot.* * * * *
Aug. 31. Last day of the month. Answered two letters received from Leedham (Col.) and Maj. Bickel. Leedham is commanding the 112th at Calcutta. He states that his surgical service is weak; so I am transferring Maj. [Eric P.] Stone now at Ledo (48th Evac. Hos. )60 to Calcutta. He also had a few other requests. States that his hospital is being constructed pretty rapidly. In this connection there is a 1,000 bed Gen. Hosp. scheduled to leave
59Tamraz's notes and questions reflect dimly the major
decisions of May-July 1943, made by the chiefs of state and their military staffs. To
emphasize air operations in China, General Stratemeyer was shifted from General Arnold's
staff to the new position of Commanding General, Army Air Forces, India-Burma Sector;
Brig. Gen. Howard C. Davidson took the place of Brig. Gen. Clayton L. Bissell at the head
of the Tenth Air Force; Bissell moved into A-2 and then G-2, in the office of the Chief of
Staff, Washington, D.C. To coordinate the Allied offensives against Burma, Southeast Asia
Command, commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten (General Stilwell, Deputy Commander), was
superimposed upon other existing combat commands in the area. Generals Stilwell and
Chennault continued in their senior positions. Lt. Gen. Lewis A. Pick replaced Arrowsmith
in Base Section 3.
U.S. on or about Jan. the 1st. It is earmarked for this theater. I think the logical place for that hospital will be Calcutta. Since in any amphibious operations against Burma all our casualties will be evacuated to Calcutta, we should have large medical installations there. Maj. Bickel letter was disturbing. In the last month 3 of his nurses have become pregnant & have to be sent home, his surgeon is being sent home, because of asthma, & another one of his medical officers has chronic mastoiditis.
Sept. 1. The first day of September. The months are going rapidly. Last night Major R---- & Miss [Hazel B.] Dean (C.O. and chief nurse 100th S.H. Delhi respectively) and I drove over to Old Delhi and looked over the place where we intend to hold the Medical Dept. Picnic. This is going to take place on next Sunday afternoon. * * *
Sept. 2. Rained all night and still raining. We are having the monsoon in all of its fury. Gen Holcombe is ill and in the hospital. Malaria is suspected altho no plasmodia are found so far. From all reports inflation has hit the U.S. hard. Prices are terrific. Freda writes me that it is almost impossible to obtain food. Received word from Karachi that Lt. Col. [Rolland B.] Sigafoos (M.C.) will not be able to return to duty.61 Also Maj. [Charles W.] Finney assistant Theater Malariologist is sick in the hospital and probably will not be able to return to duty. * * *
Sept. 3. The air around the headquarters is charged with electricity. There are rumors and counter rumors. Some of them involve the high command here. Lord Louis Montbatten has arrived in England. His next stop is going to be here, to take charge of East Asia Command, and may be this means Stilwell is destined to go. Gen. Holcombe is still in hospital.
Had a long visit with Brig. Gen. Arrowsmith. It has rained steadily now for 3 days. Capt. Ed. Schwartz formerly 151st Med. Bn. Base #3 reported at my office, and is to be connected with medical supplies division. Capt. Schwartz was stationed at Ft. Warren Wyo. same time I was in 1940. He is a very splendid young Regular Army Medical officer, and will be, I am sure, of much help to the Med. Dept. this theater!
Sept. 4. The usual Saturday morning staff meeting. The question of morale was discussed. It is my personal opinion that morale in this theater is very low, particularly amongst officers. I noticed this in my last trip of inspection to some of our hospitals.62 A deplorably large proportion of hospital beds are being occupied by officers, and mostly for little or no reason. Can it be due to inactivity? This theater has had to mark time while other theaters are doing the fighting. * * *
Sept. 5. * * * Today we are having our Medical Department picnic in Old Delhi. Rained like blazes last night. We had our picnic in Old Delhi. It started at 3 p.m. and lasted until 8 p.m. All the nurses and doctors from the 100th S.H. as well as the officer personnel from my office were present. We have [sic] a very enjoyable time.
61Colonel Sigafoos was one of the Theater Surgeon's most
trusted subordinates. He had been placed at Ramgarh to train Chinese battalion and
regimental medical detachments. He was seriously ill by this time, and returned to the
United States as a patient.
Sept. 6. * * * Gen. Wheeler is here. There are evidently great things in the making. I was asked to be present at a meeting of all heads of departments tomorrow morning at 9:00.
Sept. 7. A very lovely cool morning. Today we have an important meeting scheduled for 9:00 A.M. The meeting took place as scheduled and was presided over by Gen. Wheeler. We were told of the plans for construction of pipe lines for Gasoline & oil to Kunming. * * * Gen. Wheeler advises me that Maj. Marshall would very much like to return to the S.O.S. here, so I am asking for him, and see if Col. Williams will let him leave from Kunming.63 If this works I shall place him in charge of office Surgeon Base Section #2 to replace Lt. Col. W---- [Editorial deletion] who is a wash out.64
Sept. 3 . * * * Admitted Gen. Arrowsmith to hospital for further examination * * * for purpose of promotion in permanent rank in Regular Army. * * *
Sept. 9. * * * Gen. Holcombe left on a trip. Gen. Wheeler is still here. Heard word that Maj. L---- in Karachi is drinking heavily, and is also involved in shady dealings. At last moment Gen. Holcombe postponed trip. He is not well. Besides he has developed an idiosyncrasy to quinine. I am seriously thinking of recommending his return home.* * * * *
Sept. 11. * * * Army Service Command Air Force is trying its damnest to establish a parallel Medical Supply Depot system in this theater to compete so to speak with us. I am opposing, and fighting it. * * *
Sept. 12. Today I have developed the "snuffles." I am now waiting for a telephone call from Karachi. The General wants me to recommend Col. Thomas Rees (C.O. Base #1) return to the U.S. for physical reasons. Evidently Col. Rees is not doing so well. I am also recommending the return of Brig. Gen. Holcombe for physical reasons. He has had severe attacks of malaria, and I am afraid further stay here will severely jeopardize his phys. health. Talked to Karachi. Col. Williams is ill. Maj. Crews is acting.
Sept. 13. Gen. Wheeler came to my office and stated that Gen. Holcombe is going to talk me out of going back home. My answer is going to be no. He has had several attacks of malaria, and his health is generally run down. So he has got to go back. * * *
Sept. 14. * * * There are a great many officers being returned home for one
reason or another. Lt. Col. H----, who was with me at Wake Island on that memorable day on
Dec 7th was in my office and thinks that he is scheduled to
Sept. 15. Today I leave on my much needed vacation and will be gone for 15 days. * * ** * * * *
63Marshall had been one of Tamraz's first assistants in
1942. While Tamraz was away on an inspection trip, Marshall had been unexpectedly
transferred to Kunming.
Oct. 3rd. Returned to Delhi today after having spent 19 days in Bangalore, Madras, and Calcutta.66 * * *
Oct. 4. Still up to my neck in clearing up my desk and catching up with my correspondence. This is the bad part of traveling, when one returns from a trip it takes days to catch up with the work. Heard news of one of our nurses Miss [Edna A.] Stark 99th Station Hospital had developed acute poliomyelitis. Also Maj. Hoskins same Hospital has Colles' Fracture. Capt. [Edgar D.] Riley 95th S.H. has what is diagnosed as Brain tumor, and finally, Lt. Col. [William A.] Mahoney C.O. 48th Evac. Hosp. has gastric ulcer and wants to go home. I am certainly being hard hit. * * *
Oct. 8. Gen. [Brehon B.] Somerville [Somervell] with all his entourage arrived here.67 Amongst others is Col. [Robert] Bob Case one of my closest friends. He is one of Gen. Somerville's supply boys. He spent about 2 hours with me, and I told him all about our supply problems. Great news are coming from the Russian front. The Russians have started another tremendous drive and have crossed the Dnieper River. O God Almighty is it possible that this bloody war may be over soon? Made a momentous decision today. Have decided to limit Major Newton's duties to that of Chief of Dental Division and take supplies away from him. Have also decided to ask for a Supply officer of wide experience from USA.
Oct. 9. Revolutionary changes in our SOS organization are in the offing. Evidently we are going to lose Gen.Wheeler--a great deal of talking.
Oct. 10. Spent the entire day--Sunday--in submitting our requirements to Col. Bob Case. We are handing over to him certain of our wants, and also the fact that some items that we have asked for do not arrive. There are tremendous changes taking place. Gen. Wheeler has been relieved as Boss of SOS. Evidently Rear Echelon [of Theater Headquarters] is going to be a thing of the past. We are on anxious seats. Lord Louis Montbatten is not allowing any grass to grow under his feet. He is a hurry-up Commander. We hope.
Oct. 11. Had a long conference with Gen. Wheeler. He confirmed the rumors regarding his relinquishing command of the S.O.S. He is going to be on the Lord Louis Montbatten's staff in some very important position. I can't make out what it is yet. There is another situation yet to be considered with all these impending changes where do Col. Williams and I fit in. He is the theater surgeon. I am the surgeon S.O.S. Obviously one of us will have to go. Gen. Wheeler was very encouraging as far as this problem is concerned. I even talked to him regarding elevation of the rank of the Surgeon SOS. to Brig. Gen. He told me to sit tight and something was going to happen.* * * * *
66While in Calcutta, Tamraz carried out his customary
inspection of hospitals and medical supply depots. Upon his return, he found that his
staff had coped with sudden demands for new plans--expanded hospitalization needs in both
Calcutta and New Delhi; shifts of hospitals from site to site; and, most of all, the
anticipated rapid increase both in troop strength and the activity of C.B.I.
Oct. 17. Heard news that Brig. Gen. [George F.] Lull68 has been promoted to Major General a few other medical officers have been promoted to Major Gen. Evidently the Surgeon General will get three stars. I still wonder what is going to take place in this theater as far as promotions are concerned. * * *
Oct. 18. * * * The following 4 med. officers were promoted to Major General, Lull, [Albert W.] Kenner, [Shelly U.] Marietta, and [David N. W.] Grant. Looks like the stay at homes are getting all the breaks. Heard also the the [sic] Medical Supply Officer I asked for from home has second priority and should be here very shortly. Received a letter from Major Bickel. His 95th S.H. is on its way to Kunming. The 111th S.H. is well established and doing business at Chabua.69 Also received a letter from Col. Cooley C.O. 20th G.H.
Oct. 19. Rec'd a letter from Lt. Col. H----. He is under investigation and charges are being preferred against him for drunkenness. He wants me to intercede for him. I don't know what I can do for him. He has been in hot water continually since his coming to the theater.70 All rumors of impending changes have died down. Col. Porter Surgeon 10th A.F. returned home.71 Officers come and go, but it appears as if I am a fixture. Gen. [Leon] Fox is still here.72 Col. Bob Case returned so have all the big shots.
Oct. 20. Today we attended the ceremony of taking of office of Field Marshal Viscount [Sir Archibald] Wavell as Viceroy of India. This took place in the Viceroy's palace. Lt. Col. V. H. Haas U.S.P.H.S. who has been in this theater for two years, and the S.O.S over one year is here. He is on his way back to the United States. He has done exceptionally fine work, and deserves returning home. There are steps being taken to return all of the U.S.P.H.S. officers home, except Lt. Col. Tomlinson who is my executive officer. * * *
Oct 21. * * * We are still in a quandry [sic] as to what changes are going to take place in the SOS. now that Gen. Wheeler is going to leave us. Had talk with Gen. Wheeler. He told me that he may take me along as his surgeon on Lord Louis Montbatten's staff.
Oct. 22. * * * I am in a quandry [sic] whether to go with Gen. Wheeler, as his Surgeon. His new job is Deputy Commander for Administration on Lord Louis Montbatten's staff--or to stay in my present job of Surgeon SOS. Before accepting the job, I am going to have a talk with him. * * *
Oct. 23. * * * Received a letter from the Office of The Surgeon General suggesting that Col. C. V. Morgan be asked for by name for service in this theater as Chief of Medical Supplies.
Oct. 24. * * * Sent Radiogram requesting the services of Col. C. V. Morgan Office of SGO for services this theater. Had a lengthy argument
68The Deputy Surgeon General, U.S. Army.
with General Holcombe regarding above matter. He seems to think that the rank of Colonel is too high for chief of medical supplies for this theater. Convinced him of the falacy [sic] of that reasoning.
Oct. 25. In very bad humor this morning. Had a transient roommate who snored all night long, and I did not rest for 10 minutes. Had a letter from Col. [Donald] Flickinger Surgeon A.T.C. [Air Transport Command] that Major H---- CO ----th Station Hospital is under investigation. * * * H---- is one of my best Medical Officers. * * *
Oct. 26. Rumors, gossips. One does not know what to believe. If we believe everything we here [sic] all of us will be replaced here before very long. A Major Gen. is coming to replace Gen. Wheeler. I was definitly [sic] told that I am going to be on Gen. Wheeler's Staff on South Command of Lord Louis Montbatten. * * *
Oct. 27. * * * Received letters from Surgeon General's Office that Col. C. V. Morgan who was to come here as Supply Officer is not available.
Oct. 28. * * * Definitly [sic] chilly weather. My desk is singularly clear this morning. A large number of promotions were announced in the S.O.S. Amongst others are three Major to Lt. Col. in the 181st Gen. Hosp. There were a great many in the headquarters at Delhi. Lt. Col. Williams (CO 181st) promotion has not yet come thru. Maj. H---- (CO. ----th S.H. ----) still here, and we had a long discussion. I have recommended his return home, because there is no opportunity of promoting him here. He is an outstanding Medical Officer, and well deserving of a promotion. There is still nothing concrete about the developments. I am still awaiting to see what Gen. Wheeler's decision will be in my case. I hear that I am to accompany him on his staff with South Asia Command. * * ** * * * *
Oct. 30. * * * In the evening I received my first batch of papers regarding the East Asia Command work. Brigadier Fulton RAMC called on me and wanted to know what arrangements I had made about the hospitalization facilities of 3000 American ground forces that were to join the Wingate Expedition into Burma. I had not heard about it before so naturally knew nothing about it.73
Oct. 31. Last of month. I was officially told by Gen. Wheeler that I am his medical officer on the East Asia Command business so effective today I am no longer Surgeon SOS. I suppose for a while I shall keep on in dual capacity until my successor is named. He will probably come here from the USA. A very beautiful Sunday morning. * * *
Nov. 1. * * * I am still carrying on in my S.O.S. office, and have not yet been to my new office in S.E.A.C. (South East Asia Command). I wonder if I shall have time to make one final inspection tour of my hospital[s] before I take up my new duties with the S.E.A.C.
73The 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), soon known as "Merrill's Marauders," was to debark at Bombay on 1 November. Originally intended to serve as part of the Long Range Penetration Group under Brigadier Orde Wingate, the Marauders were ultimately put directly under General Stilwell for use as the spearhead of the Chinese offensive in North Burma.
Nov. 2. I spoke with Gen. Holcombe regarding my proposed trip of inspection. He is going to take the the [sic] matter up with Gen. Wheeler. I do not wish to go if there is any fear of losing my job in the meantime with S.E.A.C. I have recommended Col. L---- as my successor for the job of Surgeon SOS and recommended further that Lt. Col. [Carl A.] Jacobs of the 181st Gen. as C.O. of the ----th Station Hospital to succeed Col. L----. These recommendations have not yet been acted upon. I was told that my recommendation about sending H---- back to the U.S. was not favorably considered. * * *
Nov. 3. Obtained Gen. Wheelers permission to make a trip of inspection leaving here the 8th of November. My new job as Surgeon for Gen. Wheeler's staff of S.E.A.C. will not yet start for probably a month or more, so I might as well make this trip, and make my final report. Shall be gone for probably three weeks. Heard news that Rear Echelon [Theater Headquarters] is objecting strongly to my being transferred to the S.E.A.C. of Lord Montbatten. A radiogram has gone to Chungking for final decision.
Nov. 4. * * * No new "dope" regarding my assignment. * * * Lt. Col. Rice our theater malariologist is to be separated from the CBI and assigned to the S.E.A.C. He is first going back to the USA for a short visit.
Nov. 5. My desk is clear. The work is just routine now. Heard news that the Dental Service now also has a Major General as its chief. He is General [Robert H.] Mills. Also heard that Bob [Robert] Craven (Col. D.C.) wants to come to this theater. Evidently he wants to be a Brigadier Gen. too. He is coming to the wrong theater if he has any promotion ideas. Thanks to the Theater Commander (Gen. Stilwell) who evidently does not like the Medical Dept. there will never be any General officers in this theater. Every branch of service exclusive of Chemical Warfare and Medical Dept. has a General Officer in charge in the theater. The Medical Dept. is definitely in the "dog house." * * *
Nov. 6. Received news that I am definitely transferred to the S.E.A.C. of Lord Montbatten. My place is to be taken as Surgeon SOS. by Col. Cooley the C.O. of 20th G.H. * * *
Nov. 7. Sunday. Conference with Gen. Wheeler. Three letters from Col. Williams today. Everyone seems to think that my transfer to South East Asia Command of Lord Louis Montbatten means promotion, but I got my fingers crossed. Won't believe it until it is a fact. * * *
Nov. 8. New week began. Felt feverish and nauseated, and have discomfort of the stomach. Last night invited to dinner could not enjoy dinner because of threat of vomiting. Maj. Marshall finally arrived, and is on duty in my office. I have decided if possible to take along with me to the S.E.A.C. Lt. Col. Tomlinson, Maj. Marshall and Lt. Luthi, and [as?] my assistants. As the day progressed I began to feel better. Nothing new regarding my new job.
Nov. 9. Received word that T/O [Table of Organization] for my new job on Gen. Wheeler's staff on S.E.A.C. calls for B.G. Sounds too good to be true. I am feeling ever so much better today. I hope I keep improving. Received several letters from home during the last few days.
Nov. 10. This morning I reported for duty at S.E.A.C. Headquarters. It takes a great deal of effort to get into those Headquarters. 1st a second Lt. then the Capt. of the WACS then finally a Major A.G.D. I had to answer a great many questions. Finally went to Rear Echelon and signed in. Gen. Wheeler told me to stay where I am in my office and keep my office until my successor (Col. Cooley) arrives. Had my picture taken for identification. Has been a very uneventful day.
Nov. 11. * * * I spent a short time in my new office at the S.E.A.C. I looked over the T/O. Received a radio in afternoon recommending that Col. L---- be relieved from duty as CO. ----th St. H. and be Theater Med. Inspector. This was another one of Theater Surgeons interference acts. I kicked like hell about it--and said L---- was not available.* * * * *
Nov. 13. * * * The new C.G. S.O.S. [Major] Gen. [William E. R.] Covell arrived today--and soon after his arrival called in each office and met the officers. I was told that I was to move today or tomorrow into new quarters set aside for officers (colonels & up) on S.E.A.C. * * *
Nov. 14. * * * In the afternoon the new Surgeon S.O.S. Col. Cooley arrived and reported for duty. Spent the afternoon showing him around.* * * * *
Nov. 16. The personnel of 100th S.H. gave a farewell party for me. * * *
Nov. 17. Made all arrangements to move with S.E.A.C. when "bingo" I received word that my services are not needed with that organization. It seems that they want a malaria expert. Further it appears that it was already planned in Quebec to give Lord Montbatten a committee of 4 experts, 3 British and one American. So we are assigning our Malariologist Col. Rice to that work and now I am back with SOS. As a matter of fact I have no job since Col. Cooley is already here to relieve me. We are sending a radio to Chungking requesting that Col. Cooley be returned to the 20th G.H. and that I resume my job as Surgeon SOS.74III. 19 NOVEMBER 1943-27 MAY 1944
The last 6 months that Tamraz spent in India were the bitterest of the war years. They began with the Chinese advance into North Burma; went on to the desperate Japanese attempt to destroy the Fourteenth Army; and culminated in the disastrous march of Merrill's Marauders to Myitkyina. Less dramatic events, however, more fre-
74No information in the files of the Surgeon's headquarters casts any additional light on this episode. It appears to have occurred about as Tamraz tells it in the entry of 17 November. Why the plan had not been known earlier to General Wheeler or, if it was, why the effort was made to put Tamraz into the S.E.A.C. position when his qualifications were manifestly different from those desired--these questions are not answered by any available documents. Correspondence of Colonel Williams, the Theater Surgeon, indicates that he, too, was not party to the negotiations. The reshuffling of high-ranking officers which had begun and which then had to be undone caused him to write the Surgeon General about his personnel problems.
quently drew Tamraz's attention. The epidemic of bad colds in New Delhi received as much attention in the Diary as the outbreak of scrub typhus in North Burma. He still worried over the difficulties into which some of his subordinates got themselves, yet his steadfast regard for senior Regular Army medical officers never flagged. He was pleased to attend the movie star, Paulette Goddard, when she was ill, and furious when a hospital commander sent through an uncomplimentary annual report.
His conventionalized entries failed to reveal the existence of two serious emergencies. The first occurred in the medical supply system supporting the Chinese. A cumbersome administrative and fiscal system (for the establishment of which Tamraz had had no responsibility) broke down when the Chinese divisions went into combat. Warning reports from the field had little effect. When the supply officers from Ledo came frantically to Tamraz's office, he was away on an inspection trip. Even after he returned and conferred repeatedly with Colonel Williams, the Theater Surgeon, he remained imperturbable. When General Stilwell himself brusquely intervened, after discovering that the combat medical supply depots were almost depleted, Tamraz was outraged. Even more peculiar is his apparent unawareness that his entire medical supply program was deteriorating rapidly. To be sure, he had obtained a new supply officer from the United States who, soon after his arrival in December, began to overhaul the medical supply system. But of this Tamraz makes no note.
Hospitalization was the other problem which was approaching emergency proportions. Throughout these months, Theater Headquarters debated with the War Department about a formula for calculating hospital needs. The Theater won, but not until February 1944. By then, troop strength and sick and wounded rates were increasing much more swiftly than hospital capacities. About the time Tamraz was ready to leave the Theater, the situation was critical--most of all in the hospitals behind the combat zone.
At this point, the Theater Surgeon took a hand. Shortly after Tamraz left for home, a curious administrative blunder was discovered. For months, official reports from the Theater failed to show the amount of hospitalization furnished Chinese troops. Since the Chinese were patients in S.O.S. hospitals, Theater Headquarters supposed that they were included in S.O.S. medical statistics. Tamraz's office, on the other hand, considered the Chinese to be a "Theater" responsibility and left them out of their regular sick and wounded reports! Consequently, urgent pleas that the War Department hurry up the shipment of new hospitals looked ridiculous. Since the rate of hospital occupancy among American troops tended to run below expectations, and since Chinese bed patients were "invisible" in statistical reports, it looked as if CBI were crying wolf. When Washington sharply pointed out the discrepancy between the statistical reports and the frantic cries for help, the blunder was finally discovered.
No rational explanation has yet appeared for the administrative slip-up. In a letter to the editor, Colonel Williams could only point out the plausibility of supposing S.O.S. was properly accounting for bed occupancy in its hospital units, and his inability to spend much time on administrative matters. The most obvious point is the failure of simple communication between S.O.S. and Rear Echelon Theater Headquarters medical offices. This in turn may be reflected in the Diary by the rigidity of Tamraz's routine, his evident sense of isolation as old colleagues were replaced by new ones, his dislike of the Theater Surgeon and the Rear Echelon medical staff, and his habit of ignoring questions about his affairs which might be taken as indirect criticisms. Even a final trip to Ledo, near the height of the emergency, failed to ruffle his composure.
These crises typified Tamraz's situation. He worked two levels below the point of final decision (Theater Headquarters and, lastly, the War Department). Decisions were made in terms of principles--rates of supply or hospitalization, standardized types of troop units, and the like--rather than with regard to the exact or special needs of CBI. Success or failure to work in the system depended on two factors: first, Tamraz's ability to "sell" his plans--which were at least technically adequate--during negotiations for future enlargements of the medical establishment; second, his adroitness in distributing and utilizing the medical troops and supplies sent to S.O.S.
Both necessities were obviously satisfied to some degree. Although hospitalization and supplies became critically scarce in mid-1944, no vital damage was suffered, the crisis was relatively short-lived, and it never afterward occurred. But in both cases, also, administrative failures in Tamraz's office partly caused and surely increased the problems. His personally-chosen supply officer failed to understand that he was to put into effect a new system of requisitioning in the fall of 1943; it was mainly to explain this change that an expert from the United States had visited Tamraz. The actual changeover did not begin until a new supply officer arrived in December. Before the delivery of supplies caught up with this lag, the midsummer crisis of 1944 had appeared. Similarly, the administrative blunder on Chinese hospitalization hindered the timely buildup of medical facilities and thus, indirectly, helped produce dangerous overcrowding of hospitals behind the combat front in the first half of the Second Burma Campaign.
The Diary falls far short in its account of such matters. Its focus upon office routine, the Surgeon's personal concerns for official propriety, and his tone of self-reassurance conceal the growing complexity, size, and significance of the S.O.S. medical service, as well as the increasing severity of the pressures upon it. Tamraz's poise, dignity, and serenity gave him an impeccable record as an officer. As his Diary shows, not a few others fell below the standards he set. But these same official traits were so impervious and settled that, as needs changed, he fell further and further behind the hectic pace of the war effort in
CBI. More and more often, improvisation and overwork in the field were required to compensate for the static and limited administrative leadership in the office of the Surgeon, Services of Supply, China-Burma-India Theater.
Nov. 19. Col. Cooley still here. He had a talk with Rear Echelon about his status. He was told to wait until there was word from Chungking. We are advised that the 24th Station Hospital from the Middle East is on its way here. We shall put that at Jorhat, and return the personnel at that place will return [sic] to the 111th S.H. at Chabua. This is the second 250 [bed] Station Hospital sent here from other theaters.75 Had a 4 hour session of all the staff, and we discussed the problem of retaking of Burma. I submitted my medical plan for 257000 additional troops. The plans extend to 1948. God Almighty if we can't beat Japan before that time we might as well quit.
Nov. 20. * * * A good many Med. Dept. promotions came thru.* * * * *
Nov. 22. This morning I inspected the new Supply Depot opened in Delhi. Here a goodly section has been given to the Medical Section. Col. Cooley received orders transferring him to the Rear Echelon as Medical Inspector. This is another instance of meddling on the part of Col. Williams Theater Surgeon with the affairs of SOS.76 I received orders definitely assigning me to the SOS again.* * * * *
Nov. 24. Gen. [Frederick] McCabe at Ramgarh is asking for a 250 bed unit for that place. I am going to send him a 100 bed hospital and some additional personnel from here and there. Nothing unusual happened during the day.
Nov. 25. Today is Thanksgiving Day. I am invited to an all American Thanksgiving dinner party tonight. There will be Thanksgiving dinners in all of our messes. Received letter from SGO stating that Major [Claud D.] LaForce [LaFors] Pharmacy Corps who is to be my chief of Medical Supplies
75Tamraz referred to the 30th Station Hospital, which had
been transferred from Tehran to CBI, arriving in December and replacing a temporary
hospital staff at Panagarh. The 24th reached India from Palestine in January 1944. As
Tamraz planned, it took over the provisional hospital at Jorhat, where it provided
hospitalization for Air Force troops and for service troops on the line of communications
in the Brahmaputra River Valley.
has already left the USA.77 Had a very fine Thanksgiving dinner at the 100th S.H. and in the evening an all American Thanksgiving dinner at Cecil Hotel. Most enjoyable occasions, both.* * * * *
Nov. 27. Working hard on my annual report.78 Col. Cooley, now the Theater Medical Inspector has left on a trip to Assam to investigate an outbreak of Typhus Fever amongst the Chinese. We were asked to furnish immediately to that region 50,000 cc of Typhus vaccine.79* * * * *
Nov. 29. Lt. Col. Tomlinson is sick and in quarters. A great deal of matter went thru my desk. Received a terrible bit of news namely that a transport headed for this theater was bombed and sunk on the Mediterranean. There were 92 officers 1899 e.m. and 7 civilians on it. Survivors have been picked up & are being landed in Africa. No words as yet [as] to what units were on the boat. I am afraid that the our [sic] Med. Bn. (Mountain)80 might be on it.* * * * *
Dec. 1. * * * I spent the entire afternoon in consultation with the special medical staff appointed as advisors to the Supreme Commander [Mountbatten]. The problems discussed were primarily anti-malaria measures required in this theater. The Supreme Commander states that fighting will not stop because of the monsoon etc. We are to meet biweekly. In addition I am supposed to meet them frequently until the return of Col. Rice81 who will take up permanently from then on.* * * * *
Dec. 3. Brig. Gen. Covell, new CO. SOS. was promoted to Major General effective today. Promotions come and promotions go, but still there is no officer of General rank for the Medical Dept. in this theater. Rumors floating that service is to be cut to 2 years in CBI theater. Maybe another
77When Major LaFors arrived, he discovered that Tamraz's
supply officers had failed to anticipate the changeover from one to another system of
medical supply, although it had been explained to them in various official memorandums and
by visiting supply experts. In 1942 and 1943, standardized medical supply units were
automatically shipped to the Theater in relation to troop strength. The new system
abandoned the clumsy automatic system and required each Theater to send requisitions for
the kinds and amounts of supplies actually needed. The latter months of 1943 were to be
used to establish a sufficient "lead" on such requisitions so that when the
automatic system stopped there would be no interruption in the flow of supply. Nothing--or
at least not nearly enough--had been done by the time LaFors arrived. He hastened to
overcome the lapse, but it was several months before the supply pipeline was full again.
Meanwhile, troops continued to reach the Theater in large numbers, new hospitals were
established, and the sustained drives of the Second Burma Campaign produced battle
casualties. None of this appears in the Diary. The full story was not available until Col.
Tracy Voorhees, leading an inspection group from Washington in July 1944, worked out the
explanation for the severe shortages in medical supplies which existed by that time.
"latrine rumor." Today I am to attend the S.E.A.C. conference [of medical advisers] again. I wish Rice will [sic] be back to take up the job. I have not been on any trip of inspection for a long time in [and] I should do so.* * * * *
Dec. 5. Sunday. Colonel Cooley has returned from his trip of inspection. Spoke very highly of the hospitals in Base 3 Advance Sec. 2 and Calcutta area. There is an outbreak of Typhus among some Chinese troops in Ledo. 30 Cases and 4 deaths. No American troops. He also investigated Cholera in Calcutta & around Kurmitola. No danger of [to?] American troops. Recommended Gen. Holcombe's return to USA. Meeting with G-3 in which our requirements were made known. We are asking for seven additional 750 bed Station Hospitals for the so called twilight project.82 Spent the afternoon at my desk.* * * * *
Dec. 7. Second Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Two years today I was in Wake Island, and got plastered by the treacherous Japs. How much has taken place since then. Now we are the agressors [sic] thru out the whole fighting area. Col. Kemp was in my office. It seems as [if] Lt. Col. [Joseph W. Jr.] Stilwell the son of the CBI Commander, who is sick in the hospital here, is not satisfied with anything that is being done for him at the hospital. Have to look into this.83* * * * *
Dec. 11. Col. Williams Theater Surgeon is in town. This morning had a lengthy conference with him.* * ** * * * *
Dec. 14. Wrote a letter to Gen. Lull in regard to Brig. Gen. Holcombe's return to the U.S. There are seven more officers in this theater recently promoted to Brig. Gen., some of them young permanent Captains. Still the Medical Dept. without a Gen. officer.* * * * *
Dec. 16. Lt. Col. Tomlinson & Maj. Marshall both my officers are sick in quarters with colds. There is quite an epidemic of colds around. I hope we shall not have an influenza epidemic. I have to discuss the problem of supplying hospitalization for 1000 American Army S.E.A.C. personnel in Ceylon by next March or April. I recommended that rather than call on SOS to supply a unit, a complete 50 bed hospital should be asked for from the USA. * * *
82The Twilight Project provided airbases for
"Matterhorn," the deployment of Very Long Range B-29 bomber groups. The XXth
Bomber Command bases in the lower Ganges River Valley were hardly operational, however,
before island bases nearer to Japan became available.
Dec. 17. * * * There are a great many impending changes in Hq. SOS. Evidently the new CO Gen. Covell is surrounding himself with his own men. Time I thought of returning home. Beautiful sunny days. I have a little bronchitis.
Dec. 18-20. Inclusive. My organization is certainly "shot to hell." Tomlinson, Marshall and myself were all out of action due to colds (Flu?) I have just spent 2 days in the hospital. Still feel wobly [sic] but am back on duty. Sick rates in Delhi are pretty high. Tonight we attended Lord Louis Mountbatten's party.
Dec. 21. * * * Just received disturbing news. We have 135 Typhus cases in Ledo area--of whom 12 are American soldiers and the rest are Chinese. It appears as if the ordinary vaccine that we have here [been] supplying does not immunize against this particular strain. We are trying to obtain G. pigs, mice, rabbits and monkeys to send to Base 3 for experimental purposes.* * * * *
Dec. 25. This was quite an eventful day. It was as Merry a Christmas as could be
had 15,000 miles from home. Had Christmas dinner with the 100th St. Hospital (Delhi);
later in the afternoon went to Irwin Stadium where thousands of our own and the British
officers and soldiers were present for a "show" put on by Joe E. Brown, the
famous comedian. Major General [Daniel I.] Sultan who has just arrived and is Deputy to
Gen. Stilwell presented him. Gen.
Dec. 29. My office force is pretty well shot because of illness. Lt. Luthi is ill. Tomlinson is back. I am feeling better. The 100th S.H. is jammed full with "flu" cases. Met the committee on the subject of deciding whether or not a new hospital should be built in Delhi. I have recommended the construction of a new 250 bed hospital. The G.H.Q. British in conjunction with the civil authorities is trying to give me part of the Irwin (Indian Hospital). I refused this. Finally they agreed to build a new hospital for us.
Dec. 31. Last day of the year. A great many parties have been arranged. We just heard that we are apt to receive very few additional hospitals from home, we have to activate hospitals here, as well as increase T/O in many of them. Lt. Col. Kemp Deputy Theater Surgeon Rear Echelon, is sick in the hospital. He has been having attacks of sinusitis frequently. I am going [to] recommend his return home as soon as possible.* * * * *
Jan. 21.84 Personnel (medical) situation is getting very acute--and looks as if we are not going to receive much more additional personnel from the
84Between 5 and 16 January, Tamraz was away on an inspection trip, but no notes on it were put into the Diary. During his absence, his staff recorded the arrival of the commanders of the several major S.O.S. sections for conferences on supply and operations in the future--a general review of administrative procedures with which, apparently, the medical representatives had little sympathy. Several new hospitals reached the Theater and went to air-base stations, and a new Medical Supply Company, the 14th, was broken into sections and sent to various depots in India and China.
U.S. Lt. Col. Hardy Kemp is still in the hospital. He has jaundice. We shall have to send him back home. Col. Cooley is acting Theater Deputy Surgeon.
Jan. 22. Usual Saturday morning meeting. No subjects to be discussed. We are getting terribly crowded in the medical section SOS., so I have asked for additional space. They are going to construct additional rooms for me adjoining my office.* * * * *
Jan. 25. * * * Heard from War Dept. that the T/O of 95th (100 beds) has been increased to 250 bed hospital. We are also told that the personnel has to be obtained from the theater. "Wo is mir." * * ** * * * *
Jan. 27. This morning while walking to work Gen. Wheeler passed in his car and picked me up. He is going home for just a round trip. He was very kind in telling me that my work has quite satisfied him while he was C.G., SOS. He also told me he had recommended me for the medal of Legion of Merit. This is very fine news.* * * * *
Feb. 3.85 * * * Col. L---- Surgeon ----th Station Hosp. Calcutta called at my office & discussed questions pertaining to his organization. Evidently Gen. [Gilbert X.] Cheves new C.G. Base Section No. 2 Calcutta is not satisfied with the work of Lt. Col. W---- Base Surgeon. I shall assign Col. L---- to be Surgeon Base ---- in addition to his other duties, and move W---- to Ledo in charge of 151st Med. Bn.86* * * * *
Feb. 5-6. The last two days have been very quiet. The only thing of importance was the meeting yesterday in the office of the General where the new T/O was discussed. For S.O.S. overhead a certain number of officers were requested. This was turned down. We then submitted a revised T/O. I have asked 100 officers Med. Dept. for all my S.O.S. overhead at the present time I have 55.
Feb. 7. New week has started. Things are quiet so far. Requests are coming from all directions for more medical personnel, and we are giving them the same standard answer. None available. * * ** * * * *
Feb. 25.87 Received word from the S.G.O. that there are no more station hospitals available but that they will send us the equivalent number of
85Tamraz visited SEAC Headquarters at Kandy, Ceylon, between
28 January and 2 February.
General Hospital beds.88 This is going to prove a very difficult proposition, since our crying need is now for small station hospitals. Received word that Col. Williams the Theater Surgeon is coming here for a tour of inspection.
Feb. 26. Miss Paulette Goddard the movie actress is in CBI with three other [sic] male stars--to entertain the personnel. She had an upper respiratory infection for which we treated her. She is leaving today for China, and will be gone for about a month. Mrs. Ghandi the wife of Mahatma Ghandi died 2 days ago. Prior to her death all efforts on the part of the British authorities to save her were tried. They finally came to us for penicillin. Fortunately we had it, and delivered it to them in Calcutta in record time, but too late to do her any good. * * ** * * * *
Feb. 28.* * * There are disturbing news from the Assam region. It appears as if three Jap. divisions have surrounded our advance elements around Shingbwiyang. I have an evacuation Hospital out there, and I don't know what their fate will be if the Japs break thru.89
Feb. 29. The last day of the month. The days are passing rapidly. We received word that 18 nurses have just arrived in the theater and are assigned to the S.O.S. We have plenty of nurses what we need are doctors. I am changing C.O.'s between 100th S.H. Delhi and 97th S.H. at Agra. Maj. R---- of the 100th does not have enough drive and since this city is where all the brass hats are I think I am justified in making a change.90
March 1. March 1 and another month gone. Today the malaria control directive goes into effect. The entire theater is malaria conscious, and we are attempting to cut down the rates.91 * * ** * * * *
March 3. * * * Today Maj. [Harold R.] Thomas and Capt. [William J. Jr.] Wilson from the 97th S.H. arrived. Maj. Thomas is replacing Maj. R---- who in turn has transferred to the 97th S.H. Maj. R---- did not make a very good showing here, and since this is where all the brass hats are, I decided to bring a strong man here.* * * * *
March 9. * * * Col. Williams the Theater Surgeon arrived, and we had a long discussion. The main item was supply for Chinese troops in India. We have approximately 40000 Chinese in India, and their supplying is more of a problem than all of our own troops. The supplying of the Chinese troops
88Actually not beds, but the personnel and equipment for a
given number of patient accommodations. The disadvantage was that the ratio of staff to
beds in a general hospital (where "wholesale" arrangements could be expected)
was smaller than that for a small station hospital. As Tamraz had pointed out in earlier
plans, small hospitals were needed to "cover" troops stationed at widely
scattered bases. But the War Department was saying, in effect, that economics were to be
practiced in CBI. See U.S. Army Medical Service, Medical Department: Hospitalization *
* *, pp. 278, 280-281.
is supposed to be the function of the British thru reverse lend lease. Every requisition that is prepared in the advance areas is submitted to us after its okayed by the Rear Echelon then we put a demand for it thru the British. In no instance do we get what we ask for. The requisition is usually cut to ¼ of its original. Then of course the Chinese have been tremendously extravagant and have used up as much as 262% more than their requirements. Now it has come to pass that the Theater Commander thru the Theater Surgeon orders wholesale use of American supplies for the use of the Chinese. Today I have been told to divert 6 Med. Mountain units to the Chinese.92* * * * *
March 11. Conference with Col. Williams again in regard to the medical supply problem. Then later had talk with him concerning my successor as Surgeon S.O.S. I am recommending Col. L----, but Williams is opposed to it. Lt. Col. Plew has been transferred to the S.O.S. from Rear Echelon. I am going to try to give him job as C.O. 112th S.H.
March 12. * * * Col. Williams is still here. We are still amidst discussions as to how to supply the Chinese troops with medical supplies.* * * * *
March 26.93 Sunday morning. A lovely spring morning. Yesterday I had a long session with Theater Surgeon, Col. Williams. We discussed supplies, and personnel. I was told my replacement from the U.S. has been asked for. His name is Hoff [Alexander O. Haff] a colonel.94* * * * *
March 28. This is the second anniversary of my arrival in India. I landed in Karachi just two years ago today. How many changes have taken place since that day. * * *
March 29. * * * The Theater Surgeon, Col. Williams is still here. Have had conferences with him frequently. He wants to transfer Col. Cooley & Lt. Col. Plew to SOS. I accepted Plew but I can't use Cooley.95
92There were infinite complications in the policy and
process of supplying the Chinese Army in India. Essentially, the commitment was an
American one, but it was decided at the outset to fulfill it by purchasing and issuing
British and Indian Army supplies. When the Chinese went into action, however, this method
proved to be too slow and erratic. Stilwell lost no time in directing that the most
readily available sources--either U.S. Army or American--supplied Chinese Defense
Supplies--be utilized to insure a steady flow of replacement supplies to his troops.
Ultimately, these in turn could be made good from British sources, or other administrative
arrangements could be made to authorize direct expenditure of U.S. Army materials. Whether
the belated scramble for supplies could have been avoided by more careful planning at the
Theater level or by the responsible S.O.S. officials is questionable. It is typical of CBI
operations, however, that a scramble occurred.
March 30. Yesterday conference with Col. Williams. He is going back to
Chungking. He has reorganized his office anew--and is going to streamline his
organization. He is asking for consultants in surgery, medicine, neuropsychiatry, etc.
Malaria Control has been handed over to the S.O.S. with exception that the malariologist
is still under theater
March 31. Col. O----, C.O. of the ----th S.H. at C---- [Editorial deletions] is here. We had a two hour conference regarding his problems in Assam, Advance Section #2. A day of many conferences today. Gen. Covell is away. Station Hosp. #259 (100 beds) is reported to be arriving in Bombay today.96
April 1. This was a bad day for the S.E. Asia front. For the first thing it is reported that Maj. Gen. Orde Wingate the British General who penetrated far into the rear of Jap forces in Burma, was killed in a plane crash. Then the next thing it is reported that the Japs have penetrated thru Imp[h]al, Manipur road, and cut the railroad line into Assam.97 This cuts off our supply route to our forces into Advance Sections #1 and #2 and Base Section #3.
April 2. Col. L---- called on phone--wants Major O'H---- transferred. Base Section #2 where both are located, continues to be a trouble spot. There have been a great many complaints in regard to Col. L----'s harshness. The two nurses who were transferred here on direct orders of Gen. C---- from the 20th G.H. want to go back to their original organization. They state that too much attention is being forced upon them by the General & his gang.
April 3. * * * Lt. Col. Tomlinson, my executive officer, left on a tour towards Assam. Things do not look too good in Assam. The Japs have broken thru Imp[h]al and are threatening to cut the railroad line feeding our troops in the Ledo region.* * * * *
April 5. * * * There is a great deal of to do over whiskey by the Air Forces C.G. According to new regulations the Medical Dept. is supposed to issue 2 ounces of whiskey to each participant of a combat mission at the end of a such [each] mission. In other words we are in the saloon business now. The amount of whiskey consumed is staggering. I was called upon by the British to please supply some Penicillin to an Indian officer ill at the Irwin Hospital. I supplied 10 ampules.
April 6. * * * Col. L---- C.O. ---- S.H. and Surgeon Base Section ---- arrived in Delhi today for a conference. There have been some complaints by patients, (officers) claiming that he is too "hard boiled". Col. [Joseph A.] Cranston the I.G. had me as a witness. I thoroughly exonerated L----. In my opinion he's a very excellent officer and doing a bang-up job. I am recommending him as my successor--as Surgeon SOS.98* * * * *
96Assigned to the XXth Bomber Command bases, first at Charra
and then at Kalaikunda, in Bengal. In August 1944, it moved to Chungking.
April 10. Received a letter from Lt. Col. Tomlinson, my executive officer; he is in Assam--and will be gone for another week. He reports of good progress being done there by all concerned. States that the need for additional personnel is very acute. Rec'd word that 69th General Hospital (1000 beds) has already left the U.S. and should be here in about 6 to 8 weeks. That unit is scheduled to go to Calcutta.99 Miss Paulette Goddard the cinema actress is in New Delhi. She is ill and in quarters at the Imperial Hotel. I am looking after her.* * * * *
April 13. The heat wave is here. News from Burma are still ominous. Had a talk with Gen. Wheeler. He told me that Gen. Lull told him that my orders to return to the U.S. will be published in Washington very soon.
April 14, 15, & 16. Nothing of much importance has taken place. Routine shuffling of papers. Lt. Col. Ralph Plew M.C. was transferred to the SOS. from Rear Echelon and we ordered him for duty with 181st G.H. Incidentally there is no longer a rear echelon in the Theater. It is now called: Headquarters, U.S.A.F. in CBI. Col. Williams is streamlining his office. Now he has about 20 officers. They are surely in each others way.100 Col. Tomlinson is still away.* * * * *
April 19. Col. Tomlinson returned from his trip. He had quite an interesting trip and traveled in Burma all the way to the firing line. He spoke of fine air evacuation system established there. Supplies are also abundant.101* * * * *
April 22. Yesterday the annual report from ----th St. Hosp. (500 beds, Col. B---- O---- C.O.) came in. It is one of the damndest things I have ever read. It has damned the authorities including the C.G. to Medical Dept. etc. from hell to breakfast. He has made some very damaging and perfectly groundless accusations. I have had trouble with this officer ever since he arrived here last October. So I am going to have him relieved.102* * * * *
99When it reached India in June, it was sent (partly by air)
to Ledo to reinforce the perilously overburdened hospitals there. See Tamraz's last entry,
shortly after he had actually been to Ledo.
April 27. Last evening Transportation Corps SOS. headed by C.G. Gen. [Thomas B.] Wilson gave a cocktail party at the Imperial. There was a huge crowd present. Heard extremely sad news. Two of our nurses from the 198th S.H. stationed at Kurmitola (Miss [Anne E.] Clark[e] & Miss Nebit103) had while on the air field walked into moving proppeler [sic]. This happened on April 24. One was instantly killed & the other had severe injuries of her head. She died yesterday. Also heard word that one of Transportation Corps officers at Barrackpore had shot & seriously wounded a British Sergeant. Woman trouble, so it is said.
April 28, 29. Notice came yesterday that the Legion of Merit award was to be bestowed on Capt. Timothy Callahan, M.C. stationed at 100th S.H. (here). This was for the work he did as a member of the reconnaissance party to China during 1943. * * *
April 30. This will be the last entry for me for about 3 weeks. I am leaving tomorrow on what I hope will be my last trip of inspection in CBI.104* * * * *
May 22. Returned from my trip of inspection to Adv. Sec. #2, Base Sect. #3 & Base Section #2. On this trip I visited practically all the hospitals except the one in Kunming & the one in Bombay, the one in Ramgarh & the one in Karachi. I also visited my supply installations, Vet. Co. & the many dispensaries. I found the Med. Dept. functioning splendidly. My replacement Col. Haff is here, and I believe he will find things to his liking. I believe I shall be able to leave for home in a few weeks.
May 23. Col. Hoffe is now on the job. I instructed my office that all papers should pass thru his desk. The decision as to who will succeed me rests with the Theater Surgeon, who is expected to arrive here from China the latter part of the week. Everything is going on quietly in our office. I expect to leave here for Bombay in two weeks and then home.
May 24, 25. Nothing of any importance happening. As a matter of fact things are very quiet. We are compiling a new Medical plan for the entire theater to cover the increase that has just been accomplished in the Chinese troops in India. I am planning to leave here on June the 6th for Bombay & then home. Today (May 25th) is my birthday. 55 years old!
May 26, 27. Just heard word from Theater Hq. that as per orders from Gen. Stilwell the 69th G.H. about to arrive in this Theater is to be sent to
103The entry's accuracy has been verified as regards 2d Lt.
Anne E. Clarke. But if a companion named Nebit was also killed, she was not an Army Nurse
with the 198th Station Hospital. No such person appears on its rosters nor in the list of
nurses who died during the war. Since the entry is partly correct about an unusual
accident, the probability may be that a civilian or British Army person was involved but
not completely identified when Tamraz wrote his report.
Base 3. This "screws" up all of our plans, and leaves the troops in Base Sec. 2 in a hell of a mess. Another case of the Theater Surgeon interfering with S.O.S. hospitalization plans. A hell of a mess anyway you look at it.105Index of Names
Arrowsmith, John C., Col., CE, Commanding Officer, Base Section 3
105Tamraz's last entry. Next day, Colonel Haff noted, in favorable terms, the shift of the 69th General Hospital from its original destination, Calcutta, to Ledo. To compensate, personnel from the relatively inactive 181st General Hospital in Karachi--which had lost its importance as a port of entry for CBI--was to be sent into Base Section 2. By this time the Ledo group of hospitals (and others elsewhere) were working at 200% of normal capacity, yet the last statistical report in May showed that the number of patients in the Theater's hospitals was below their authorized load limit. Early in June the Base Section Surgeon at Ledo reported that his hospitals, which had a normal bed capacity of 3,250, had been expanded to an emergency capacity of 9,743 beds and were caring for 7,000-8,000 patients. For the whole Theater, fixed and mobile hospitals were treating 12,530 patients, nearly 4,000 more than their normal bed capacity! For general policies see U.S. Army Medical Service, Medical Department: Hospitalization * * *, pp. 215-216.
Hummer, Mr. and Mrs., American friends of Colonel Tamraz in New Delhi
Aerial view of Myitkyina airstrip from the south after the fall of Myitkyina. Left arrow indicates the general area of the 42d Portable Surgical Hospital; right arrow, Seagrave's hospital. A road leads off at the left to a water point about 1 mile distant.
Top: Injured Chinese soldier is treated a few miles from the front at the 25th Field Hospital, North Burma, February 1944. Note the shelter, made of burlap, parachutes, and bamboo. Bottom: On a jeep used as a field ambulance, patients are moved from the hospital to the landing strip, two at a time. Burma, January 1944.
Top: Operating team at work
at a portable surgical hospital. China-Burma-India Theater, 1944
China-Burma-India Area, March 1944. Top: Litter bearers carrying Chinese wounded from the front. The wounded are laid by the side of the road to await ambulances from rear areas. Bottom: Litter bearers loading Chinese wounded into an ambulance to be taken to a rear area hospital.
Top: Wounded Chinese
soldiers being treated in an outdoor hospital, Burma, 1944.
Col. J. M. Tamraz, SOS Surgeon, reports on medical conditions to Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell at Delhi, India, 1943. Left to right: Maj. Gen. R. A. Wheeler, Colonel Tamraz, Col. B. M. Crenshaw, I.G.D., and General Somervell.