12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 21, 2020 11:52 PM by Linda Hindes

    Seeking information about this photograph from WWII

    Linda Hindes Wayfarer

      Where was this photo taken? Of my dad, buddies, officer? He served in the Burma Campaign-Asia Pacific Theater-  WWII in a cart with large wheels driven by a local man who is possibly Indian. He served in the 1877th Engineer Aviation Battalion in Burma Central   He arrived in India on 13 February 1944. From dad's DD-214 -- Bronze Star Special Order #131, Hq, 1877 Eng. Avn dated 17 Nov 1944. --- Bronze Star-Central Burma Campaign.  Auth: 3rd Ind. Hq, USF, IBT, dtd 28 May 45 to Ltr, 930th Eng Avn Regt, dtd 15 May 45. Thank you for your interest.  Please share your findings.

       

        • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
          Robert Casey Newbie

          Linda what unit did your father belong to in WWII. I am seeing the architecture that resembles Rangoon, Burma (today Yangon, Burma) but I want to check the unit to try and follow their unit history.

            • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
              Linda Hindes Wayfarer

              Finally found how to respond to you.

              1877 Eng. Avn. Bn.   Burma Central - Arrived India 13 Feb. 1944.

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              • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                Linda Hindes Wayfarer

                Reviewing military file:

                • Bronze Star Special Order #131, Hq, 1877 Eng. Avn dated 17 Nov 1944.
                • Bronze Star-Central Burma Campaign.  Auth: 3rd Ind. Hq, USF, IBT, dtd 28 May 45 to Ltr, 930th Eng Avn Regt, dtd 15 May 45.

                 

                Thank you for your interest.  Please share your findings.  

                  • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                    Robert Casey Newbie

                    Linda thank you for the information. I have found a couple of interesting leads and I am interested to see where they take me. I will reach out when I have some results.

                    • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                      Robert Casey Newbie

                      Linda I have found the history of your father's unit 1877th Engineer Aviation Batalion. They formed on 1 Mar 43 Venice, FL. They left Hampton Roads VA 16 Dec 43. They arrived in N.Africa 25 Dec 43. They went to  Chakulia, India on 13 Feb 44 where they constructed a B-29 facilities. As of 2 Oct 44 they were in Myitkyina, Burma, but Co A was in Mogaung, Burma. I could not find if Co A remained in Mogaung, Burma or ended up in  Myitkyina. The 930th Engr Avn Bn was also stationed in Myitkyina, Burma.

                       

                      The question is where was the picture taken. The building in the background is British Colonial Architecture.  There were two locations that jumped out to me and that was Rangoon (Yangor) Myanmar and Calcutta (Kolkata) India both have British Colonial architecture within the City. I have searched high and low for the same pattern on the building and have come up short. I then noticed the Hackney carriage they are in. The Hackney carriage was public transportation GIs would use in Calcutta in the 1940s. The building they were picked up in front of was Howrah Railway Station. The building is British Colonial, but the pattern doesn't match. I also noticed that the driver is Indian, not Burmese and that again would lead me towards Calcutta. Your father was stationed in Chakulia, India in 1944. Calcutta was approx. 4 hours to the east of Chakulia. GIs would visit Calcutta on leave during the war. I cannot say without a shadow of a doubt without finding the building in the background, but that is the best deduction. I have found a picture of a Hackney carriage in Calcutta from the 1940s with British soldiers that resembles the carriage in your picture.

                      Hackney Carriage Calcutta

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                        • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                          Linda Hindes Wayfarer

                          You are amazing Mr. Casey!

                           

                          Thank you for your time and effort.  I, too, tried to Google buildings and architecture in Burma and India but never the carriage.

                           

                          Yes, my father was in North Africa per his records on 25 Dec 1943.  In fact, he had a tattoo on his forearm that read:  North Africa.   December 25 was his birthday and he would have been 21 years of age.

                           

                          I'll bet families of the other GI's riding with him would like to have this photo as well.  If only....

                          One man may have been an officer.  Just a thought from the cap he was wearing.

                           

                          I am proud to say that since we left California and retired here, I found a non-profit radio and learned to become an announcer for 6 years.  During that time I began recording our military veterans and their favorite song and/or story if they wished to share.  I pulled in a 99 year old WWII W.A.S.P and recorded our conversation.  She died two months later.    Another WWII vet was a 6-8 camp P.O.W. in the Philippines.

                          That was a long recall.  I am proud. 

                           

                          In the last 10 years I learned of a relative that I had never heard of.  He was killed in Korea.  A non-hostile helicopter crash during evacuation in low visibility in a minefield near Sanghu-Dong, Korea.  Bits and pieces are coming together now.  Finally.

                          Again,

                          You are appreciated.  Good luck with your research helping others.

                           

                          Linda Hindes

                          Sequim, Washington

                            • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                              Robert Casey Newbie

                              I have deep connections with WWII. Both my grandfathers served in WWII. My biological Father's Dad was Navy as was one of his brothers and his other two brothers were Army. My Mother's Dad was Army and that is where my story begins. When my biological Father left, my Grandfather's best friend asked my mother to marry him. Even with 20 years difference between them it never was an issue. He was Army and served two tours in WWII. He served in the African campaign and the European campaign. He was married during his first tour. While he was in Africa his wife gave their kids up for adoption and left. When he came home and found out it destroyed him, and that's what led to the second tour. I heard the stories and learned the war through him. He passed in 1988 from brain cancer. It was because of him I became a military historian.

                               

                              I would still like to give it a shot to help find the people in the photo. I live an hour from Venice, FL. Venice has a big archives and being that is where 1877th formed they may have history on the 1877th. If those gentlemen in the picture were in the 1877th they may have photos of the soldiers. One issue we have of course is COVID-19 right now and the library is not open, but when they do open I can check it out.

                      • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                        Phillip Bussey Newbie

                        Hi,

                        I liked quite a bit the earlier comments about the picture, and I don't have anything to add to that good work.

                         

                        For my two cents worth I'd suggest that your question may be a little narrow. My tip is to start with the Unit and work backwards, trying then to ID the picture by what you see in the photo plus the additional info you have on the unit. 

                         

                        My search first included a search on Google for similar photos, with no results.

                         

                        I next went back to the unit, and turned up some specific info on it and that of a sister unit that was the next number up in the sequence of names for that type of unit. Both appeared to have been working on the same or similar projects in the China-Burma-India Theater of Operations, sometimes called the CBI. The activities seemed to relate to the first steps for creating bases from which the then new B-29 units could begin to bomb Japan.

                         

                        Here are some URLs that will lead you to other useful data

                        - http://www.cbi-history.com/part_xix_b.html

                        1877th Engineer Aviation Battalion:

                        - HX of a sister unit, the 879th

                        http://www.cbi-theater.com/879eab/879eab.html

                        - Progress on the B-29 Fields

                        Meanwhile, the engineers were rushing work on the B-29 fields. In West Bengal, Col. Madsen, head of District 10, had the 879th Airborne Aviation Bn., the 382nd Construction Bn., and the 853rd, 1875th and 1877th Aviation Bns. These units began work on the five B-29 fields in March with borrowed equipment, until the arrival of theirs. In mid-April, with the arrival of the 1888th Aviation Bn.

                         

                        Good luck!

                         

                        Phil

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                        • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                          Alice Lane Tracker

                          Hi Linda,

                          Found another photo North Africa thanks to Robert Casey's carriage idea. https://www.ww2online.org/image/united-states-servicemen-back-horse-drawn-carriage-north-africa-1942-43

                          Alice Lane

                          Research Volunteer

                          • Re: Seeking information about this photograph from WWII
                            Alice Lane Tracker

                            Hi again LInda,

                            And then there is this one that states it is in Cairo, Egypt...confusing the North Africa idea https://www.ww2online.org/image/egyptian-drives-horse-drawn-carriage-cairo

                             

                            Research can be very confusing at times.

                             

                            Alice Lane

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