Where GI's of India-Burma Theatre Will Relax in Calcutta
Open New GI Rest Camp in India-Burma War Theatre
By FRANK BOLDEN NNPA War Correspondent
Miss Ola Devers, Cpl. Rosy Ware, 646 Lenox Avenue, N.Y.C., Maj. Gen. William E. R. Covell, and Miss Mildred DiPietro, Nanticoke, Pa., in the Red Cross building.
A general view showing part of the formal opening ceremony for the new service men's club at the Dum Dum Orphanage in Calcutta, India, which is taking place in front of the Red Cross building.
CALCUTTA, India-The new colored rest camp in the India-Burma theatre of operations was opened officially last Sunday.
Located at Dum Dum Orphanage here, the camp is a distinct improvement over last year's location in Howrah, as it is located in a much more pleasant area, and has physical facilities which compare favorably with any other camp in the India-Burma theatre.
The large, spacious, stone buildings of the new camp were inspected on the official opening by Maj. Gen. W. E. R. Covell, commanding general of the Services of Supply in IBT.
General Covell expressed satisfaction in the layout of the new camp, and in a short address to the colored troops recently moved over from the unattractive surroundings in Howrah; he made public his desire for this to be the best rest camp in the theatre.
He told the assembled men that this was their camp, that it was for the rest and relaxation of colored soldiers who have done a good job under trying conditions, and voiced his hope and belief that they would not only have a good rest but also have a good time.
Sanitary Facilities Excellent
The chances for colored troops in this theatre to finally have a good place to come for a holiday from their tasks up in Assam and Burma now seem definitely good. The buildings are there, and they are comfortable, with excellent sanitary facilities, including plenty of showers.
There is a clean kitchen and a pleasant mess hall, an excellent Red Cross Club, staffed by colored personnel. Three of these are colored girls who will be assigned to the camp permanently.
Pretty, vivacious Inda Lee of Fort Huachuca, Ariz., expressed her high hopes that theirs would be as good as any Red Cross Club in the theatre.
NYC Medic Heads Dispensary
Other camp facilities include a Red Cross canteen where refreshments were served free of charge during the opening day ceremony, entertainment, an excellently stocked post exchange where there was plenty of beer in plain view.
A well equipped dispensary in charge of Capt. J. C. Greenfield, former NYC doctor, and athletic fields which will soon be in excellent condition, judging from the amount of work being expended on them at the moment.
Other speakers on the opening day program included Brig. Gen. Bob Neyland, SOS commander in Calcutta, and Maj. Melvyn Douglas, Hollywood star by profession, but now in charge of entertainment of troops in the India Burma theatre.
After the speeches, Douglas introduced a show given by members of one of his entertainment production units, which tour the theatre for the entertainment of the troops.
Colored Gl's Steal the Show
Highlight of the show as far as the audience was concerned was the singing of a colored Red Cross girl, Margy Johnson of Stamford, Conn., who warbled several numbers with another colored Red Cross girl, Jeanette Dorsey, of Cuthbert, Ga., at the piano.
Commanding the new camp is Capt. Harold D. Ellrod, white, of Pittsburgh, Pa. Assisting Ellrod is Chaplain (Capt.) Cassius M. C. Ellis of Frankfort, Ky. Chaplain (Capt.) Arthur R. Crowell of 223 W. 123rd Street, NYC, is also a member of the staff.
At least one of the two chaplains will be assigned to the camp permanently.
Intended as an all-year rest camp, Dum Dum has sufficient space to house 700 men at one time, and will be able to accommodate almost all of the colored troops in the theatre in the course of a year.
The percentage of colored troops sent to rest camp will be substantially higher than the percentage of white troops now that the new camp has been opened.