Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Family History Writing Challenge Day 24

new Kubler house
At some point during his stay in Chabua Roy received a letter from Catherine telling him that the Koch's house, located next to her mom and dad’s home, was for sale. She asked if he thought she should buy it. Before he even had a chance to reply, he got another letter telling him that she had borrowed money from her brother Charlie and advising him, “I bought the Koch's house!”

The house at 1240 Rosemont Avenue in Cincinnati was right next door to the house Catherine grew up in, still owned by her parents Michael and Mayme Crusham. This was a godsend for Catherine with a toddler and a new baby to take care of on her own. Catherine had a family picture taken to send to Roy; he would not get to meet his daughter, Kathleen, until she was seventeen months old.
LeRoy, Catherine and Kathleen
After the surrender of the Japanese on 15 August 1945, troops in the CBI Theater began to demobilize. The order that released Roy from service was dated 1 October 1945. Soldiers were furloughed home according to the number of points they had accumulated under the Advanced Service Rating Points System. The points were awarded as follows: 1 point for each month served in the Army, 1 point for each month served overseas, 5 points for each campaign star worn on theater ribbons, 5 points for the first and each award received (such as Distinguished Service Cross), and 12 points for each child at home under 18 years of age (up to 3 children). Points were awarded for months served between 16 September 1940 and 12 May 1945.  

Originally a soldier was required to have 85 points in order to go home. The number was lowered as demobilization continued. On 1 November 1945 the military began to release soldiers who had 60 points. By the time Roy was released, he had 90 points. He was a little peeved about the change, considering what he had gone through to obtain his point total. The India-Burma-Theater Roundup Vol. IV No.7 issued 15 October 1945 indicated that according to the War Department there were still 5,000 soldiers in the India-Burma-China Theater with 85 or more points in October of 1945. 

According to the same issue of the Roundup, the allotment of planes from Chabua and Calcutta to Karachi in October of 1945 carried 700 men per day, and 10 trains transported troops that month from Assam to Karachi. With 500 troops being flown from Assam to Karachi and 200 from Calcutta to Karachi each day, only one troop train every third day was used in the evacuation of troops from Assam and Burma. 

Two types of troopships were used in evacuating India-Burma: 3,000 and 5,000 capacity ships. Seventeen ships handled troop movements from Calcutta and Karachi during September and October.  Ships leaving Calcutta reached the East Coast of the United States in 26 days, while those leaving Karachi made the voyage in 21 days. Four troopships - the Taylor, Anderson, Eltinge and Patrick - sailed during the week ending October 24, which was the week Roy began his voyage home.  A total of 14,500 troops were evacuated on these ships, bringing the combined strength of the India-Burma and China Theaters down to 170,000.  

Roy remained at the Chabua Air Base until October 1945, when he flew on a C-47 to Agra, New Delhi, Jorhat, and finally Karachi. It is unknown how long Roy spent in Karachi before boarding his ship. According to the War Department, the men would remain in the staging area at the ports of embarkation anywhere from seven to twenty-one days. At this time they would receive medical checkups and processing.  
By strange coincidence, on 21 October 1945 Roy again boarded the USS General A.E. Anderson (AP-111) for the trip home. This was cruise number thirteen for the USS General A.E. Anderson, and the ship was captained by George Whitefield Mead, Jr. The ship arrived in New York City on 9 November 1945, sailing past the Statue of Liberty, much to the delight of all the servicemen.

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