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Experiencing War: China-Burma-India (Stories from the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress)

Nurses, cryptographers, intelligence agents, Red Cross workers, and information officers existed in all theaters of World War II. But in the CBI, they had to adapt to unfamiliar cultures and keep reminding themselves that they were making a difference in winning the war against the Japanese.

Featured Story: Geraldine Lillian Boock
Geraldine L. Boock - link to story
“When you work in an Army hospital like we did you feel like the whole world is wounded, because that’s all you see all day.” (Video Interview, 1:16:29)

Geraldine “Gerry” Boock graduated from nursing school in 1944, and she and several of her classmates decided to join the war effort. One of her friends volunteered the two of them for overseas duty, and after six weeks at sea, she landed in Calcutta, where she worked with patients wounded or taken ill in the China-Burma-India Theater. She wasn’t immune to an occasional bout of dysentery; she also encountered a shifty snake charmer, and, on a moonlight visit to the Taj Mahal, an amorous British soldier. After the war ended, she stayed on in India until spring 1946 and in the Army until December of that year. Her last assignment was in a California hospital obstetrics ward, as different an experience as possible from her sojourn in India.

Go to Geraldine Boock's story Go and experience
Geraldine Lillian Boock's story
Experience more stories of Ground Support more stories
“There was always the threat hanging over our heads that we were going into China. That wasn’t eliminated until the A-bomb was dropped.”      -- Abel Kessler            
Virginia C. Allen - link to story
“I never heard a Red Crosser complain... we were deeply infused with sense of patriotic dedication.”

Virginia Claudon Allen's story

Robert H. Haines - link to story
“I had not realized what a mountainous country China was...”

Robert H. Haines' story

Abel Kessler - link to story
“The soldiers were getting reports form their loved ones: ‘What are you doing there?’”

Abel Kessler's story

Walter L. Mess - link to story
“...It’s a time of your life when you’re really alive.”

Walter L. Mess's story

John Carson Rather - link to story
“... I was more interested in interacting with Indians than with other soldiers.”

John Carson Rather's story

Henry James Ryskamp - link to story
“It would get so humid, your shoes would rot overnight.”

Henry James Ryskamp's story

Marion Steinhilber - link to story
“You have no idea what the GIs are like in a place like that...”

Marion Steinhilber's story

  Home >> China-Burma-India: Ground Support
  The Library of Congress
  November 5, 2007
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