Jack Thomas in the 191st Signal Repair Co.

S/Sgt. Jack Thomas 1945

  The 191st Signal Repair Company, consisting of about 200 men, left the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation for India on December 18, 1944 aboard the U.S.S. Billy Mitchell.  We were assigned MP duty on the trip which gave us the run of the ship and three meals a day (others got two).  We stopped at Hobart, Tasmania, spending three days there before continuing on to India.  We arrived in Bombay on January 2, 1945.

  From Bombay we took a train across India to Calcutta, where we picked-up our vehicles.  We had four jeeps, four 4X4 weapons carriers, 15 mobile bus bodies and twenty 4X6 trucks.  From Calcutta we drove to our final destination of Ledo in Assam.

  After living in bashas for a short while, we were issued British Army tents which we had to set up.  We then started fifth echelon repair (if we couldn't fix it, nobody could) on all radio, telephone and teletype equipment from Ledo, India to Kunming, China.  We also took care of the large power units in the area, so we always had our own electricity.  I was a S/Sgt. in the Radio Repair Section.

  The 191st Signal Repair Company was quite unusual.  There is only one Signal Repair Company to an Army.  We were self-contained with our own mess hall and motorpool.  We also had detachments in Myitkyina, Lashio and Bhamo.

  Because we took care of the Engineering Department, fixing projectors for their dayroom, radios, etc., they built a 100x100 foot building for us which we promptly named "Club 191."  With daily supplies of booze furnished by the MP's, who also had their own projectors and radios, we were able to keep a club for parties, which we had quite frequently.  We had a Company Orchestra and bartender, with basha boys for waiters.  We had most of the nurses from the 20th General Hospital and Red Cross girls as guests.

  I had a darkroom in the Supply Room where I developed these pictures taken with an Argus C-3 camera.  As things got better over there, I had access to more photo paper and supplies.

  We returned to the United States in March of 1946 aboard the U.S.S. General Bliss.


  JACK THOMAS    ( jet623 at excite dot com )
  December 2005



U.S.S. William L. "Billy" Mitchell (AP-114)
U.S.S. General Tasker H. Bliss (AP-131)





The 191st Signal Repair Company at Ledo, Assam, India, CBI

Tent area of the 191st Signal Repair Co. at Ledo.




191st convoy loaded on railroad cars at Barrackpore for the first leg of trip to Ledo.




 191st Signal Repair Co.  Headed for Ledo




Chabua - The Crossroads of Asia




Jack at Pangsau Pass
With Claude Weupper and "Miss Bay City"




191st Signal Repair Co. at Ledo.




A Basha of the 191st Signal Repair Co.   Jack wrote home: "There is no metal used whatsoever in the construction of these bashas. The whole works is held together with thin strips of pliable wood. The hinges on the doors are made in the same manner."




 191st Signal Repair Co.  British tents used by the 191st




 191st Signal Repair Co.  Outdoor shower




The 191st operated Radio Station VU2ZN




Ledo's Radio City - VU2ZN - 1530 on the dial.  Sign directs GIs to Foxhole University.




Jack Thomas tuning up the 350 Watt BC-610 high power transmitter at the radio station.




Jack Thomas' bus body workshop at Ledo.




Part of "Bus Body Row" of the 191st.  Jack's shop is in the middle.




Signalman at work
"Old Faithful" power supply




Bus stop and schedule at the Ledo PX




Outdoor Theater at Ledo, Assam, India.




Projector repair at Outdoor Theater




Indoor Theater




"Club 191"




The 191st Orchestra SOFISTIKATZ at "Club 191"




At the "Club 191"




At the "Club 191"




At the "Club 191" bar




Dances with nurses and Red Cross girls




The 191st Signal Repair Company, Ledo, Assam, India 1945    ENLARGE IMAGE




"The Last Resort" American Red Cross Service Club at Ledo.




 Click to go to top of this page Red Cross girls at "The Last Resort"


All photos provided by John E. "Jack" Thomas
Adapted for the Internet by Carl Warren Weidenburner
Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 2, 2006


MEN OF THE 191st SIGNAL REPAIR CO.

191st UNIT HISTORY (Jan-Jun 1945)

RED CROSS GUIDE TO CALCUTTA

GUIDE TO HOBART TASMANIA

REPORT OF RESCUE PARTY

CARTOON CALENDARS FROM INDIA

CURRENCY FROM THE CBI THEATER

PIN-UP COLLECTION

IMAGES OF INDIA 1945

 'Jungle Fighter'