Full Version: New.. Dad was in ACE in Burma/India
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Hello to everyone! What a wonderful find this site is. :pdt34:

I have had so many questions about what my dad did. As a kid I would ask him and all I got was I rebuilt bridges that got blown up and played with water buffaloes. I only have one picture of him sitting on a log with a water buffalo behind him. I never got any more info until just recently from my ex-father in law who was in the Coast Guard at that time. He ask me where my dad was and when I told him Burma/India, his head snapped up, looked me straight in the eye and said.. "Girl, you have no idea what he went through. He was in the worst of the worst. He has my undying respect." That is all he would say. It put my father in a whole new light and I would love to more about this man I thought I knew as a hard working, quiet business man who loved to watch sports in his arm chair and never raised his voice. He was a loving father and devoted husband. I just wish I knew more.

I have put in a call to the ACE chief historian to return my call to see if I might be able to find out what group he was attached to. If anyone out there knows anything about James Marvin Woolf, Army Corp of Engineers in Burma/India, I think around 1940-44 I would love to hear from you.

Thanks to Marion for such a wonderful site and all the work you have done to keep the memories alive.

My love and heartfelt respect to out to all of you who kept this a safe world to grow up in. :heartpump:

Hi Kathy:


Another inspiring story. Isn't it amazing what we find out about our fathers. Yes, it does make us feel so very proud.


I hope I (we) can help you out. Do you have anything that might help us identify his unit? You see, there were numerous engineer units everywhere including the CBI Theatre. There's some chance that someone, somewhere may recognize the name, but we might have a much better chance with an insignia, a letterhead from the war, an envelope etc.


If you don't have anything to go on, here's one that not many people think about, but it's proven to be a winner for many. Try his hometown newspapers. Most hometown newspapers ran little ditties about their boys. I've seen short articles(think of something like a wedding or engagement announcement) that show a photo, what unit they were in and what theatre they are involved in. Most newspapers have archives, so it's ALWAYS worth a shot. Also try the local library where he lived. Those are just two possible leads for ya.


Looking forward to hearing back from you. Thanks for posting. It's nice to have you here.



I am going to give you a little history on the CBI (China-Burma-India) Theatre and the history of the engineers there.


Kathy this will give you a REAL feel for the kind of hell it was. The following article says righ out, "...The China-Burma-India theater was the worst place to be in 1945, said veterans celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. For example, to make airlift possible in the CBI, the Allies had to carve bases with concrete air strips out of the region's dense jungles..."


You may want to give this guy a jingle, he was an engineer during the CBI. While he may or may not have been in your dad's unit, he can give you a feel for what he may have experienced. I took this from a guestbook. I will send you his email address privately. His name is Richard Hirst.


"Vet of CBI , 1382nd EPD Army Engineers - see pipeline article, please, for one of the most obscure assignments in the CBI was endured by a few units."






Here is a list of army engineer units in that theatre:




An interview with an army engineer...




A book recommendation:




These are just amongst a few, but I thought they may help you learn some of the history regarding the CBI engineers.

Kathy, there's another route you can go. If you're dad ever received medical treatment or was in the hospital, his home state veterans administration will have his records including a copy of his discharge papers. That is how I got a hold of MY DAD'S.


I was unable to get his discharge papers from NARA because of the major fire they experienced during the 1970's, so I turned to the VA and they were a big help to me. :pdt34:

Thank you!!!!! You have given me alot to look through. I read several articles that were in your links section. Looks like I have alot more reading to do. I can't wait to find out more. You really are an -o- !!!! I will call the VA Hospital today to see about getting any medical records they may have.


It's amazing how you live with someone for 37 yrs and never know a whole other side of them. It's sad too that it has to be after they have passed that we get to have a whole different kind of awe and respect for them. I was just telling that to my son, who is back home right now with his grandparents. I told him to start questioning his grandfather and grandmother NOW about what they don't know. Don't wait til they are gone when the answers won't be available or at least sketchy. I know these men came back and just wanted to get on with their lives and just thought "it was my job, it's over" . I just wish they could understand that it wasn't "just a job". It was a part of our history. They ARE our history. THEY ARE the reason WE are all here in a country of freedom. They ARE our legecy. It is a legecy that needs to be passed from generation to generation and never forgotten. I lost several "big brothers" in the Vietnam war. I am finding out that I am extremely lucky to even have been born!


Once again, THANK YOU for having such a site to come to that spurs those questions to be answered. I may never know exactly what my dad went through but I know more this minute than I ever knew and the search in on to know more.




All I can say is you're very welcome. I know how it is to be dying for EVERY little tidbit of info. Every time I found something, every time I still find something, it's like a shot in the arm. Great feeling. :)


To our dads! :drinkin:

I found out that he was a Captain with the 382nd engineer Ba. (Sop). Not sure what that means.. I also found a picture of him in uniform with his mother and I can only make out the U.S. insigna on the upper lapels and the crossed rifles on the lower lapels.

Haven't been able to get anything from the Vetern's hospital as yet. If anyone know anything about the 382nd... I'd love to hear about it.




Hi Sweetie:


Will see what I can find out. Now that we have a unit designation, it will be much easier. I will post anything here when I find it...