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Camp 10

Summary of the location of Camp Ten

  • On January 5, 1945, Camp Ten was begun at Hsifeng (now Xifeng or Yongjing) [lat. 27-05, Long. 106-45], Kweichow (now Guizhou) Province

Camp Ten was begun January 5, 1945 in a group of police school buildings at Hsifeng (now Xifeng or Yongjing) [lat. 27-05, Long. 106-45], Kweichow (now Guizhou) Province.  Thirty-five miles to the south, as the crow flies, was Kweiyang (now Guiyang).  The two towns were connected by the Burma road; travel time was about three hours.  Hsifeng was chosen for the new camp both for of its location and because two battalions of Chinese troops were nearby.

We had in mind a site for Camp Ten where we intended to train a new column that would be ready to harry the Japanese when the time came for them to retreat from Indo-China, and we also intended to keep them from using the roads and railroads they might capture around Kueiyang.

I ordered Lieutenant James D. Jordan over from Column Two and moved him into some barracks building we found in good repair.  General Tai sent in 850 soldiers as students, and the camp fell heir to thirty-seven thousand pounds of supplies when nearby Kueiyang was evacuated.  In three weeks we had a new operating camp.  I was asked, of course, if a lieutenant should control so large a camp, but I replied that the man knew his business—that we had never found that rank took the place of field experience. (Miles, 1967, p 365)

The soldier-students reported to Gen. Teng, the Chinese commander of the camp, on January 20. Unfortunately these men suffered from malnutrition, scabies, and frostbite; they required medical attention before they could learn.  Instruction started February 20 but in recognition of the poor health of the men the sessions lasted only four hours a day.

The organizational priorities for the first month were getting warm, getting food, preparing the camp, and setting up the hostel for the American instructors.  By the end of January the complement of Americans was 3 officers and 13 enlisted men; on February 9, the command was turned over to Capt. William H. Sager.

The eight-week training program dealt with military demolitions, cover and concealment, and the use and maintenance of all available weapons – the Smith and Wesson .38 cal. revolver, the Colt .45 cal. pistol, the M1903-A3 rifle, the Tommy gun, and the bazooka.  The Chinese officers attended additional night school for greater detail and before long were aiding in the instruction of their own men.  

In Mid March the camp suffered a typhus epidemic.  Training was suspended.  Everyone was treated for lice; all barracks and the American hostel were thoroughly cleaned; all clothes and bedding were sanitized with steam.  The epidemic was checked after one week.

On April 20 the training was completed.  Captain Sager recognized that there might be a problem with the issuing of weapons; some groups might sneak in “ringers” just to get extras.  The camp doctor, LT R. L. Greif, suggested that they use gentian violet to paint a number on the back of each qualifying graduate; no number, no weapon.  Two battalions – 867 men – had taken the course but only 757 qualified for weapons.  The non-qualifiers retook the courses.

In April two groups totaling 150 men and a third soldier battalion of about 420 came to Camp Ten for training which had to be delayed several weeks because of a shortage of interpreters and instructors.

By the middle of June 1, 510 men had been trained and equipped at Camp Ten.  The three battalions reorganized into Column 10 and planned to operate out of Tungsheng (now Longsheng), 40 miles north-northwest of Kweilin.

The war ended before Column 10 could get into action.

 

Cited references:

      Miles, M. E., 1967, A Different Kind of War, Doubleday & Co, Garden City, NY. 629 p.

 

Provided courtesy of Charles H. Miles on November 20, 2010

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