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By R.D. van Wagner

Anyplace, Any Time, Any the place: the first Air Commandos in international battle II

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Unlike the debilitating effect on the 1943 LRPexpedition, treatment of casualties by this time became a source of high morale. Under normal circumstances, the wounded were brought back to Broadway and transferred to a UC-64 Norseman or a C-47 Dakota. When a soldier required immediate attention, the L-pilots would fly directly to hospitals in India if possible. Also, the air commando UC-64 pilots augmented the L-series planes by flying to larger clearings to evacuate up to 10 litter patients at a time.

Strategically, Broadway was invaluable. The strip had already served the 53 I 8t h Provisional Unit (Air) as an emergency airfield when Captain Daniel A. Sinskie bellied-in Burma Baby at Broadway on 8 March. Following Operation THURSDAY, Cochran planned to use Norsemen and Dakotas to flow supplies into the heartland of Burma at night through the airfield. Additionally, nearly 30 light planes were to operate daily out of this behind-the-line bastion. Without consulting Cochran, the British insisted on positioning Spitfires at Broadway to act as interceptors.

Wearily the men continued the work, disregarding physical hygiene. When General Old made a remark about the slovenliness of the unit, Colonel Cochran posted one of the most unusual Orders of the Day. The beards came off, the work went on, and reportedly, General Old got as greasy as the rest when he pitched in to help. As a result, flights into Broadway never slowed down due to fuel. Colonel Cochran and General Wingate agreed to retain Broadway as a supply site and a harbor for the light planes.

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