Guide to Federal Records

Records of U.S. Army Forces in the China-Burma-India Theaters of Operations


(Record Group 493)
1941-47

Overview of Records Locations

Table of Contents

  • 493.1 Administrative History
  • 493.2 General records 1942-45
  • 493.3 Records of the U.S. Military Mission to China 1941-42
  • 493.4 Records of Headquarters U.S. Army Forces, China-Burma-India (HQ USAF CBI) 1942-44
  • 493.5 Records of Headquarters U.S. Forces, China Theater (HQ USF CT) 1941-46
  • 493.6 Records of Headquarters U.S. Forces, India-Burma Theater (HQ USF IBT) 1942-46
  • 493.7 Records of the U.S. Branch of Executive Headquarters 1946-47
  • 493.8 Records of the Peiping headquarters Group 1946-47

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493.1 Administrative History

Related Records:
Records of U.S. Army Service Forces (World War II), RG 160.
Records of Naval Operating Forces, RG 313.
Records of the Army Staff, RG 319.
Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II, RG 331.
Records of U.S. Theaters of War, World War II, RG 332.
Records of Interservice Agencies, RG 334.
Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter), RG 338.
Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations, RG 342.

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493.2 General Records
1942-45

Maps and Charts: Military situations, supply and transportation routes, organization charts, topography, locations of airfields, and defenses, primarily in China, Burma, Thailand, and India, 1942-45 (159 items).

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493.3 Records of the U.S. Military Mission to China
1941-42

History: Commonly referred to as "AMMISCA" ("American Mission to China"). Established August 27, 1941, to facilitate lend-lease aid to China. Headed by Brig. Gen. John Magruder. Functions and personnel absorbed by Headquarters American Army Forces, China, Burma, India (predecessor of U.S. Army Forces, China-Burma-India; see 493.4), by May 1942. Discontinued by September 1944.

Textual Records: Incoming weekly reports, September 1941-January 1942. Outgoing messages, February-December 1942.

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493.4 Records of Headquarters U.S. Army Forces, China-Burma- India (HQ USAF CBI)
1942-44

History: Headquarters American Army Forces, China, Burma, and India (HQ AAF CBI) established in Chungking, China, by General Order 1, HQ AAF CBI, March 4, 1942, pursuant to Secretary of War's appointment of Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell as Commanding General of all U.S. Army forces in China, Burma, and India, conveyed in a Chief of Staff memorandum to the Adjutant General, WPD 4389-64, February 2, 1942. (By same memorandum, Gen. Stilwell was appointed Republic of China army chief of staff.) By May 1942, HQ AAF CBI had absorbed Chungking staff of U.S. Military Mission to China, commonly known as "AMMISCA" ("American Mission to China"), established August 27, 1941, to facilitate lend-lease aid to China. A second AAF CBI headquarters was established in New Delhi, India, by letter of the Commanding General, June 25, 1942, pursuant to War Department message 354, sent as CM-OUT 5537, June 22, 1942, in effect instructing Gen. Stilwell to organize a theater of operations staff. Thenceforth, the area of operations over which Gen. Stilwell had command of U.S. Army forces was referred to as the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater.

By Letter of Instructions, HQ AAF CBI (Chungking), July 6, 1942, Chungking headquarters was designated HQ AAF CBI, and New Delhi headquarters was designated Branch Office, HQ AAF CBI. To avoid confusion with the Army Air Forces' acronym, "AAF," HQ AAF CBI was redesignated HQ USAF CBI, by September 12, 1942. Status of HQ USAF CBI as a theater headquarters was confirmed by letter of the Secretary of War to the Commanding General, USAF CBI, AG 320.2 (1-26-43) OB-I-GN-M, January 29, 1943. HQ AAF CBI redesignated Forward Echelon, HQ USAF CBI; and Branch Office, HQ AAF CBI redesignated Rear Echelon, HQ USAF CBI, effective April 1, 1944, by General Order 5, Forward Echelon, HQ USAF CBI, March 31, 1944, with Rear Echelon in charge of overall planning and administration, and Forward Echelon responsible for liaison with Chinese Government and execution of Rear Echelon directives to U.S. Army organizations in China.

Gen. Stilwell recalled by President Roosevelt, October 21, 1944, announced October 28, 1944. By War Department message WARX 52150, October 25, 1944, sent same date as CM-OUT 52150, CBI Theater divided, effective October 24, 1944, into China Theater (see 493.5) and India-Burma Theater (see 493.6).

Textual Records: Official, but personal, records of the Commanding General ("'Eyes Alone' Correspondence"), February 28, 1942-October 30, 1944, consisting of correspondence, memorandums, and messages, and including records relating to his relief from command ("Oklahoma File"). Miscellaneous historical records, ca. 1942-44. Decimal correspondence of the Y-Force Operations Staff, 1942-44, documenting its mission to train and equip Chinese units constituting Y-Force, and acting as liaison between HQ USAF CBI and those units. General records maintained by the Adjutant General Section, 1942-44, including central decimal correspondence, incoming messages, and issuances. Circulars of Headquarters Rear Echelon, 1942-44. Records of the Services of Supply (SOS), China-Burma-India, 1942-44, including an organizational history, staff memorandums, SOS general orders, and general orders of Advance Section 1.

Microfilm Publications: M1419.

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493.5 Records of Headquarters U.S. Forces, China Theater (HQ USF CT)
1941-46

History: See 493.4 for a history of predecessor Headquarters U.S. Army Forces, China, Burma, and India. HQ USF CT established in Chungking by General Order 1, HQ USF CT, October 25, 1944, under command of Maj. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, appointed effective October 24, 1944. Moved to Shanghai, October 14, 1945. Abolished, effective May 1, 1946, by General Order 97, HQ USF CT, April 29, 1946, with residual functions transferred to Headquarters U.S. Army Forces in China (HQ USAF China), established by General Order 1, May 1, 1946. HQ USAF China abolished, effective July 1, 1946, by HQ USAF China message CFBX 0346, June 28, 1946, received as CM-IN 6332, June 29, 1946.

Textual Records: Records of the Office of the Commanding General, 1944-46. Records concerning the Command and General Staff School at the Chinese Training Center, Kunming ("Col. Elbert Martin's Files"), 1944-45. General records maintained by the Adjutant General Section, ca. 1944-46, including central correspondence, messages, daily bulletins and other issuances, and historical narratives. Records of the G-2 (Intelligence) Section, 1943-46, including records dealing with the Sino Translation and Interrogation Center. Records of the G-3 (Operations) Section, ca. 1944-46, consisting of general correspondence, and records relating to personnel assignments. Records of the G-5 (Civil Affairs) Section, ca. 1944-46, including messages concerning the recovery of downed U.S. airmen and prisoners of war, 1945. Records, ca. 1944-46, of the following special staff sections: Interpreter Affairs, Lend-Lease, Ordnance, Provost Marshal, Quartermaster, Theater Planning, and Transportation. Records of Headquarters Rear Echelon, 1941-45, consisting of general records maintained by the Adjutant General Section, and subject files of the Theater Psychological Warfare Officer. Records of general and special staff sections, and subordinate commands, of the Services of Supply (SOS), China Theater, 1942-45 (bulk 1944-45). Records of general and special staff sections of the joint Chinese- American Services of Supply for the Chinese Army, February- September 1945. Records of the following Chinese training and combat commands under U.S. supervision: Z-Force Operations Staff, 1943-44; and Chinese Combat Command (Provisional), 1943-45, including records of subordinate commands.

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493.6 Records of Headquarters U.S. Forces, India-Burma Theater (HQ USF IBT)
1942-46

History: See 493.4 for a history of predecessor Headquarters U.S. Army Forces, China, Burma, and India. HQ USF IBT established in New Delhi by General Order 1, HQ USF IBT, October 27, 1944, under command of Lt. Gen. Daniel I. Sultan, appointed effective October 24, 1944. Responsible for U.S. forces in India, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, the Malay States, and Sumatra. Gen. Sultan succeeded in command by Maj. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler, June 23, 1945. HQ USF IBT moved to Calcutta, April 15, 1946. Abolished, effective May 31, 1946, by General Order 174, HQ USF IBT, May 23, 1946.

Textual Records: Correspondence and reports relating to activities of the Chinese Army in India, 1942-45. General records maintained by the Adjutant General Section, 1944-45, including central decimal correspondence, messages, and records concerning plans and operations. Correspondence and daily intelligence summaries of the G-2 (Intelligence) Section, 1944-45. Correspondence, subject files, and records of meetings of the G-4 (Logistics) Section, 1944-45. Correspondence, issuances, and other records of the following special staff organizations: Army Exchange Service, Chaplain, Chemical Warfare, Claims, Theater Claims, Engineer, Fiscal, Historical, Inspector General (Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment), Judge Advocate General, Medical, Ordnance, Port of Debarkation, Postal, Provost Marshal, Public Relations, Rest Camps, Signal, Special Services, and Transportation. General correspondence and staff section records of the Ledo Area Command, 1943-46. Correspondence and messages of the Detachment, U.S. Army in India, 1943-46.

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493.7 Records of the U.S. Branch of Executive Headquarters
1946-47

History: Executive Headquarters established in Peiping (Peking), China, by order of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, January 11, 1946, as a tripartite organization of the Chinese Nationalist Government, the Chinese Communist Party, and the U.S. Government. Responsible for effecting a cease-fire between Chinese Nationalist and Communist forces, as agreed upon, December 1945, by the Committee of Three, consisting of Gen. Chang Chun for the Nationalists; Gen. Chou En-lai for the Communists; and Gen. George C. Marshall, special envoy of the President. Pursuant to an announcement, January 29, 1947, of U.S. Government's intent to withdraw from Committee of Three and Executive Headquarters, U.S. Branch of Executive Headquarters was abolished by U.S. Branch memorandum CDR 902, February 6, 1947, with residual functions transferred to Sino Liaison Office, established in Peiping Headquarters Group by same memorandum.

Textual Records: Records of the U.S. Commissioner, 1946-47, including memorandums sent to and received from the Chinese Nationalist and Communist commissioners; and memorandums sent to the Chinese Nationalist and Communist branches. General records of the Director of Operations, 1946-47. Records of the U.S. Branch staff, 1946-47, consisting of a subject file of the Chief of Staff; and correspondence, reports, and other records of the Conflict Control, Communications, Army Reorganization, and Public Relations Groups, and the Current Section. Subject file and other records of the Advance Section, 1946-47. Records relating to the Yenan Liaison Group, 1946-47.

Related Records: "Operations Report, the Executive Headquarters, Peiping China, 1946-47" (Section I: "U.S. Branch, Executive Headquarters"; Section II: "Peiping Headquarters Group"), 4 vols., submitted April 2, 1947, in Operations and Plans Division decimal correspondence, 1946-48, decimal 091 China, case 112, in RG 319, Records of the Army Staff.

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493.8 Records of the Peiping Headquarters Group
1946-47

History: Established, effective January 11, 1946, by General Order 12, Headquarters U.S. Forces, China Theater (HQ USF CT), January 14, 1946, with mission to assist U.S. Branch of Executive Headquarters . Brig. Gen. Henry A. Byroade served simultaneously as Peiping Headquarters Group commanding general and Executive Headquarters director of operations, January 11- June 6, 1946, as did his successor, Brig. Gen. T.S. Timberman, June 6, 1946-October 12, 1947. Following abolition of HQ USF CT, April 30, 1946, Peiping Headquarters Group assigned to newly established Headquarters U.S. Army Forces in China (HQ USAF China), May 1, 1946. Effective July 1, 1946, by HQ USAF China message CFBX 0346, June 28, 1946, received as CM-IN 6332, June 29, 1946, HQ USAF China abolished, with Peiping Headquarters Group designated an independent command directly responsible to War Department. All Peiping Headquarters Group organizations except Peiping Depot abolished, effective April 8, 1947, by General Order 49, HQ Peiping Headquarters Group, April 3, 1947, with Peiping Depot reassigned to Army Advisory Group, Nanking.

Textual Records: General correspondence, 1946-47. Message files, 1946-47. Records of the Historical Section, 1946-47, including a subject file, news bulletins, a history of Executive Headquarters, and diaries and histories of field teams. General records, 1946-47, of the Headquarters Detachment, Office of the Surgeon, Special Services Section, Transportation Section, and Peiping Depot.

Related Records: "Operations Report, the Executive Headquarters, Peiping China, 1946-47" (Section I: "U.S. Branch, Executive Headquarters"; Section II: "Peiping Headquarters Group"), 4 vols., submitted April 2, 1947; and "Report of Inactivation, Peiping Headquarters Group, 5 February 1947-8 April 1947," submitted April 5, 1947, in Operations and Plans Division decimal correspondence, 1946-48, decimal 091 China, case 112, in RG 319, Records of the Army Staff.

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Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1995.
3 volumes, 2428 pages.

Ordering information

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1995.


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