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"Of the grievances associated with our life at Kweilin, many were trivial and some were imaginary. But one which was real and loomed terribly large was the food. At this time we had no Quartermaster provisions at all -- no milk powdered or canned, no jam or butter, no fruit or juices, no Army rations, no yeast, no cornstarch or baking powder, and no beer! And, while various substitutes were employed, we had no American meat, vegetables, flour, sugar, coffee, salt, pepper or condiments of any description. Nearly everything served in our mess hall was produced within sight of our hostel, and we were living in a notoriously poor section of a very poor country.
From India, by virtue of occasional ferry-trips, we obtained coffee that was good, but in quantities so limited that it could be served at breakfast only. All of the other substitutes mentioned above were obtained locally, and, except for the salt and pepper, were as poor as the country from which they came.
The major source of meat was the water buffalo. However, this beast was too valuable to be slaughtered until old age or disease had ended his days as a draft-animal, with the result that the flesh was literally too tough to cut with a knife. A poor grade of pork was obtainable, but was so expensive that it could be served only occasionally. (We were not sympathetic with the boys in other theaters who complained of a monotonous diet of Spam. Any of us would gladly have given a week's pay for a single can of that Stateside delicacy). It would be no exaggeration to say that more than 90 percent of the meat served in our mess hall was not eaten. Were it not for fresh chicken, served about twice a month, it could be said that none of the meat was fit for human consumption. It was brought to us in carts or trucks from the city of Kweilin. Uncovered during the trip, exposed to flies, street filth and the elements, it was a revolting sight even before it was cooked. And mention should be made of the fact that neither in Kweilin nor in our· hostel was there any form of refrigeration."
United States Air Force, World War 1939-1945, Regimental histories, 11th Bombardment Squadron, 341st Bombardment Group, 14th Air Force
United States Army Air Forces, "The record: the eleventh Bombardment Squadron (M)" (1946). Regimental Histories. 111.
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