White city stronghold

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by mikky, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member


    77th Indian Infantry Brigade, commanded by Brigadier Michael Clavert, fought his first action of Operation Thursday on 12 March 1944, when its leading elements attacked and pushed away a detachment of Japanese railway and other administrative troops near the strategic railway line at Henu. The Chindits immediately began fortifying a series of small hills overlooking the railway. A nearby hill feature , Pagoda Hill - was occupied by the enemy. The following day the enemy opened fire as the Chindits dug in. A fierce counter attack was launched on the afternoon of 13 March, led by Brigadier Michael Calvert, involving a mixed force of South Staffordshires and Gurkkas to eject the Japanese and restore morale. The men raced across the open paddy andup Pagoda Hill and as they approached the Japanese counter-charged. A furious hand to hand melee raged in an area of about 50 square yards wih grenades, bayonets, kukris/machetes and revolvers freely employed.

    It was in the ensuing chaos that Lt Cairns was severely wounded. A final charge by the Chindits cleared the position with the Japs retreating from Pagoda Hill to Mawlu.

    Sourced from Chindit 1942-45 (Osprey books). I have nt added the descriptive of Lt Geroge Cairns VC as it previous text. Obviously though I am in no way forgetting his bravery and commitment to the overall event and the final outcome.
  2. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  3. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Ref Pagoda Hill found this link Return to Burma - 2004

    Nice find Jason. I guess that second row of photos was taken on and from Pagoda Hill.
  4. mikky

    mikky Member

  5. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Nice find Jason. I guess that second row of photos was taken on and from Pagoda Hill.
    Thanks Sol I believe Steve will have some more on this;)
  6. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    I wrote to Jack Lindo back in 2007 and he and his son-in-law took my Grandfather's service record up to Walsall and showed it around at the Chindit Old Comrades dinner.

    I received some very useful information from their wonderful offer of help and owe them my start into Chindit 1 research. Jack was a lovely man in every way.

    OK! Now the photos. I can tell you that photo number 2 is Jack standing on what was the infamous Myitkhina Airstrip, of Merrill's Marauders/Stilwell fame. It is now the only straight road in the town.

    Photos 5&6 I think are internal images of White City, by that I mean inside the stronghold itself. This is exactly where I wanted to get to in 2008, but time was against me. Photo number 7 I would say is the landscape of 'Blackpool' block, where the Chindits of 1944 took a severe beating from Japanese artillery.

    Hope this helps?
  7. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Steve, I believe it must of been the son in law that I corresponded with via E-mail a few years back in regard to a book Jack, had written but after saying he would send details to send payment I heard nothing else:(
  8. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Jason,

    I never did get a copy of Jack's book either, I may well attempt contact and see what can be done.

  9. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Jason,

    Are you still interested in a copy of Jack Lindo's booklet? Let me know and I should be able to deliver on that.

  10. airlana

    airlana Member

    Great thread and always interesting to see new information.

    Here's the map from Mike Calvert's book "Prisoners of Hope" for those that haven't the book.

    Also enlargement of White City showing the "Light Plane Strip' and the 'Dakota Strip'


    Attached Files:

  11. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Nice pics Ash,

    I always forget about the maps hiding in the back sleeve of Prisoners.

  12. mikky

    mikky Member

    Does anyone have a good timeline, for the White City installation/Pagoda hill action. I have read Prisoners of hope, and Fighting mad. Also as much online material as I can find. Prisonersof hope, and fighting mad, while excellent books, are vague on the action itself. The column, Lt Cairns was part of, seems to have been attacked, as it reached the area of the block, around dawn? Calvert hearing the noise of the battle, leads his HQ Coy, and Freddie Shaw's Gurkhas to the location. Here he decides something has to be done, as the block will not succeed, while the Japanese are in control of Pagoda/Henu hill. He leads a charge, and a battle ensues at the top of the hill. " Here there was a brief intermission " says Calvert. How brief? Then they attacked either side of the pagoda, and the hill was won. They then chased the Japanese into Mawlu. If this started at dawn, how long did all this take?

  13. withero2

    withero2 Junior Member

    I found this interesting piece of the White city stronghold


    It includes this excellent map of the stronghold.


    co-ordinates 24°29'0.66"N 96°11'11.11"E


    Hi Mikky,

    My dad was a chindit and got to white city after several days in the jungle on his own. I am going to Burma this year and hope to visit this area. I tried to access the pdf you posted on 22-Sept 2010 (http://etd.lib.ttu.edu/theses/availa...5015505661.pdf), but cannot open it, could you send me thelink or the pdf

  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Rob,

    Sounds like an exciting trip you have planned, is it a tour or have you organised it all yourself?

  15. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Attached are some more similar shots from 2008, plus a relief map of the area and an old photo of the block from 1944. This photo is sometimes mistaken for 'Broadway' in some of the Chindit books.

    Attached Files:

  16. mikky

    mikky Member

    Rob. Forgive me, I haven't been here for a while, and missed your post. The website appears no be unavailable now, unfortunately. I think I have saved the file somewhere, so I will have a search for it. I will let you know if I find it, and am happy to email it to you, if you pm me an address. Wait till I find it though. I'm sure it is somewhere?

    When do you go, and are you going to the White City area?

  17. mikky

    mikky Member

    Rob. I have found the White City File, and if you pm me an email address, I will be happy to send it to you.

    Cheers Mike
  18. mikky

    mikky Member

    Email sent Rob

    If anyone else want this document, feel free to pm me.

  19. mikky

    mikky Member

    I notice there has been a recent update of the google earth image of the White City area. There appears to have been a new path/road constructed on the south side of Pagoda Hill.Not sure if I can upload a Kmz file, wull try. If it doesn't work, copy and paste these co-ordinates into google earth. 24°28'46.56"N 96°11'4.83"E


    Attached Files:

    bamboo43 likes this.
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    There has been quite a bit of activity around White City. A couple of years back there was a memorial unveiled at the location and also a temporary museum dedicated to the Chindit battles at the location.

    White City Memorial 16.04.23d White City,  photo 'The  Chindits Memorial on O.P. Hill' copy 2.jpg
    High Wood and PackRat like this.

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