My Father's Military Years

A pictorial history of Raymond Carl Holtz in the China-Burma-India theater of World War II
by his son, Robert L. Holtz.

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Raymond Carl Holtz Private, USAAF April, 1943

Raymond's Military Story
Raymond C. Holtz entered into training at Fort Dix, New Jersey on April 28th. 1943.  He returned home on Christmas day in 1945. His training and overseas history in World War II is shown here through the photos which he took.  He seldom talked about his war service.  Neither did his family ask about his service before his death in 1987.  Like many servicemen, he wanted only an end to the war and to get home to his wife and his firstborn son.  With little knowledge of his military experience, I have attempted a reconstruction of those experiences through whatever was left behind.  Photos give the best story.
There was a period of time between his completion of training until he left for India which is unaccounted for by the military records.  As reported by a friend of Raymonds, he participated in the invasion of Normandy which commenced on June 6, 1944.  From June 6 until July 13, 1944, five thousand and seven hundred Army Air force members participated in the American airlift to Normandy.  Raymond was probably part of that group and participated as a truck driver.  It was reported that he felt lucky to make it out alive.
He photographed and developed many of the following photos with the assistance of fellow servicemen.   The quality of the pictures is very good, considering the adverse conditions under which they were developed.
Raymond was trained with the Army Air Force at Fort Dix and was in the Air Transport Command.  He was a member of the ground crews wherever he was stationed.  Included are several photos of men who served with him, some in India and some in China.  He left for India on November 1st, 1944.  Possibly traveling by way of the Pacific, it is thought that he flew over San Francisco and to Hawaii at one time.  He started his CBI experience at Karachi.  He was based at the 1306th AAFBU in Karachi, with only shoulder air force patches.  He acquired his CBI patches while in Karachi.  Photos show him later in Agra, as the Taj Mahal is photographed.  He is also in Calcutta and took several photos while stationed in that city.  Other photos show him present at an India construction site where airfield buildings were being built.  He was always proud to say that he had flown over the "hump".  Stationed in Kunming at the 1350th AAFBU, he took many photos of the city and the people as well as airplanes and country life.  His military occupation was a "Message Center Clerk" (667).  He was at other Chinese cities but it is not known where and when he moved.  He left the CBI on November 16th, 1945 returning by ship through the Suez Canal and past the Rock of Gilbralter and across the Atlantic Ocean, as many others also took that route.  It is hoped that by showing these photos there may be someone that recognizes either the scenes or the men involved.  From that, I may be able to learn more about my father's life in the CBI.
He was the recipient of the American Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
If anyone has knowledge of the contents of any of these photos, please help this research by sending an e-mail.  I will gladly respond to any connected information and would also like to hear from anyone with similar photos or first hand knowledge about any recognized locations.

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