Barney Rosset: Early Life & Career > The Army Signal Corps
Heading to China:
"In the early fall of 1944, I was shipped out from Norfolk, Va. with 10,000 other G.I.'s on a new troop ship. It was considered fast enough to outrun submarines, and therefore we traveled without escort. It was some cruise – 42 days of dehydrated eggs and fraying nerves, taking us through the Panama Canal, around Australia, and then to Bombay. … Finally a transfer for me to go to New Delhi arrived. I was assigned to the 164th Signal Corps Photographic Company, whose area of operations included China, Burma and India, with headquarters in New Delhi. … We took off from Assam for Kunming, my unit's HQ in China. I was a raw, semi-trained 2nd lt. in the Signal Corps, 22 years old, and without a clue as to what was going on. Scarcely able to walk under the weight of my equipment, I struggled onto the airplane. … The next thing I remember, was waking up with a hangover in my outfit's billet, the headache rendered irrelevant by the thrilling fact that I was in the China of my dreams. I had stepped through the looking glass into the pages of Edgar Snow's Red Star Over China, a book which I first read in 9th grade and never forgot. Of course I was joining up with Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomintang instead of Mao and the Red Army."
Essay selections by Barney Rosset in Janos Gat's 2002 Gallery Catalogue,"Barney Rosset: China in Conflict. War Photographs, 1944-1945"