11th Airborne Division (United States



11th Airborne Division (United States)
11th Airborne Division

11th Airborne Division shoulder sleeve insignia Active Country Branch Type Size Nickname 25 February 1943–30 June 1958 1 February 1963 – 29 June 1965 United States Regular Army/Airborne infantry Parachute Infantry Air Assault Division Angels (Special Designation)

Engagements World War II
• • • •

Pacific War Leyte Philippines Raid at Los Baños

Notable Major General Joseph M. Swing commanders Ridgely Gaither

The 11th Airborne Division ("Angels"[1]) was a United States Army airborne formation, first activated on 25 February 1943, during World War II. Consisting of one parachute and two glider infantry regiments, with supporting troops, the division underwent rigorous training throughout 1943. It played a vital role in the successful Knollwood Maneuver, which was organised to determine the viability of large-scale American airborne formations after their utility had been called into question following a disappointing performance during the Allied invasion of Sicily. Held in reserve in the United States for the first half of 1944, in June the division was transferred to the Pacific Theater of Operations. Upon arrival it entered a period of intense training and acclimatization, and by November was judged combat-ready. The 11th Airborne saw its first action on the island of Leyte in the Philippines, but in a traditional infantry role. In January 1945 the division took part in the invasion of Luzon. The two glider infantry regiments again operated as conventional infantry, securing a beachhead before fighting their way inland. The parachute infantry regiment was held in reserve for several days before conducting the division's first airborne operation, a combat drop on the Tagaytay Ridge. Reunited, the division participated in the Liberation of Manila, and two companies of divisional paratroopers conducted an audacious raid on the Los Baños internment camp, liberating two thousand civilians. The 11th Airborne's last combat operation of World War II was in the north of Luzon around Aparri, in aid of combined American and Philippine forces who were battling to subdue the remaining Japanese resistance on the island.

believed otherwise.[9] As the 11th Airborne Division was in reserve in the United States and had not yet been earmarked for combat. whose arrangements for the maneuver would effectively decide the fate of divisional-sized airborne forces.321 men was around half the strength of a regular American World War II infantry division. the overall commander of US Army ground forces. glider infantry.[4][5] the 11th Airborne Division was officially activated on 25 February 1943 at Camp Mackall in North Carolina. Swing.11th Airborne Division (United States) On 30 August 1945 the division was sent to southern Japan as part of the occupation force. Gen. However. Four years later it was recalled to the United States. As formed the division consisted of the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment. On 9 July 1943.[7] Training included lengthy forced marches. the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment and the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment.[9] Swing Board Eisenhower reviewed the airborne role in Operation Husky and concluded that large-scale formations were too difficult to control in combat to be practical. Gen. was temporarily transferred to act as airborne advisor to General Dwight D. before being finally inactivated on 29 June 1965. compact units. had similar misgivings: once an airborne supporter. McNair. Eisenhower for the operation. leading to a perception that it had failed to achieve many of its objectives. Maj. The 82nd Airborne Division had been inserted by parachute and glider and had suffered high casualties.[10] Lt. Swing. The division's personnel and equipment were transferred to the newly-raised 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). simulated parachute landings from 34-foot (unknown operator: u'strong' m) and 250-foot (unknown operator: u'strong' m) towers. and artillery officers. The maneuver would additionally provide the 11th Airborne and its individual units with further training. under the command of Maj. as had occurred several months previously in an earlier large-scale exercise conducted by the 101st and the 82nd Airborne Divisions. codenamed Operation Husky. It was briefly reactivated on 1 February 1963 under the new name of the 11th Air Assault Division (Test). he had been greatly disappointed by the performance of airborne units in North Africa and more recently Sicily.[3] One of the resultant five American and two British airborne divisions. which in common with all airborne units was extremely arduous to befit their elite status. could be assessed. hesitancy in the doorway of an aircraft resulted in an automatic failure for the candidate. the Swing Board selected it as the test formation. including General George Marshall. planned for December 1943. and practice jumps from transport aircraft. Gen. Joseph M. 2 World War II Formation Inspired by the pioneering German use of large-scale airborne formations during the Battle of France in 1940 and later the Invasion of Crete in 1941.[6] The division initially remained in the United States for training.[12] McNair ordered him to form a committee—the Swing Board—composed of air force. but there was never a shortage of candidates. to explore the theory and practicality of helicopter assault tactics. where it became a training formation.[8] The 11th's commanding officer. and observed the airborne assault which went badly. he was given the role of preparing the exercise.[7] Before training was complete a debate developed in the United States Army over whether the best use of airborne forces was en masse or as small.[11] When Swing returned to the United States to resume command of the 11th Airborne in mid-September 1943. but on 30 June 1958 the division was inactivated. especially in American airborne units the rate of pay was much higher than that of an ordinary infantryman. One parachute infantry regiment was detached for service in the Korean War. parachute. The washout rate was high.[13] . the first large-scale Allied airborne operation was carried out by elements of the United States 82nd Airborne Division and the British 1st Airborne Division in support of the Allied invasion of Sicily. Marshall persuaded Eisenhower to set up a review board and to withhold judgement until the outcome of a large-scale maneuver. and with a complement of 8. Leslie J. other high-ranking officers.[2] the various Allied powers decided to raise airborne units of their own.

Each group took off from a different airfield in the Carolinas.[20] Four days later it was attached to XXIV Corps and committed to combat." –The conclusion of General Eisenhower's review of the performance of American airborne forces during Operation Husky [9] 3 Knollwood Maneuver The 11th Airborne. as the attacking force.[15] The entire operation was observed by Army Ground Forces commander Lt. when it was moved by train from Camp Mackall to Camp Polk in Louisiana. artillery. The 11th Airborne was ordered to relieve the 7th Infantry Division stationed in the Burauen-La Paz-Bugho area.. Papua New Guinea. between 25 May and 11 June. engage and destroy all Japanese forces in its operational area. was assigned the objective of capturing Knollwood Army Auxiliary Airfield near Fort Bragg in North Carolina. conducting parachute drops in the New Guinea jungle and around the airfield in Dobodura. and protect XXIV Corps rear-area supply dumps and airfields. Eighty-five percent were delivered to their targets without navigational error. The four groups deployed a total of 4. who would ultimately have a significant say in deciding the fate of the parachute infantry divisions.[21] .800 troops in the first wave.[19] in April the division was moved to Camp Stoneman. the 11th Airborne Division then launched a coordinated ground attack against a reinforced infantry regiment and conducted several aerial resupply and casualty evacuation missions in coordination with United States Army Air Force transport aircraft. and then transferred to Milne Bay.[17] The transport aircraft were divided into four groups. McNair. division-sized airborne forces were deemed to be feasible. As a result of the Knollwood Maneuver. but operating as an infantry division rather than in an airborne capacity. After four weeks of final preparation for its combat role.[17] and the airborne troops seized the Knollwood Army Auxiliary Airfield and secured the landing area for the rest of the division before daylight. During this period.. California.11th Airborne Division (United States) "I do not believe in the airborne division.] To employ at any time and place a whole division would require a dropping over such an extended area that I seriously doubt that a division commander could regain control and operate the scattered forces as one unit. two of which carried paratroopers while the other two towed gliders.[17] With its initial objectives taken. attributed this success to the great improvements in airborne training that had been implemented in the months following Operation Husky. and Eisenhower permitted their retention. with the 11th Airborne Division being airlifted to thirteen separate objectives by 200 C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft and 234 Waco CG-4A gliders. McNair. On 11 November the division boarded a convoy of naval transports and was escorted to Leyte in the Philippines.[19] From June to September the division underwent acclimatization and continued its airborne training. most of the glider troops became parachute-qualified making the division almost fully Airborne. Gen. comprising infantry.[14] The force defending the airfield and its environs was a combat team composed of elements of the 17th Airborne Division and a battalion from the 541st Parachute Infantry Regiment. I believe that airborne troops should be reorganized in self-contained units. and special services.[16] The Knollwood Maneuver took place on the night of 7 December 1943.[17] The exercise was judged by observers to be a great success. pleased by its results.[18] Leyte Following the Knollwood Maneuver the 11th Airborne remained in reserve until January 1944. all about the strength of a regimental combat team [. arriving on 18 November.

to the north of Leyte. engineers and support troops led by Maj. Gen. The first attempted to deploy a small number of Japanese airborne troops to occupy several key American-held airfields at Tacloban and Dulag. and the 2nd Batt.[22] but progress proved slow in the face of fierce Japanese resistance. reaching the River Palico by 14:30 and securing a vital bridge before it . A-20 Havoc light bombers and P-38 Lightning fighter aircraft. creating the space for the 187th GIR to come ashore.[25] The second. personally killing twenty-seven Japanese soldiers before being mortally wounded by a sniper. and heavy rainfall (with more than twenty-three inches (60 cm) falling in November alone)..[30] The regiment was ordered to set up temporary defensive positions before being relieved on 25 December by the 1st Batt. the division resorted to using large numbers of Piper Cub aircraft to drop food and ammunition. Swing ordered the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR) to guard the rear installations of XXIV Corps.. failed. but the raiders were eliminated by an ad hoc combat group of artillerymen. which it began on 28 November when it relieved the 7th Infantry.[26][27] Five L-5 Sentinel reconnaissance aircraft and one C-47 transport were destroyed. As the advance continued resupply became progressively more difficult. after which its 1st Battalion advanced up the island's arterial Highway 17 to deny the Japanese time to establish defenses further inland. the Japanese managed to drop a number of airborne troops around Burauen airfield. crash-landed or destroyed on the ground along with their passengers.[24] Map of the Philippines with Leyte highlighted On 6 December the Japanese tried to disrupt operations on Leyte by conducting two small-scale airborne raids. Fryar earned a posthumous Medal of Honor when he helped to repel a counterattack.[31] Luzon On 22 January the division was placed on alert for an operation on the island of Luzon.[32] The regiment moved rapidly to secure Nasugbu. The 188th's 2nd Battalion was relieved and the regiment continued its advance. despite heavy losses.[28] Five days later the 187th and 188th Glider Infantry Regiments were embarked for Luzon by sea. 187th GIR. a lack of mapped trails.[29] It was during this period that Private Elmer E. such as dropping platoons of the 187th GIR from Piper Cubs in front of the 511th PIR to reconnoiter. a beach-head was established in the face of light Japanese resistance. Gen. Supported by a short naval barrage. and continued its slow but steady progress. The 511th PIR was reassembled at its original base-camp in Leyte on 15 January 1945. and using C-47 transport aircraft to drop artillery pieces to the regiment's location when other forms of transport. in southern Luzon. but failed when the three aircraft used were either shot-down. 187th GIR. linking up with elements of the 32nd Infantry Division. On 17 December it broke through the Japanese lines and arrived at the western shoreline of Leyte. while the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment flew by C-46 Commando transport aircraft to Mindoro. The 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) was assigned the task of destroying all Japanese formations in the division's operational area. The 2nd Battalion moved south. larger. while the 188th GIR was to secure the division's rear and conduct aggressive patrols to eliminate any enemy troops in the area. Swing.[28] The 511th PIR was reinforced by the 2nd Battalion. raid was carried out by between twenty-nine and thirty-nine transport aircraft supported by fighters. who would themselves incur considerable casualties against a heavily dug-in enemy.[23] Several attempts were made to improve the rate of advance. 188th GIR. where the headquarters of 11th Airborne Division were located. such as mule-trains. The 511th PIR advanced overland with two battalions abreast and the third in reserve. crossing the River Lian and securing the division's right flank.11th Airborne Division (United States) 4 Maj. At dawn on 31 January the 188th GIR led an amphibious assault near Nasugbu.[33] By 10:30 elements of the 188th had pushed deep into southern Luzon.

and by midday had managed to break through the first Japanese position. despite a local counter-attack.[37] At 08:15 the first echelon of the first lift. These consisted of trenches linked to bunkers and fortified caves.325 dropping early due to pilot error and poor jump discipline.11th Airborne Division (United States) could be destroyed by Japanese combat engineers. Protected by an escort of P-61 Black Widow night fighters. The city was protected by the Genko Line.[36] With only forty-eight C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft available. and Mindanao 5 At 03:00 on 3 February the troops of the first lift entered their transport planes.[35] At 09:00 on 1 February the glider infantry launched their assault.[38] However.[40] The line consisted of approximately 1. plowed in places. and the 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion would drop in the third. where it would link up with other American forces attacking the city from the north. the entire regiment was assembled within five hours of the first landings. many of which emplaced naval guns or large-caliber mortars. consisting of approximately 570 men.829 m) long and four thousand yards (3. The ridge having been cleared of its remaining defenders.[34] At midnight the 187th took over the lead and the two glider infantry regiments rested briefly before tackling the main Japanese defensive lines. the regiment began to encounter heavier Japanese resistance. successfully parachuted into the drop zone. and the entire division was once again assembled as a single formation. after a short artillery bombardment on the morning of 12 February. the 511th changed their axis of advance and attempted to move into the city from the north. This was heavily fortified with a number of entrenched naval guns and a series of bunkers.[42] Spearheading the division's attack on 5 February. This pincer movement succeeded in taking the airfield and. The regimental staff. an airfield that formed the center of the Genko Line. the division had penetrated as far as Nichols Field. The divisional reconnaissance platoon was now in the vicinity of Tagaytay Ridge. they spent the rest of the day conducting mopping up operations. On the morning of 2 February the second line was breached.[37] Map of the Philippines showing the island groups of Luzon. approximately 345 men. and at 07:00 the first transports left Mindoro. but with Major General Swing's insistence that the drop was only to go ahead if his ground forces were in range to offer support. and had been largely cleared of Japanese troops by local Filipino guerrillas. Following Highway 17 to Tumalin. but was soon relieved by the 188th.[41] The 11th Airborne Division was ordered to breach the Genko Line and drive into Manila. the 511th overcame fierce resistance and broke the crust of the Japanese position. Entrenched heavy anti-aircraft weapons.200 two.657 m) wide. reaching the Paranaque River by 21:00. As the glider regiment took up the push westwards in the face of heavy opposition. The next lift also encountered problems. and by midnight the 188th had broken a third. the intended site of the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment's first combat drop. the dogged Japanese resistance encountered delayed the operation. a major Japanese defensive belt that stretched along Manila's southern edge. with 425 men dropping correctly but another 1.000 Japanese soldiers.to three-story deep blockhouses. the 187th's 2nd Battalion attacked the airfield's north-west corner while the 1st Battalion and the entire 188th regiment moved in from the south and south-eastern corners. the 511th was forced to deploy in three waves. The ridge itself was an open space some two thousand yards (1.315 m) to the east. the division began to advance towards Manila. the rest of the regiment would arrive in the second lift. All three regiments were committed to the assault. by nightfall the position was . machine-gun nests and booby-traps made of naval bombs completed the defenses.[32][36] The 511th's airborne operation had originally been scheduled for 2 February. were dropped prematurely and landed about eight thousand yards (7. and were manned by several hundred infantry with numerous artillery pieces in support. Visayas. the 2nd Battalion and half of the 3rd Battalion would drop first.[39] After overcoming minor Japanese resistance. The second echelon. by 15:00 the 511th had made contact with the 188th and 187th. on arriving over Luzon they followed Highway 17 to Tagaytay Ridge. By 11 February. which were manned by around 6.

two battalions of heavy artillery and a tank destroyer battalion would advance down Highway 1 towards Los Baños to interdict any Japanese attempts to interfere. Maj. neutralized several Japanese bunkers which were impeding the division's progress. This was an extremely heavily fortified position featuring the same defensive measures as the Genko Line. and a four-phase plan was devised by Major Vanderpool and the divisional staff officers. and it would take six days of hard fighting.[50] On 20 February. It was during this advance that Private First Class Manuel Perez Jr. and by 18 February the area had been cleared of its defenders. The largest of these was located on the campus of the Agricultural College of the Philippines at Los Baños. The latter group included several hundred women and children. command staff were briefed daily by the officer working with the guerilla groups. and professional workers such as doctors and engineers. Swing and his February 1945. some forty miles (64 km) south-east of Manila. PFC Perez was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.[44] On 15 February. many had become weak from food rationing. Swing was finally able to release sufficient troops for a raid on the Los Baños camp.[48] All Paratroopers of the 511th Parachute Infantry that could be accomplished during February was to gather information. The 511th led the break-in. mostly in internment camps scattered throughout the island. Major Vanderpool. Despite navigational difficulties. 22 Southern Luzon and around Los Baños. and prepare for its evacuation. the platoon came ashore near Los Baños at . Gen. the 1st Battalion of the 187th. and the frequent use of napalm and heavy artillery. secure the camp.[43] The following day the division thrust towards Fort McKinley. the paratroopers would eliminate Japanese resistance in the area.[46] Sporadic fighting continued in Manilla until 3 March.[51] Assisted by a group of guerrillas. and their families.[45] Meanwhile. on the night of 21 February the divisional reconnaissance platoon made their way to the lake and collected ten canoes. Roman Catholic nuns and priests. but the division's ongoing combat operations around the Genko Line left it unable to divert any resources at that time. Fifty-four amphibious Amtracs would transport two additional companies of paratroopers to the lake shore. Several guard towers and bunkers dotted its perimeter. Vanderpool established that it was surrounded by two barbed-wire fences approximately six feet tall. a task force consisting of a reinforced infantry battalion. having taken heavy casualties on its approach to Fort McKinley—particularly when the Japanese detonated a quantity of buried naval depth charges—on 17 February the rest of the 11th Airborne Division assaulted the fort. commander of the Japanese defenders on Luzon. multiple airstrikes. the headquarters of Rear Admiral Iwabuchi.[47] General Douglas MacArthur had tasked the 11th Airborne Division with rescuing the Los Baños internees on 3 February. launched an attack on Mabato Point. Regiment prepare to board transport aircraft for primarily through liaison with the guerilla groups operating in their raid on the Los Baños internment camp. securing a large adjacent field as the drop zone for a company of paratroopers. Gen. Prisoners left each morning under armed guard to gather food supplies and firewood from a nearby town. capturing one single-handedly and killing eighteen Japanese soldiers.[51] The divisional reconnaissance platoon would travel across a nearby lake and move to the outskirts of the camp.[48] From the guerillas and a few civilians that had escaped the camp. Simultaneously. Having landed. While all the inmates appeared to be in good health. where a beachhead would be established while the Amtracs continued to the camp to evacuate its occupants.11th Airborne Division (United States) secured.[45] 6 Raid at Los Baños A large number of civilian prisoners had been detained by the Japanese on Luzon. Maj. each containing at least two guards. when all organized Japanese resistance ended. alongside other American units. before the point was secured.[49] Vanderpool was informed that the camp's population consisted of American civilians in three distinct groups: Protestant missionaries and their families.

and by 07:30 the Japanese guards had been overcome and the internees were being rounded up and readied for evacuation. one of three groups of the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army under General Tomoyuki Yamashita. to commit four infantry divisions.[58] The bulk of the division moved south the following day. The paratroopers soon joined the battle. and many Japanese units elected to fight to the death rather than surrender.[57] 7 Southern Luzon and Aparri On the day that the Los Baños internees were freed.[61][62] This last of General Yamashita's three groups proved to be the most tenacious. and a large band of guerillas. Once the engineering work was completed. Gen.[52] During the afternoon B Company of the 1st Battalion. and the convoy of Amtracs reached the camp without incident. By 11:30 all of the civilians had been evacuated. using Bazooka rounds to penetrate the concrete pillboxes.[60] The 11th Airborne's next operation took place on 23 June in the province of Aparri in northern Luzon.000-strong Shimbu Group. Swing. children and wounded. To ensure the success of the 37th's drive. and after securing the paratroopers' drop zone. but was able to block Japanese forces that advanced on the camp. commander of the Sixth United States Army. and at 13:00 the Amtrac convoy returned for the rearguard.000-strong Shobu Group. the division's combat troops participated in several refresher-training courses. before retreating back to American lines. the runway of which was lengthened by the 127th Engineering Battalion to accommodate C-47 transport aircraft. Priority during loading was given to the women.[54] At the lakeshore the 511th's other two companies had secured their beachhead. all organized resistance in southern Luzon ended on 1 May. an armored task force. Conducting combat operations was extremely difficult in the mountainous terrain. with the 187th GIR and the 511th PIR advancing abreast.[58] However. the headquarters of Sixth United States Army assigned the 11th Airborne Division the task of destroying all Japanese formations in southern Luzon. the reconnaissance platoon and the guerrillas remaining behind to provide a rearguard. 511th PIR was transferred to the airfield from which they would be deployed.[58] These forces belonged to the 80.[53] At 07:00 on the morning of 23 February. the reconnaissance platoon and the supporting guerilla fighters opened fire on the camp's defences. with the last paratroopers leaving the beach at approximately 15:00. some of the able-bodied men walked alongside the Amtracs as they returned to the beach. While these forces pinned down the Japanese. with B Company.[59] It would take until the end of April for the 11th Airborne Division—often acting in conjunction with Filipino guerillas and elements of the 1st Map of Cagayan showing the location of Aparri Cavalry Division—to subdue the Shimbu Group. south of Manila.[63] . The 188th GIR was detached from the main advance by Maj. Krueger called for an airborne force to land near Aparri and move southwards to meet the advancing 37th.[53] As the first paratroopers landed.11th Airborne Division (United States) 02:00 the following morning. it was to eliminate all Japanese units still operating in the Pico de Loro hills along the southern shore of Manila Bay.[56] The raid had been a complete success. The first evacuation convoy left the camp at approximately 10:00.147 civilians. liberating 2. forcing Lieutenant-General Walter Krueger.[61] By this time the only Japanese forces remaining on the island were positioned to the far north and belonged to the 52.[55] Meanwhile on Highway 1. the 37th Infantry Division began an advance northwards. when the division captured Mount Malepunyo near the city of Lipa. arriving over their drop zone shortly afterwards. the taskforce that had been deployed to protect the operation met heavy Japanese resistance and suffered several casualties. defeating a weaker formation and encircling the main Japanese force. The 11th Airborne established a base centered around the former Japanese airstrip on the outskirts of Lipa. concealed themselves in the jungle near the camp. while the rest of the battalion rendezvoused with the Amtrac convoy. B Company took off in ten C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft. and then entered the camp to engage its garrison.

[73] The 11th Airborne Division was later moved from Yokohama to northern Japan. It would then advance southwards.[70] The divisional staff received orders to this effect on 11 August 1945. approximately ten miles (16 km) south of Aparri.[74] . which was airlifted into Japan at the same time. it was to remain as Sixth Army's operational reserve. 120 vehicles and approximately 1. to be committed if required. and by 13 September it had been joined by the 27th Infantry Division. it was ordered to land at Atsugi Airfield outside of Yokohama. and a platoon of engineers and miscellaneous signal and medical detachments.[71] It took a week to fully assemble the division.[68] 8 Post-World War II Occupation of Japan General MacArthur made plans to use the 11th Airborne Division in the invasion of Japan. 350 C-46 Commando and 150 C-47 Dakota transport aircraft the 11th Airborne Division into Japan to airlift 11. Gen.16 million [71] pounds (530. until it linked up with the leading elements of the 37th Infantry Division. an artillery battery from the 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion. its encirclement marked the 11th Airborne Division's final combat operation of the war. forcing the airborne troops to rely on flamethrowers to eliminate bunkers and fortifications along their route.11th Airborne Division (United States) The 11th Airborne Division was to drop a battalion-sized combat team on Camalaniugan Airfield. and established camps along the coast of Honshu and on the island of Hokkaido. The 11th Airborne remained on [72] Okinawa for several weeks before. the task force encountered the lead elements of the 37th Infantry Division.[67] After three days of fighting and having eliminated a significant portion of Shobu Group. and began its advance southwards.100 men. a detachment of pathfinders from the division was flown in to secure Camalaniugan Airfield.[69] However. causing two deaths and seventy injuries during the drop. evacuate all Japanese civilians and military personnel within a radius of three miles (5 km).[66] On 21 June. eliminating all Japanese resistance. G and I Companies of the regiment's 2nd Battalion. on the main Japanese home island of Honshū. an operation that involved 99 B-24 Liberator USAF C-54 Skymaster. and finally occupy Yokohama itself. Swing formed a special unit–Gypsy Task Force–comprising the 1st Battalion of the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment. and two days later the transport aircraft carrying the troops of Gypsy Task Force were escorted by fighters to the area. Japanese resistance was stiff. on 28 August.[64] To accomplish this Maj. of the type used to airlift bombers.[67] Despite these casualties the force was rapidly concentrated. but fierce winds and uneven ground around the airfield proved hazardous to the parachutists. Although Shobu Group would continue its resistance until September.[71] A large number of C-54 Skymaster transport aircraft were made available.[71] and the division was transported to Okinawa on 12 August.000 kg) of equipment. as well as six Waco CG-4A Gliders which would land jeeps and supplies for the task force.[65] Gypsy Task Force would be transported by fifty-four C-47 Skytrain and thirteen C-46 Commando aircraft. At 09:00 the pathfinder detachment set off colored smoke to mark the drop-zone. with the first—carrying Swing and his divisional staff—landing at Atsugi Airfield at 06:00 on 30 August. the division was instead selected by General MacArthur to lead the American forces that would occupy Japan. Its instructions were to secure the surrounding area. with the end of hostilities in the Pacific Theater shortly after the detonation of two nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

processing and training approximately thirteen thousand recalled reservists between September and December 1950 alone. Army Tactical Mobility Requirements Board. For service in Korea. screening and aerial resupply.[75] The division was transferred to Camp Campbell in Kentucky[75] and became a training formation.S. while those of the 2nd Infantry Division were moved to Korea.11th Airborne Division (United States) 9 Training and first inactivation Occupation duties in Japan continued until May 1949. Howze. the 187th RCT was relocated to Fort Campbell. the division was inactivated for the final time on 29 June 1965. In July that year the 187th. was transferred to the newly-reactivated 101st Airborne Division. but as a unit independent of its parent division.[75] The 187th RCT remained in Korea until 1 October 1953. ranging from command and control maneuvers to scouting. when it was transferred to Japan for two years until being replaced by the 508th RCT.[82] This was done on the recommendation of the U. and the 1st Airborne Battle Group was instead moved to the 24th Infantry Division.[83] The 11th was reincarnated as a "light" division. with its personnel and equipment being merged with the 2nd Infantry Division to form the newly-raised 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).[82] 11th Air Assault Division (Test) Insignia For the next two years. with several of its subordinate units inactivated including the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment. were transferred to Fort Benning. 187th Infantry remained with the 101st until 1964[79] while the 3rd Battalion was inactivated. As the division was en route. the 187th Glider Infantry Regiment—now renamed the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment—and the 674th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion were detached from the division and re-formed as a separate Regimental Combat Team (RCT). In early 1957 the 1st Airborne Battle Group. the United States Army began to explore alternative means by which it could conduct future conflicts. also known as the 'Howze Board' after its president Lieutenant General Hamilton H.[84] However.[78] The 2nd Airborne Battle Group. The 187th returned to the United States on 17 July 1955.[75] The 187th RCT saw two years of fighting in Korea. the 11th Division was itself inactivated in Augsburg on 1 July 1958. 187th Infantry transferred to Augsburg to join its former parent formation. to replace the 5th Infantry Division stationed in Augsburg and Munich.[85] . the 11th Airborne Division was reformed on 1 February 1963 as a test-bed formation. taking over the camps that the 11th had recently vacated. As the American Army began to restructure its organisation (known as the Pentomic Concept). the 188th Airborne Infantry and the 511th Airborne Infantry – were also reformed under the new division. when the 11th Airborne was relieved and recalled to the United States. To investigate this concept's feasibility. where it was reintegrated into the 11th Airborne Division. conducting two airborne operations as well as operating as conventional infantry.[80] However. the 11th Air Assault Division developed and refined air assault tactics and the equipment required to operate effectively in the role.[77] The 11th Airborne Division was sent to Germany in early 1956 as part of Operation Gyroscope. along with the 508th ARC.[81] Reactivation and final inactivation In the early 1960s.[76] The rest of the division continued its training role. capable of rapid deployment via air force or army aircraft. The 187th and 188th tested helicopters during various exercises.[82] Elements of its original combat units – the 187th Airborne Infantry. thereby completely recreating the organizational structure it had possessed when deactivated. and one of the many ideas from the United States Department of Defense was the concept of helicopter assault. The colors of the 1st Cavalry Division. at that time assigned to Korea. the battalions of the 187th were re-designated as Airborne Battle Groups. Training continued until the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. to assess their ability to perform as combat aircraft. and renamed the 11th Air Assault Division (Test).

[3] Harclerode. [13] Huston. p. p. p. pp. pictured on the right. htm). org/ web/ 20080616211621/ http:/ / www. 563–564. p. 615. [8] Devlin. p. was worn in the early 1960s by troops of 11th who qualified for it by making three helicopter rappels from 60 feet (unknown operator: u'strong' m) and three from 120 feet (unknown operator: u'strong' m). 613–614. [19] Flanagan. The badge was first awarded in early 1964 and was only authorized for wear by soldiers within the 11th. [28] Flanagan. Soldiers were also required to be knowledgeable of aircraft safety procedures. United States Army Center of Military History. able to prepare. [30] United States Army. 617.11th Airborne Division (United States) 10 An earlier predecessor to the current Air Assault Badge [86]. [5] Flanagan. p. [18] Huston. Centre of Military History (16 July 2007). . [6] Flanagan. [2] Flanagan. p. 314. p. [37] Flanagan. 98. [7] Flanagan. pp 212. history. 204. [12] Devlin. p. . pp. history. while Flanagan writes that there were thirty-nine. "Medal of Honor Recipients World War II (A-F)" (http:/ / web. 137. html). [23] Flanagan. p. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. mil/ html/ forcestruc/ spdes-123-ra_ar. . p. [21] Devlin. [27] Flanagan. p. [22] Devlin. proficient in hand and arm signals and combat assault operations. p. [9] Devlin. [29] Devlin. [35] Harclerode. [24] Flanagan. 15. html). 278. p. 310. army. 247. p. moorecountyairport. [32] Flanagan. [36] Harclerode. [16] Devlin. mil/ html/ moh/ wwII-a-f. 562. 13 June 2006. 313. Retrieved 27 July 2008. Air Assault badge (obsolete) Footnotes [1] "Special Unit Designations" (http:/ / web. p. p. [14] "Moore County Airport History" (http:/ / www. history. [4] Harclerode. Tugwell states that there were twenty-nine transport planes. mil/ html/ forcestruc/ spdes-123-ra_ar. 31. archive. 557. familiar with aircraft orientation. p. [20] Harclerode. pp. and able to lash down equipment inside helicopters. p. 246. 309. 100. p. . com/ history. pp. army. 6. p. 136. archive. history. 557–558. 313. 107. [33] Harclerode. 98. [10] Flanagan. 315. 279. p. Retrieved 10 June 2008. [31] Devlin. html) on 09 June 2010. [34] Harclerode. 21 April 2010. html) on 16 June 2008. 305. org/ web/ 20100609010022/ http:/ / www. p. mil/ html/ moh/ wwII-a-f. p. 603. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. army. pp. [15] Flanagan. 99. Moore County Airport. 246. [25] Tugwell. p. p. p. 311–312. [11] Flanagan. army. inspect and rig equipment for external sling loads. 614–615. p. United States Army. [17] Huston. 197. Retrieved 24 June 2010. [26] Tugwell.

p. [82] Flanagan. . [66] Harclerode. 39078). p. [62] Robert Ross Smith (16 July 2007). archive. 316. 335. army. [79] "US Army Centre of Military History. p. [65] Harclerode. [80] "US Army Centre of Military History. 187th Infantry" (http:/ / www. html). Retrieved 2 November 2009. . [74] Devlin. p. com/ original_air_assault_badge. army. [77] Flanagan. . . 2012. 635. Universal Newsreel. [42] Devlin. [76] Weeks. "Combined Arms in Battle Since 1939" (http:/ / www-cgsc. [84] Flanagan. p. Roger J (ed) (1 January 1992). 333. htm). [81] Flanagan. 640. history. 608. archive. p. html) on 31 May 2008. [54] Flanagan. history. p. 368. mil/ html/ moh/ wwII-m-s. p. [47] Flanagan. [55] Flanagan. org/ details/ gov. 372. United States Army Center of Military History. archives. p. Lineage And Honors Information: 1st Battalion. p. army. [46] Harclerode. p. Retrieved 20 November 2009. [48] Flanagan. Retrieved 23 October 2008. 636. p. 332. [63] Flanagan. p.11th Airborne Division (United States) [38] Robert Ross Smith (16 July 2007). p. [61] Flanagan. 574. pp. [40] Devlin. 643. 600. p. p. [59] Harclerode. p. 231. [60] Devlin. mil/ html/ moh/ wwII-m-s. htm 11 . 612. army. 378. htm). "Triumph in the Philippines" (http:/ / ibiblio. p. 376. p. . [50] Devlin. 631. [39] Flanagan. Lineage And Honors Information: 2nd Battalion. mil/ carl/ resources/ csi/ Spiller/ Spiller. 337. Retrieved February 21. mil/ html/ forcestruc/ lineages/ branches/ inf/ 0187in001bn. org/ hyperwar/ USA/ USA-P-Triumph/ USA-P-Triumph-12. p. mil/ html/ forcestruc/ lineages/ branches/ inf/ 0187in003bn. p. 632. p. 649. p. [69] Skate. 171. 621. army. ranger25. p. [53] Harclerode. 620. org/ web/ 20080531140930/ http:/ / www. 345. pp. [67] Flanagan. . p. html). [56] Devlin. asp). 336. history. history. pp. [51] Flanagan. Centre of Military History (16 July 2007). "Triumph in the Philippines" (http:/ / ibiblio. [75] Flanagan. p. 187th Infantry" (http:/ / www. [70] Video: Allied Forces Land In Japan (1945) (http:/ / www. 640–641. 338. 187th Infantry" (http:/ / www. html). p. org/ hyperwar/ USA/ USA-P-Triumph/ USA-P-Triumph-29. [44] United States Army. p. history. 623. [72] Huston. Retrieved 20 November 2009. [64] Devlin. 377. [43] Harclerode. United States Army. [41] Harclerode. pp. . [49] Devlin. [68] Flanagan. 202. [57] Devlin. p. Archived from the original (http:/ / www. army. 609–610. p. [58] Devlin. p. Lineage And Honors Information: 3rd Battalion. htm). Retrieved 20 November 2009. . [83] Spiller. United States Army Center of Military History. [85] Flanagan. [52] Harclerode. [86] http:/ / www. 330. arc. [78] "US Army Centre of Military History. Retrieved 23 October 2008. "Medal of Honor Recipients World War II (M-S)" (http:/ / web. 623–624. 599–600. United States Army Center of Military History. pp 340–341. 327. Retrieved 10 June 2008. 573. [73] Huston. 328. mil/ html/ forcestruc/ lineages/ branches/ inf/ 0187in002bn. [45] Harclerode. 1945. p. p. p. p. 230. [71] Flanagan.

Weidenfeld & Nicolson. Westbridge Books. Gerard M. Williamson. • Tugwell. Jr (2002). Maurice (1978). ISBN 0-7153-9204-2. Paratrooper–The Saga Of Parachute And Glider Combat Troops During World War II.com/airborne-operations-during-world-war-ii. The Dial Press. The Invasion of Japan: Alternative to the Bomb. htm/) on 05 June 2008. ISBN 1-57003-354-4. Robson Books. External links • Murray. William Kimber & Co Ltd. Airborne–A Combat History Of American Airborne Forces. "Airborne Operations During World War II" (http://web.11th Airborne Division (United States) 12 References • Blair.S Army Airborne Operations In World War II.org/web/ 20080605134037/http://www. M. University of South Carolina Press. James A. Archived from the original (http://www. (1979). • Flanagan. . (1998). Clay (1985). Retrieved 28 April 2008. ISBN 0-312-59652-9.historynet. John Ray (1994). Out Of The Blue–U.archive. • Devlin. Airborne To Battle–A History Of Airborne Warfare 1918–1971. Wings Of War–Airborne Warfare 1918–1945. • Skate. Purdue University Press. Peter (2005). John (1971). • Huston.htm/). • Weeks.com/airborne-operations-during-world-war-ii. The Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 1-55753-148-X. Assault From The Sky–The History of Airborne Warfare. ISBN 1-55750-299-4. ISBN 0-304-36730-3. E. ISBN 0-89141-688-9.historynet. ISBN 0-7183-0262-1. World War II magazine. • Harclerode. Ridgway’s Paratroopers–The American Airborne In World War II.

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