Then, discussion of its actual combat work. He had graying hair and smoked his pipe non-stop. The unit was to have 700 animals that included 360 mules. Battling Japanese soldiers, hunger, fevers, and disease, they had traversed more jungle terrain on their long-range missions than any other U.S. Army formation during World War II.
Japanese forces were continually surprised by the heavy, accurate volume of fire they received when attacking Marauder positions. The 5307th, supported by airstrikes, held the line, though ammunition ran low. Their goal was to capture the important Japanese airfield at Myitkyina. My shoulders were worn raw from the pack straps, and I left the pack behind … The boys with me weren’t in much better shape … A scout moving ahead suddenly held his rifle high in the air. Small arms included the .30-06 M1 Garand, the .30-06 M1903A4 sniper rifle, the .30 M1 carbine, the .45 Thompson submachine gun, the .45 M1911 pistol, the .30-06 BAR (M1922 machine rifle version), and the .30 M1919 Browning air-cooled belt-fed machine gun. In April, the Marauders were ordered by General Stilwell to take up a blocking position at Nhpum Ga and hold it against Japanese attacks, a conventional defensive action for which the unit had not been equipped. Pack mules that stumbled plummeted to their deaths. The 5307th resupplied with airdrops. Led by Kachin scouts, and using mobility and surprise, the Marauders harassed supply and communication lines, shot up patrols and assaulted Japanese rear areas.
Informed by the British that the situation in Imphal was under control, Stilwell wanted to launch a final assault to capture the Japanese airfield at Myitkyina. US House lawmakers approved a bill that would award the Congressional Gold medal to members of the elite unit, India is nowhere in the world; denial won't work, Gas war with Russia drives Turkey in the Caucasus, India’s Taiwan trade deal reports unnerve China, Europe's grim Covid choice: Who lives and who dies. The 5307th marched through increasingly rough terrain. It was trained to work behind Japanese lines during the Burma campaign of World War II. Several of the men died including Colonel Henry Kinnison, one of the team leaders. The unit got its nickname from its leader, Brig. In his honor, Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega, Georgia, is home to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion and the mountain phase of the U.S. Army Ranger School. I was so sick I didn't care whether the Japs broke through or not; so sick I didn't worry any more about letting the colonel down. — 740 pages, 28 maps, 52 photos, index. Merrill’s Marauders Proud Descendants are the descendants, family members and friends of men who fought in a forgotten land, during World War II.
Starting on March 12, the 5307th advanced over the Jambu Bum Ridge into the Mogaung Valley, which led to the great Irrawaddy River that flowed past Myitkyina. Unfortunately, combat, disease, and time have taken their toll. Racked with bloody dysentery and fevers, sleeping in the mud and never reinforced, the Marauders alternately assaulted, then defended in a seesaw series of brutal infantry engagements with Japanese forces. Sometimes staggering, sometimes running, sometimes dragging, I made it back to camp. Today there are only eight surviving members of the famed unit. Diseases, typhus, malaria, and dysentery, kept reducing the Marauders’ numbers until only 200 effective riflemen were left.
"Merrill's Marauders: Combined Operations in Northern Burma in 1944", Weston, Logan, "The Fightin' Preacher", Vision Press (1992), This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 15:05. We are one step closer to honoring our beloved heroes with the esteemed Congressional Gold Medal!
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