US ARMY PARATROOPER IN THE PACIFIC THEATER: 1943-45
Author: Gordon Rottman
Publisher: BANTAM (BDD)/RANDOM HOUSE, Nov 2012
Covers the background of the 11th Airborne Division & the 503rd PRCT, their training both stateside & in Australia, before detailing the specific equipment used in the theater &, finally & most importantly, the combat experience at a personal level of the US Army Paratrooper in the Pacific. 64 pgs.
Osprey's Warrior 26: US Army Paratrooper 1941-45 only covers one aspect of the US Army experience of World War II as it is only limited to the Europrean and Mediterranean theaters of war. Airborne units also proved important in the Pacific Theater, where they encountered a very different environment. The tow major Army units that operated in the Pacific - the 11th Airborne Division and the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team (PRCT) launched small-scale operations on extremely difficult, if not, outright dangerous, terrain, while also conducting amphibious assaults, fighting on jungled hills, swamps and mud.
The two units were very different, with the 503rd PRCT being reserved for special purpose missions and the 11th Airborne Division occupying a more traditional role. The 503rd launched the first successful US combat drop Nadzab on New Guinea in September 1943, and went on to conduct a number of other airborne operations on and around New Guinea, taking part in the amphibious assault on Mindoro in the Philippines, before capturing the island of Corregidor in February 1945.
The 11th Airborne Division played a prominent role in the amphibious assault on Leyte in late 1944, and later the island of Luzon - which combined and airborne and amphibious assault. It also conducted the daring Los Banos raid to liberate civilian internees.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gordon L. Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.