Accession Number:

ADA528262

Title:

Merrill's Marauders: Combined Operations in Northern Burma in 1944

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1996-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

63.0

Abstract:

Merrills Marauders is the popular name given to the U.S. Armys 5307th Composite Unit Provisional, a regiment-sized unit organized and trained for long-range penetration behind enemy lines in Japanese-held Burma in World War II. The 5307th had a short history. Recruitment for the unit began on 1 September 1943, and it was disbanded on 10 August 1944. The unit did not reach India until 31 October 1943 and was only in combat in Burma from the end of February 1944 to the first days of August. But during that period, the 5307th established an impressive record. In fighting against Japanese forces and in its constant struggle against disease, leeches, insects, harsh terrain, and the weather, the Marauders earned a Distinguished Unit Citation. The accomplishments of the 5307th, however, were achieved at a tremendous human cost. The total strength of the unit at the beginning of its operations was 2,997 officers and men. Because some of the men received rear-echelon assignments, the actual number of men who set out on the first mission on 24 February was 2,750. After this operation ended with the capture of Walawbum on 7 March, about 2,500 remained to carry on. The units second mission, from 12 March to 9 April, resulted in 67 men killed and 379 evacuated because of wounds or illness. Thereby reduced to about 2,000 men, the 5307th was augmented by Chinese and native Kachin soldiers for its third mission, the operation to take the Myitkyina airfield, which began on 28 April. Only 1,310 Americans reached this objective, and between 17 May and 1 June, the large majority of these men, most of whom were suffering from disease, were evacuated by air to rear-area hospitals. By the time the town of Myitkyina was taken, only about 200 of the original Galahad force was present. A week after Myitkyina fell, on 10 August 1944, the 5307th, utterly worn out and depleted, was disbanded. Why was the 5307th driven until it suffered over 80 casualties and a total loss of morale

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE