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The FReeper Foxhole Revisits Merrill's Marauders - March 25th, 2005 ^

Posted on 03/24/2005 9:46:40 PM PST by snippy_about_it


Keep our Troops forever in Your care

Give them victory over the enemy...

Grant them a safe and swift return...

Bless those who mourn the lost.

FReepers from the Foxhole join in prayer
for all those serving their country at this time.

...................................................................................... ...........................................

U.S. Military History, Current Events and Veterans Issues

Where Duty, Honor and Country
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.

Our Mission:

The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.

In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.

The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.

If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.

We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.

To read previous Foxhole threads or
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click on the books below.

The FReeper Foxhole Revisits

Code Name: "GALAHAD"

In August 1943 at the "Quebec Conference", President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and other allied leaders decided that an American Long Range Penetration Mission behind the Japanese Lines in Burma was needed to destroy the Japanese supply lines and communications and to play havoc with the enemy forces while an attempt was made to reopen the much needed Burma Road.

Brig. Gen. Frank D. Merrill
Commanding General, 5307th Composite Unit(Provisional)

President Roosevelt issued a Presidential call for volunteers for "A Dangerous and Hazardous Mission". The call was answered by approximately 3,000 American soldiers. The volunteers came from State side units, from the jungles of Panama and Trinidad they came, from the campaigns of Guadalcanal, New Guinea, New Georgia they came, to answer the call, some battle scarred, some new to the ways of war, each different but with one thing in common.
They Answered The Call.

The Unit was officially designated as the "5307th Composite Unit (Provisional)" Code Name: "GALAHAD", later it became popularly known as "MERRILL'S MARAUDERS" named after its leader, Brigadier General Frank Merrill. Formed into six combat teams (400 per team),color-coded Red, White, Blue, Green, Orange and Khaki, two teams to a Battalion, the rest formed the H.Q. and Air Transport Commands.

After preliminary training operations were undertaken in great secrecy in the jungles of Central India, the Marauders began the long march up the Ledo Road and over the outlying ranges of the Himalayan Mountains into Burma. The Marauders with no tanks or heavy artillery to support them, walked over 1,000 miles through extremely dense and almost impenetrable jungles and came out with glory.

In Five major (WALAWBUM, SHADUZUP, INKANGAHTAWNG, NHPUM GA, & MYITKYINA)and thirty minor engagements, they defeated the veteran soldiers of the Japanese 18th Division (Conquerors of Singapore and Malaya) who vastly outnumbered the Marauders. Always moving to the rear of the main forces of the Japanese the Marauders completely disrupted the enemy supply and communication lines, and climaxed their behind the lines operations with the capture of Myitkyina Airfield, the only all-weather airfield in Northern Burma.

The attack on Myitkyina was the climax to four months of marching and combat in the Burma jungles. No other American force except the First Marine Division, which took and held Guadalcanal for four months, has had as much uninterrupted jungle fighting service as Merrill's Marauders.

But no other American force anywhere had marched as far, fought as continuously or had to display such endurance, as the swift-moving, hard-hitting foot soldiers, of Merrill's Marauders

Men and animals of Merrill’s Marauders— predecessors to today’s U.S. Army Rangers—cross the Tanai River on a bamboo bridge built by Kachin tribesmen, 1944.

When the Marauders attacked Myitkyina they had behind them over 800 miles of marching over jungle and mountain roads and tracks. They had to carry all their equipment and supplies on their backs and on the backs of pack mules. Re-supplied by air drops the Marauders often had to make a clearing in the thick jungle to receive the supplies.

Every wounded Marauder was evacuated, an extraordinary feat in itself. Each wounded Marauder had to be carried on a makeshift stretcher (usually made from bamboo and field jackets or shirts) by his comrades until an evacuation point was reached. These evacuation points where mostly small jungle village's, where the Marauders would then have to hack out a landing strip for the small Piper Cub Evac. Planes. The brave sergeant-pilots of the air-rescue unit would then land and take off in these very hazardous conditions, removing every seriously wounded Marauder one at a time. The small planes, stripped of all equipment except a compass, had room for the pilot and one stretcher.

At the end of their campaign all remaining Marauders still in action were evacuated to hospitals suffering from tropical diseases, exhaustion, and malnutrition or as the tags on their battered uniforms said "A.O.E."(accumulation of everything).

For their accomplishments in Burma the Marauders were awarded the "DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION" in July, 1944. However in 1966 this award was redesignated as the "PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION" which is awarded by the President in the name of Congress. The Marauders also have the extremely rare distinction of having every member of the unit receive the "BRONZE STAR".

Walawbum, Burma
Early March, 1944
Group of Marauders after Battle of Walawbum.
Kneeling, L to R, Wilbur Smalley, "Murphy" Wonsowicz, Johnny Allen.
Standings 2nd from left; Bernard Martin, extreme right; Herby Miyazak

The unit was consolidated with the 475th Infantry on August 10, 1944. On June 21, 1954, the 475th was redesignated the 75th Infantry. It is from the redesignation of Merrill's Marauders into the 75th Infantry Regiment that the modern-day 75th Ranger Regiment traces its current unit designation.

I'd like to thank Marauder.Org for their generous permission to use their graphics on today's thread

FReeper Foxhole Armed Services Links

KEYWORDS: burma; china; freeperfoxhole; history; india; merrillsmarauders; rangers; samsdayoff; veterans; wwii
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To: snippy_about_it

Pack artillery!
I love it!

21 posted on 03/25/2005 5:40:15 AM PST by Darksheare (Gravity - Fear = SPLAT!)
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To: Darksheare
'ere ya go mate


alfa6 ;>}

22 posted on 03/25/2005 6:00:24 AM PST by alfa6 (Memebr loyal order of F.O.G.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Professional Engineer; radu; Wneighbor; All

Good morning everyone.

23 posted on 03/25/2005 6:09:28 AM PST by Soaring Feather
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To: snippy_about_it

On this Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on March 25:
1133 Henry II King of England (1154-89)
1532 Pietro Pontio composer
1767 Joachim Murat marshal of France/King of Naples (1808-15)
1786 Giovanni B Amia Italian astronomer/physicist/botanist
1797 John Winebrenner US, clergyman, founded Church of God
1818 Isaac Ingalls Stevens Major General (Union volunteers), died in 1862
1823 William Thompson Martin Major General (Confederate Army), died in 1910
1867 Arturo Toscanini Parma Italy, temperamental conductor
1867 Gutzon Borglum sculptor (Mount Rushmore)
1873 Rudolf Rocker German/US anarchist
1881 Béla Bartók Hungary, composer/pianist (Concerto for Orchestra)
1893 Edward Hart (Representative-Democrat-NJ)/1st chairman of Committee on Un-American Activities
1906 Alan J P Taylor British historian (English history 1914-1915)
1906 Howard Pyle (Governor-Republican-AZ, 1951-55)
1908 David Lean Croydon England, director (Dr Zhivago, Ryan's Daughter)
1920 Patrick Troughton actor (Doctor Who)
1921 Simone Signoret Wiesbaden Germany, actress (Casque d'Or, Room at the Top)
1922 Eileen Ford modeling agency head (Ford Modeling Agency)
1925 Flannery O'Connor Georgia, novelist (A Good Man Is Hard to Find)
1928 James A Lovell Jr Cleveland OH, USN/astronaut (Gemini 7, 12, Apollo 8, 13)
1934 Gloria Steinem Toledo OH, feminist/publisher (Ms Magazine)
1938 Hoyt Axton Duncan OK, musician (Della and the dealer, I've never been to spain)
1940 Anita Bryant Barnsdall OK, Miss Oklahoma-America (1958)/singer (George Gobel Show)
1942 Aretha Franklin Memphis TN, Soul Sister #1/singer (Respect)
1942 Paul Michael Glaser Cambridge MA, actor (Starsky-Starsky & Hutch)
1944 Frank Oz muppetteer (Grover-Sesame Street, Muppet Show)
1947 Elton John [Reginald Kenneth Dwight] Pinner Middlesex England, singer (Rocketman, Your Song, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
1965 Sarah Jessica Parker Nelsonville OH, actress (Square Pegs, LA Story)
1974 Vyninka Arlow Australia, diver (Olympics-96)
2184 Pavel Andreivich Chekov St. Petersburg, Russia

Deaths which occurred on March 25:
1223 Afonso II 3rd King of Portugal (1211-23), dies at 36
1751 Frederik of Hessen Kassel King of Sweden (1720-51), dies at 74
1918 Claude A Debussy French composer, dies in Paris France at 55
1949 Hanns A Rauter German SS-commandant in Netherlands, executed at 54
1962 Auguste Piccard Swiss explorer/balloonist, dies at 78
1963 David Moore US feather weight boxer, dies at 29
1973 Edward Steichen pioneer of American photography, dies at 92
1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia shot to death by his nephew
1992 Nancy Walker actress (Ida Morgenstern-Rhoda), dies of cancer at 69

GWOT Casualties

25-Mar-2003 4 | US: 2 | UK: 2 | Other: 0
US Major Gregory Lewis Stone Camp Pennsylvania Non-hostile - homicide
US Hospital Corpsman 3rd Cl. Michael Vann Johnson Jr. Not reported Hostile - hostile fire
UK Corporal Stephen John Allbutt Basra Hostile - friendly fire
UK Trooper David Jeffrey Clarke Basra Hostile - friendly fire

25-Mar-2004 3 | US: 3 | UK: 0 | Other: 0
US Specialist Adam D. Froehlich Ba’qubah Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
US Lance Corporal Jeffrey C. Burgess Fallujah (E of) Hostile - hostile fire
US Lance Corporal James A. Casper Al Asad Non-hostile - unspecified cause

A good Day

Data research by Pat Kneisler
Designed and maintained by Michael White

On this day...
0031 1st Easter, according to calendar-maker Dionysius Exiguus
0421 Venice was founded on a Friday at 12 PM
0708 Constantine begins his reign as Catholic Pope
0752 Stephen ends his reign as Catholic Pope (or 26th)
1133 William the Conqueror orders 1st Domesday Survey of England
1306 Robert the Bruce crowned king of Scotland
1584 Sir Walter Raleigh renews Humphrey Gilbert's patent to explore North America
1609 Henry Hudson embarks on an exploration for Dutch East India Co
1634 Lord Baltimore founded Catholic colony of Maryland
1655 Christiaan Huygens discovers Titan, (Saturn's largest satellite)
1668 1st horse race in America takes place
1669 Mount Etna in Sicily erupts, destroying Nicolosi, killing 20,000
1774 English Parliament passes Boston Port Bill
1776 Continental Congress authorizes a medal for General George Washington
1802 France, Netherlands, Spain & England signs Peace of Amiens
1807 1st railway passenger service began in England
1807 British Parliament abolishes slave trade
1813 1st US flag flown in battle on the Pacific, frigate Essex
1817 Tsar Alexander I recommends formation of Society of Israeli Christians
1821 Greece gains independence from Turkey (National Day)
1847 Pope Pius IX encyclical "On aid for Ireland"
1856 A E Burnside patents Burnside carbine
1857 Frederick Laggenheim takes 1st photo of a solar eclipse
1863 1st Army Medal of Honor awarded
1863 Skirmish at Brentwood TN
1864 Battle of Paducah KY (Forrest's raid)
1865 Battle of Bluff Spring FL
1865 Battle of Fort Stedman VA: in front of Petersburg
1865 Battle of Mobile AL (Spanish Fort, Fort Morgan, Fort Blakely)
1882 1st demonstration of pancake making (Department store in New York NY)
1894 Coxey's Army of the unemployed sets out from Massillon OH for Washington DC
1895 Italian troops invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
1896 Modern Olympics begin in Athens Greece
1898 Intercollegiate Trapshooting Association formed in New York NY
1900 US Socialist Party is formed at Indianapolis
1902 Irving W Colburn patents sheet glass drawing machine
1905 (some)Rebel battle flags captured during war are returned to South
1910 Chalmers Auto Co offers a new car to each leagues' batting champion

1911 146 die in a fire at Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York NY

1913 Home of vaudeville, Palace Theatre, opens (New York NY) starring Ed Wynn
1915 1st submarine disaster; a US F-4 sank off Hawaii, killing 21
1916 Women are allowed to attend a boxing match
1920 Greek Independence Day
1923 British government grants Trans-Jordan autonomy
1931 Scottsboro Boys (accused of raping a white woman) arrested in Alabama
1934 1st Golf Masters Championship: Horton Smith wins, shooting a 284
1937 Italy & Yugoslavia sign no-attack treaty (Pact of Belgrade)
1937 It's revealed Quaker Oats pays Babe Ruth $25,000 per year for ads
1938 1st US bred horse (Battleship) to win Grand National Steeplechase
1939 Billboard Magazine introduces hillbilly (country) music chart
1942 700 Jews of Polish Lvov-district reach Belzec Concentration camp
1943 97% of all Dutch physicians strike againt Nazi registration
1944 RAF Sergeant Nickolas Alkemade survives a jump from his Lancaster bomber from 18,000 feet without a parachute
1945 US 1st army breaks out bridgehead near Remagen
1945 US 4th Armored division arrives at Hanau & Aschaffenburg
1947 Coal mine explosion in Centralia IL, claims 111 lives
1949 SS police chief Rauter request for a pardon, denied
1954 Pope Pius XII encyclical "Sacra virginitas" (On consecrated virginity)
1954 RCA manufactures 1st color TV set (12½" screen at $1,000)
1955 East Germany granted full sovereignty by occupying power, USSR
1957 Treaty of Rome establishes European Economic Community (Common Market)
1958 Sugar Ray Robinson is 1st boxing champion to win 5 times
1960 1st guided missile launched from nuclear powered sub (Halibut)
1961 "Gypsy" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 702 performances
1961 Elvis Presley performs live on the USS Arizona
1961 Explorer 10 launched into elongated Earth orbit (177/181,000 km)
1961 Sputnik 10 carries a dog into Earth orbit; later recovered
1964 Egypt ends state of siege (1952-64)
1965 Martin Luther King Jr led 25,000 to state capitol in Montgomery AL
1966 US Supreme court rules "poll tax" unconstitutional
1967 The Turtles' "Happy Together" goes #1
1967 Who & Cream make US debut at Murray the K's Easter Show
1969 Pakistan General Agha Mohammed Jagja Khan succeeds Ayub Chan as President
1970 Concorde makes its 1st supersonic flight (700 MPH/1,127 KPH)
1971 Boston Patriots become New England Patriots
1972 America's LP "America" goes #1
1972 Bobby Hull becomes the 2nd NHLer to score 600 goals
1975 Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz, king of Saudi-Arabia (1964-75), shot by nephew
1976 Argentine military junta bans leftist political parties
1982 Wayne Gretzky becomes 1st NHL to score 200 points in a season
1985 Edwin Meese III becomes US Attorney General
1986 Supreme Court rules Air Force could ban wearing of yarmulkes
1987 Supreme Court rules women/minorities may get jobs if less qualified (Remember diversity is our strength...or not)
1990 10th Golden Raspberry Awards: Star Trek V won
1992 British scientists find new largest perfect number (2 756839 -1 2 756839)
1995 Boxer Mike Tyson released from jail after serving 3 years
1996 "Braveheart" won Academy Awards for best picture and best director Mel Gibson
1996 Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) approaches within 0.1018 astronomical units (AUs) of Earth
1996 US issues newly-redesigned $100 bill
1997 Georgia Gov. Zell Miller signes into law a ban on a controversial form of late-term abortion.
1997 Former President George Bush, 73, parachuted from a plane over the Arizona desert
2000 In Belarus thousands of people demonstrated in Minsk against the rule of Pres. Lukashenko and clashed with police
2001 In Saudi Arabia the Higher Committee for Scientific Research and Islamic Law claimed that Pokemon games and cards have “possessed the minds” of Saudi children
2003 7th day of Operation Iraqi Freedom US aircraft dropped more than 2,000 precision-guided bombs on Iraq since the war's start. The "smart" bombs were produced for a relatively cheap $20,000 each. Sandstorms slowed coalition movement and air missions. US officials reported 150-200 Iraqi soldiers were killed near Najaf.
2004 The United States uses its veto power to quash a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for killing Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin in a missile strike.

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

England : New Year's Day 1155-1752
Greece : Independence Day (1821)
Maryland : Maryland Day (1634)
US : Pecan Day
Alaska : Seward Day (1867) (Monday)
US Virgin Island : Transfer Day (1917) (Monday)
US : Pecan Day
US : Chocolate Week (Day 6)
US : Straw Hat Week (Day 6)

Religious Observances
Roman Catholic : Feast of the Annunication
Christian : Saint Dismas Feast Day - The good thief who died on the cross next to Jesus
Christian : Commemoration of St Margaret Clitherow, English martyr
Roman Catholic : Commemoration of St Lucy Filippini, Italian educator
Moslem : 'Id al-Fitr; end of Ramadân fast (Shawwâl 1, 1412 AH)

Religious History
1 Roman Church historian Dionysius Exiguus (ca.500_550), in calculating his history of the Christian Church, took this day as the supposed date of the Annunciation. March 25th afterward became the first day of the calendar year, until the Gregorian Calendar Reform of 1753 changed the day to January 1st.
1533 During one of his recorded "Table Talks," German reformer Martin Luther declared: 'That the Creator himself comes to us and becomes our ransom - this is the reason for our rejoicing.'
1634 The Catholic Church gained a foothold in colonial America when the ships "Dove" and "Ark" arrived in Maryland with 128 Catholic colonists, selected by Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore. The colony was under the leadership of Leonard Calvert, Lord Baltimore's brother.
1951 American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot reflected in his journal: 'When it comes time to die, make sure that all you have to do is die.'
1953 A group of 22 Southern Baptist military personnel, stationed at Rapid City, met to form the Calvary Baptist Church , the first Southern Baptist congregation established in South Dakota.

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."

24 posted on 03/25/2005 6:12:26 AM PST by Valin (DARE to be average!)
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To: alfa6


25 posted on 03/25/2005 6:33:22 AM PST by Darksheare (Gravity - Fear = SPLAT!)
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To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise; msdrby; Wneighbor
Good morning ladies. It's Friday!

26 posted on 03/25/2005 6:41:10 AM PST by Professional Engineer (My baby girl has the strongest little finger known to man.)
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To: snippy_about_it

Morning Snippy. Caught up with the rest of the world, I see. ;-)

27 posted on 03/25/2005 6:46:23 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: AZamericonnie

Morning AZamericonnie

28 posted on 03/25/2005 6:46:50 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: A Jovial Cad

Thanks for sharing pictures of your Grandfather with us Jovial Cad. We thanks him for his service to our Country.

29 posted on 03/25/2005 6:51:26 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: GailA

Morning GailA.

We appreciate Uncle Ralph's service. He had to be something special to have joined up with Merrill.

30 posted on 03/25/2005 6:53:15 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: CarrotAndStick

Thanks for the information and pictures on the role of Indian troops during WWII.

31 posted on 03/25/2005 6:54:11 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: E.G.C.

Morning E.G.C.

Sun's out again this morning. Still predicting rain for today though.

32 posted on 03/25/2005 6:55:26 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: Aeronaut

Morning Aeronaut.

33 posted on 03/25/2005 6:55:48 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: sasportas

IIRC, the Chindits were a larger group and more "air mobile" than the Maurauders. Both groups were a real pain in the ass to the occupying Japanese but the Marauders were more "hit and run" while the Chindits would move into areas and take ground and hold it while conducting combat operations. They also relied on air resupply more than the Mauraders, I believe. Been a long time since I've read anything about the Chindits.

34 posted on 03/25/2005 7:01:55 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: Diva Betsy Ross

Morning Diva. :-) Thanks for dropping in.

35 posted on 03/25/2005 7:02:46 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: The Mayor

Good morning Mayor.

36 posted on 03/25/2005 7:03:32 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: alfa6
Morning alfa6.

hopefully will be able to get started on the ceiling sheetrock today, groan. Thank goodnes for drywall lifts

Weenie. ;-)

Good luck on the ceiling, I hated celings the worst, real rough on the arms.

Like the nose art on the Stinson.

37 posted on 03/25/2005 7:05:55 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: Darksheare

Mortars - The original "Pack Artillery" :-)

38 posted on 03/25/2005 7:06:49 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: bentfeather

Hi Feather.

39 posted on 03/25/2005 7:07:08 AM PST by SAMWolf (Liberal Rule #9 - Can't refute the message? Attack the messenger!)
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To: snippy_about_it

Good Morning Foxhole

Here's to another excellent thread . . .

There are all kinds of pack mules . . .

But nothing like Merrill's Marauders  of WW2

"It’s been written that Merrill’s Marauders are the most overlooked group of soldiers from World War II. 
The company that started with 3,000 volunteers in October of 1943, marched 700 miles through the jungles of Burma. They cleared Japanese soldiers out of the way for American troops to help the Allied Forces get a stronger hold in southeastern Asia. By the time they reached and took over the Myitkyina Airfield and then a town by the same name about seven miles away, only 300 of the original Merrill’s Marauders were alive."    
- John Gunther - Merrill's Marauders


40 posted on 03/25/2005 7:14:10 AM PST by tomball
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