The two 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. This title will deal with the background to these two units and their training, before detailing the specific equipment used in the theatre and, finally and most importantly, the combat experience at a personal level of the US Army Paratrooper in the Pacific.
"To show how [paratroopers] performed in combat, two major operations are covered in greater detail. One is the jump onto Corregidor to retake this island from the Japanese. These men had to be dropped in two 'shifts' due to lack of transport. They were also up against many times more Japanese than they had anticipated. Drop zones were small and caused considerable difficulty. The other was a relatively long term campaign in the jungles of Leyte during late 1944. In this one, it was as much the conditions as it was the Japanese that had to be overcome as the fighting was in very hilly jungle terrain. Both events are superbly reported, making this a book that both entertains and informs. A book that puts the spotlight on men and units that are rarely covered by other books." --Scott Van Aken, www.modelingmadness.com (January 2013)
"Provides fine surveys of the US Army's paratroopers and their pacific operations during World War II, examining the two major Army units and their background, training and operations. From color battle scenes to maps and other illustrations including vintage photos, this is a "must" for any serious World War II history collection." - The Midwest Book Review (February 2013)
US Army Paratrooper in the Pacific Theater 1943-45 by Gordon L Rottman