"The Angels" A History of the 11th Airborne Division

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    • #90323
      First Sergeant
      Moderator

        “The Angels” was written by LTG(Ret) E.M. Flanagan. He was a battery commander in the 11th Abn Division.

        I have had this on my bookshelf since it came out. While an older book it still a great read. I re-read it every few years.

        The book covers the entire wartime history of the 11th, from activation to occupation duty in Japan. They were the only airborne division to fight in the Pacific. There was only one other airborne unit in the Pacific, that was the 503rd PIR RCT.

        The Pacific has always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes discussing WW2. The only thing you ever hear about is the Marines. Truth is the U.S. Army did most of the fighting. There were 21 Army divisions that fought in the Pacific compared to the 6 Marine divisions.

        FILO
        Signal Out, Can You Identify
        Je ne regrette rien
        In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

      • #90324
        GreenTip
        Participant

          That’s interesting. I did not know there were Army units that fought in the Pacific in any large number. My grandfather was a Army grunt on Germany soil when the Germans surrendered. He told me they were told they would be in the Pacific theater by the fall. Then the bombs came and that was that.

        • #90325
          First Sergeant
          Moderator

            That’s interesting. I did not know there were Army units that fought in the Pacific in any large number. My grandfather was a Army grunt on Germany soil when the Germans surrendered. He told me they were told they would be in the Pacific theater by the fall. Then the bombs came and that was that.

            There are a lot of people that believe the same as you.

            FILO
            Signal Out, Can You Identify
            Je ne regrette rien
            In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

          • #90326
            Hessian
            Participant

              I had a great uncle and a grandfather who both fought in the Pacific for the US Army.

              My great Uncle fought in the 27th Infantry Division in the battle of Saipan.

              Most people give you an odd look when I inform them that the army was in the Pacific fighting on the ground just like the marines. Granted the Army air corps was also all over there.

            • #90327
              riflemaniv
              Participant

                My grandfather was in th 5th Air Force in the Pacific. He said he didn’t really see much action other than having to take cover in slit trenches when the Japs bombed them or shooting at shadows in the jungle they were told were Japs. I don’t think he ever actually saw one up close live or dead.

              • #90328
                trailman
                Participant

                  My uncle was in the Army in the pacific, a machine gunner. Never talked about it, ever.

                • #90329
                  First Sergeant
                  Moderator

                    I had a relative that was in the Pacific as an Infantryman. Tried talking to him about it more than once. Wouldn’t discuss it. The only thing he ever said was “I spent 2 years in the Pacific fighting Japs. Guess what my wife tried to feed me when I came home? Rice. That was the last time rice was ever served in my house.” He was in his 80’s then.

                    Two more books about the Pacific.

                    One is written by the same author as the one in the OP. The title is “Angels at Dawn. The Los Banos Raid.” It is about the raid on the Los Banos prison camp. It is discussed briefly in the book in the OP.

                    The second one is “Ghost Soldiers” by Hampton Sides. It is about the 6th Ranger Battalions raid on Cabanatuan prison camp. The movie that was made about it is called “The Great Raid”, it is pretty good.

                    FILO
                    Signal Out, Can You Identify
                    Je ne regrette rien
                    In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                  • #90330
                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)
                    Moderator

                      Although not a perfect comparison another little known fact is USMC involvement in Europe.

                      There were fewer Marines in Europe than Army in the Pacific, but I mention this as another rare and overlooked fact.

                      Unfortunately as time passes much of this knowledge fades into obscurity.

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