More about Pacific Paratrooper

Pacific Paratrooper

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In the previous post, I described the rescue of the 2,122 internees held captive in Los Banos camp on Luzon, P.I. and stated that the operation followed the nine principles of war. In all military academies, this concept is taught and many of the students use the acronym MOSSCOMES to remember each one.

One POW, on the way back to the Allied lines spotted an Air Force Wing flying overhead. He looked up and said, “Hundreds of planes arrived just like they (FDR) promised in 1942 – but, oh my God, they are so late!” Thankfully, by the powers that be, Gen. Swing used his youthful training to plot their escape. This mission is still discussed in some military schools todays.

M – Mass – concentrate overwhelming combat power at the decisive place and time. This way, even smaller forces can achieve the desired results.
O – Offensive – To…

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Keeping her father’s memories alive…

Pacific Paratrooper


A reminder of what these soldiers were up against …
The stretch of blockhouses and pillboxes and tunnels, known as the Genko Line were filled with every imaginable weapon available from the Japanese arsenal. Along mountains, under fields and connecting the rolling hills lay the traps of heinous sorts silently in wait for any or all of the troopers.

The 1,200 two and three-story blockhouses entrenched with at least 6,000 enemy soldiers that lined the southern edge of Manila. A massive feat of ingenuity.

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The size of some of these tunnels amazed me, large enough for a boat or plane and some appear too small for a human to hide.

Also wanted to remind the reader that on You Tube – type in – Nasugbu landing 1945; Allied Forces Land In Japan (1945) and 11th Airborne to see quite a number of actual video footage from the war.

Thank you…

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Corregidor 1945… An amazing account of the battle of the retaking of Corregidor

Pacific Paratrooper

Manila Bay was extremely important for shipping traffic, regardless of who was in control and the island fortress of Corregidor sat mid-way. The need to re-conquer the “The Rock” was imperative to the Allied effort.

The Air Force began its attacks 22 January and by 16 February had dropped 3,125 tons on the three-tier island. That same day, 24 B-24s hit known gun positions and 11 B-25s hit antiaircraft guns and the south coast while 31 A-20s strafed Caballo Island, a mile to the south.

13 February, Naval bombardment began mostly on the north side of the island and mine sweeping in the waters. On 16 February, the 3d Battalion of the 34th Infantry, part of General Krueger’s Sixth Army, landed on the south shore after it was also bombed and strafed.

The 503d was not originally a part of the 11th Airborne Division (Eighth Army), but was at this…

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Nichols Field, Luzon

Always a great reading of the battle for Manila in 1945.
It reads like a book, but you have to read it from the first post to fully enjoy it.

Pacific Paratrooper

While the 511th regiment was held up at the Paranaque River, the 674th regiment moved in to assist them. The evening of 4 February 1945, the smoke and flames inside the city of Manila could easily be seen.

The Japanese Naval Air Service was stationed at Nichols Field where they had antiaircraft weapons that would shoot at the American planes overhead or positioned to aim directly at the troopers on land. The enemy 4th Naval Battalion had secured Fort McKinley and other Japanese units filled in the gaps in between.

On 7 February, the 188th reg. and the 2d battalion of the 187th headed across open terrain toward Nichols Field where they encountered tremendous resistance. It would take four days to create a solid defensive line diagonally across the air field. On this date, a member of the 511th would make contact with a patrol of the 1st Calvary near…

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Amazing Story

Click here…

This film was taken when Bf-109 ace Franz Stigler met American B-17 pilot Charlie Brown for the first time since their encounter during World War II!

The true story of Franz and Charlie is now available in the New York Times best-selling book, “A Higher Call,” available nationwide! 

Learn more at:

About Franz Stigler:
Franz Stigler started flying gliders at age 12 and soloed in a bi-plane in 1933. He joined Lufthansa, becoming an Airline Captain, before joining the Luftwaffe in 1940. There, he became an instructor pilot, with one of his students being Gerhard Barkhorn, who would later become the second highest scoring Ace in history with over 300 victories. 

Franz transferred to Bf 109 fighter aircraft upon learning of the loss of his brother August, who died piloting a bomber shot down over the English Channel. Franz flew combat in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Western Europe. He served as a Squadron Commander of three squadrons (Numbers 6, 8, and 12, of JG 27) and twice a Wing Commander, all flying Bf 109 fighters. 

Franz formed EJG-1, possibly the first ever pre-jet training squadron before being hand picked as the Technical Officer of Gen. Adolf Galland’s elite JV 44, “Squadron of Experts,” flying the Me-262 jet. 

Franz was credited with 28 confirmed victories and over thirty probables. He flew 487 combat missions, was wounded four times, and was shot down seventeen times, four by enemy fighters, four by ground fire, and nine times by gunners on American bombers. He bailed out six times and rode his damaged aircraft down eleven times. 

He emigrated to Canada in 1953 and became a successful businessman. In addition to his many Luftwaffe decorations, Franz was presented with the “Order of the Star of Peace” by the Federation of Combattant Allies En Europe for his act of compassion on December 20, 1943. He is believed to be the only Luftwaffe pilot to be so recognized. Franz was also made an honorary member of the 379th Bomb Group Association. Our friend, Franz, died in 2008 at the age of 93.

About Charlie Brown: 
Charlie Brown graduated as a US Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. in April 1943. He arrived in England in early November 1943 as a B-17F pilot/aircraft commander and was wounded twice in completing 29 bomber combat missions out of 31 attempts (24 over Germany proper) with the famed 379th Bomb Group. He then delivered fighters and bombers, and flew transports from North Ireland to the United Kingdom until becoming a B-17 instructor pilot stateside. Itching to return to duty overseas, Charlie became a C-54/C-87 pilot and flew in the CBI theatre until the end of the war. 

After retiring from the Air Force as a Lt. Colonel, Charlie accepted an appointment as a Senior Foreign Service Reserve Officer, serving for six years throughout Laos and Vietnam during the Vietnam War. After thirty years of government service he retired in 1972 and formed a combustion research company. In 1992 he was recognized by the Governor of West Virginia (Charlie’s home state) with the “Distinguished West Virginia Award,” both for his government service and research career. He was awarded a symbolic “Governor’s Medal” by Governor Jeb Bush on October, 2001.

Charlie’s most prestigious honor was belatedly bestowed by the USAF in February 2008, when he was awarded the Air Force Cross (second only to the Medal of Honor) for bringing his badly damaged B-17 home to England during his December 20, 1943 mission. Our friend, Charlie, died in November 2008 at the age of 86.

The enemy they faced

A most interesting blog about the recollections of someone’s father who was a paratrooper in the Pacific in WWII.

Pacific Paratrooper

Pierre Lagace of Lest We Forget, sent me a link that I feel pretty much explains what the American G.I. was up against in the Pacific, at least what the government perceived it to be. The article is long, but well worth the time. I have taken his suggestion of allowing the reader to try and visualize what was transpiring on the Aga defile in Luzon and all around the Pacific.

By the time Japan and the U.S. went to war, the Asians had already had a long history of honoring their warriors, their rulers and religion and forefathers. Their government was developed over centuries. Americans, on the other hand, were young. We appeared to have no history or pride. I remember my father telling me that the Japanese had considered the American soldier a mercenary, a paid soldier with no righteous need to fight – only money.


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Fast and furious

Pacific Paratrooper

Mount Aiming had been conquered, but after all the fighting , the American now had no cover from the enemy artillery at Kaytitinga. Their two artillery battalions, along with the power of P-38s and A-20s made short order of the problem. The 188th and the 1st of the 187th made their way forward faster and faster as the Japanese retreated in earnest. The enemy left the Aga-Caylaway area so quickly, they had abandoned close to 100 tons of ammunition, along with food, clothing, documents, weapons, cigarettes, soldier’s packs and liquor. The 188th discovered ditches to trap tanks in their defense that were 25 feet across the top, 4 feet long and 25 feet deep. Bridges had to be built by the 127th Engineers to cross these trenches because the men could not go around them. By early evening of 2 February 1943, the 188th and 187th found themselves bombarded with…

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