Flanagan, Lt. Gen. E. M.


Novato, CA, 1st ed., 1997. X + 392 pp., photo-ills. D.j., 22 x 15cm. FINE. Here is the complete account of one of the most remarkable regiments in the history of the U.S. Army. The Rakkasans (meaning "umbrella men", as they were nicknamed by the Japanese), have fought in every major American military conflict from World War II to the Persian Gulf. Beginning as a glider regiment of the 11th Airborne Division in 1943, the 187th had its baptism of fire when it landed in the Philippines on Leyte island. They went on to fight in two other major campaigns in the Pacific and were chosen by General MacArthur as part of the first waves of troops sent to occupy Japan. The 187th were the only airborne unit sent to the Korean War and in Vietnam the Rakkasans were represented in the 101st Airborne Division by only one battalion, the "airmobile" 3d of the 187th. But that single battalion made history by fighting in 21 campaigns and defeating the NVA troops at the ferocious battle for Dong Ap Bia Mountain (Hamburger Hill). In Desert Storm, the Rakkasans made the longest and largest helicopter assault from Saudi Arabia more than 150 miles to hostile territory along the Euphrates River.

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