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The Institute for the Study of War and Democracy presents a special evening with veterans of the storied Merrill’s Marauders.
5:00 p.m. Reception | 6:00 p.m. Presentation
The US Army’s 5307th Composite Unit (provisional) had a short but memorable record in the China-Burma-India theater. Though code named “Galahad,” the unit took the name of its commander, Brigadier General Frank Merrill. Designed for long-range penetration missions into Japanese-controlled Burma, the unit deployed overseas in October 1943, first saw combat in February 1944, and was disbanded in early August of that same year. The environment, as much as the enemy, inflicted horrific casualties on the Marauders. Despite these hardships, Merrill’s Marauders earned the Distinguished Unit Citation and a place in US Army history. The Citation reads:
The 5307th Composite Unit (Prov) was the first United States ground combat force to meet the enemy in World War II on the continent of Asia. After a series of successful engagements in the Hukawng and Mogaung Valleys of North Burma, in March and April 1944, the unit was called on to lead a march over jungle trails through extremely mountainous terrain against stubborn resistance in an attack on Myitkyina. The unit proved equal its task, overcame all the obstacles put in its way by the enemy, and the weather and, after a brilliant operation 17 May 1944, seized the airfield at Myitkyina, an objective of great tactical importance in the campaign, and assisted in the capture of Myitkyina on 3 August 1944. The successful accomplishment of this mission marks the 5307th Composite Unit (Prov) as an outstanding combat force and reflects great credit on Allied Arms.
The National WWII Museum is honored to host a reunion of surviving members of Merrill’s Marauders, and to stage this evening panel presentation at which three of the men—Bob Passanisi, Gil Howland, and James Richardson—will share their stories.
The reception and presentation are free and open to the public, but please register at the provided link.
For more information or to register, call 504-528-1944 x 412.