" . . . The Marines marched up into those mountains and when they marched
out of those mountains, they were different, the war was different,
America was different, and really the entire world was different."
The Battle of Chosin | PBS American Experience
Flanagan, E. M. The Rakkasans: the Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry. Presidio Press, 1997.
The Rakkasans: The Combat History of The 187th Airborne Infantry is the complete account of one of the most remarkable regiments in the history of the U. S. Army. The Rakkasans (literally "umbrella men" in Japanese from the shape of the parachute canopy), have fought in every major American military conflict from World War II to the Persian Gulf. It had its baptism of fire when it landed in the Philippines on Leyte island where the regiment engaged in fierce combat against seasoned Japanese soldiers -- and performed superbly. The 187th went on to fight in two other major campaigns in the Pacific and were chosen by General MacArthur as part of the first wave of troops sent to occupy Japan. During the Korean War, the 187th was the only airborne unit deployed, and operated as an independent regimental combat team, complete with its own direct support artillery. In Vietnam, the Rakkasans were represented in the 101st Airborne Division by only one battalion. But that single battalion made history by fighting in 21 campaigns and defeating the well-trained and well-supplied NVA troops at the ferocious battle for Dong Ap Bia Mountain (better known as Hamburger Hill). In Desert Storm, the Rakkasans made the longest and largest helicopter assault in military history when it air assaulted from Saudi Arabia more than 150 miles to hostile territory along the Euphrates River. The Rakkasans is important military history, well researched and articulated for both the student of military history and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in military history. -- Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Lt. Gen. E. M. Flanagan, Jr., USA (Ret.) was a long-time columnist for ARMY Magazine.