Battle of Leyte

Leyteinvasion of LeyteLeyte landings
Swing's 11th Airborne Division had moved into the central mountain passes from the east. With blocking positions established south of Leyte Valley on 22–24 November, the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment pushed farther west into the mountains on the 25 November. After an arduous advance, the 511th reached Mahonag, 10 mi west of Burauen, on 6 December, the same day Japanese paratroops landed at the Buri and San Pablo airfields. On 16 December, the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Infantry, made slow but steady progress into the mountains from the Ormoc Bay area to meet the airborne regiment and assist its passage westward.

Airborne forces

airborneairborne troopsairborne infantry
Army's 11th Airborne Division saw a great deal of action in the Philippines as a ground unit. The 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment made the division's first jump near Tagaytay Ridge on 3 February 1945, meeting no resistance at the drop zone. Elements of the division also jumped to liberate 2,000 Allied civilians interned at Los Baños, 23 February 1945. The final operation of the division was conducted on 23 June 1945, in conjunction with an advance by U.S. ground forces in northern Luzon. A task force from the 11th was formed and jumped on Camalaniugan Airfield, south of Aparri. A large British force, known as the Chindits, operated behind Japanese lines during 1944.

Battle of Manila (1945)

Battle of ManilaLiberation of ManilaManila
Soule, and components of the U.S. 11th Airborne Division under Maj. Gen. Joseph Swing, landed unopposed at Nasugbu in southern Luzon and began moving north toward Manila. Meanwhile, the 11th A/B Division's 511th Regimental Combat Team, commanded by Col. Orin D. "Hard Rock" Haugen, parachuted onto Tagaytay Ridge on 4 February. On 10 Feb., the 11th Airborne Division came under the command of the Sixth Army, and seized Fort William McKinley on 17 Feb. Swing was joined by the Hunters ROTC Filipino guerrillas, under the command of Lt. Col. Emmanuel V. de Ocampo, and by 5 Feb., they were on the outskirts of Manila.


Raid at Los Baños. Operation Varsity. Operation Gypsy. List of paratrooper forces. Airborne forces. Military Free Fall – HALO/HAHO. Jumpmaster. Pathfinder (military). National Airborne Day. Airdrop. Parachuting. Smokejumper. Static line. Treejumping. Gryphon (parachute system). Parachute tower. Argentine Paratroopers – Historical Equipment etc. Peruvian Paratroopers in 1941 War between Peru and Ecuador – translated from Spanish to English. Pathfinder Parachute Group, an international organization based in Europe, composed of active and retired paratroopers, participates in WW2 reenactment events as well as joint military jumps with foreign nations.

Fort Bonifacio

Fort William McKinleyFort McKinleyBonifacio Global City
Fort Andres Bonifacio (formerly named Fort McKinley), is the national headquarters of the Philippine Army (PA) located in Metro Manila, Philippines. It is located near the national headquarters of the Philippine Air Force (AFP). The camp is named after Andres Bonifacio, the revolutionary leader of the Katipunan during the Philippine Revolution.

United States

Increasing obesity in the United States and health improvements elsewhere contributed to lowering the country's rank in life expectancy from 11th in the world in 1987, to 42nd in 2007. Obesity rates have more than doubled in the last 30 years, are the highest in the industrialized world, and are among the highest anywhere. Approximately one-third of the adult population is obese and an additional third is overweight. Obesity-related type 2 diabetes is considered epidemic by health care professionals. In 2010, coronary artery disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, and traffic accidents caused the most years of life lost in the U.S.


Tagaytay CityTagaytay, CaviteTagaytay Ridge
On February 23, 1945, the 11th Airborne Division of Lt. Gen. Robert L. Eichelberger's 8th Army performed a combat jump of the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment and associated elements on the ridge, with a drop zone around the Manila Hotel Annex, which had been cleared of Japanese forces by Filipino soldiers of the 4th, 42nd, 43rd, 45th and 46th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army, 4th Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary and recognized guerillas. To commemorate this event, a marker was installed in 1951 at the junction of Silang, Canlubang-Nasugbu roads by the city officials in coordination with the National Historical Institute of the Philippines.


Batangas ProvinceBatangueñoBalayan Province
The 158th RCT disengaged the Japanese on March 23 and were relieved by the 11th Airborne's 187th Glider Infantry Regiment. Another 11th Airborne Division task force, the 188th Infantry was ordered to dispatch troops around Batangas City and its remaining frontiers. Meanwhile, the 11th Airborne Division's 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment had begun the opening of the Lipa corridor at Santo Tomas and Tanauan before being relieved by the 1st Cavalry Division and moving via Tagaytay to Bauan and San Jose. The last major offensive for the capture of the Lipa Corridor began when 188th Infantry Task Force from Batangas City left for Lipa on March 24.

University of the Philippines Los Baños

UP Los BañosUniversity of the Philippines, Los BañosUPLB
In 1945, as part of the liberation of the Philippines, the US Army sent 130 11th Airborne Division paratroopers to Los Baños to rescue the internees. Only four paratroopers and two Filipino guerrillas were killed in the raid. However, Japanese reinforcements arrived two days later, destroying UPCA facilities and killing some 1,500 Filipino civilians in Los Baños soon afterwards. UPCA became the first unit of the University of the Philippines to open after the war, with Leopoldo Uichanco as dean. However, only 125 (16 percent) of the original students enrolled. It was even worse for the School of Forestry, which only had nine students. Likewise, only 38 professors returned to teach.

Pathfinder (military)

On 1 July 1975 the unit was reorganized and re-flagged as Company C (Pathfinder), 509th Infantry, and it retained this designation until 1 June 1993 when it was re-flagged as Company A (Pathfinder), 511th Infantry. This designation only lasted until 31 October 1995 when the Pathfinder presence at Fort Rucker came to an end due to budget cuts that also ended the post's Air Assault School.

1st Cavalry Division (United States)

1st Cavalry Division1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)1st Air Cavalry Division
In 1965, colors and subordinate unit designations of the Division were transferred from Korea to Fort Benning, Georgia, where they were used, along with separate elements of what had been the 2nd Infantry Division, to reflag the existing [[11th Airborne Division (United States)#Reactivation (11th Air Assault Division) and final inactivation|11th Air Assault Division (Test)]] into the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Concurrently, the personnel and units of the 1st Cavalry Division, which remained in Korea, were used to reflag the division into a new 2nd Infantry Division.

Los Baños, Laguna

Los BañosLos BanosTrace College
On 23 February 1945, US forces of the First Battalion, 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Eleventh Airborne Division led a combined amphibious and airborne raid against the prison camp, rescuing over 2,000 Allied nationals. They killed the 250-man Japanese garrison. In order to force the prisoners to leave behind their belongings and speed up the evacuation before the Japanese could send reinforcements, US forces and Filipino guerrillas burned the camp. Only Baker Hall, the university gymnasium until 2010, remained intact. In 1959, the 10th World Scout Jamboree was held in Los Baños, with the theme "Building Tomorrow Today" with an attendance of 12,203 Scouts.

Nichols Field

Camp NicholsNicholsUS air base in Pasay
When direct communication began, the 11th Airborne Division and the XIV Corps quickly co-ordinated artillery fire plans and established a limit of fire line to demark their support zones about midway between Nichols Field and the Manila city limits. Under the provisions of this plan XIV Corps Artillery fired sixteen 155mm and 8-inch howitzer concentrations in support of the airborne division's attack at Nichols Field before the division passed to XIV Corps control about 1300 on 10 February. For the time being, Griswold directed Swing, the 11th Airborne Division would continue to exert pressure against the Japanese at Nichols Field but would mount no general assault.

Joseph May Swing

Joseph M. SwingJoseph SwingJoseph May "Joe" Swing
After being promoted to major general, in February 1943 Swing activated the newly formed 11th Airborne Division at Camp Mackall, North Carolina. He was then sent to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations to assist with planning the airborne operations conducted during Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. After returning to the United States, he continued to oversee the training of the 11th Airborne Division, leading them to a successful victory in the Knollwood training maneuver on December 7, 1943. The performance of Swing and the 11th Airborne is credited with saving the concept of the airborne division.

Fort Campbell

Fort Campbell, KentuckyCamp CampbellFt. Campbell
In the spring of 1949, the 11th Airborne Division arrived at Campbell following occupation duty in Japan. The 11th was in residence there until early 1956. By April 1950, the post had evolved from a wartime training camp to a permanent installation and was renamed Fort Campbell. From 1950 to 1962 the post operated an Airborne Course which trained nearly 30,000 soldiers as paratroopers before its inactivation. On September 21, 1956, Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker and the Army Chief of Staff, General Maxwell D. Taylor, presented the colors of the 101st Airborne Division to MG T.L. Sherbourne, the first commander of the new ROTAD airborne division.

Landing Vehicle Tracked

These US Army LVTs were later used in other Philippine islands landings. 54 LVT(4) tracked amphibious assault vehicles of the 672nd Amphibian Tractor Battalion as part of the raiding force on 23 February 1945 forged across Laguna de Bay and crashed the gates during the liberation of Los Baños Internment Camp. They ferried the weakened liberated civilians back behind the lines during the contested withdrawal. The LVT-4 played a crucial role both as the assault vehicle to carry troops and as the chief logistical vehicle in the first days of Battle of Iwo Jima. Ashore, the LVTs were used to rescue wheeled vehicles that could not navigate Iwo Jima's soft volcanic ash and steep terraces.

Battle of Luzon

Lingayen Gulf landingsLuzoninvasion of Luzon
On 31 January, two regiments of the 11th Airborne Division made an airborne assault, capturing a bridge, and later advanced toward Manila. On 3 February, the 1st Cavalry Division captured the bridge across Tullahan River leading to the city. They advanced into the city that evening, and the battle for the capture of Manila began. On 4 February, the paratroopers of the 11th Airborne—approaching the city from the south—came to the main Japanese defences south of the city of Manila where their advance was halted by heavy resistance.

Orin D. Haugen

Orin D. "Hard Rock" Haugen
Raid at Los Baños. JGSDF Camp Hachinohe. Flanagan, Edward M. (1986) The Los Baños Raid: The 11th Airborne Jumps at Dawn (Presidio Books) ISBN: 0891412506. Flanagan, Edward M (1988) The Angels – A History of the 11th Airborne Division 1943–1946 (The Battery Press) ISBN: 0891413588. Hagerman, Bart (1990) U.S.A. Airborne: 50th Anniversary, 1940-1990 (Turner Publishing Company) ISBN: 9780938021902. Henderson, Bruce (2015) Rescue at Los Baños: The Most Daring Prison Camp Raid of World War II (William Morrow) ISBN: 9780062325068. Background on the 511's Regimental Commander Orin Haugen. An Orin D. Haugen Page by Rebecca Webb, Oct. 23, 2002.

Elmer E. Fryar

He re-enlisted in the Army, and by December 8, 1944 was serving as a private in Company E, 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division. On that day, in Leyte, the Philippines, he single-handedly held off an enemy platoon which was trying to flank his company. Later, while helping a wounded soldier to the rear, he saw an enemy sniper aiming at his platoon leader. Fryar jumped forward and blocked the sniper's fire with his body. Although mortally wounded, he managed to kill the sniper with a hand grenade before succumbing. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor five months later, on May 9, 1945. Fryar's body was never recovered.

Camp Toccoa

Camp Toccoa, GeorgiaCamp Toccoa, GACamp Toombs
. * Camp Toccoa at Currahee Project 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment: attached to the 101st Airborne Division. 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment: attached to the 101st Airborne Division. 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment: attached to the 82nd Airborne Division and the 17th Airborne Division. 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment: attached to the 11th Airborne Division. 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment: attached to the 17th Airborne Division and the 13th Airborne Division. 457th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion: attached to the 11th Airborne Division. 295th Ordnance Heavy Maintenance Company (FA): completed basic training at Camp Toccoa, from July 21, 1943 through November 24, 1943. 296th.

Laura M. Cobb

Laura Cobb
Army Airborne and Filipino guerilla forces in the Raid at Los Baños on February 23, 1945. Upon evacuation to Guam, Cobb, who had lost 35 pounds during her captivity, said: "I want to return to the Philippines...." The nurses were nevertheless returned to the United States, where Cobb was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and awarded the Bronze Star, a Gold Star in lieu of a second Bronze Star, the Defense of Philippines Ribbon, a Distinguished Army Unit Citation, and the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with two Battle Stars.

Rod Serling

Does the Name Grimsby Do Anything to You?Rod Serling’sRodman "Rod" Serling
"Hard Rock" Haugen and served in the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division. He eventually reached the rank of Technician Fourth Grade (T/4). Over the next year of paratrooper training, Serling and others began boxing to vent aggression. He competed as a flyweight and had 17 bouts, rising to the second round of the division finals before being knocked out. He was remembered for berserker style and for "getting his nose broken in his first bout and again in last bout." He tried his hand at the Golden Gloves, with little success. On April 25, 1944, Serling received his orders and saw that he was being sent west to California.

Robert H. Soule

General SouleRobert SouleSoule
He commanded the 188th Glider Infantry Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division during World War II in the Philippines campaign. He later served as military attaché to the Republic of China, and commanded the 3rd Infantry Division during the Korean War. Soule died of a heart attack in Washington, DC and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Flanagan, Edward M. (1986) The Los Baños Raid: The 11th Airborne Jumps at Dawn (Presidio Books) ISBN: 0891412506. Flanagan, Edward M (1988) The Angels: A History of the 11th Airborne Division 1943–1946 (The Battery Press) ISBN: 0891413588.

Hunters ROTC

World War II Hunter's Guerrilla forcesHunters ROTC GuerrillasHunters ROTC Guerrillas-Chinese Unit
This force provided intelligence to the liberating forces led by General Douglas MacArthur, and took an active role in numerous battles, such as the Raid at Los Baños. When war broke out in the Philippines, some 300 Philippine Military Academy and ROTC cadets were unable to join the USAFFE units because of their youth. The Hunters ROTC banded together in a common desire to contribute to the war effort throughout the Bataan campaign. They worked to protect civilians and to assist the USAFFE forces by way of intelligence and propaganda. Personal stories of sacrifice and heroism have been passed down through the generations of former Hunters ROTC members.

509th Infantry Regiment (United States)

509th Parachute Infantry Battalion509th Infantry Regiment509th Parachute Infantry Regiment
On 31 May 1993, the separate Company C (Pathfinder), 509th Infantry at Fort Rucker was reflagged as Company A (Pathfinder), 511th Infantry, reactivating the colors of a unit that had served with the long-inactive 11th Airborne Division and the short-lived (1963–65) 11th Air Assault Division (Test). The era of a Pathfinder unit at Fort Rucker ended on 31 October 1995 when A-511th was inactivated to meet budget cut ceilings. In May 2004 Companies A and B, with attachments from Troop D of the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II to the areas surrounding Baghdad to reinforce the 10th Mountain Division.