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Includes 27 Maps, 2 Sketches and 23 Photos
THE 5307th COMPOSITE UNIT (Provisional) of the Army of the United States was organized and trained for long-range penetration behind enemy lines in Japanese-held Burma. Commanded by Brig. Gen. (now Maj. Gen.) Frank D. Merrill, its 2,997 officers and men became popularly known as "Merrill’s Marauders." From February to May, 1944 the operations of the Marauders were closely coordinated with those of the Chinese 22d and 38th Divisions in a drive to recover northern Burma and clear the way for the construction of the Ledo Road, which was to link the Indian railhead at Ledo with the old Burma Road to China. The Marauders were foot soldiers who marched and fought through jungles and over mountains from the Hukawng Valley in northwestern Burma to Myitkyina on the Irrawaddy River. In 5 major and 30 minor engagements they met and defeated the veteran soldiers of the Japanese 18th Division. Operating in the rear of the main forces of the Japanese, they prepared the way for the southward advance of the Chinese by disorganizing supply lines and communications. The climax of the Marauders’ operations was the capture of the Myitkyina airfield, the only all-weather strip in northern Burma. This was the final victory of the 5307th Composite Unit, which was disbanded in August, 1944.