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Records of the Merrill's Marauders Proud Descendants Association

 Collection — Shelf: 13-24
Identifier: SC-000110

Scope and Contents

The collection contains approximately 30 linear feet of papers related to the history of Merrill's Marauders as compiled by the Merrill's Marauders Proud Descendants Association, including General Orders (copies), Special Orders (copies), news articles and clippings (originals and copies), documents from the National Archives (copies), records of attendance at Association meetings, original photographs, oral histories on compact disc, various A/V items including movies and television specials, and a Database of soldier names in digital format.


  • 1944/2020

Access to Materials

Collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access will require additional advanced notice. Copies of digital files will be provided for use upon request.

Use of These Materials

The nature of the Hampden-Sydney College Archives and Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. As a result, Hampden-Sydney College claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning and individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the College assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

From Wikipedia:

Merrill’s Marauders (named after Frank Merrill) or Unit Galahad, officially named the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), was a United States Army long range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit, which fought in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II, or China-Burma-India Theater (CBI). The unit became famous for its deep-penetration missions behind Japanese lines, often engaging Japanese forces superior in number.

In slightly more than five months of combat, the Marauders had advanced 750 miles (1,210 km) through some of the harshest jungle terrain in the world, fought in five major engagements (Walawbum, Shaduzup, Inkangahtawng, Nhpum Ga, and Myitkyina) and engaged in combat with the Japanese Army on thirty-two separate occasions, including two conventional defensive battles with enemy forces for which the force had not been intended or equipped. Battling Japanese soldiers, hunger, fevers, and disease, they had traversed more jungle terrain on their long-range missions than any other U.S. Army formation during World War II.

The men of the Merrill's Marauders enjoyed the rare distinction of having each soldier awarded the Bronze Star. In June 1944, the 5307th Composite Unit (provisional) was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation:
The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as to set it apart and above other units participating in the same campaign.
On 10 August 1944 the Marauders were consolidated into the 475th Infantry, which continued service in northern Burma as a component of the brigade-sized MARS Task Force until February 1945. On 21 June 1954 the 475th Infantry was re-designated as the 75th Infantry from which descended the 75th Ranger Regiment.

The commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Marauders, Colonel George A. McGee was inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame (1992) for extraordinary valor and exemplary service. Roy H. Matsumoto (1993), Henry Gosho (1997), and Grant Hirabayashi (2004), Japanese-American interpreters for the Marauders were also inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame.

On 5 December 2019, the United States Senate passed S. 743, the Merrill's Marauders Congressional Gold Medal Act, legislation to honor the Marauders' extraordinary service. On 22 September 2020, the House of Representatives also passed the bill by unanimous consent. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest expression by the Congress of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions to the country. On 6 October, the Bill approving the medal award was sent to the White House for its final signature.

As of 31 December 2020, seven Marauders were still alive. By May 2022, this number had dwindled to just three.


30 Linear Feet (Archives Workroom: 80 binders; 6 VHS tapes; 6 A/V DVDs; 1 photo album; 8 manuscripts; 16 bound publications; 8 Discs of Database files; 1 small pamphlet; 1 letter | Archivist's Office: 2 letters; 4 Discs of Database Files; Signed Deed of Gift (filed under accession number ACC 2020.002)

Language of Materials



Contents are arranged as received from Hansel L. Haycox, Historian of the Merrill's Marauders Proud Descendants Association.

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Repository Details

Part of the Hampden-Sydney College Archives & Special Collections Repository

Hampden-Sydney College
Walter M. Bortz III Library
P.O. Box 7
Hampden-Sydney VA 23943 United States
(434) 223-7225