Records of the Merrill's Marauders Proud Descendants Association
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Biographical / Historical
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)
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- Records of the Merrill's Marauders Proud Descendants Association
- Sarah E. Almond
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