New Guinea::188th Infantry Regiment (United States)


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New Guinea The 11th landed as a reserve unit for the Hollandia Operation. Japanese still occupied the island and there was fighting in other parts of the island. Although the 11th had combat alert, they were not committed. By July, 1944 the Japanese had been cut off and isolated in New Guinea. In the meantime Admiral Nimitz's "Island Hopping" had retaken the Solomons, Gilberts, Marshals and Marianas. Between June, 1944 and that September, the 11th had become accustomed to the heat and the jungle conditions. This included jumping into razor sharp Hunai grass. Malaria medication also became a daily routine.

While they there, General MacArthur personally informed General Swing the 11th would be committed to a large operation. He was investigating an airborne assault. New training was centered on jump school and combat in the jungle, with an emphasis on live firing exercises. The entire 11th also had amphibious training whenever possible. General Swing took care of his troops in every way he deemed necessary to improve their survival and morale. His troops would realize after their combat experiences that he trained them hard, and well. He demanded the discipline they would need to survive. Staff and commanders were expected to bolster the welfare and morale of the men whenever possible.

This ghost unit was created for specific purposes, not known to others. It was not an authorized unit. The members, on paper, were assigned to various units within the division. This included the 511th, 187th, and 188th. It was an all volunteer unit, and those men could drop out any time without explanation. General Swing wanted a small, well trained unit at his disposal to use as necessary without any explanation. It would be a secret that remained within the 11th.

188th Infantry Regiment (United States) sections
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