The 187th ‘Rakassans’ – part (1)

Pacific Paratrooper

11th Airborne Division, 1943 Yearbook

My father, Everett A. Smith, was a member of Headquarters Company/187th/11th Airborne Division, from 1942 until 1946.  From the very start of the division, General Joseph M. Swing was their commander.  Often called ‘Uncle Joe’, Smitty’s picture of him says, “My General” on the reserve side.

Major General Joseph Swing

Soldiers of the 187th Infantry Regiment (Airborne) have the distinction of belonging to the only airborne regiment that has served in every conflict since the inception of American airborne forces. Today, the First Battalion (1/187) and Third Battalion (3/187) of the 187th carry on the tradition while assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the 101st Airborne Division. The 3d BCT carries on the nickname “Rakkasans,” the nom de guerre of the 187th/11th Airborne Division.

Smitty reclining in front, on the far right, with the HQ Company/187th Regiment/11th Airborne

The Regiment was constituted…

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6 thoughts on “The 187th ‘Rakassans’ – part (1)

      • John am I reading this right was Smitty your father’s nickname in the war? Please let me know, I am not sure if I am reading this correctly. I haven’t had a chance to read the whole piece yet but your information on the War is fascinating and very interesting to me. I have a reason for wanting to know. Hope you are having a wonderful evening my kind friend. Sending you lots of love, respect and many hugs. Joni

      • Oh goodness I was hoping our father’s might have had the same nicknames while serving. Sorry John. I am excited to read the story though. Hope you are having a great evening my dear friend. Love and hugs ❤️💕🤗🤗

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