Droptime! Swarmer, The Amazing 187th and the Flying Boxcar!

Posted by on May 18, 2008

What a crazy weekend it was! I apologize for the slow posting, but some weekends are just busier than others! I was planning on doing the update Sat. night…and then Sun. night, but it’s ending up Monday’s post! Yikes!!!! Thank you for still stopping by! Hope your weekend went well also!

Anyway, on to the topic of the day. Did you like the photos I posted up earlier? Did you guess the outfit and the plane? Neat stuff, so here’s backstory……


With the popularity of the Band of Brothers espisodes from World War II and the paratroopers stories being expressed in games, books, and movies, it’s easy to overlook the fact that paratroopers were used in many other conflicts–especially the Korean conflict. With successful drops, these airborne operations achieved their goals!


Operation Tomahawk kicked off in the spring of 1951 and would involve the use of the 187th Regimental Combat Team, the “Rakkasans”, which had been used in the postwar occupation of Japan and was just now being used in the Korean conflict. The second combat jump of the Korean conflict, their continued airborne use can perhaps be attributed to their early success stateside, in the training operation known as Operation Swarmer in 1950.

Jumping off on a Good Friday, the 187th landed north of Seoul and was able to achieve their assignments, linking with ground units and cutting off the enemy’s escape routes and destroying their capabilities.


Said one veteran of the jump:

“…I landed, and…We formed into our platoons, and headed out to our objectives…This one night, when we were able to get at least six or seven hours of sleep, would be the only sleep we were to get for the next 10 days…” (3)

Another aspect of the operation was the utilization of the C-119 “Flying Boxcar”, the successful and highly used successor to the C-47 of World War II fame. Capable of holding over 63 troops, over a hundred of the “Flying Boxcars” participated in the drop. The deployment also included heavy equipment such as trucks and 105’s (arty).

Following the unit’s success in Korea, they would go on and reform into the Air Assault concept and serve in Vietnam as well as modern day conflicts in Iraq and elsewhere.

Lotta links today, lots of good information…more than I could post here in the blog. Be worth it to take a few minutes or longer to get the complete story.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!


187th Regimental Combat Team (Wikipedia)

U.S.A. Airborne 50th Anniversary

GlobalSecurity.org (Information on C-119)

Time Magazine Archive

Paratroopers: Korea, 1950’s background information

Operation Tomahawk: Wikipedia

Regimental History: 187th

Munsan-ni Photos

GlobalSecurity (Combat Jumps Timeline)

Operation Courageous (Munsan-ni jump was part of this larger operation)



(2)Eyewitness Account, Nick Dramis (http://home.hiwaay.net/~magro/dramis.html)



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