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508th IS FIRST LARGE UNIT TRANSOCEANIC DEPLOYMENT BY AIR

Beppu is on the northeast coast of Kyushu, the most southern of Japan's main islands and has approximately 100,000 inhabitants.  It is is a 20-minute train ride from the provincial capital of Oita. Interactive map

Beppu Great Buddha
was the 2nd largest in Japan and was forty-fifty feet tall and contained a number of funerary urns containing human cremains. The statue was demolished  in the 1985.

Bi-Lingual Brochure
employed by US Forces in 1955.
  (Click photo to view PDF file)
[courtesy of Fitz Blum]

The 508th was the first large Army unit to experience a consolidated move crossing an ocean by air as it flew to Ashiya Air Base, Japan.  The Red Devils then went southeast by rail to Camp Chickamauga near Beppu.  The movement was documented on film and can be viewed here

Gyroscope Begins Trip Back to U. S.
   Itazuke Air Base, Japan, July 12 (AP). The big turn-around began today in history's longest and biggest airlift
   Operation Gyroscope still bringing in approximately 90 troops of the 508th Regimental Combat Team from Ft. Campbell, Ky., every two hours in giant C124 Globemaster transports, began lifting the same number of relieved troops on the homeward hop. The departing outfit is the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat team which began leaving this morning from this southern Japan base for Ft. Bragg, N. C.
   Emphasizing the speed at which large numbers of troops move about the world these days, the 187th is scheduled to take part in a practice parachute jump at Ft. Bragg only 30 hours after departure here. The men will transfer to a CI19 Flying Boxcar for the drop, the Army said.
   The 187th is the famous "Angels from Hell" combat team of World War II and Korean War fame. They have been in the Far East five years.
  Assuming command of the 187th at midnight tonight, midway between Wake Island and Honolulu, Honolulu, is Col. Curtis J. Herrick of Alton, 111., who left here on the first homeward bound Globemaster today as deputy commander.
   He takes over from Brig. Gen. Roy Lindquist, Pittsfield. Me., who is remaining in Japan to become chief of staff of the Army s Ninth Corps at Sendai, Northern Japan.

[The Tampa Times, Tampa, FL, 12 Jul 1955, Tue, Page 14]


Mori DZ
outlined in red by MSgt William Blum, lies within the Hijudai Maneuver Area.  An area with two target houses is circled in blue at the upper right of the DZ. Other buildings labeled as target houses can be seen near the DZ
[courtesy of Fitz Blum]


Green Light
a silk print with an artist's concept of a mass drop over the Mori DZ
[courtesy of Fitz Blum]inb

 

Dependent Travel
Do's and Don'ts were aid out in Travel Authorization Number 7, dated 21 May 1955.
   Info included shots and forms required, amount of luggage, household goods and privately owned vehicles.
[courtesy of Fitz Blum]

 

 

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