US Army Panama Canal Garrison

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Loïc
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US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Loïc » 10 Jul 2021 14:43

hello

which ground units were sent to the Canal Zone to reach such huge total and wartime peak of 68 000 men c.november 1942/january 1943
Image
patchPanama.PNG

the 14 000 pre-war garrison in 1939 passed from 19 500 to 27 850/31 400 throughout 1940
40 000 in december 1941
47 000 in january 1942 not ceasing to growth until the peak,
maybe/certainly they counted also Air Naval USMC to totalize 68 000


there were c.1940-1941
5th 13th 14th 33rd Infantry Regiments
2nd 87th Field Artillery Battalions
1st 4th 72nd 73rd Coastal Artillery Regiments
11th Engineer Regiment
61st Ordnance Battalion
70th Medical Battalion


renforced c.1942 by
150th 158th Infantry Regiments from the National Guard
551st Parachute Infantry Battalion
158th Field Artillery Battalion
82nd 83rd 88th Coastal Artillery (AA) Regiments

6 Infantry Regiments, 1 Parachute Battalion
7 Coastal Artillery Regiments, 3 Field Artillery Battalions
1 Engineer Regiment and 2 Battalions
not sure there is enough to reach 68 000 ground forces, others corps I found until now are only company-size units or recce cavalry squadron

2nd Field Artillery pictures in the years 30'
panamartillery2.png
panamartillery1.png
rouges.jpg
panamartillery4.png
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EwenS
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by EwenS » 10 Jul 2021 15:56

There was also a US Army Air Corps / Force presence that was reinforced from 1941 onwards.
https://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/wwii ... _Force.cfm

You can find USN air unit deployments here but there doesn't seem to be much in the Canal Zone.
https://www.history.navy.mil/research/h ... ar-ii.html

Richard Anderson
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Jul 2021 16:06

Loïc wrote:
10 Jul 2021 14:43
hello

which ground units were sent to the Canal Zone to reach such huge total and wartime peak of 68 000 men


The total is likely War Department and included Army Ground Forces, Army Service Forces, and Army Air Forces personnel. USAAF had 47,464 personnel overseas that were not in theaters of war as of 31 January 1943.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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R Leonard
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by R Leonard » 10 Jul 2021 16:59

As others have noted, does your 68,000 include personnel assigned to activities at various US naval bases and air stations (such as the Coco Solo Naval Base and Air Station), not to mention the USAAF (6th Air Force) at various airfields such as La Chorrera Army Airfield with some 6 to 7 fighter squadrons?

Might want to look at https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/NHC/Ne ... 943-06.pdf

or
for naval activities, https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/Bu ... es-18.html

or
for a maps showing extensive installations
http://william_h_ormsbee.tripod.com/bases_list_map_links_p03.htm


Also are you deducting for unit departures e.g.:,

5th Infantry (9th Division) was reassigned to the 71st Division in July 1943. Served in ETO.

13th Infantry inactivated 14 Jun 1940 and relieved from assignment to 9th Division on 22 June 1940. Activated 14 July 1940 at Camp Jackson, SC, and assigned to 8th Division; served in ETO.

14th Infantry ((Panama Mobile Force, 10 Jul 1940) was reassigned to the 71st Division in July 1943. Served in ETO.

33rd Infantry was assigned to Panama Canal Department in 1920 and in 1941 was under the Caribbean Defense Command. Battalions served in Trinidad and Aruba, 1st Bn to Trinidad in 1940, 2d & 3d Bns to Aruba, all departing to US in early 1944 and inactivated in June 1944.

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by LineDoggie » 10 Jul 2021 23:10

R Leonard wrote:
10 Jul 2021 16:59
As others have noted, does your 68,000 include personnel assigned to activities at various US naval bases and air stations (such as the Coco Solo Naval Base and Air Station),








Why would you count US NAVY personnel as part of the US ARMY garrison?
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by R Leonard » 11 Jul 2021 00:46

Because if he's asking about 68,000 people, I don't think they are all US Army . . . just my opinion. Some people do not understand the fine difference between X number of military personnel, i.e., Army, and X number of people wandering around wearing US uniforms, i.e., anyone form any service. Already established that he was counting infantry regiments that left the premises in 1940. Do you have an accurate number after counting all the comings and goings?

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Jul 2021 02:30

According to CMH-70-115-1, The Panama Canal, an Army's Enterprise, p. 87, by the end of 1942, the Army garrison was 67,000. One thing to consider would be the large Corps of Engineers presence there to run and maintain the Canal.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Loïc » 11 Jul 2021 05:01

hello and thanks

of course it is not my figure but one often advanced in sources websites like above around Panama Canal Zone in WWII

that is precisely one matter motivating the thread : I doubt that they were all belonged to US Army...that it is why I asked

there were 1500 Engineers in a total Army force of approximately 32,000 in december 1941 with the 11th Engineer Regiment mentionned above
after...complete mystery

an other Engineer unit belongs to the Army Air Forces 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion
The 805th company arrived in Panama on 26 March 1941 and were encamped at Albrook Field.
On 28 June 1941 the 805th was increased to battalion strength and subdivided into four companies
The 805th remained in Panama until 30 March 1943

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Jul 2021 07:11

Loïc wrote:
11 Jul 2021 05:01
hello and thanks

of course it is not my figure but one often advanced in sources websites like above around Panama Canal Zone in WWII

that is precisely one matter motivating the thread : I doubt that they were all belonged to US Army...that it is why I asked
No, it is quite clear they all - the 67,000 as of the end of 1942 - belonged to the US Army.
there were 1500 Engineers in a total Army force of approximately 32,000 in december 1941 with the end of 1942 - the 11th Engineer Regiment mentionned above
after...complete mystery

an other Engineer unit belongs to the Army Air Forces 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion

The 805th company arrived in Panama on 26 March 1941 and were encamped at Albrook Field.
On 28 June 1941 the 805th was increased to battalion strength and subdivided into four companies
The 805th remained in Panama until 30 March 1943

Corps of Engineers, not military engineer units (which, confusingly, were also administratively part of the Corps of Engineers). The personnel operating and maintaining the Panama Canal were members of the US Army Corps of Engineers.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Loïc
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Loïc » 11 Jul 2021 16:51

67 000 US Army only, I could not believe it, impressive number

unfortunately merged here with Alaska and "Western Canada" the peak reaches ~200 000 men of which 26 767 US Army Engineer personnel in 1943 in this theater

The Corps of Engineers The War Against Japan
Karl Christian Dod 1966
engineer.PNG
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by McDonald » 11 Jul 2021 22:33

Couple of things concerning the troop units listed above.

The 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion was omitted from the list. It was activated at Howard Field, CZ on 1 July 41.

The 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion, was a misnomer. The unit was the 1st Battalion, 551st Parachute Infantry Regiment. It was activated at Fort Kobbe, CZ 26 November 1942. The regimental headquarters, the 2nd, and 3rd battalions, an any unlettered elements of the regiment were never activated. Although the unit was formally designated as stated, most times you see it referred to as the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion. I think the story behind this was that at the time of activation, no TO&E existed for a separate parachute Infantry battalion. You may all recall the 509th went through a similar nut roll.

Both the 550th AIB, and 1/551 PIR served in Italy as well as The Rhineland, and in the Ardennes.

Information Source:The Army Lineage Book Volume II Infantry, CMH, 1953

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Loïc » 12 Jul 2021 01:09

Thanks

my reinforcements including regiments

- an other, the 36th, Coastal Artillery Regiment but seems to come after the "peak" of 1943

- 301st (1378 men) and 313th Barrage Balloon Battalions since december 1941

reading the volume about the Signal Corps
- in 1942 the 558th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion replaced by a 516th Signal Aircraft Warning Regiment
(others seem only company-size units such as 687th 688th 706th Signal Aircraft Warning Co. the 860th Signal Service and the 275th Signal Construction who should return because it was a black unit "unwelcomed" by the Panamian Authorities...)

- a motorized Quartermaster Regiment

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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by LineDoggie » 13 Jul 2021 09:10

R Leonard wrote:
11 Jul 2021 00:46
Because if he's asking about 68,000 people, I don't think they are all US Army . . . just my opinion. Some people do not understand the fine difference between X number of military personnel, i.e., Army, and X number of people wandering around wearing US uniforms, i.e., anyone form any service. Already established that he was counting infantry regiments that left the premises in 1940. Do you have an accurate number after counting all the comings and goings?
Do you have some proof they were counting USN personnel among the Army garrison end strength?
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Loïc
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Loïc » 13 Jul 2021 14:09

An other piece to the dossier, the 67/68 000 men "peak" of end 1942/early 1943 below the radar because the date taken is the 30th june of each year, the wartime years 1941-1945 show :

35 017 (1941)
58 257 (1942)
57 305 (1943)
41 278 (1944)
32 018 (1945)

click to enlarge
CONGRESS5.PNG
CONGRESSBIS.PNG

Department of the Navy
US Navy USMC expressed in man/years
congressUSMC.PNG


seeing these figures, so I wonder, it was not rather 57 to 58 000 US Army including Air Corps/Air Force, as excluding this one prior to 1947 in the following chapter of this document concerning USAF, more 10 000 US Navy US Marines because curiously we reach the peak of 67/68 000 men
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Richard Anderson » 13 Jul 2021 15:49

Loïc wrote:
13 Jul 2021 14:09
seeing these figures, so I wonder, it was not rather 57 to 58 000 US Army including Air Corps/Air Force, as excluding this one prior to 1947 in the following chapter of this document concerning USAF, more 10 000 US Navy US Marines because curiously we reach the peak of 67/68 000 men
Again, the language used by the War and Navy Departments was very specific, so that is unlikely. War Department (Army) strength continued to grow after 30 June 1942 and peaked in late 1942 and early 1943 at the 67,000-68,000 level before it began to shrink.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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