US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Loïc » 13 Jul 2021 15:59

OK so we don't gather both Departments

but for US Air Force just realized it was precised in the document
Expenditures for the Army Air Corps prior to 1947 are included in Army costs
so it means that the 6th US Air Force personnel in the PCD is counted here with the US Army until 1947
aarrrghh :x

maybe here
The wartime peak strenght was reached in november 1942 when the Department reached 68 000 including a ground force of 36 000
In july 1942 the War Department announced a curtailment in assignments to the Panama Canal and set the ceiling for ground forces at 47 000
Guarding the crossroads
security and defense of the Panama Canal
Charles Morris Brooks · 2003

Richard Anderson
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Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Jul 2021 02:41

Yes, it tends to confuse some. The US Air Force was part of the Army until 1947 and all strengths of the Air Force were included in the Army strengths.
"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

Sid Guttridge
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Re: US Army Panama Canal Garrison

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Jan 2022 13:58

Hi Loic,

A hidden aspect of this is the Puertorican contribution.

The US mobilized Puertorican regular and national guard manpower much as in the continental US, though the US Army proved reluctant to combine its regiments in larger formations likely to see front line service. Moreoever, Selective Service was apparently only introduced in the island in the second half of 1942. As a result of these factors, tens of thousands of Puertorican troops were available by September 1943, They were mostly used to replace continental US troops transferred out of the Circum-Caribbean to the European and Pacific Theatres.

The first Puertorican unit to arrive in Panama was 65th Infantry Regiment, which landed in January 1943. This later went on to the ETO but by March 1944 10,862 other Puertoricans in Panama still comprised 24.7% of the US Army garrison - a proportion that seems to have continued to grow. They were largely concentrated in infantry and coastal artillery units, the latter including up to sixteen gun and searchlight battalions, where they appear to have provided most of the manpower. Puertorican infantry regiments and independent battlions kept their unit identities, but the artillerymen were fed into existing hitherto continental-manned units in a sort of reverse blanchissement.

So the US Army was able to sustain its Panama and other Circum-Caribbean defences in 1943-45 by using Puertorican troops it had hitherto been reluctant to use elsewhere in more active theatres.



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