The Alamo Scouts were organized on Ferguson Island, New Guinea, on 28 November 1943 to conduct
reconnaissance and raider work in the Southwest Pacific Theater
under the personal command of then Lt. General Walter Krueger,
Commanding General, Sixth U.S. Army.
Named for his beloved association
with San Antonio, Texas, and the Alamo, Krueger envisioned that
the Alamo Scouts, consisting of small teams of highly trained
volunteers, would operate deep behind enemy lines to provide
intelligence-gathering and tactical reconnaissance in advance of
Sixth U.S. Army landing operations.
From their first operational
mission in the Admiralty Islands in February, 1944, to the end
of World War II, the Alamo Scouts performed 106 known missions
behind enemy lines in New Guinea and in the Philippines without
losing a single man killed or captured.
During these two years the Alamo
Scouts liberated 197 Allied prisoners in New Guinea, and
provided forward reconnaissance and tactical support of the
Sixth Ranger Battalion in the liberation of the Cabanatuan
Prisoner of War Camp on Luzon, in February 1945, freeing 511
Allied prisoners. In addition, the Alamo Scouts captured 84
Japanese prisoners of war.
The Alamo Scouts evolved from a
simple reconnaissance unit in New Guinea to a sophisticated
intelligence collection group which supplied and coordinated
large-scale guerrilla operations on Leyte and Luzon.
In July 1945, the Alamo Scouts
were training to conduct pre-invasion reconnaissance of Kyushu
in preparation for OPERATION OLYMPIC, the first step in the
proposed Allied invasion of the Japanese homeland. Following the
Japanese surrender, the Alamo Scouts landed in Wakayama and
became part of the occupation army
They were unceremoniously
disbanded at Kyoto, Japan, in November 1945, never to be
The Alamo Scouts have the finest
record of any elite unit of World War II and, arguably, one of
the finest in the history of the United States military.
In 1988, the Alamo Scouts were
individually awarded the SPECIAL FORCES SHOULDER TAB for their
services in World War II and included in the lineage of today's
U.S. Army Special Forces.
|Myth: The Alamo Scouts were an all airborne unit.
|Fact: One team of Alamo Scouts was airborne
qualified along with other individuals, but did not jump
any missions. Airborne training was not part of the Alamo
Scouts training program.
|Myth: The Alamo Scouts were an all-Native
|Fact: Although the Alamo Scouts had soldiers of
the Chippewa, Fox, Seminole, Navajo and other tribes on
their teams, they were not solely composed of Native
Americans. Alamo Scout teams included Caucasians, Native
Americas, Filipinos, and Hispanics. The Alamo Scouts
shoulder patch, which depicts an Indian head, undoubtedly
contributed to the myth.
|Myth: The Alamo Scouts mission was solely to kill
|Fact: Although the Alamo Scouts conducted some
direct action missions and accounted for hundreds of enemy
kills, their primary mission was to infiltrate deep behind
enemy lines, gather information, and get out undetected.
The information they provided was passed on to larger,
|Myth: The Alamo Scouts did their best work during
the Korean War.
|Fact: The Alamo Scouts were disbanded in Japan
shortly after the end of World War II and were never
reformed. However, several former Alamo Scouts served in
the Korean War and in Vietnam.
|Myth: The Alamo Scouts performed sixty to eighty
|Fact: Since the Alamo Scouts were a top secret
unit and many of their missions classified until the early
1990's, neither the Army, military historians, nor the
Scouts themselves knew the extent of their operations. To
date, 106 missions have been identified, all without the
loss of a single man killed or captured.
|Myth: The Alamo Scouts have received due credit
and public recognition for their part in the Allied
victory in the Pacific during World War II.
|Fact: While the names of several elite units of
World War II are recognizable to most Americans and have
been ingrained into their consciousness through scores of
books and movies, the amazing story of the Alamo Scouts is
just beginning to surface. Help give the Alamo Scouts the
credit they deserve. Please pass along their story.
- PLEASE READ
|This page is an
unofficial document and does not represent information
endorsed by the United States Government, the United
States Special Operations Command or the United States
Army Special Operations Command. However, most
information is derived from those sources and has been
checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and
suggestions, please go to the Communications
Gunnery Network - SOF