James M. FenelonAug 15, 2023
Paratroopers in the Pacific
A Conversation with James Fenelon
In the final episode of Season 3, Annika sits down with James Fenelon, a veteran-turned-historian, who served in the Army for over a decade and is a graduate of the US Army’s Airborne, Jumpmaster and Pathfinder schools. They about his latest book, Angels Against the Sun: A WWII Saga of Grunts, Grit, and Brotherhood (Regnery, 2023), which chronicles the 11th Airborne Division, nicknamed "The Angels," and their campaign.
A bit about the book:
The Pacific theater of World War II pitted American fighting men against two merciless enemies: the relentless Japanese army and the combined forces of monsoons, swamps, mud, privation, and disease. General Joseph Swing's rowdy paratroopers of the 11th Airborne Division-- nicknamed the "Angels"--fought in some of the war's most dramatic campaigns, from bloody skirmishes in Leyte's unforgiving rainforests to the ferocious battles on Luzon, including the hellish urban combat of Manila. The Angels were trained as elite shock troops, but high American casualties often forced them into action as ground-pounding infantrymen. Surviving on airdropped supplies and reinforcements, the Angels fought their way across nearly impassable terrain, emerging as one of the most lethal units in the Pacific War. Their final task was the occupation of Japan, where they were the first American boots on the ground. Angels Against the Sun is an unforgettable account of the liberation of the Philippines. In the tradition of Band of Brothers, historian and former paratrooper James M. Fenelon offers a grunt's-eye view of the war. This is a soldier's history at its best.
Annika Nordquist is the Communications Coordinator of Princeton University’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions and host of the Program’s podcast, Madison’s Notes. She graduated from Stanford University in 2021, where she studied Classics and Linguistics. She was also Editor-in-Chief of the Stanford Review and a member of the varsity fencing team. Previously, she was a Research Assistant in Education Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.