Posted 4 years ago
Here is a unit coin from the Rakkasans or 187th Infantry Regiment (3rd BDE, 101st ABN Division).
While most unit coins are actual coins, this one is unusual in shape. The shape is called a Torri. Torris are found throughout Japan, serving as a gate to religious temples. You will find the torri used as identifying insignia on the helmets of modern Rakkasan soldiers.
The Rakkasans were initially part of the 11th Airborne and fought in the Pacific in WW2. They served occupation duty in Japan following the War earning the "Rakkasan" name from the Japanese. "Rakkasan" roughly translates to "Falling Umbrella"-- a fitting nickname for the Airborne soldiers.
During Korea, the unit deployed as a Airborne Regimental Combat Team (ARCT) and made two combat jumps in the War.
During Viet Nam, the unit participated in the famous Battle of Dong Ap Bia Mountain (Hamburger Hill) in 1968.
I served in the unit three times during my career-- the first and last time separted by 20 years.
I was really fortunate that all of my combat tours (Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom [Afghanistan] and Operation Iraqi Freedom) were with elements of the Rakkasan Regiment.