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Knollwood Maneuvers: December 7-12,1943

Given the conflicting results of the Allied airborne operations in North Africa and Italy, American military leadership questioned the need for airborne divisions and instead favored regimental-sized combat teams. The 11th Airborne's MG Joseph Swing (above, third from left) disagreed, as did Airborne Command, so Swing chaired The Swing Board, a group of officers that created the doctrine for large-scale airborne operations. To test their proposals, the Knollwood Maneuvers were held near Fort Bragg around the Knollwood Army Auxiliary Airfield (now Moore County Regional Airport) wherein Swing's 11th Airborne "battled" a reinforced 17th Airborne. Swing's men were so successful with their drops and taking of their assigned objectives that American leadership changed their tunes and decided to keep airborne divisions intact.