Meet Jay D. Vanderpool.
- Pearl Harbor survivor.
- Led Allied commandos behind enemy lines.
- And became a “Founding Father” of Army helicopter warfare.
December 7, 1941: Lieutenant Jay D. Vanderpool awoke to the sights and sounds of the attack on Pearl Harbor. By the end of the day, he was among the handful of survivors digging trenches and emplacing howitzers along the beaches of Oahu, anticipating a Japanese invasion of the Hawaiian Islands.
By the summer of 1943, he had fought in the Battles of Guadalcanal and New Georgia before volunteering for a highly-classified “liaison” mission to the Allied guerrillas in the Philippines. Infiltrating the Philippine Islands by submarine, Jay Vanderpool made contact with the Allied guerrillas in southern Luzon, and coordinated their operations with the 11th Airborne Division, facilitating the raid on the infamous Los Baños Prison Camp.
After the war, Vanderpool remained on active duty, where he subsequently commanded the UN guerrilla forces during the Korean Conflict. Throughout the late 1950s, Vanderpool became a leading advocate for adapting helicopters into close air support weapon and as a mobile troop carrier. In this regard, he became a “founding father” of the US Army’s airmobile (air assault) warfare.
Like the proverbial “coyotes” who stealthily run people across international borders, Jay Vanderpool earned his legacy by running Allied commandos behind enemy lines in North Korea and the Pacific. His legacy endures today as a plank holder of American Special Operations and a “founding father” of modern helicopter warfare.
Coyote Recon is his story.