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Russell Hamler, thought to be the last of WWII Merrill’s Marauders jungle-fighting unit, dies at 99

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The reputed last member of the famed World War II American jungle fighting unit nicknamed the Merrill’s Marauders has died. Ninety-nine-year-old Russell Hamler died on Tuesday. That is according to his son Jeffrey. He didn’t give a cause of death. The daughter of a late former Marauder, Jonnie Melillo Clasen, told Stars and Stripes that Hamler was the last living Marauder. Hamler had been living near Pittsburgh. The Marauders inspired a 1962 movie and last year were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. The soldiers spent months behind enemy lines, marching hundreds of miles through the jungles and steep mountains of Burma to capture a Japanese-held airfield and open an Allied supply route between India and China.

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