The 11th Airborne Division was a United States Army airborne formation, first activated on 25 February 1943, during World War II. The division took part in several training exercises in 1943, including the Knollwood Maneuver. It played a vital part in this exercise, helping demonstrate that American airborne forces could operate successfully at up to divisional strength after the disappointing performance of the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Husky. Held in reserve in the United States, the division did not take part in early Allied airborne operations. 
In June 1944, it transferred to the Pacific Theater.

On arrival in the Pacific, the division entered a period of intense training and acclimatization. By November it was combat-ready, and was transported to Leyte in the Philippines, seeing action in an infantry – not airborne – role. The 11th left Leyte in January 1945, and then took part in the invasion of Luzon, operating in two formations. The first formation deployed the division's two Glider Infantry Regiments as conventional infantry, securing a beachhead before fighting their way inland. The second formation, the division's single Parachute Infantry Regiment, was held in reserve for several days before conducting the division's first airborne operation, landing on Tagatay Ridge and linking up with the two glider infantry regiments. The re-combined division participated in the Liberation of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Two companies of paratroopers from the division also conducted the famous Raid at Los Baños, liberating two thousand civilians held in a Japanese internment camp. The division's last World War II combat operation was in Aparri, aiding the advance of American forces in Northern Luzon, 

just before hostilities ended.

On 30 August 1945, the division moved to southern Japan, as part of the Occupation of Japan. The division remained in Japan for four years until May 1949, when it returned to the 

United States.

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