WW II-82nd Airborne TB
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
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About This Item
Replica Shoulder Patch. This patch was purchased at the Silent Wings Museum, Lubbock, TX. The museum preserves and promotes the history of the World War II military glider program. The gift shop sell replica shoulder patches of military units supervising or utilizing gliders in their missions. The museum is located on the site of the World War II South Plains Army Air Field, where about 80% of the glider pilots were trained between 1942 and 1945. Among many exhibits, the museum houses a faithfully restored example of the nearly the nearly 15,000 WACO CG-4A gliders built during the war effort.
The 82nd Division was first constituted on 5 August 1917. On 15 August 1942, the 82nd Infantry Division became the Army's first airborne division, and was redesignated the 82nd Airborne Division. The Division's first two combat operations were parachute assaults into Sicily on 9 July and Salerno on 13 September. The first glider assault did not occur until Operation Neptune as part of D-Day.
In January 1944, most of the 82nd moved to the United Kingdom in November 1943 to prepare for the liberation of Europe. On 5 June and 6 June, these paratroopers, parachute artillery elements, and the 319th and 320th, boarded hundreds of transport planes and gliders to begin history's largest airborne assault. Its 325th Glider Infantry Regiment would later arrive by glider on 7 June to provide a division reserve.
By the time the All-American Division was pulled back to England, it had seen 33 days of bloody combat and suffered 5,245 troopers killed, wounded, or missing. The post-battle report stated in part, "...33 days of action without relief, without replacements. Every mission accomplished. No ground gained was ever relinquished."
In September, the 82nd began planning for Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. The operation called for three-plus airborne divisions to seize and hold key bridges and roads deep behind German lines. On 17 September, the 82nd conducted its fourth World War II combat assault. Fighting off German counterattacks, the 82nd captured its objectives between Grave, and Nijmegen. Its success, however, was short-lived because the defeat of other Allied units at the Battle of Arnhem.
On 16 December, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Two days later the 82nd joined the fighting and blunted General Gerd von Rundstedt's northern penetration of American lines. During this campaign, PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, told a sergeant in a retreating tank destroyer to, "...pull your vehicle behind me—I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going!"
Following Germany's surrender, in Berlin, General George Patton was so impressed with the 82nd's honor guard he said, "In all my years in the Army and all the honor guards I have ever seen, the 82nd's honor guard is undoubtedly the best." Hence the "All-American" became also known as "America's Guard of Honor."
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