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 A Summary History of the 82nd Airborne

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"All American"

82nd Airborne - All American(Updated 6-15-08)

The 82nd Airborne Division is an elite parachute nit of the U.S. Army whose home base is at Ft Bragg, North Carolina. The Division has the ability to begin combat operations anywhere in the world within eighteen hours of notification. The primary mission of the airborne is airfield and seaport seizure. Once entry is obtained by parachute, helicopter, vehicle, or by foot, the terrain is secured to rapidly receive additional combat forces. Every soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division is jump qualified and almost every piece of combat equipment assigned to the Division can be dropped by parachute onto the battlefield.

The 82nd Division was organized on March 25, 1917 at Camp Gordon, Georgia. Members of the Division came from all over the country so the unit was given the nickname of "All American." This is the reason for the distinctive Click to preview or purchase "The Boldest Plan is the Best" from Amazon.com"AA" on the unit's shoulder patch. Less than a year after its formation the Division was deployed to France to fight in World War I. In less than five months of combat the 82nd participated in three major campaigns. The famous hero of WWI, Alvin York was a member of the 82nd Division. Sergeant York was awarded the Medal of Honor for attacking a German machine gun and killing twenty enemy soldiers and capturing one hundred and thirty-two others. After the war the 82nd was demobilized in May of 1919.

The Division would gain its reputation in the next war. Recalled for World War II in March of 1942, the Division was re-designated the 82nd Airborne Division the following August. The 82nd was the first airborne division in the United States Army. During WWII the Division conducted parachute assaults into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy, and Holland. At the battle of Anzio in Italy, a German officer gave the paratroopers one of their many nicknames when he referred to them as "those devils in baggy pants."

The 82nd Airborne Division was not sent to the Korean War, but rather began its use as America's strategic reserve and rapid deployment force. In January of 1968, during the Tet Offensive, the 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division was alerted and en route to Chu Lai within 24 hours. The 82nd stayed in Vietnam for 22 months of combat. The All-Americans fought in the Hué - Phu Bai area, and then later fought battles in the Mekong Delta, the Iron Triangle, and along the Cambodian border. The 3rd Brigade returned to Fort Bragg in December of 1969.

As the most highly trained light infantry division in the world, the 82nd Airborne has participated in practically every potential combat deployment of the U.S. Army since Vietnam. This includes Grenada in 1983, Honduras in 1988, the invasion of Panama in 1989, Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and into Iraq in 1990-91, Bosnia in 1995, Kosovo in 1999, Afghanistan in 2002, and the invasion of Iraq in early 2003. As of 2007, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division are on rotation to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The 82nd Airborne Division also carries the moniker of "America's Guard of Honor." They are the nation's strategic offensive force, maintaining the highest state of readiness. Generations of veterans have lived up to the Division's motto. They truly went "All the way!"

 

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