Picture and Map Gallery for Operation Market Garden, 17-27 September 1944

Picture and Map Gallery for Operation Market Garden, 17-27 September 1944

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Operation Market-Garden

Wing Commander G E Harrison (left), the Commanding Officer of No. 190 Squadron RAF, with his crew, recounts their experiences towing Airspeed Horsa gliders to Landing Zone (LZ) 'N' near Nijmegen, to Group Captain A H Wheeler, the Station Commander of Fairford, Gloucestershire, in front of a Short Stirling. No.190 Squadron flew a total of 98 sorties during Operation MARKET, and suffered heavy losses, particularly on 21 September 1944, when 7 out of 10 Stirlings failed to return from a resupply sortie, including that of Harrison and his crew, who were all killed. 17 September 1944

Paratroops of 3rd Platoon, 21st Independent Parachute Company, assemble at Fairford, Gloucestershire in front of Short Stirling Mark IVs of 620 Squadron RAF parked on the perimeter track. 17 September 1944

British troops of the 1st Airborne Division emplaning. Troops and equipment were transported to drop zones by 38 Group Royal Air Force and 9th US Transport Carrier Command. 17 September 1944

British Paratroops of 1st (British) Airborne Division give the 'V'-sign and "thumbs up" inside one of the C-47 transport aircraft. 17 September 1944

Long, twin lines of C-47 transport planes are loaded with men and equipment at an airfield from which they took off for Holland September 17, 1944. The C-47's carried paratroopers of the First Allied Airborne Army

An aerial view of a C-47 Dakota as it tows off a CG-4A Waco glider from a British airfield en route for Holland. 17 September 1944

A Short Stirling bomber taking off from RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire with a Horsa glider in tow - Operation Market-Garden, 17 September 1944

Part of the forces of First Allied Airborne Army crossing the Channel. Full air cover was provided by 1000 British and American fighters both during the flight and after the landings. 17 September 1944

American C-47 aircraft flying over Gheel in Belgium on their way to Holland for Operation 'Market-Garden'. 17 September 1944

A photograph taken through the window of a troop carrying glider during the journey out the Dutch coast is clearly visible as are other aircraft of the assault force. 17 September 1944

An American C-47 aircraft, hit by flak returning from the Market-Garden drop, burns after crash-landing into a knocked-out German Jagdpanther in a field near Gheel in Belgium. 17 September 1944

C-47 Dakotas and paratroops of the 1st (British) Airborne Division silhouetted against a sky as they descend towards Oosterbeek, just outside Arnhem. They were dropped a little distance from the town to allow some organisation before going in to battle on balance this proved to have been a mistaken tactic because of the time it gave the German forces to react

Parachutes open overhead as waves of paratroops land in Holland during operations by the 1st Allied Airborne Army. September 1944

Parachutes open overhead as waves of paratroops land in Holland during operations by the 1st Allied Airborne Army. 09/1944

A fleet of Allied aircraft flies overhead as paratroopers of the Allied Airborne Command float groundward in the invasion of the Netherlands, still another step towards the liberation of Europe., 09/17/1944

British paratroops of the 1st Airlanding Reconnaissance Squadron on the ground gathering their parachutes. 17 September 1944

The first two gliders to touch down, their wing tips interlocked after colliding on landing. In the foreground are the Headquarters Artillery Group. Nearly all the vehicles of the 1st Airlanding Reconnaissance Squadron (whose task it was to lead the race for the road and railway bridges) were lost on route as several gliders broke their tow ropes. 17 September 1944

Oblique photographic-reconnaissance aerial showing Douglas Dakotas dropping paratroops of 1st Airborne Brigade on to Dropping Zone (DZ) 'X', at Renkum, west of Arnhem. 17 September 1944

Vertical photographic-reconnaissance aerial showing Airspeed Horsa and GAL Hamilcar gliders on Landing Zone (LZ) 'Z' near Wolfheze woods, west-north-west of Arnhem. 17 September 1944

An aerial view of a (General Aircraft) Hamilcar glider which has been unloaded on the landing zone near Arnhem. The Hamilcar was the largest glider in use with British Airborne forces some 38 'went down' during Operation 'Market Garden'. 17 - 25 September 1944

A group of German prisoners captured a few moments after the British troop-carrying gliders had landed at Wolfheeze. 17 September 1944

82d Airborne Division drop near Grave in the Netherlands

The haystack at right would have softened the landing for this paratrooper who hit the earth head first during operations in Holland by the 1st Allied Airborne Army. 24 September 1944

Advance of XXX Corps Edit

Infantry of 50th (Northumbrian) Division moving up past a knocked-out German 88mm gun near 'Joe's Bridge' over the Meuse-Escaut Canal in Belgium, 16 September 1944

25-pdrs of 430th Battery, 55th Field Regiment, near Hechtel in Belgium, firing in support of Guards Armoured Division in the bridgehead over the Maas-Schelde (Meuse-Escaut) Canal, 16 September 1944

25-pdrs of 430th Battery, 55th Field Regiment, near Hechtel in Belgium, firing in support of Guards Armoured Division in the bridgehead over the Maas-Schelde (Meuse-Escaut) Canal, 16 September 1944

A Loyd carrier of the anti-tank platoon of 3rd Battalion, Irish Guards explodes during 30 Corps advance up the Eindhoven road at the start of Operation 'Market-Garden'. 17 September 1944

Sherman tanks of the Irish Guards Group advance past others which were knocked out earlier during Operation 'Market-Garden'. 17 September 1944

A Sherman Firefly tank of the Irish Guards Group advances past Sherman tanks knocked out earlier during Operation 'Market-Garden'. 17 September 1944

SSM William Parkes of No. 3 Squadron, 2nd (Armoured) Irish Guards, killed when his Sherman tank was knocked out during the advance towards Eindhoven, Operation 'Market-Garden'. 17 September 1944

A Bren Gun Carrier (Universal/Windsor) brings in a batch of German prisoners during 158 Brigade's attack. 158 Brigade (53 Division) was tasked to cross the Escaut Canal near Lommel in order to continue the advance into Holland. The Brigade's night attack was launched on 17 - 18 September 1944 and met fierce resistance from the German parachutist defenders

Sherman tanks advancing through cheering crowds in Valkenswaard, 18 September 1944

A heavily-loaded Universal carrier during the advance of 3rd Division, 19 September 1944

Infantry carrying assault boats in preparation for crossing the Meuse-Escaut canal at Lille-St Hubert, 19 September 1944

Vickers machine-guns of 2nd Middlesex Regiment, 3rd Division, fire in support of troops crossing the Maas-Schelde Canal at Lille-St. Hubert (St Huilbrechts), 20 September 1944

M10 tank destroyers of 77th Anti-Tank Regiment, 11th Armoured Division, crossing a Bailey bridge over the Meuse-Escaut (Maas-Schelde) canal at Lille St Hubert (St Huibrechts) , 20 September 1944

A convoy of lorries under enemy artillery and mortar fire on the road between Son and Eindhoven, 20 September 1944

Bedford MWD trucks and other vehicles of the 4th Wiltshire Regiment, 43rd Division, in Valkenswaard, 21 September 1944

Liberation of Eindhoven Edit

The people of Eindhoven line the streets of the town to watch armoured vehicles of British XXX Corps pass through. The 101st US-Airborne Division had captured the town on the previous day. 19 September 1944

Members of the Eindhoven Resistance with troops of the 101st Airborne in front of the Endhoven cathedral during Operation Market Garden in September 1944

Members of the Eindhoven Resistance in briefing with troops of the 101st Airborne during Operation Market Garden in September 1944

Daimler armoured car and trucks passing through cheering crowds in Eindhoven, 20 September 1944

Civilians dancing in the square of Eindhoven, the first major town in Holland to be liberated. Eindhoven was later bombed by the German Air Force. 20 September 1944

Children wearing orange ribbons and waving Dutch flags during celebrations in Eindhoven, the first major town in Holland to be liberated. 20 September 1944

Liberation of Nijmegen Edit

Dutch civilians ride on a jeep during the advance towards Nijmegen, 20 September 1944

Carriers of 1/5th Welch Regiment, 53rd Division, crossing the Meuse into Holland, 20 September 1944

Cromwell tanks of Guard's Armoured Division drive along 'Hell's Highway' towards Nijmegen during Operation 'Market-Garden', 20 September 1944

Vehicles of the Guards Armoured Division of the British XXX Corps passing through Grave having linked up with 82nd US-Airborne Division. 17 - 20 September 1944

A large group of German soldiers who have been taken prisoner in Nijmegen and the surrounding area by American paratroopers of the 82nd US-Airborne Division. 17 - 20 September 1944

17-pdr anti-tank gun of the 21st Anti-Tank Regiment, Guards Armoured Division, guards the approaches to Nijmegen Bridge, 21 September 1944

Nijmegen and Grave 17 - 20 September 1944: British engineers removing the charge which the Germans had set in readiness to blow the Nijmegen bridge

Allied tanks of British XXX Corps cross the road bridge at Nijmegen during its capture

An aerial view of the bridge across the Waal River at Nijmegen. 17 - 20 September 1944

Four British paratroops clamber ashore from a small rowing boat at Nijmegen. They were captured at the Van Limburg Stirum School alongside Arnhem Bridge and taken to a transit camp at Emmerich in Germany, but escaped and found a rowing boat, in which they made their way down the Rhine and into the Waal to Nijmegen and freedom. Left to right: Cpl John Humphreys, Cpl Charles Weir, Lt Dennis Simpson, and Captain Eric Mackay, all of the 1st Para Squadron, Royal Engineers they are shown here recreating the moment of their arrival at Nijmegen for the camera. 23 September 1944

Battle of Arnhem Edit

Four men of the 1st Paratroop Battalion, 1st (British) Airborne Division, take cover in a shell hole outside Arnhem. 17 September 1944

Two British Airborne troops dug in, holding the Brigade Headquarters. 18 September 1944

Captain Ogilvie of the Glider Pilot Regiment (who landed in his kilt) standing beside a jeep with a patrol. 18 September 1944

Alan Wood, the war correspondent, typing his despatch in a wood outside Arnhem with him are three members of the 1st British-Airborne Division. 18 September 1944

Four snipers, men of the Waffen SS taken prisoner in the suburbs of Arnhem photographed with their British captors. One of the Germans is only seventeen years old. All are wearing Waffen SS camouflage. 18 September 1944

Men of the 2nd Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, marching with their vehicles and equipment along a road between Oosterbeek and Arnhem. 19 September 1944

Aerial view of the bridge over the Neder Rijn, Arnhem British troops and armoured vehicles are visible at the north end of the bridge. Had General Montgomery's ambitious scheme for seizing the Rhine bridges succeeded the war in Europe might have been shortened by many months. In the event, however, back-up forces were unable to come up quickly enough to enable the advanced airborne troops to hold the strategically vital bridge at Arnhem. 19 September 1944

A Dutch school damaged by mortar fire, being searched for German snipers by Sergeant J Whawell and Sergeant J Turrell of the Glider Pilot Regiment. An empty weapons supply cannister lies open on the ground in the doorway of the school. 20 September 1944

Men of C Company 5th Battalion, Border Regiment, waiting in ditches beside the road, ready to repulse an attack by the enemy who were barely 100 yards away. 20 September 1944

A wounded man being carried away from the Divisional Administration Area (note the stocks of ammunition and fuel dumped in the background) by stretcher at Oosterbeek.

The vital bridge at Arnhem after the British paratroops had been driven back

Major-General Roy Urquhart DSO and Bar (leader of the 1st British Airborne Division during the Arnhem Operation) plants the Airborne flag outside his headquarters (Hotel Hartenstein), the last British stronghold in the Arnhem area before the evacuation

1st Airborne soldiers use parachutes to signal to Allied supply aircraft from the grounds of 1st Airborne Division's HQ at the Hartenstein Hotel in Oosterbeek, Arnhem, 23 September 1944

Four British paratroopers moving through a shell-damaged house in Oosterbeek to which they had retreated after being driven out of Arnhem

British paratroops being marched away by their German captors. Some 6,400 of the 10,000 British paratroops who landed at Arnhem were taken prisoner, a further 1,100 had been killed. (German photograph). 17 - 25 September 1944

A panoramic view of the city of Nijmegen, Holland, and the Nijmegen Bridge over the Waal (Rhine) River in the background. The city was hit by German and Allied bombardment and shelling., 09/28/1944

The grave of a British airborne soldier killed during the battle of Arnhem in September 1944, photographed by liberating forces on 15 April 1945


Its command group includes:

World War II Edit

The corps was first activated on 17 January 1942, five weeks after the entry of the United States into World War II, as the II Armored Corps at Camp Polk, Louisiana, under the command of Major General William Henry Harrison Morris, Jr.. When the concept of armored corps proved unnecessary, II Armored Corps was re-designated as XVIII Corps on 9 October 1943 at the Presidio of Monterey, California.

XVIII Corps deployed to Europe on 17 August 1944 and became the XVIII Airborne Corps on 25 August 1944 at Ogbourne St.George, England, assuming command of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, as part of the preparation for Operation Market Garden. Prior to this time the two divisions were assigned to VII Corps and jumped into Normandy during Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, as part of VII Corps. [3] Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway, a highly professional, competent and experienced airborne commander who had led the 82nd Airborne Division in Sicily, Italy and Normandy, was chosen to command the corps, which then consisted of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and was part of the newly created First Allied Airborne Army.

The corps headquarters did not see service in Operation Market Garden, with the British I Airborne Corps being chosen instead to exercise operational command of all Allied airborne forces in the operation, including the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.

Following the Battle of the Bulge, in which the corps played a significant part (and which, during the early stages of the battle, the corps was commanded by Major General James M. Gavin of the 82nd Airborne), all American airborne units on the Western Front fell under command of the corps. XVIII Airborne Corps planned and executed Operation Varsity, the airborne component of Operation Plunder, the crossing of the River Rhine into Germany. It was one of the largest airborne operations of the war, with the British 6th and U.S. 17th Airborne Divisions under command. The U.S. 13th Airborne Division was to participate in the assault. However, due to a lack of a sufficient number of transports, the division was unable to take part. After taking part in the Western Allied invasion of Germany, the XVIII Airborne Corps, still under Ridgway, returned to the United States in June 1945 and was initially to take part in the invasion of Japan, codenamed Operation Downfall. However, the Japanese surrendered just weeks later and XVIII Airborne Corps was inactivated on 15 October 1945 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

World War II units Edit

    — 26 January 1945 – 12 February 1945. — 26 January 1945 – 10 July 1945. — 12 August 1944 – 1 January 1945 15 February 1945 – 24 March 1945. — 21 December 1944 – 3 February 1945. — 29 December 1944 – 2 January 1945 7 January 1945. — 3 February 1945 – 12 February 1945. — 12 August 1944 – 17 September 1944 19 December 1944 – 14 February 1945 30 April 1945 – 3 January 1946. — 20 December 1944 – 21 December 1944. — 5 April 1945 – 22 April 1945. — 10 April 1945 – 22 April 1945. — 12 August 1944 — 21 September 1944 28 February 1945 – 1 April 1945. — 20 December 1944 – 6 February 1945. — 19 December 1944 – 23 December 1944. — 4 May 1945 – 10 October 1945. — 20 December 1944 – 29 January 1945 30 April 1945 – 9 October 1945. — 10 April 1945 – 22 April 1945.

Cold War Edit

The Corps was reactivated at Fort Bragg on 21 May 1951 under the command of Major General John W. Leonard. Since then, the corps has been the primary strategic response force, with subordinate units participating in over a dozen major operations (listed below) in both combat and humanitarian roles, primarily in Central America and the CENTCOM area of responsibility. [ citation needed ]

In 1958 the XVIII Airborne Corps was given the additional mission of becoming the Strategic Army Corps. The corps was now tasked, in addition, to provide a flexible strike capability that could deploy worldwide, on short notice, without declaration of an emergency. The 4th Infantry Division at Fort Lewis, Washington, and the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, were designated as STRAC's first-line divisions, while the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas, and the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg were to provide backup in the event of general war. The 5th Logistical Command (later inactivated), also at Fort Bragg, would provide the corps with logistics support, while Fort Bragg's XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery would control artillery units. [4]

The Corps deployed forces to the United States occupation of the Dominican Republic ('Operation Power Pack') in 1965.

The Corps deployed forces to the Vietnam War, including the entire 101st Airborne Division and the 3rd Brigade of the 82nd Airborne division.

In 1967 elements of the Corps were deployed to Detroit to suppress riots, and also to The Congo to support the government there and to rescue civilian hostages as part of Operation Dragon Rouge.

In 1982 the Corps first rotated elements to the Sinai Peninsula as part of the Multinational Force and Observers (UN) to guarantee the Camp David Peace Accords. [5]

In 1983 elements of the Corps were deployed to the Island of Grenada as part of Operation Urgent Fury, with the stated goal of reestablishing the democratically elected government.

In 1989 XVIII Airborne Corps, commanded by then LTG Carl Stiner, participated in the invasion of Panama in Operation Just Cause. Stiner served concurrently as Commander of Joint Task Force South.

Structure in 1989 Edit

At the end of the Cold War in 1989 the corps consisted of the following formations and units:

  • XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina[6]
    • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
    • 18th Personnel Group
    • 18th Finance Group [7]
    • 1st Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery, Fort Stewart [8]
    • 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York [6]
    • 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia [6]
    • 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina [6]
    • 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky [6]
    • XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery, Fort Bragg
        , Fort Bragg [6][9][10][11][12]
        • Headquarters & Headquarters Battery
        • 3rd Battalion, 8th Field Artillery (24 × M198 155mm towed howitzer) [10][11][9][12]
        • 5th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery (24 × M198 155mm towed howitzer) [10][11][9][12]
        • 3rd Battalion, 27th Field Artillery (27 × M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System) [10][11][9][12][13][14]
        • 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery (Airborne) (24 × M198 155mm towed howitzer) [10][11][9][15]
        • 1st Field Artillery Detachment (Target Acquisition) [14]
        • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
        • 1st Battalion, 58th Aviation (Air Traffic Control) [16]
        • 1st Battalion, 159th Aviation (General Support)
        • 2nd Battalion, 159th Aviation (Medium Lift) [17][18]
        • 3rd Battalion, 159th Aviation (Attack) [19]
        • 2nd Battalion, 229th Aviation (Attack) (former 2nd Battalion, 101st Aviation) [20]
        • 27th Engineer Battalion (Airborne) [22][23]
        • 30th Engineer Battalion (Topographic) [22]
        • 37th Engineer Battalion (Airborne) [22][24]
        • 175th Engineer Company [25]
        • 264th Engineer Company (Bridge) [26]
        • 362nd Engineer Company [27]
        • 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) [28]
          (Corps Area) [30][29][31] (Corps Command Operations) (Airborne) [30][29][32] (Corps Radio) [30][29][33]
    • 426th Signal Battalion (Corps Area) [30][29]
      • 224th Military Intelligence Battalion (Aerial Exploitation), Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia [34][35] (Operations) [36] (Tactical Exploitation) (Airborne) [37]
      • subordination formations and units

      Desert Storm Edit

      In 1991, XVIII Airborne Corps participated in the Persian Gulf War. The corps was responsible for securing VII Corps' northern flank against a possible Iraqi counterattack. Along with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, 24th Infantry Division and 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, XVIII Airborne Corps also gained operational control of the French 6th Light Armor Division (LAD) (which also included units from the French Foreign Legion).

      During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm XVIII Airborne Corps Artillery consisted of the 3d Battalion, 8th Field Artillery 5th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery and the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 39th Field Artillery. The living quarters for these three units were situated between the 82d Airborne Division and the Special Forces at Fort Bragg. Of the three units, only 1-39th was airborne qualified and served as the only fully airborne deployable 155 mm Field Artillery unit in history. [ citation needed ] The 1-39th FA and 3-8th FA were key components of the thrust into Iraq in the first Gulf War, providing fire support for the French Foreign Legion and the 82nd Airborne Division. The 5th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery also served in a major support role for 82d and French troops during the Gulf War. It consisted of three individual batteries. Batteries A and B were Airborne-qualified, while Battery C was air assault. Batteries A and B were assigned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Battery C was assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. All of the battalions were subsequently re-flagged during the years following the Gulf War.

      Task Force 118 had flown the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior off naval vessels during Operation Prime Chance in the 1980s, operating against Iran in the Persian Gulf. It was redesignated the 4th Squadron, 17th Cavalry on 15 January 1991. [38] During the Gulf War of 1991 it was part of the 18th Aviation Brigade.

      Major formations, 1950–2006 Edit

      The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions have served with the corps since the 1950s. The 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) was 'reflagged' as the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized) in April 1996. [39]

      General Information

      The 82d Airborne Division is an active-duty, modular airborne infantry division of the United States Army. The Division is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, one of the largest military training areas in the world. The 82d trains for airborne assault operations into enemy-denied areas, with a specialization in airfield seizure. Currently under the command of the XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82d is the nation’s Global Response Force. Once ordered, it can mobilize, load, and land anywhere in the world in less than 36 hours to perform combat operations, assist U.S. allies, and provide humanitarian assistance.

      82d In Afghanistan

      The 82d Airborne Division: History

      The 82d Division was constituted in the National Army on 5 August 1917 to support the United States’ entry into World War I. It was organized 25 August 1917 at Camp Gordon, near Atlanta, Georgia. Camp Gordon no longer exists, but a plaque commemorating the 82d Division and Camp Gordon is located on site at Peachtree Executive Airport. During World War I, many U.S. divisions decided upon a nick-name to help build esprit-de-corps and a bond among men. The 82d Division was no different.

      Hand made WWI Patch

      The Commanding General, Brigadier General W. P. Burnham, held a contest in conjunction with the men of the Division, the citizens of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Georgian Newspaper. Thousands of suggestions poured into the newspaper, and it was up to the Governor Hugh Dorsey, BG Burnham, and Major R.E. Beebe to sift through them all and decide which entry would earn the honor of naming one of Uncle Sam’s fighting divisions.

      The Division held a very diverse group of men training to become a fighting unit. Many were immigrants who spoke little to no English. But one fact arose, and Mrs. Vivienne Goodwyn saw it immediately. There were men from each of the 48 states in the 82d Division, which was unique for the time. Most divisions being organized for the war encompassed men from three to five states. Mrs. Vivienne, as she became known, submitted the winning selection, ‘The All American’ Division. The original Division shoulder sleeve patch of a red square with a blue circle in the middle would soon have Troopers sewing a double AA in the blue.

      326th in the Meuse Offensive

      The 82d was one of the first seven U.S. divisions to arrive in England, and fight in France. The Division participated in the Battle of Lorraine 1918, and the campaigns of St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne 1918. The first All American killed in combat was Captain Jewett Williams, 326th Infantry, on the night of 9 June 1918. Two All Americans, LTC Emory J. Pike and Corporal Alvin C. York would receive the Medal of Honor for their actions in combat. General John J. Pershing called Corporal York one the greatest Soldiers of the war.

      CPL Alvin C. York 1918

      The 82d demobilized on 27 May 1919 at Camp Mills, New York, after returning home from World War I. It was reconstituted into the Organized Reserves as Headquarters, 82d Division, on 24 June 1921 and housed at the Federal Building in Columbia, South Carolina.

      82d Division Returns Home From WWI

      Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Division was re-designated on 13 February 1942 as Division Headquarters, 82d Division. It was ordered into active service on 25 March 1942 at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, under the command of General Omar Bradley. Sergeant Alvin C. York addressed the men and inspired them to continue their history and service from World War I. General Bradley began a strict and physical training regimen, which was carried on by the next commander, Major General Matthew Bunker Rigdway.

      In North Africa Preparing For Sicily Assault

      On 15 August 1942, the Division was reorganized and designated the 82d Airborne Division. The U.S. Army adopted and developed the airborne concept, and the 82d would be the first U.S. division to receive this designation. MG Ridgway would lead the Division to North Africa in May 1943, where it intensely trained for the airborne assault onto the island of Sicily for Operation HUSKY.

      325th Final Equipment Checks Normandy

      In September 1943, General Mark Clark, Fifth Army, requested MG Ridgway send the 82d to drop onto the Salerno beachhead to help secure the Italian foothold established by the Allies. Operation AVALANCHE consisting of two, consecutive night jumps accomplished the mission and eliminated any doubt the Allies would be pushed back into the sea. Operation SHINGLE, a seaborne assault by the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, gave the Allies a further foothold on the Italian peninsula.

      82d in Normandy

      While the 504th stayed in Italy to fight, the rest of the 82d headed for England to prepare and train for Operation NEPTUNE, the airborne assault of Operation OVERLORD, the Allied offensive into Normandy, France. Joined by the 507th and the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiments, the 82d assaulted Normandy with 12,000 Parachute and Glider troops, 6 June 1944. Their mission was to destroy vital Germany supply bridges and capture causeways leading inland across the flooded areas behind the Normandy beaches where seaborne forces would land to gain control of roads and communications. The 82d fought for 33 days without relief or replacements, and once again successfully completed the mission.

      Last Minute Brief before loading C-47s Op MG

      The final airborne assault for the 82d Airborne Division during World War II was into Holland in September 1944. Operation MARKET GARDEN would have the All Americans perform a day time jump into Nijmegen. Led by their new commander, BG James M. Gavin, the 82d’s objectives were to capture and hold the key bridges at Grave and Nijmegen, as well as some subsidiary bridges over a canal to the east of Grave.

      The 82d successfully dropped and assembled at the Maas River Bridge at Grave and secured the structure within an hour. Gavin led his men in fighting and secured the approach to the bridge at Nijmegen, the second longest span in Holland and heavily fortified by the enemy. On the next day, 200 men of the 82d performed a daytime crossing of the fast moving Waal River in an attempt to secure the opposite end of the Nijmegen Bridge. German resistance was fierce, but the All Americans pushed through, secured the bridge, and opened a route to the Rhine River and into Germany.

      The All Americans briefly rested after Holland, but the final German offensive in December 1944, the Battle of the Bulge, ended any reprieve. After being rushed into combat with little food, ammunition, and winter clothing, the 82d held their ground against German tanks and artillery, began to push back, and by February 1945 were pushing into Germany. During the drive to end the war, the Division liberated a work camp at Wobbelin, Germany. The 82d also received the unconditional surrender of 146,000 men of the 21st German Army at Ludwigstlust.

      World War II ended in May 1945, and the 82d Airborne Division would receive the honor of Occupation Duty in Berlin. It is in Berlin where the Division received its second, and most famous nickname, “America’s Guard of Honor” from General George S. Patton, after he reviewed the Paratroopers. Four men would receive the Medal of Honor for their actions during the war, Private First Class Charles N. DeGlopper, Private Joe Gandara, Private John R. Towle, and First Sergeant Leonard A. Funk.

      Following World War II and into the early 1960s, the 82d Airborne Division trained hard during the Cold War to become the nation’s Strategic Reaction Force. They participated in numerous and varied exercises containing up to 60,000 men, within the U.S., and trained in Greenland, Alaska, South America, Turkey and Africa. The might and mettle of the 82d was tested time and time again.

      1-505 Main Checkpoint, Dom Rep

      Feeding Civilians, Dom Rep 1965

      82d Secures Duarte Bridge, Dom Rep 1965

      In April 1965, twenty years after World War II, with communism attempting to emerge in the Western Hemisphere, the 82d Airborne Division deployed to support Operation POWER PACK in the Dominican Republic. The Paratroopers arrived and suppressed the communist rebellion, allowing democratic elections to proceed. Most of the Division returned home by the September 1965, but 1st Brigade stayed until September 1966.

      Patrolling in South Vietnam

      3d Brigade Vietnam 1968

      SP4 William Burke, Vietnam

      In response the Tet Offensive of 1968, in the Republic of Vietnam, General Westmoreland, MACV commander, requested a brigade of the 82d Airborne Division be sent immediately to support U.S. operations. Within 24 hours, the Division organized men and equipment of the 3d Brigade, known as the Golden Brigade, and had them in route to Chu Lai. The 3d Brigade performed combat duties in the Hue-Phu Bai area of the I Corps sector. The brigade moved south to defend Saigon, fighting battles in the Delta, the Iron Triangle, and along the Cambodian border. After serving 22 months in Vietnam, 3d Brigade troopers returned to Fort Bragg in December 1969. Sergeant First Class Felix M. Conde-Falcon received the Medal of Honor for destroying five enemy bunkers at an enemy battalion command outpost.

      On 25 October 1983, the 82d was called back to the Caribbean, this time to the tiny island of Grenada to assist the nation’s democratic government to defeat a communist uprising. The first 82d unit to deploy in Operation URGENT FURY was a task force of the 2-325th Infantry. The troops were rigged for an airborne insertion, but two hours out of Pope Air Force Base, they air landed since the airfield was already secured. Operation URGENT FURY tested the division’s ability to deploy as a rapid deployment force. The first aircraft carrying division troopers touched down at Grenada’s Point Salines 17 hours after notification. The 82d was once again successful in defending democracy and American interests.

      Securing Perimeter at Airport Panama

      On December 20, 1989, the All Americans conducted their first combat jump since World War II onto Torrijos International Airport, Panama, to oust ruthless dictator, Manuel Noriega, and restore the duly elected government to power. The 1st Brigade comprising the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry along with the 4-325th Infantry, joined the 3-504th Infantry already prepositioned in Panama. After the night combat jump and seizure of the international airport, the 82d conducted follow on combat air assault missions in Panama City and in the surrounding areas, eventually dismantling the Noriega regime. The victorious paratroopers returned to Fort Bragg on January 12, 1990, in style, conducting a mass jump onto Sicily Drop Zone, Fort Bragg.

      With the 82d celebrating and congratulations still fresh in the minds of most paratroopers, the 82d Airborne Division was called upon once again to perform a rapid deployment mission. This time it was to draw a line in the sand.

      Six days after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990, the 82d became the vanguard of the largest deployment of American troops since Vietnam. The first unit to deploy to Saudi Arabia on 8 August was a task force of the 2d Brigade. Soon after, the rest of the division followed. Their intense training began in anticipation of paratroopers fighting it out in the desert with the heavily armored Iraqi army.

      Their training concentrated on chemical defense, anti-armor tactics and live-fire maneuver exercises. The battle cry picked up by the paratroopers was “The road home … is through Baghdad.” On 16 January 1991, Operation DESERT STORM began when an armada of Allied war planes pounded Iraqi targets. The ground war began six weeks later on 23 February, with the 82d conducted flanking movements deep inside Iraq. In the short 100 hour ground war, the vehicle-mounted 82d drove deep into Iraq capturing thousands of Iraqi soldiers and tons of equipment, weapons, and ammunition. After the liberation of Kuwait, the 82d began deployment back to Fort Bragg, with most of division returning by the end of April 1991.

      Aviation Assets in Afghanistan 2005

      When America was attacked on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush called upon the American military to fight global terrorism. In June 2002, Task Force Panther, comprised of elements from the 505th Infantry and other 82d units, deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). Task Force Devil, comprised of the 504th Infantry and support elements replaced Task Force Panther in January 2003.

      In February 2003, 2d Brigade, deployed with the Division Headquarters to Kuwait in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF). The Division conducted sustained combat operations throughout Iraq. The Division Headquarters returned to Fort Bragg, May 2003. The 2d Brigade remained in Iraq attached to the 1st Armored Division and continued to conduct combat missions. The Division Headquarters along with 3d Brigade and elements of Division Artillery, Division Support Command, and Aviation, returned to Iraq in August 2003 to continue command and control over combat operations in and around Baghdad.
      The 1st Brigade deployed to conduct combat operations in OIF, January 2004. The 2d Brigade redeployed to Fort Bragg, North Carolina in February. The Division Headquarters was relieved by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Division in March 2004, and the remaining 82d forces in Iraq redeployed to Fort Bragg by the end of April 2004. For the first time in two years all of the Division’s units were home.
      In September 2004, the 82d’s Deployment Ready Force, 1-505 deployed in support of OEF6, supporting Joint Task Force -76 and the Afghanistan elections. The TF redeployed in October 2004.
      In December 2004, the 82d’s 1-17th Cavalry, the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 325th Infantry deployed to Iraq to provide a safe and secure environment for the country’s first-ever, free national elections. Thanks in part to the efforts of 2d Brigade paratroopers, more than eight million Iraqis were able to cast their first meaningful ballots. In September 2005, Task Force 2-325 and Task Force 3-504 deployed to Iraq in support of the Iraqi national elections once again. The units redeployed in December 2005 and January 2006 respectively.

      Securing Perimeter Iraq 2009

      More than 3,600 Paratroopers from the 82d, conducted a no-notice deployment in support of Joint Task Force Katrina for Operation All American Assist on Sept. 3, 2005. While supporting relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Task Force led daily search-and-rescue operations in high water areas, resulting in more than 900 people and countless pets rescued. Additionally, they evacuated almost 5,000 residents from throughout New Orleans and the surrounding area.

      Hurricane Katrina -Operation AA Assist

      In June 2006, the Division was reorganized into a modular division structure. The Division’s major subordinate units now include the 1st Brigade Combat Team, the 2d Brigade Combat Team, the 3d Brigade Combat Team, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, the 82d Combat Aviation Brigade and the Headquarter and Headquarters Battalion.
      The 2d Brigade Combat Team deployed to OIF, January 2007, as the lead brigade of General Petraeus’s Surge Strategy to reclaim Baghdad from insurgents. 1st Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq to provide theater security throughout the country.

      On Patrol in Afghanistan 2008

      The Division Headquarters and Division Special Troops Battalion (TF Gladius) and other Division elements deployed to Afghanistan in early 2007 for a 15-month assignment as Combined Joint Task Force 82 (CJTF-82) and the U.S. troop contribution to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). During Operation ENDURING FREEDOM VIII, CJTF-82, commanded by MG David M. Rodriguez, served as the National Command Element for over 27,000 U.S. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilians in Afghanistan.
      In 2009 2d Brigade Combat Team assumed the role as the ground component of the Global Response Force for the Department of Defense and in 2010 deployed to Haiti in support of humanitarian relief following a devastating earthquake.

      Also in 2009, 3d Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq on a 15-month rotation. The 82d Airborne Division received orders from Forces Command on 2 March 2009 to prepare, once again, for deployment in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. They departed May 2009 for Regional Command – East (RC-E), Afghanistan, and accepted the transition of authority from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) on 3 June 2009. The 4th Brigade Combat Team of the division, along with 700 additional training and support personnel, arrived in country, August 2009, and took up positions in RC – West and South. CJTF-82’s mission was to support the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) in rebuilding the region’s security forces, social institutions, including governance, economics, and infrastructure, while neutralizing an insurgency hindering regional stability. This would prove to be no easy task, as RC-East’s operational area was 124,675 square kilometers that included 14 provinces, as well as securing 570 miles of Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

      82d FE Teams, Afghanistan 2012

      In May 2011, 2d Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in support of Operation NEW DAWN. The 2d BCT was the last brigade combat team to pull out of Iraq and successfully relinquished responsibility of the Anbar Province to the Iraqi government. They returned home to Fort Bragg, December 2011.

      The Division returned from another year long deployment to Afghanistan in October 2012. They served as the Regional Command South headquarters with nearly 10,000 Paratroopers throughout Afghanistan, from Kandahar in the south to Afghanistan’s eastern border. When history looks back on Afghanistan in 2012 there will be one undeniable fact – the All American Paratrooper was once again on the ground, working shoulder to shoulder with those in a time of need.
      Today, as they have in recent deployments and throughout the Division’s history, the troopers who wear the red, white and blue patch of the 82d Airborne Division are truly America’s Guard of Honor.

      Disclaimer: The 82d Airborne Division Historical Society is not endorsed by DOD. “This is a non-federal entity. It is not a part of the department of defense or any of its components and has no governmental status.”


      The 82nd originally served as a World War I infantry unit, composed of men from every state that belonged to the Union at the time, resulting in the unit adopting the term 'All American' as a regimental nickname. [N 1] When the unit was reactivated as an airborne unit, it kept the insignia - adding the word 'Airborne' above it - and the nickname. ΐ] [N 2]

      At the time of its reactivation in early 1942, command was awarded to Major General Omar Bradley. On 15 August, the division was split in two - one part designated the 101st Airborne Division, under the command of Major General William Lee, Β] with the 82nd now commanded by Major General Matthew B. Ridgway. Ώ]


      In October, the 82nd was dispatched to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to pursue its new airborne training. On October 14, the 82nd absorbed the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which had formed on May 1 at Fort Benning, Georgia. By the time that they went overseas, the 82nd would consist of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment and the 504th and 505th Parachute Infantry Regiments.

      At Fort Bragg, the All Americans trained vigorously. These pioneering paratroopers stood up, hooked up and leaped from C-47 transport planes while the gliderborne troops were at work in the 15-man WACO-CG4A gliders - towed by the transport planes In the spring of 1943, the 82nd All Americans became the first airborne division sent overseas. They left via troop ships from New England and landed in Casablanca, North Africa on May 10, 1943. From there, they moved by rail to Oujda and then by truck to Kairouan, Tunisia. That would be their departure point for the Division's first combat drop - the invasion of Sicily. Ώ]

      Sicily - Operation Husky

      Colonel James Gavin's 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) and the 3rd Battalion of the 504th PIR parachuted to take the high ground near Ponte Olivo airfield northeast of Gela, Sicily on July 9, 1943. Despite the wide scattering of the assault, the objectives were seized and the units linked up with the 1st Infantry Division the next day.

      On July 11, 1943, the remaining Battalions of the 504th PIR were dropped in the vicinity of Gela with heavy losses from both the German and Allied (friendly fire) antiaircraft fire. Despite the heavy losses the division was moved up to the front by motor and reinforced by the 39th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division on July 12, 1943. The crossings of Fiume delle Canno were secured on July 18, 1943 and the division pushed along the coastal highway, seizing the Marsala-Trapani area of Sicily's western coast by July 23. Ώ]

      Salerno - The Oil Drum Drop

      The Division's second combat operation was a night parachute drop onto the Salerno beachhead on September 13, 1943 in support of General Mark Clark's 5th Army which was in danger of being pushed back into the sea. The 504th PIR was parachuted south of the Sele River near Salerno on September 13, 1943. In order to guide the C-47 pilots to the shrinking dropzone, oil drums filled with gasoline soaked sand were ignited every 50 yards when signaled. 1300 troopers landed that night infusing a new sense of confidence to the beleaguered soldiers of the 5th Army. The 505th PIR was dropped the following night near the same dropzone to reinforce the air assault. On September 15 the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR) was brought into the beachhead amphibiously to join the rest of the division. Once the beachhead was secured, the 504th PIR & the 376th PFAB began an attack to recover Altavilla on September 16, 1943 and the division fought towards Naples which it reached on October 1, 1943 and moved in to the next day for security duty. Ώ]

      "Leg Infantry"

      After Naples, the 504th PIR & the 376th PFAB were detached from the 82nd Airborne temporarily and fought as "leg infantry" through the hills of southern Italy as part of the 36th Infantry Division. On October 29 they capture Gallo. They then battled in the Winter Line commencing with attacks up Hill 687 on December 15, 1943. 82nd Airborne General Staff circa Spring 1944 in England On 9 December 1943 Colonel Gavin was promoted to Brigadier General and assumed the duties of the Assistant Division Commander of the 82nd Airborne while Lt Col Herbert Batchellor assumed command of the 505th. During the early months of 1944, units of the Division were moved to England as the allies were preparing for the assault on Western Europe. The 505th PIR again changed commanders on 22 March 1944 when Lt Col William Ekman assumed command. He would lead the 505th through the remainder of the war. Ώ]

      Anzio - Operation Shingle

      On January 22 &23 1944, the 504th PIR, landed on the beach at Anzio and participated in heavy combat along the Mussolini Canal. It was their fierce fighting during this defensive engagement that earned the 504th PIR the nickname "Devils in Baggy Pants." The nickname was taken from an entry made in a German officer's diary. Ώ]

      D-Day - Operation Neptune

      While the 504th was detached, the remainder of the 82nd was pulled out of Italy in December 1943 and moved to the United Kingdom to prepare for the liberation of Europe. With two combat jumps under its belt, the 82nd Airborne Division was now ready for the most ambitious airborne operation of the war, Operation Neptune -the airborne invasion of Normandy. The operation was part of Operation OVERLORD, the amphibious assault on the northern coast of Nazi-occupied France.

      In preparation for the operation, the division was reorganized. Two new parachute infantry regiments, the 507th and the 508th, joined the division. However, due to its depleted state following the fighting in Italy, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment did not take part in the invasion. On June 5–6, 1944, the paratroopers of the 82nd's three parachute infantry regiments and reinforced glider infantry regiment boarded hundreds of transport planes and gliders and, began the largest airborne assault in history. They were among the first soldiers to fight in Normandy, France.

      The division dropped behind Utah Beach, Normandy, France between Ste Mere-Eglise and Carentan on June 6, 1944. They were reinforced by the 325th GIR the next day. The division remained under strong German pressure along the Merderit River. Eventually, the 325th GIR crossed the river to secure a bridgehead at La Fiere on June 9. It was during this action that Pfc Charles N. DeGlopper single-handedly defended his platoon's position and subsequently was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism. The next day the 505th PIR captured Montebourg Station and on June 12 the 508th PIR crossed the Douve at Beuzeville-la-Bastille and reached Baupt. They established a bridgehead at Pont l'Abbe on June 19. The division then attacked down the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula and captured Hill 131 on July 3. The following day the 82nd seized Hill 95 overlooking La Haye-du-Puits.

      By the time the All-American Division was pulled back to England on July 13, 1944, General James M Gavinit had seen 33 days of bloody combat and suffered 5,245 paratroopers killed, wounded or missing. The Division's post battle report read, ". 33 days of action without relief, without replacements. Every mission accomplished. No ground gained was ever relinquished."

      Following the Normandy invasion, the 82nd became part of the newly organized XVIII Airborne Corps which consisted of the U.S. 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions. General Ridgway was promoted and assumed command of the XVIII Airborne Corps. Meanwhile, Assistant Division Commander, General James Gavin was also promoted and assumed command of the 82nd Airborne. Ώ]

      Operation Market Garden

      In September, the 82nd began planning for Operation Market Garden in Holland. The operation called for three-plus airborne divisions to seize and hold key bridges and roads deep behind German lines. The 504th now back at full strength rejoined the 82nd, while the 507th went to the 17th Airborne Division.

      On September 17, the 82nd Airborne Division conducted its fourth combat jump of World War II into Holland. Fighting off ferocious German counterattacks, the 82nd captured the Maas Bridge at Grave, the Maas-Waal Canal Bridge at Heumen and the Nijmegen-Groesbeek Ridge. The next day attempts to take Nijmegen Highway Bridge failed.

      On 20 September the 504th carried out an heroic assault crossing the Waal. With artillery support the first wave of the 504th assaulted, in twenty-six assault boats, under intense fire, taking 200 casualties in the process. Finally on D+4 the 504th finally secured their hold on the bridge, fighting off another German counterattack just before noon. It was in this skirmish that Pvt. John Towle won the Medal of Honor. Its success, however, was short-lived because of the defeat of other Allied units at Arnhem. The gateway to Germany would not open in September 1944, and the 82nd was ordered back to France. Ώ]

      Battle of the Bulge - The Ardennes Offensive

      German General Von Runstedt Suddenly, on December 16, 1944, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which caught the Allies completely by surprise. The 82nd moved into action on December 17 in response to the German's Ardennes Counteroffensive and blunted General Von Runstedt's northern penetration in the American lines. On December 20 the 82nd attacked in the Vielsalm-St. Vith region and the 504th PIR took Monceau. This fiece attack forced the German units back across the Ambleve River the next day.

      However, further German assaults along the Salm hit the 505th PIR in the Trois Ponts area on December 22 and by December 24 the division lost Manhay. On December 25, 1944 the division withdrew from the Vielsalm salient then attacked northeast of Bra on December 27 reaching Salm by January 4, 1945. On January 7 the 508th PIR Red Devil's launched an attack with the 504th in the vicinity of Thier-du-Mont where it suffered heavy casualties. The 508th was then withdrawn from the line and placed in reserve until January 21 when it replaced elements of the 2d Infantry Division.

      On January 29, 1945 First Sergeant Leonard Funk, Jr. of Company C, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment won the Congressional Medal of Honor for action at Holzheim, Belgium. After leading his unit and capturing 80 Germans. On February 7, 1945 the division attacked Bergstein, a town on the Roer River. The 82nd crossed the Roer River on February 17. During April, 1945 the division performed security duty in Cologne until they attacked in the Bleckede area and pushed toward the Elbe River. As the 504th PIR drove toward Forst Carrenzien, the German 21st Army surrendered to the division on May 2, 1945. Ώ]


      Following the surrender of Germany, the 82nd was ordered to Berlin for occupation duty. 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-Americans" became known as "America's Guard of Honor." The 82nd returned to the United States January 3, 1946. Instead of being demobilized, the 82nd made its permanent home at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was designated a regular Army division on November 15, 1948. Ώ]

      Weather eye: Operation Market Garden

      Seventy years ago, Operation Market Garden was launched by the Allies in an attempt to push into Germany from the Netherlands, with the aim of bringing the Second World War in Europe to an end by Christmas 1944. It was the largest airborne battle in history as thousands of troops and their equipment were dropped near Arnhem, far behind enemy lines.

      Weather was crucial for the airlift meteorologists had forecast at least two days of clear skies, starting on September 17, 1944. The operation began well, with 2,000 gliders towed across the North Sea carrying 20,000 men and hundreds of tons of equipment.

      Parachutists jump over Dutch heath to mark WWII operation

      Spectators watch a parade of historic WWII military vehicles prior to a mass parachute drop at Ginkel Heath, eastern Netherlands, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, as part of commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, an ultimately unsuccessful airborne and land offensive that Allied leaders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II by capturing key Dutch bridges and opening a path to Berlin. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

      GINKEL HEATH, Netherlands (AP) — Parachutes glowing gold and white against clear blue skies, hundreds of paratroopers floated to the ground in the eastern Netherlands on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of a daring but ultimately unsuccessful mission that Allied commanders hoped would bring a swift end to World War II.

      Operation Market Garden dropped nearly 35,000 paratroopers deep behind enemy lines in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. After landing, the troops were to capture and secure key roads and bridges so Allied forces massed in Belgium could pour into Germany’s industrial heartland.

      Recreating the mass drops of September 1944, military aircraft flew low over Ginkel Heath on Saturday and current military parachutists leaped out. Thousands of spectators watched and applauded the soldiers once they were on the ground.

      One veteran of the original landing, Sandy Cortmann, jumped again Saturday while strapped to a British paratrooper. After their landing, a wheelchair took Cortmann to a tent to watch the anniversary ceremony.

      The British 1st Airborne Division led the huge airborne assault 75 years ago that was part of British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery ill-fated plan for Operation Market Garden. Paratroopers from the U.S. Army’s 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions and Poland’s 1st Independent Parachute Brigade also were dropped into the Netherlands.

      British veteran Les Fuller was 23-years-old when he leapt behind enemy lines close to Arnhem with orders to capture the city’s bridge over the Rhine. Now 98, he still remembers it clearly.

      “It was a day like today. Weather was just like this lovely sunny day,” he said, adding there was no opposition on the Sunday afternoon when he landed close to two German soldiers lying in the heathland with their girlfriends.

      “They were quite surprised to see me,” he added with a cheeky smile.

      But as he and other paratroopers got to Arnhem there was plenty of opposition from German troops. He was hit by a German shell and his right arm was amputated shortly afterward.

      The Allied troops met stubborn German resistance in and around Arnhem. Their advance stalled on a bridge spanning the River Rhine, a battle immortalized in the book and Hollywood film “A Bridge Too Far.”

      More Allied troops — about 11,500 — died in the nine days of Operation Market Garden than during the D-Day landings in France two months earlier.

      Veterans of the operation, a group with ever-dwindling members, attended the mass parachute drop, joined by Britain’s Prince Charles, the former Dutch queen, Princess Beatrix, and other dignitaries.

      Charles, wearing camouflage fatigues and the parachute regiment’s maroon beret, mingled with the veterans after the service as more paratroopers drifted to the ground behind him.

      NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he attended to pay tribute to the World War II heroes and said that Operation Market Garden showed “the importance of forces from different countries being able to operate together and that is exactly what NATO is about.”

      Lt. Col. Andrew Wareing, Commanding Officer of the 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, said Market Garden defined airborne operations and the “bloody mindedness” of paratroopers.

      “For that reason and on subsequent battlefields from the Falkland Islands to Afghanistan, when facing adversity and danger, British paratroopers’ have spoken the same words,” he said. “‘Remember Arnhem, lads.’ ‘Keep going, we won’t let them down … show them the Arnhem spirit.'”

      Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

      116. Hell's Highway

      On their route north towards Nijmegen and Arnhem the ground troops of Operation Market Garden had to deal with fierce opposition and frequent counterattacks. For days a bloody battle raged in the low hills near St. Oedenrode, causing serious delays. As a result, vital reinforcements couldn’t reach the Arnhem bridge in time and Operation Market Garden failed.

      The advance of the British 30th Corps to secure the bridges captured by U.S. Airborne forces, met with fierce German resistance. The 30th Corps, commanded by Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks, launched its attack on the morning of 17 September from a small bridgehead across the Maas-Schelde Canal, just inside of Belgium. Initially all went well. The first objective was to relieve the airborne forces near Eindhoven on the evening of day one. The Airborne forces in Arnhem, which were the furthest away, were supposed to be relieved within four days at the latest. This ambitious time schedule could not be carried out. The village of St. Oedenrode was the scene of ferocious counterattacks by German forces in their efforts to cut the Allied corridor north to Nijmegen and Arnhem. For days the bridge over the river Dommel was the focus of these counterattacks.

      Between 24 and 26 September 1944 a bloody battle raged in the low hills around Koevering and Eerde, two hamlets near St. Oedenrode. The German Jungwirth Battalion succeeded in cutting off the road here and managed to halt the Allied advance for almost 40 hours. As a result, vital supplies and reinforcements remained stuck in the Brabant area. This delay turned out to be the death knell for Operation Market Garden. The road was finally recaptured and cleared on 26 September. On that same day, the British decided to evacuate their troops from Oosterbeek near Arnhem. The bold plan to push on to northern Germany via the Dutch river bridges could not be carried out. Operation Market Garden had failed.

      Junction of Koeveringsedijk and Molenweg (Schijndel).
      GPS code: 51° 35' 12.7314"N 5° 29' 32.856"O

      Which characters were portrayed in A Bridge Too Far?

      All the characters in the film are based on historical figures. Sean Connery played his fellow Scot, Major General Urquhart. Gene Hackman played Polish General Stanislaw Sosabowski. Ryan O Neill had the role of General James Gavin, while Dirk Bogarde played Lt Gen. "Boy" Browning. These characters were key players in Operation Market Garden. [2] The German commanders are all based on those involved in the fighting. For example, Lieutenant General Wilhelm Bittrich, the SS commander at Arnhem, is shown in the movie. However, General Karl Student was not the western front commander when Market Garden commenced it was Von Rundstedt.

      In general, the film is very faithful to history concerning the identity of those involved. However, there was one glaring omission from the movie, and that was Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. He was the driving force behind Operation Market Garden, and without him, it is unlikely that it would have even proceeded. The film does not include him, but there are many references to him throughout the movie. Why Attenborough did this is not really known. In Cornelius Ryan’s book, Montgomery was very prominent. It is believed that Attenborough, like many other Britons, had too much respect for Monty, the victor of El Alamein, to include him as a character. [3] The movie also shows the diverse nature of the allied forces in Operation Market Garden, including British, American, Canadian, Free Dutch forces and Polish Paratroopers.

      Success For the 82nd, Failure For Operation Market Garden

      Although the Nijmegen bridge had been captured and held by the 82nd and British armor only after some of the most desperate fighting of the entire war, other Allied elements were not so fortunate. British paratroopers at Arnhem had been cut off and decimated Horrocks’ XXX Corps had fallen far behind in its timetable to reach the beleaguered paratroopers. And the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade that was supposed to have bolstered British troops on the ground was delayed departing England because of fog the Poles did not arrive in Holland until September 21. By then it was too late to salvage Market Garden.

      The relief column never reached Arnhem, and Operation Market Garden ultimately failed to deliver the swift and decisive victory that Field Marshal Montgomery had envisioned. That failure came at a high price with the Allies suffering more than 17,000 dead and wounded. American casualties alone amounted to a total of 3,974—1,432 of which were “All Americans” from the 82nd Airborne Division. The troopers of the 82nd remained in Holland until mid-November.

      The Allied generals did not waste time brooding over the failure of Market Garden. The port of Antwerp had to be opened to shorten the lifeline of supplies coming from Britain. Plans for a new thrust against Germany’s western defenses were already in the works, an operation designed to envelop the Ruhr, Germany’s industrial heartland, and a massive assault to penetrate Hitler’s formidable West Wall fortifications.


      “American paratroopers stream from their Douglas C-47 transport aircraft and begin their descent to an open field near the town of Grave, Holland. Gliders already litter the area after landing to disgorge men and supplies.”
      Is wrong, should be:

      23rd of September at 16:00 – 1 Para Bn and the remainder of 3 Para Bn dropped in area of GRAVE (1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade)

      The city of Grave lies south of Nijmegen. American forces captured it on 17 September. The Polish Brigade dropped to the north, closer to Arnhem at Driel on the 21st. The gliders shown are American C4-GAs (the wing supports make it clear) with American markings. I believe the Poles used British made Horsa gliders, and while I’m not sure how their gliders were marked, I would doubt that they used American markings.

      Watch the video: Home movie Monné family, Oosterbeek, 18 September 1944 (August 2022).