[Webmaster Note: The following division information is reproduced
from the public domain publication, The Army Almanac: A Book of
Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office,
1950. Portions of the information may be out of date. Only minor formatting changes and
typographical corrections have been made.]
World War I
Overseas: 13 May 1918, as an Infantry Division.
Major Operations: St. Mihiel.
Casualties: Total - 8,077 (KIA - 995; WIA - 7,082).
Commanders: Maj. Gen. William P. Burnham (25 June 1918-4 October 1918),
Maj. Gen. George B. Duncan (4 October-11 November 1918).
World War II
Activated: 25 March 1942. Designated an airborne division on 15 August 1942.
Overseas: 28 April 1943.
Campaigns: Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Normandy, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 422.
Distinguished Unit Citations: 15.
Awards: MH-2; DSC-37; DSM-2; SS-898; LM-29; SM-49; BSM-1,894; AM-15.
Commanders: Maj. Gen. Omar Bradley (March-June 1942),
Maj. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway (June 1942-August 1944),
Maj. Gen. James M. Gavin (August 1944-14 March 1948),
Maj. Gen. Clovis E. Byers (14 March 1948).
Returned to U.S.: 3 January 1946.
The 82nd Airborne Division landed at Casablanca, 10 May 1943, and trained. Elements
first saw combat in Sicily, when the 505th RCT and part of the 504th dropped behind
enemy lines, 9-10 July 1943, at Gela. The remainder of the 504th RCT dropped, 11-12
July 1943, also near Gela, after running friendly naval and ground force fire. Scattered
elements formed and fought as ground troops. The elements were flown back to Tunisia for
reequipment and returned to Sicily to take off for drop landings on the Salerno beachhead. The
504th Parachute Infantry dropped, 13 September 1943, and the 505th the following night; the
325th landed by boat. These elements bolstered Salerno defenses and fought their way into
Naples, 1 October 1943. After a period of occupation duty (and combat for some elements in
the Volturno Valley and Anzio beachhead), the Division moved to Ireland, November 1943,
and later to England, February 1944, for additional training. Moving in by glider and
parachute, troops of the 82nd dropped behind enemy lines in Normandy
on D-day, 6 June 1944, before ground troops hit the beaches. Cutting off enemy reinforcements,
the Division fought its way from Carentan to St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, fighting 33 days
without relief. Relieved on 8 July, it returned to England for refitting. On 17 September, it
was dropped at Nijmegen, 50 miles behind enemy lines, and captured the Nijmegen bridge,
20 September, permitting relief of British paratroops by the British 2d Army. After
heavy fighting in Holland, the Division was relieved 11 November and rested in
France. It was returned to combat, 18 December 1944, to stem the von Rundstedt
offensive, blunting the northern salient of the Bulge. It punched through the
Siegfried Line in early February 1945, and crossed the Roer, 17 February. Training
with new equipment in March, the Division returned to combat, 4 April, patrolling
along the Rhine, securing the Koln area, later moving across the Elbe, 30 April,
into the Mecklenburg Plain, where, 2 May 1945, the German 21st Army surrendered.
Assignments in the ETO
19 February 1944: VIII Corps, but attached to First Army. //
13 March 1944: VIII Corps, First Army. // 6 June 1944: VII Corps. //
19 June 1944: VIII Corps. // 13 July 1944: Attached to Ninth Army. //
12 August 1944: XVIII (Abn) Corps, First Allied (Abn) Army. // 17 September 1944: First
Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the British I (Abn) Corps of the British 21st Army
Group. // 9 October 1944: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the British XXX Corps,
British Second Army, British 21st Army Group. // 9 November 1944: First Allied (Abn)
Army, but attached to the Canadian II Corps, Canadian First Army, British 21st Army Group. //
17 December 1944: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the VIII Corps, First Army,
12th Army Group. // 18 December 1944: V Corps. // 19 December 1944: XVIII (Abn) Corps. //
20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group. //
18 January 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the XVIII (Abn) Corps, First
Army, 12th Army Group. // 14 February 1945: III Corps. // 19 February 1945: First Allied
(Abn) Army. // 31 March 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached to the XXII Corps,
Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group. // 30 April 1945: First Allied (Abn) Army, but attached
to the XVIII (Abn) Corps, Ninth Army.
Nickname: All American.
Shoulder patch: A blue circle, containing white letters "AA" superimposed on a red
square. A blue arc is above containing word "Airborne."
Publications: All American, by unit members; TI&E, ETOUSA; distributor,
secretary, 82nd Airborne Division Association, 1945. Here Is Your Book, Saga of
the All-American; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta, Ga.;
1947. Paraglide; Publication of the Airborne Division Association;
All-American Soldier; a record album by the 82nd Airborne Division Association.
• 82nd Airborne Division Links
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