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82nd Infantry Division / 82nd Airborne Division


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Without "Airborne" Tab: Eighty-Second Infantry Division / 82nd Division

With "Airborne" Tab: Eighty-Second Airborne Division / 82nd Airborne



"The All American Division"




World War I [infantry]

St. Mihiel

Meuse-Argeonne Offensive


World War II [Airborne]







Central Europe


Armed Forces Expeditions [Airborne]

Dominican Republic



Southwest Asia

Defense of Saudi Arabia

Liberation and Defense of Kuwait

Operation Enduring Freedom





Presidential Unit Citation (Army) for STE. MERE EGLISE


Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for SOUTHWEST ASIA


French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for STE. MERE EGLISE


French Croix de Guerre with Palm, World War II for COTENTIN


French Croix de Guerre, World War II, Fourragere


Belgian Fourragere 1940


Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in the ARDENNES


Cited in the Order of the Day of the Belgian Army for action in BELGIUM AND GERMANY


Military Order of William (Degree of the Knight of the Fourth Class) for NIJMEGEN 1944


Netherlands Orange Lanyard




Aug. 25, 1917 [infantry]

June 24, 1921 [infantry]

Feb 13, 1942 [infantry]

Aug 15, 1942 [Airborne]



May 27, 1919 [infantry]

1929(?) [infantry]

Aug 15, 1942 [infantry]




World War I:


Organized Aug. 25, 1917, at Camp Gordon, Ga. The majority of officers were from Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The enlisted men were from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. On Oct. 10th the majority of the enlisted men were transferred out of the divsion to other divisions and newly drafted men were sent from Camps Devens, Upton, Dix, Meade and Lee, which resulted in there being in the division, men from every state in the Union, but principally the eastern states. The division began leaving Camp Gordon on April 9th, the movement continuing until May, and was through Camp Upton and England, except the artillery which landed in France. The first units left the United States April 25, 1918, and the last units arrived in France June 1, 1918. The main port of entry was Le Havre. Units, except artillery, engineers and signal corps, trained with the British in Escarbotin area, west of Abbeville. The artillery was trained at La Courtine.


The division left Escarbotin June 16th and entered the Toul sector with a French Division on June 27th, occupied this quiet sector alone from July 18, 1918 to Aug. 9th, moved to Blanod les Toul training area, taking over the Sector Marbache, astride the Moselle on Aug. 19th and occupied it until Sept. 21st. This was a quiet sector except during the battle of St. Mihiel from Sept. 12th to 18th. Moved to the Thiaucourt area, west of Verdun by bus, and on Oct. 6th entered actively the Meuse- Argeonne offensive, north of Varennes, continued in this offensive until Oct. 30th, when it was withdrawn to the vicinity of Chene Tondu and Camp Bouzon. Thence on Nov. 2nd to Florent-Les Islettes area, thence to Vaucouleurs training area, Nov. 4th, Beaumont training area, Nov. 10th and to the tenth training area, on Nov. 15th (Prauthoy). Sailed from Bordeaux in April 1919.


Casualties 8,300, of which 169 were prisoners of war. Distinguished Service Crosses awarded 34.


Commanding generals: Maj-Gen. Eben Swift, Aug. 25, 1917 to May, 1918; Brig. Gen. Wm. P. Burnham , May to Oct. 10, 1918; Maj. Gen. Geo. B. Duncan, Oct. 10 to Oct. 17, 1918; Maj. Gen. Wm. P. Burnham, Oct. 24 to Nov. 7, 1918; Maj. Gen. Geo. B. Duncan Nov. 7 to 11, 1918.


The following units composed the division: 163d, 164th Inf. Brig., 325th, 326th, 327th, 328th Inf. Regts., 319th, 320th, 321st Machine Gun Bns., 157th Arty. Brig., 319th, 320th, 321st Arty Regts., 307th Trench Mortar Battery, 307th Engr. Regt. And Train, 307th Train Hqs. And M.P. 307th Fld Sig. Bn., 307th Supply Train, 307th Amm. Train, 307th Sanitary Train (325th, 326th, 327th, 328th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals).



Between World War I and II:


After the Great War, the 82nd was demobilized May 27, 1919 at Camp Upton, at Yaphank, New York. The 82nd was reconstituted on June 24, 1921 in the Organized Reserves as Headquarters, 82nd Division, and was organized on September 23, 1921 at Columbia, South Carolina.



World War II


Louisiana to Italy

The 82nd Division was redesignated February 13, 1942 as Division Headquarters, 82nd Division. After the outbreak of World War II, it was recalled to active service on March 25, 1942, and reorganized at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, under the command of Major General Omar N. Bradley. During this time spent in training, the division brought together three officers who would ultimately steer the US Army during the next two decades: Matthew B. Ridgway, James M. Gavin, and Maxwell D. Taylor.


On August 15, 1942, the 82nd Infantry Division became the first airborne division in the U.S. Army, and was redesignated the 82nd Airborne Division. In April 1943, paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division deployed to North Africa under the command of Major General Matthew B. Ridgway to participate in the campaign to invade Italy. The Division's first two combat operations were parachute and glider assaults into Sicily on July 9 and Salerno on September 13, 1943. The initial assault on Sicily, by the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the first regimental sized combat parachute assault conducted by the United States Army.


In January 1944, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was temporarily detached from the division to fight at Anzio, adopted the nickname "Devils in Baggy Pants," taken from an entry in a German officer's diary. While the 504th was detached, the remainder of the 82nd was pulled out of Italy in November 1943 and moved to the United Kingdom to prepare for the liberation of Europe. See RAF North Witham and RAF Folkingham.



France to Germany

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 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. Due to a need for integrating replacement troops, rest, and refitting following the fighting in Italy, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was not assigned to the division for the invasion. On June 5, 1944 and June 6, 1944, the paratroopers of the 82nd's three parachute infantry regiments and reinforced glider infantry regiment, the 325th, boarded hundreds of transport planes and gliders and began the largest airborne assault in history.


By the time the All-American Division was pulled back to England, it had seen 33 days of bloody combat and suffered 5,245 paratroopers killed, wounded, or missing. The Division's post-battle report, authored by Ridgway, stated in part, "...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. Ridgway was given command of XVIII Airborne Corps, but was not promoted to Lieutenant General until 1945. His recommendation for succession as commander was Brigadier General James M. Gavin. Ridgway's recommendation met with approval, and upon promotion Gavin became the youngest two-star general since the Civil War to command a US Army division.


On 2 August 1944 the division became part of the First Allied Airborne Army. 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. The 504th, now back at full strength, was reassigned to the 82nd, while the 507th was assigned to the 17th Airborne Division. On September 17, the 82nd conducted its fourth combat jump of World War II, into the Netherlands. 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 Arnhem. After a period of duty on the Arnhem front, the 82nd was relieved by Canadian troops, and sent to France.


On December 16, 1944, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which was known as the Battle of the Bulge. Two days later the 82nd joined the fighting and blunted General Gerd von Rundstedt's northern penetration in the American lines. During this campaign, in one of the most memorable quotes of the war, 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!" After helping to secure the Ruhr, the division ended the war at Ludwigslust past the Elbe River, accepting the surrender of Lieutenant General Kurt von Tippelskirch's 21st Army Group. Over 150,000 troops surrendered to the division. General Omar N. Bradley's reaction is worth an aside; he claimed in a 1975 interview with Gavin that Montgomery told him German opposition was too great to cross the Elbe. When Gavin's division crossed it, it moved 36 miles in one day and captured over 100,000 troops, causing great laughter in Bradley's 12th Army Group headquarters.


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 also known as "America's Guard of Honor." The 82nd was scheduled to partake in the invasion of Japan, but the war ended before their departure.


During the invasion of Italy in World War II, Will Lang Jr. of Time (magazine) was considered an honorary member of the 82nd Airborne Division by General Matthew B. Ridgway.



1,619 Killed in Action

6,560 Wounded in Action

332 Died of Wounds



Post-World War II through 1950s


From August to December 1945, the 82nd conducted occupation duty in Berlin. There, while being reviewed by General George Patton, the 82nd received its title "America's Guard of Honor." In January 1946, the 82nd returned to the United State aboard the Queen Mary and led the victory parade in New York City on the 12th.


On 19 January 1946, the 82nd returned to Fort Bragg and began training for the uncertain Cold War years. The 82nd became a strategic deployment force as it trained for a variety of conditions and tested new airplanes with greater capacity and range. In 1948, the 82nd was allotted to the Regular Army, ensuring its active status.


In 1957, the 82nd underwent reorganization for the Pentomic structure. The Division consisted of five Airborne Battle Groups that were capable of independent operations on a nuclear battlefield. Fortunately, that concept did not have to be tested in a real war. In 1964, the 82nd was again reorganized under the ROAD concept, which called for three brigades of infantry, each with three battalions, and a brigade of artillery with three battalions, plus the usual division support elements.



Early 1960s and Vietnam


In 1965 the 82nd was able to test the ROAD concept in combat. On 29 April the 3rd Brigade (1st and 2nd 505th and 1st 508th) was alerted for deployment to the Dominican Republic in Operation POWER PACK. The Brigade arrived on 30 April and secured the Duarte Bridge over the Ozama. A link up was conducted with Marines in Santo Domingo and a corridor was established to isolate the rebel forces. An attack was launched by rebel forces on 15 June, but was stopped by the 82nd after two days of heavy fighting. Most of the Division returned home by late summer 1965. The 1st Brigade remained to maintain order. By 21 September 1966, the last elements redeployed to Fort Bragg.


The 1960s were a turbulent decade. The 82nd sent small contingents to the Congo in 1964 and 1967. The Division also participated in several civil disturbance operations. The largest were in Detroit in 1967 and in Washington, DC, in 1968.


Vietnam War


With the TET Offensive in Vietnam during February 1968, additional US troops were needed in a hurry. On 14 February, the 3rd Brigade deployed to Vietnam in Operation ALL AMERICAN. The Brigade arrived at Chu Lai and moved north to Phu Bai near Hue. In March, the 3rd Brigade troopers fought alongside the 101st in Operation CARENTAN I. The Brigade conducted combat operations for 22 months, fighting along Highway 1, the Song Bo River, Hue, and Saigon. In September 1969, the Brigade conducted its last combat operation in Vietnam -- YORKTOWN VICTOR -- in the iron triangle. The 3rd Brigade returned to Fort Bragg and the 82nd on 12 December 1969.



1970s and 1980s


During the 1970s, the 82nd was alerted several times. An antitank task force armed with the new TOW missile deployed to Vietnam in the spring of 1972. Other alerts such as the Middle East crisis of 1973, the Zaire hostage crisis of 1978, and the Iran hostage situation of 1979, did not see the 82nd deploy. The 82nd was, however, the first US Army unit to participate in the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping mission in the Sinai in March 1982.


On 25 October 1983, the combat capabilities of the 82nd were put to the test again in Operation URGENT FURY to rescue American students and prevent revolution on the Caribbean Island of Grenada. The Division conducted airland operations at Point Salines Airfield on the south side of the island. Fighting lasted several days as the 82nd encountered the People's Revolutionary Army and Cuban forces. Using aviation assets, the 82nd rescued students on the Lance aux Epines peninsula and captured General Hudson Austin, commander of the People's Revolutionary Armed Forces. The last 82nd elements returned to Fort Bragg on 12 December 1983.


On 17 March 1988, the 1/504 airlanded in Honduras as part of GOLDEN PHEASANT, an exercise designed to ensure regional security. The 2/504 parachuted in the next day. The exercise provided a show of support for Honduras and tested the rapid deployment capabilities of the 82nd.


On 20 December 1989, the All American Division conducted its first combat parachute assault since World War II. The 82nd parachuted into Torrijos Airport, Panama, in Operation JUST CAUSE to oust a dictator and restore a duly elected government. Armored vehicles -- the M551 Sheridan -- were parachuted into combat for the first time. Airmobile operations were conducted against Fort Cimmarron, Tinajitas, and Panama Viejo. The Division moved to Panama City where it took part in the attack against Noriega's headquarters and his eventual surrender. The last elements of the 82nd returned home on 12 January 1990.



Desert Shield and Desert Storm


It was not long before the 82nd was back in combat again. On 2 August 1990, Iraqi armor and troops rolled into Kuwait. Six days after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990, the 82nd became the vanguard of the largest deployment of American troops since Vietnam as part of Operation Desert Shield. The first unit to deploy to Saudi Arabia was a task force including the division's 2nd Brigade. Soon after, the rest of the division followed. There, intensive training began in anticipation of fighting in the desert with the heavily armored Iraqi Army.


Standing across the border from the Iraqi tanks, the 82nd drew a line in the sand with its light M551 Sheridans, TOW missiles, and AH-64 Apache helicopters. The United States assembled an allied coalition of forces and committed to the largest military deployment since Vietnam. Air strikes against Iraq began on 16 January 1991.


The ground war (Desert Storm) began almost six weeks later. On February 23, the vehicle-mounted 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers protected the XVIII Airborne Corps flank as fast-moving armor and mechanized units moved deep inside Iraq. A 2nd Brigade task force was attached to the 6th French Light Armored Division becoming the far left flank of the Corps. In the short 100-hour ground war, the 82nd drove deep into Iraq and captured thousands of Iraqi soldiers and tons of equipment, weapons, and ammunition. After the liberation of Kuwait, the 82nd began its redeployment back to Fort Bragg with most of the Division returning by the end of April.



Post-Desert Shield/Storm through 1990s


Hurricane Andrew

In August 1992, the division was alerted to deploy a task force to the hurricane-ravaged area of South Florida and provide humanitarian assistance following Hurricane Andrew. For more than 30 days, division troopers provided food, shelter and medical attention to the Florida population.


Operation Restore Democracy: Haïti

On September 16, 1994, the 82d Airborne Division was alerted as part of "Operation Restore Democracy". The entire 82nd Airborne Division was scheduled to make combat parachute jumps into two locations in Haïti, Pegasus Drop Zone and Papia Airport, in order to help oust the military led dictatorship of Raoul Cédras, and then to restore the democratically ejected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. At the same time as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell were negotiating with Cédras to restore Aristide to power, the 82nd's first wave was in the air, with a number of paratroopers waiting at Green Ramp to Air Land into Haïti once the airfields there had been seized. When the Haïtian military dictators verified from sources outside of Pope Air Force Base that the 82nd was on the way to invade, Cédras capitulated and stepped down from power, thus averting the invasion.


Former Vice President Al Gore would later travel to Fort Bragg to personally thank the paratroopers of the 82nd for their actions, noting in a speech on September 19, 1994, that it was the reputation of the 82nd Airborne that was enough to make Cédras change his mind:


"But it did get a little close there for awhile. As you may know, there were 61 planes in the air headed toward Haïti at the time they finally agreed. And at one point General Biamby came in and told General Cédras that he had just gotten word on his telephone that the airplanes had taken off from Pope Air Force Base, with soldiers from Fort Bragg, and that both disconcerted them and caused them to be suspicious of the intent of the negotiations, but it also created a situation where immediately after that, the key points they had been refusing to agree to were agreed to, a date certain, other matters that I won't go into in detail here."


Operation Restore Hope: protecting Cuban refugees

In December 1994, the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division was deployed as part of Operation Restore Hope. The battalion was recalled to Fort Bragg for deployment while on Division Ready Force 1 in order to restore order against hundreds of Cuban refugees who had attacked and injured a number of Air Force personnel to protest their detainment at Empire Range along the Panama Canal. The Battalion participated in the safeguarding of the Cuban Refugees and the active patrolling in and around the refugee camps for two months, returning to Fort Bragg in February of 1995.


Operation Joint Endeavor: Bosnia

In December 1995, battalions of the 82nd were alerted to prepare for a possible parachute jump to support elements of the 1st Armored Division which had been ordered to Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Operation Joint Endeavor. Only after engineers of the 1st Armored Division bridged the Sava River on December 31, 1995 without hostilities did the 82nd begin draw down against plans for a possible Airborne operation there.


Operation Allied Force: Kosovo

In March 1999 the 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division was deployed to Albania and forward deployed along the Albania/Kosovo border in support of Operation Allied Force, NATO's bombing campaign against Serbian forces in the Former Yugoslav Republic. Immediately after the bombing campaign began in June of 1999, the battalion was ordered to move into Kosovo as the Initial Entry Force, becoming the first ground force sent into the Kosovo region of the Balkans. The battalion quickly established control of the southeast sector of Kosovo, facing constant conflict between the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) and Serbs, including responding to murders, rapes, and arsons committed in their area of responsibility. In September 1999, 2-505 was replaced by the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. 3-504 was replaced in January 2001 by the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment.



2001 to Present


Operation Enduring Freedom: Afghanistan

After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, the 82nd's 49th Public Affairs Detachment and several individual 82nd soldiers deployed to Afghanistan and the Central Command Area of Responsibility to support combat operations.


In June, 2002, elements of the Division Headquarters and 3rd Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In January, 2003 1st Brigade relieved 3rd Brigade, and continued the Division's support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During 1st Brigade's tour in Afghanistan, 70 soldiers from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 504th Infantry in conjunction with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger, conducted a combat jump into western Afghanistan. This was the first combat jump for the division since the United States invasion of Panama in 1989, but was uncelebrated as it remained classified for over a year.



Operation Iraqi Freedom: Iraq

The 2nd brigade of the Division took part in Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2003. The brigade returned to the US by mid-February, 2004. The 3rd brigade of the division deployed to Iraq in the summer of 2003, redeploying to the US in Spring, 2004. The 1st brigade deployed to Iraq in January, 2004. The last units of the division left Iraq by the end of April, 2004. During this initial deployment thirty-six solders from the division were killed and about 400 were wounded, out of about 12,000 deployed in total. The early days of the 82nd Airborne's participation in the occupation were chronicled by embedded journalist Karl Zinsmeister in his 2003 book Boots on the Ground: A Month with the 82nd Airborne in the Battle for Iraq.



Support of 2004 elections in Afghanistan

In late September 2004 The National Command Authority alerted 1/505 PIR for an emergency deployment to Afghanistan in support of the elections scheduled for October.


Two infantry battalions from the 82nd Airborne deployed to Iraq before the scheduled October 15 referendum on the proposed constitution, and are expected to remain through the December national elections. The battalions involved are the 2nd Battalion of the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment and the 3rd Battalion of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.


First Brigade of the 82nd Airborne deployed to Afghanstan in April of 2005 in support of OEF 6, and returned in April of 2006.



Hurricane Katrina

The 82nd Airborne was also deployed to support search-and-rescue operations in New Orleans, Louisiana after the city was flooded by Hurricane Katrina in September 2005. About 5,000 paratroopers commanded by Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, operated out of New Orleans International Airport.



Division Reorganization

In January 2006, the division began reorganizing from a division based organization to a brigade based one. Activations include a Fourth Brigade Combat Team (508th PIR) and the deactivation of the Division Artllery Brigade (319th AFAR), along with the Division Support Command(DISCOM)




Divisional history from:






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Here are a couple of unused 82nd A/B patches that were given to me by a good friend, Jim Bennett, who had served as a Combat Medic with 505th PIR, 517th PIR and FSSF (TDY) during WWII.


Left patch has the integral tab and is a row weave embroidery.

Right patch has separate tab and is a white back.



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Two more WWII examples that were also given to me by Jim Bennett. Both of these patches were worn by Jim during the war.


Left patch is rather large and measures 2-1/2" square with separate tab.

Right patch is slightly undersize and measures 2-1/4" square with integral tab.



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Greg Sebring

Here are three my dad brought back showing backside weave.





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WWII 82nd Airborne, Attached Tab, with red thread in middle (Harder to find variation)




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ACU version....With velcro. Notice: The velcro is made into the 82nd AB patch and the tab's velcro has been added post-manufacter.




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82nd Airborne, Desert Subdued. This patch was made in Baghdad, Iraq. It has a cut edge just like every other Desert and ACU Theatre Made patches.




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Two ACU theatre made patches from Iraq. One is slightly larger than the other. Niether are on velcro and the middle feels like a wool (Iraq military units use it as thier patch material too). The back feels like a paper towl.






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Proud Kraut

A late 1940's occupation time German handmade bullion.


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