The division was constituted, originally as the 82nd Division on August 5,1917, shortly after the American entry into World War I. It was organized on 25 August 1917, at Camp Gordon, Georgia and later served with distinction on the Western Front in the final months of World War I. Since its initial members came from all 48 states, the division acquired the nickname All-American, which is the basis for its famed "AA" on the shoulder patch.
The division later served in World War II where, in August 1942, it was reconstituted as the first airborne division of the U.S. Army and fought in numerous campaigns during the war. Specializing in parachute assault operations into denied areas . With a U.S. Department of Defense Requirement to respond to a crisis contingencies anywhere in the world with in 18 hours. The 82nd Airborne Division is the U.S. Army's most strategically mobile division.
Unit Motto: "All the way ". "Death from above"
Nicknames: "All American Division," "82nd Division," Eighty Deuce," "America's Guard of Honor."
Pershing rejected British and French demands that American forces be integrated with their armies, and insisted that the AEF would operate as a single unit under his command, although some American divisions fought under British command, and he also allowed all-black units to be integrated with the French army.
Pershing's soldiers first saw serious battle at Cantigny, Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, and Soissons. To speed up the arrival of American troops, they embarked for France leaving heavy equipment behind, and used British and French tanks, artillery, airplanes and other munitions. In September 1918 at St. Mihiel, the First Army was directly under Pershing's command; it overwhelmed the salient – the encroachment into Allied territory – that the German Army had held for three years. For the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Pershing shifted roughly 600,000 American soldiers to the heavily defended forests of the Argonne, keeping his divisions engaged in hard fighting for 47 days, alongside the French. The AlliedHundred Days Offensive, which the Argonne fighting was part of, contributed to Germany calling for an armistice. Pershing was of the opinion that the war should continue and that all of Germany should be occupied in an effort to permanently destroy German militarism.
Having gone forward to reconnoiter new machinegun positions, Lt. Col. Pike offered his assistance in reorganizing advance infantry units which had become disorganized during a heavy artillery shelling. He succeeded in locating only about 20 men, but with these he advanced and when later joined by several infantry platoons rendered inestimable service in establishing outposts, encouraging all by his cheeriness, in spite of the extreme danger of the situation. When a shell had wounded one of the men in the outpost, Lt. Col. Pike immediately went to his aid and was severely wounded himself when another shell burst in the same place. While waiting to be brought to the rear, Lt. Col. Pike continued in command, still retaining his jovial manner of encouragement, directing the reorganization until the position could be held. The entire operation was carried on under terrific bombardment, and the example of courage and devotion to duty, as set by Lt. Col. Pike, established the highest standard of morale and confidence to all under his charge. The wounds he received were the cause of his death.
MOH Recipient: SGT Alvin Cullum York, (December 13, 1887 – September 2, 1964), also known as Sergeant York, was one of the most decorated United States Army soldiers of World War I.
He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a Germanmachine gun , nest taking at least one machine gun, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers and capturing 132. York's Medal of Honor action occurred during the United States-led portion of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France, which was intended to breach the Hindenburg line and force the Germans to surrender. He earned decorations from several allied countries during WWI, including France, Italy and Montenegro.
World War 11
MOH Recipient: PrivateJohn Roderick Towle (October 19, 1924 – September 21, 1944) was a United States Armysoldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty on 21 September 1944, near Oosterhout, Holland. The rifle company in which Pvt. Towle served as rocket launcher gunner was occupying a defensive position in the west sector of the recently established Nijmegenbridgehead when a strong enemy force of approximately 100 infantry supported by 2 tanks and a half-track formed for a counterattack. With full knowledge of the disastrous consequences resulting not only to his company but to the entire bridgehead by an enemy breakthrough, Pvt. Towle immediately and without orders left his foxhole and moved 200 yards in the face of intense small-arms fire to a position on an exposed dike roadbed. From this precarious position Pvt. Towle fired his rocket launcher at and hit both tanks to his immediate front. Armored skirting on both tanks prevented penetration by the projectiles, but both vehicles withdrew slightly damaged. Still under intense fire and fully exposed to the enemy, Pvt. Towle then engaged a nearby house which 9 Germans had entered and were using as a strongpoint and with 1 round killed all 9. Hurriedly replenishing his supply of ammunition, Pvt. Towle, motivated only by his high conception of duty which called for the destruction of the enemy at any cost, then rushed approximately 125 yards through grazing enemy fire to an exposed position from which he could engage the enemy half-track with his rocket launcher. While in a kneeling position preparatory to firing on the enemy vehicle, Pvt. Towle was mortally wounded by a mortar shell. By his heroic tenacity, at the price of his life, Pvt. Towle saved the lives of many of his comrades and was directly instrumental in breaking up the enemy counter attack.
On January 29, 1945, he was serving as the first sergeant of his company in Holzheim [de], Belgium when he encountered a group of more than 80 German soldiers, most of whom had previously been captured by American forces but, with the help of a German patrol, had managed to overwhelm their guards. Despite being greatly outnumbered, Funk opened fire and called for the captured American guards to seize the Germans' weapons. He and the guards successfully killed or re-captured all of the German soldiers. For these actions, he was awarded the Medal of Honor on September 5,
MOH Recipient: Joe Gandara (April 25, 1924 – June 9, 1944) was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and recipient of the Medal of Honor.Gandara was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a March 18, 2014 ceremony in the White House. The award came through the Defense Authorization Act which called for a review of Jewish American and Hispanic American veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.
Gandara was bestowed the Medal of Honor to recognize his heroic actions on June 9, 1944, in Amfreville, France. His detachment came under devastating enemy fire from a strong German force, pinning the men to the ground for a period of four hours. Gandara advanced voluntarily and alone toward the enemy position and destroyed three hostile machine-guns before he was fatally wounded.
Gandara received the Medal of Honor, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one Bronze Service Star and Bronze Arrowhead Device, Presidential Unit Citation, French Fourragere (Couleur à préciser), Combat Infantryman Badge and Parachutist Badge-Basic with one Bronze Service Star.
Félix Modesto Conde
MOH Recipient : Staff Sergeant Félix Conde Falcón,(February 28, 1938 – April 4, 1969) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. Born in Juncos, Puerto Rico, he joined the United States Army in April 1963 in Chicago, Illinois. He was killed during combat operations in Ap Tan Hoa, South Vietnam, on April 4, 1969.He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a March 18, 2014 ceremony in the White House.
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company D, 1st Battalion, 505th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
Conde-Falcon distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions, April 4, 1969, while serving as platoon leader during a sweep operation in the vicinity of Ap Tan Hoa, Vietnam. Entering a heavily wooded section on the route of advance, the company encountered an extensive enemy bunker complex, later identified as a battalion command post. Following tactical artillery and air strikes on the heavily secured communist position, the platoon of Conde-Falcon was selected to assault and clear the bunker fortifications. Moving out ahead of his platoon, he charged the first bunker, heaving grenades as he went. As the hostile fire increased, he crawled to the blind side of an entrenchment position, jumped to the roof, and tossed a lethal grenade into the bunker aperture. Without hesitating, he proceeded to two additional bunkers, both of which he destroyed in the same manner as the first. Rejoined with his platoon, he advanced about one hundred meters through the trees, only to come under intense hostile fire. Selecting three men to accompany him, he maneuvered toward the enemy's flank position. Carrying a machine-gun, he single-handedly assaulted the nearest fortification, killing the enemy inside before running out of ammunition. After returning to the three men with his empty weapon and taking up an M-16 rifle, he concentrated on the next bunker. Within ten meters of his goal, he was shot by an unseen assailant and soon died of his wounds.