75th National Airborne Day

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16 August 2015 is the 75th Anniversary of the United States Airborne, of which my father Smitty belonged when he volunteered for the 11th Airborne Division.  My best wishes go out to ALL the paratroopers both past and present!!

Pvt. Smith Camp MacKall

Pvt. Smith Camp MacKall

The Army will honor the 75th anniversary of the American paratrooper with — what else? — a large jump into Fort Benning, Georgia.

The commemoration, led by the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, will mark 75 years since the War Department approved the formation of a test platoon of airborne infantry from Fort Benning’s 29th Infantry Regiment. Less than 45 days after it was formed, on Aug. 16, 1940, members of the test platoon made their first jump from a Douglas B-18 over Lawson Army Airfield.

On Aug. 15, today’s paratroopers, along with the Liberty Jump Team, a group of civilian World War II airborne reenactors, will jump into that very same airfield.

“This entire year, we’ve been very cognizant of the 75th anniversary,” said Lt. Col. Korey Brown, commander of 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Battalion, and commander of the U.S. Army Airborne School. “It’s a very key year for the airborne community.”

The United States was a little late to the game when it came to airborne operations, but today the Army is “the leading force in the world because of the soldiers who volunteer to be airborne,” Brown said.

“Being an airborne soldier is all volunteer,” he said. “The spirit that the paratrooper brings to a unit or to a fight is second to none.”

The concept of airborne soldiers originated with founding father Benjamin Franklin, who envisioned a time when soldiers would be delivered to the battlefield from the air, Brown said.

a-paratroopers-faith

From the booklet, A Paratrooper’s Faith.  The superb story of this booklet and the man who inspired it can be found at Anne Tullidge Bell’s site, Tales Along the Way:

Heroism is simple, and yet it is rare.  Everyone who does the best he can is a hero.___ Josh Billings

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

My previous post for this day, of which I am very proud, can be found HERE!!

Information found at the U.S. Army website.  My gratitude also goes to the great friends and visitors who drop by to help honor the troops that fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.

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Military Humor – Donald Duck’s attempt at being a paratrooper!!!

Donald-Duck-Paratrooper

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Farewell Salutes – 

James Boudreau – Weymouth, ME; US Army, WWII

John Crawford – Ft. Worth, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 675th Artillery/11th Airborne

John DiNucci – Alexandria, VA; US Navy, WWII, ETO, Destroyer escortLargeUSFlag

Gabriel Fonseca – Eurgene, OR; US army, WWII, PTO, Signal Corps

William Gnadt – Spokane, WA; US Army, Korea, 187th RCT

Llyod LaRue – Mantuna, NJ; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 503rd/11th Airborne

Frank Mooney – Angola, NY; US Navy, WWII, UD crew

William Rhodeas – Woodburn, OR; US Army, WWII, PTO, Amphibious Engineers

James Rush – Stottville, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 511th/11th Airborne

Thomas Tunney – Surfside Bch., SC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 187th/11th Airborne

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on August 15, 2015, in Current News, SMITTY, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. Thank you for honoring those who volunteer to be Airborne. I was at an assisted living home recently and got to hear stories first-hand from a man who had been Airborne during WWII. His memory was fading, but when you mentioned his service his face lit up and he could tell you all about it. He was particularly happy when I got out my phone so we could look at pictures of the “perfectly good planes” he used to jump out of. With a smirk he told me you had to be brave to jump last – because there was nobody to push you. He had a good sense of humor 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I never heard that line, but it sure is true – right?! I think it’s wonderful that you take the time to listen to last of this magnificent generation and share one of his stories. Thank you!!

      Like

  2. Excellent tribute for the 75th anniversary, great slide show of a very elite branch of the services, your Father must have been a Cavalier type of person, to enter the realms of the Airborne.
    May history always remember them.

    Like

  3. A crisp salute to Smitty and his team… You do them good, gpcox! And I came across this webpage; it mentions the attack on Burauen. Perhaps you’ve seen this page before but there’s some rare photos. http://www.war44.com/war-pacific/706-operations-leyte.html

    Like

  4. I had no idea that the airborne soldiers were all volunteers. That would require real bravery.

    Like

  5. Happy Anniversary to all of the paratroopers, past and present!
    When you post those lists of names…I read each name to express my gratitude!
    HUGS!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Another fine post, GP.

    Like

  7. Your post is outstanding (again). This post is of very real interest to me for 2 reasons I live an hour away from Ft. Benning and back in World War II my father did his boot there. There is a city across the river that was and is off limits for service men assigned to Ft. Benning. My dad who became a part of the motor pool was told to drive an officer to that city when he refused since it was off limits to all military personnel was then trained to be a medic and then was sent to Japan but before he got there Peace was signed on the USS Missouri which was next to the ship he was on saving my dad’s life making it possible for me to be born several years later.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your father must have been very courageous. I understand that was a very dangerous job in WWII. By the way, as a follow-up. I got an email from the National Archives, saying that they are working on my question related to who had the most dangerous, and least dangerous, jobs in the military, during that war.

    Like

    • I thank you for your comment, the paratroopers back then were writing the books that helped out troops today!! They deserve today, they worked for it. Happy to hear you received an answer – they work slowly, but steady…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy 75th Anniversary to the US Airborne. Loved the various pictures in the slideshow. Still smiling at Donald Duck 🙂

    Like

  10. Great photo of Smitty and items from his scrapbook. Congratulations to all our Mighty Airborne!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always wished he had had more pictures – but I suppose he was busy with other things at the time, eh?

      Liked by 1 person

      • No kidding! I always thought the photos of Dad and other Marines were just showing off their young lean bodIes. Imagine how chagrined I was to realize the sweltering heat and humidity of thise Pacific Islands!! Not to mention the MREs were nit adequate calories or sustenance!

        Now I look at military photos much more cautiously and curiously.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Exactly. If it wasn’t for my grandmother, I don’t think dad would have had any pix taken! He even avoided the cameramen and journalists, lest his mother see him in combat. A whole different breed back then.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. A proud history for our US Airborne – one of the most vital parts of our military.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for the excellent post and for sharing the anniversary.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great post. I also love Donald Duck, so… BTW, here’s a post you might enjoy today – not from me, but a woman that I follow – http://jillscene.com/2015/08/15/gallipoli-the-scale-of-our-war/

    Like

  14. Reblogged this on TalesAlongTheWay and commented:
    Thanks so much to my dear friend who honors and educates all who reads about our heroes. Thanks so much for including my brother George’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on Hammerhead Combat Systems and commented:
    Thanks to ALL the members of the Airborne, Past and Present, for guarding our Freedoms..you are indeed ,as one little Dutch girl from WW2 described: “Angels with Guns!”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. OK, another point. I thought that August 15 was victory in the Pacific Day. That’s what we celebrate, Or do we Aussies get it all wrong – again???

    Like

  17. congrats to all for this great anniversary and thank you to all for your service.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi GP (Who ever you are) to quote from this post “Everyone who does the best he can is a hero.___ Josh Billings” That one line sums it all up. And your blog is pretty damn good as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
    A sequel to one of my latest posts…

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Congratulations to the US Airborne on their 75th anniversary.
    My uncle was in the paratroops, though after the war,as he was the youngest brother in my Dad’s family. They do indeed have a real volunteer ethic. In every country that has an Airborne division, it is the same espirit de corps.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (8-16-2015) | My Daily Musing

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