Operation Market Garden

Honoring the “Greatest Generation”

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US Army 82nd Division - 2014 Commemoration Grave, the Netherlands

Liberators and hero's through the ages

On September 17, 2014 the US Army 82nd Airborne Division, 1st and 3rd brigade Combat Teams demonstrated an assault at the John S. Thompson bridge in Grave, the Netherlands. This was part of the commemoration of Operation Market Garden, which took place 70 years ago on the same day in 1944. The bridge over the river Maas was taken over from the Germans on September 17, 1944 as Lieutenant John S. Thompson led the 82nd Airborne Division. Active military as well as veterans, reservists and volunteers took part in the 2014 commemorations in the Netherlands.

In the 2014 commemorations however, the 82nd division used 5 UH-60A Blackhawk helicopters to drop off the troops close to the bridge. Parachuting Teams concluded their commemorative jumps with a drop onto the original 1944 drop zone - also known as Drop Zone Tango - at Grave Bridge jumping from two WWII-era C47 Dakotas. After the Blackhawk helicopters landed paratroopers assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division exited and reenacted the historic assault on the bridge undertaken by the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II during the famous and at the same time notorious Operation Market Garden.

US Army Fort Bragg paratroopers spent more than a week in Europe commemorating the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden and training with foreign troops. Soldiers from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, France, Belgium and Italy also participated in the commemorative jump, which include about 250 U.S. paratroopers. During World War II, more than 20,000 paratroopers from three airborne divisions and an airborne brigade participated in the combat jump, with another 15,000 troops delivered by glider. The 2014 commemoration honors the history and pays tribute to the selfless actions of the "greatest generation" who sacrificed so much in the name of freedom, peace and prosperity.

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