On June 9 we will unveil a large black granite plaque in homage to Général James Maurice GAVIN. This will take place during the official ceremony at our American paratroopers Memorial site at La Fière. General James M. GAVIN is an icon of US airborne forces.
Colonel (Ret) Keith Nightingale writes about him :
« James M . GAVIN began life as an orphan in deep poverty and grew to become one of the most revered combat leaders in American history. Stationed in Panama, he crammed for the West Point entrance examination and became a cadet. He quickly rose from Captain to Regimental Commander of the forming 505 PIR establishing himself as an officer leading his men in all endeavors. The 505 PIR joined the newly designated 82nd Airborne Division under MG Matthew Ridgway and deployed to North Africa. Ridgway selected Col GAVIN to lead the assault on Sicily as well as the subsequent airborne assaults into Salerno,Italy and Normandy. He later was the youngest division commander in the army,commanding the 82nd in Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. His combat record is without parallel as was his troops love and affection for him ».
Our association is proud to express our gratitude for his essential contribution to our liberation. The ceremony will be attended by General Gavin s daughters and families, present and former commanding Generals of the 82nd, American and French VIPs. The plaque – 2 meters high x 95 centimeters wide – will be displayed on the base of Iron Mike statue. The cost is about 12 000 USD based on today exchange rate.
We solicit donations to help the AVA association to cover the cost. Donations can be sent via Paypal. In order to do so go on our website and click on Paypal.
This donation is not US tax deductible.
Your contribution will be highly appreciated. Name of donors will be listed on our website.
Below, the picture of the plaque.