General Gavin was
Commanding officer of the 82nd Airborne Division that jumped in
Normandy on D-DAY, 1944. General Gavin came to be known as "Jumping Jim",
because he parachuted with combat troops during WW2.
paratrooper, he led assaults on Sicily and on Salerno Bay in Italy 1943.
He reached the rank
of Brigadier General and jumped with the 508th on D-DAY 5-6th
Elements of Gavin’s
section took the town of Ste-Mere-Eglise and guarded river crossings on
the flank of the Utah Beach Landing area.
Gavin was later
made Major General at the age of 37, becoming the youngest Major General
since General George Armstrong Custer.
Gavin commanded the
82nd Airborne Division during operations in Holland and his
Division later fought in the Battle of the Bulge and Germany until the
German Army surrendered in 1945.
During the 1950s,
General Gavin was head of Army research and development.
He became a strong
opponent of President Eisenhower’s defense policy because of its
dependence on nuclear weapons.
Gavin’s retirement in 1958, he served as ambassador to France from 1961-63
and became a prominent critic of the Vietnam War.
General James Gavin
passed away on 23rd February 1990.