In August 1942,
Mathew Ridgeway was promoted to Brigadier General and given command of the
82nd Paratroop Infantry Division, one of the Army’s two
Parachute Divisions, the other being the 101st.
In the spring of
1943, Ridgeway helped to plan the Airborne Operation that was part of the
invasion of Sicily that began on 10th July, 1943. This was the
first time in history that the U.S. Army had used paratroopers in battle.
Ridgeway was also
responsible for planning the Airborne Operation during the D-DAY landings
on 6th June 1944. This time Ridgeway jumped with his troops.
Airborne Division fought for 33 days in advancing to St-Sauveur-Le-Vicomte
In September 1944,
Ridgeway took command of the 18th Airborne Corps.
He led his troops
during the invasion of the Rhineland and the Ardennes-Alsace, and on 2nd
May 1945 his troops joined up with the Russian Army on the Baltic.
June 1945, Ridgeway was promoted to Lieutenant General.
After the war
Ridgeway was Commander In Chief of the Caribbean Command (1948-49) before
becoming Chief Of Staff to Joe L. Collins.
In 1950 he was
given command of the 8th Army in Korea.
He launched the
counter offensive on 25th January 1951 and when Douglas
MacArthur was recalled in April, Ridgeway was promoted to full General and
became Commander in Chief of the Far East command.
General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe on 30th
His decision to
surround himself with American personnel staff upset other European
military leaders and he was recalled back to the U.S.A. in July 1953 to
replace General Joe L. Collins Chief Of Staff of the United States Army.
from the U.S. Army in June 1953.
passed away in March 1993.