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General Mathew B. Ridgeway

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.

The 82nd 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.

On 4th 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.

Ridgeway replaced General Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe on 30th May, 1952.

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.

Ridgeway retired from the U.S. Army in June 1953.

Mathew Ridgeway passed away in March 1993.

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