Here at Camp Claiborne the 82nd Infantry Division, "All American" of WWI fame was reactivated on March 25, 1942, under the command of Major General Omar Bradley. On June 26, 1942, Major General Bradley was reassigned to Camp Livingston, Louisiana, and was replaced by Major General Matthew Ridgway. The 82nd Infantry was divided to form two airborne divisions. The 82nd Airborne was activated on Aug. 15, 1942, and the 101st Airborne was activated on August 16, 1942. Major General Ridgway commanded the 82nd and Major General William Lee commanded the 101st. Major General Lee would retire due to illness and be replaced by General Maxwell Taylor.
The 82nd Airborne trained extensively in North Africa for the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky). They fought in Sicily then Italy until withdrawn to prepare for the Normandy invasion. The 82nd then fought in France (Normandy Invasion) Holland (Operation Market Garden), Belgium (Ardennes), and Germany.
The 101st Airborne's "Screaming Eagles” fought in France (Normandy Invasion) Holland (Operation Market Garden), and, most famously, in the defense of Bastogne during the "Battle of the Bulge”. For the heroic defense of Bastogne the 101st was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. The 101st finished the war in Germany.
Both Divisions have continued to serve and protect this great nation ; therefore this monument is dedicated to the men and women that have served in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.