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James M. Gavin

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James Maurice Gavin

James Maurice Gavin (March 22, 1907, New York, N.Y., U.S. - February 23, 1990, Baltimore, Md.) Born to immigrant Irish parents in New York, and shortly afterwards orphaned, Gavin rose to the highest echelons of the US Government in both war and peace. Gavin was a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Class of 1929, and the first commander of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. When he took command of the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II, he was the youngest Major General commanding a division since the American Civil War. During combat, he was known for his habit of carrying an M1 Garand rifle, as opposed to the pistols traditionally carried by staff officers and generals. After the war, he was a key player in stimulating the discussions which lead to the Howze Board which had a great influence on the Army's use of helicopters - first seen during Vietnam. Upon retiring as a Lieutenant General, Gavin served twice as the United States ambassador to France.

Each year on June 4, members of the Gavin family, the West Point community, local Gavin chapters and Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg gather to honor Lt. Gen. Gavin at the Gavin Memorial Ceremony [1] (http://www.usma.edu/HomeArt/) [2] (http://www.usma.edu/images/salutegavin.jpg).

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