Original U.S. WWII 82nd Airborne 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment Named Grouping
He fought in Rhineland, Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge) and Central Eurpoe. He fought in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, and Germany. While on a volunteer mission, he was wounded in Germany, for which he received the Purple Heart. He made a full recovery and went back to his outfit. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge. In 1946, he marched with the 82nd Airborne in the victory parade down Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Below are stories Nicholas recounted to his daughter Lisa L. Arrigo-Young which are written verbatim on a signed sealed and notarized letter dated March 8th, 2017. The letter is included with this grouping.
The Blind Soldier
Nicholas A. Arrigo was blessed with better than 20/20 vision, but he had a special place in his heart for the blind. When he was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne in Europe during World War II, he helped a soldier that had been blinded in combat. Nicholas was on the battlefield with gunfire all around. The GIs were told to Evacuate. Nicholas joined other soldiers on a truck leaving the area, including some that were injured. Nicholas saw a soldier stumbling around in the middle of the field with his arms outstretched. Nicholas realized immediately that the soldier had been injured and couldn’t see. Nicholas told the soldier driving the truck to stop so he could get this soldier, but the driver was afraid and said he couldn’t stop because it was too dangerous. Nicholas insisted. He made the driver stop and wait while Nicholas went out into the middle of the battlefield and got the wounded soldier. Nicholas put the soldier safely on the truck and then bandaged his eyes. Because he assisted medics during the war, Nicholas knew what to do. The truck safely left the area, and Nicholas never forgot this blind soldier and made donations to help the blind throughout his life.
The Nazi Flag
Nicholas A. Arrigo returned from WWII with 2 Nazi flags. One was medium size, about 27 inches wide, but the other was very large. Nicholas had pulled the large flag down from a building in Germany one cold night and used it to keep warm. The Nazi flag, a symbol of evil, was used as a makeshift blanket by a soldier who was fighting against all the flag represented.
*Note- this flag is included in this grouping!
When Nicholas A. Arrigo was in Europe, he saw many hungry children. One day he went into the Red Cross station where soldiers could get free coffee and donuts. He took some donuts outside and gave them to a group of small children who were clearly hungry. They ate the donuts with excitement. The next day Nicholas returned to the same place to get coffee and donuts. The man behind the counter told him he could have all the coffee and donuts he wanted, but he was not allowed to give anything to the children outside. When the guy behind the counter wasn’t looking, Nicholas hid donuts in his coat, placing them in the space between the liner and outer layer. Later he gave them to the children.
Nose for German Clothing
Throughout his life, Nicholas A. Arrigo was blessed with a keen sense of smell, and it was a gift that helped him during WWII. The first time it served him was when Nicholas and a group of soldiers were going through an area where they believed there were no Germans. Nicholas stopped and warned the group that Germans were nearby. His warning was brushed aside. Several men said it was not possible because there were no Germans in that area. Nicholas insisted. They asked him why he thought so. Nicholas told them he could smell them. He explained that when the German uniform got wet, it had a distinct odor, and Nicholas was now detecting that smell. The men waited and watched, and soon a group of Germans appeared. The warning saved their lives. After that incident, his fellow soldiers would often ask: Arrigo, do you smell any Germans?
Nicholas A. Arrigo was wounded during WWII, made a full recovery, and went back to his outfit. He was awarded the Purple Heart. Nicholas was shot while on a volunteer mission with a small group of soldiers. He was hit with shrapnel in both his hand and arm. Nicholas managed to stop the bleeding and make it back to his unit. When the medic saw him, he asked Nicholas to help him move a wounded soldier who was on a stretcher. Nicholas, who often helped the medic, tried to lift the stretcher with one hand. The medic told him to use both hands. Nicholas explained he couldn’t because he had been shot and showed his bandaged hand. The medic told him to get treatment immediately. Nicholas said he was fine and could help, but the medic warned him that he could go into shock any minute. Nicholas recovered completely and was never bothered by his injury, but he carried with him small pieces of shrapnel in his hand and arm for the rest of his life.
Included in the wonderful grouping are the following items:
Original U.S. WWII 82nd Airborne Ike Jacket size 36R with the following features:
- 17th Airborne patch on left shoulder
- 82nd Airborne patch on right shoulder
- Sterling Silver Paratrooper Jump Wings.
- Purple Heart
- WWII Victory Medal
- Army Good Conduct Medal
- European, African, Middle East Campaign Ribbon (4 Invasion Stars, 1 Arrowhead)
- American Campaign Medal
- Combat Infantry Badge
- Ruptured Duck (Honorable Service/Discharge)
- Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf
- The Belgian Fourragère 1940- composed of one round smooth cord, partially braided, and of TWO other cords, of which one is terminated by a knot and a brass ferret it is made of wool and cotton for NCOs and EM, and of silk for Officers all threads are tinted in colors resembling the ribbon of the Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 (i.e. basic red, dotted with green threads) the Fourragère encircles the LEFT shoulder and passes under the armpit, and is fixed by 2 tiny loops onto the button of the LEFT shoulder loop.
- "Order of the Orange" shoulder cord awarded by the Dutch government for surviving Operation Market Garden (worn on right shoulder). Luxembourg Fourragère shoulder cord comprised of Yellow/Blue, this lanyard is extremely rare and only given to a couple of units in WW2.
- Named ARRIGO 8856 in the interior lining below the neck.
Original U.S. WWII 82nd Airborne M1942 Paratrooper Jacket
Book The Devils in Baggy Pants
Named Bronze Star Medal in original case engraved Nicholas A. Arrigo.
Purple Heart Medal in original case.
Various notes of currencies all WW2 vintage.
82nd Airborne All American Pillow Sham embroidered Greetings From England.
Small Wool NSDAP Flag.
U.S. Army Welcome Home Banner
U.S. WWII Army Issue Duffle bag named to ARRIGIO
Large NSDAP Nazi Banner 16’ x 8’ that hung vertically building, this is the flag that Arrigio ripped from a building and used as a blanket on a cold night in Germany.
5 x High quality printed scans of original photos of ARRIGIO. 4 in uniform (2 in this Ike Jacket) one of him in the M1942 Jump Jacket after the war while building his home in Bucks County PA.
Original Enlistment Record and Report of Separation. Honorable Discharge.
Original THE INFANTRY REPLACEMENT TRAINING CENTER diploma named to Arrigio and dated 27th May 1944 certified as a Rifleman.
Original THE PARACHUTE SCHOOL diploma named to Arrigio and dated July 8th 1944.
Original Honorable Discharge
Original Qualification Record that reads: RIFLEMAN - Loaded, aimed and fired a rifle for the purpose of destroying enemy personnel and to assist in capturing enemy positions. Served with the 504th Parachute Inf. Rest. 82nd. Airborne Division in France, Holland, Germany. Multiple Airborne patches, German insignia and other various small items.
Copy of obituary.
Original Stars and Stripes newspaper from June 6th, 1945 that commemorates the 1 year anniversary of D-Day.
Original Stars and Stripes newspaper from April 12th, 1945 that declares YANKS 50 Mi. From Berlin, Reach Elbe; Essen Falls.
2 x Original issues of the newspaper The All American Paraglide dated VE DAY 1945.
Notarized letter written and signed by Nicholas Arrigio’s daughter Lisa L. Arrigio. The letter outlines the stories her father told her about his service in WWII as a member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. This grouping came directly from her.
Nicholas Arrigio was a highly decorated paratrooper who fought in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, and Germany in some of the most famous battles of WWII. This grouping is incredibly comprehensive, has impeccable provenance and is from one of the most famous units that fought in WW2. It doesn’t get much better than this!
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