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Original U.S. WWII 82nd Airborne Grouping Attributed to Henry B. Ziegler Featuring Escape and Evasion Map Kit, Shoulder Sleeve Insignia and More

Regular price $895.00

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Grouping Available. This is a lovely little grouping of items that once belonged to Henry B Ziegler of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania who served with the legendary 82nd Airborne Division during WWII. We have not been able to locate any service information on Mr Ziegler, but with the materials here in this grouping, research is extremely possible and this grouping is a perfect candidate for such endeavor!

The division was constituted, originally as the 82nd Division, in the National Army on 5 August 1917, shortly after the American entry into World War I. It was organized on 25 August 1917, at Camp Gordon, Georgia and later served with distinction on the Western Front in the final months of World War I. Since its initial members came from all 48 states, the division acquired the nickname All-American, which is the basis for its "AA" on the shoulder patch. The division later served in World War II where, in August 1942, it was reconstituted as the first airborne division of the U.S. Army and fought in numerous campaigns during the war.

The Items In This Grouping:
- Escape and Evasion Map Kit With Map, Escape “Pillbox” Compass and Saw: The map is in wonderful condition and is still contained inside of the original “MAPS ONLY” waterproof case. The map is for the following areas:

Sheet 43/C

  • Holland
  • Belgium (Except West Coast)
  • France (Northeast)
  • Germany (West & Central)

Sheet 43/D

  • France (Southeast)
  • Germany (South East)
  • Switzerland (Except Southeast)
  • Germany (West & Central)

- Escape “Pillbox” Compass: This is the most common model. Together with escape maps, a hacksaw blade and phrase cards, they were packed in a rubberized canvas map pouch. Soldiers also called it the ‘asshole compass’ because it was so small, you could hide it anywhere… It is cylindrical in shape and consists of a brass shell, 0.60” (15,24 mm) in diameter x 0.19” (4,9 mm) high, with a wall thickness of 0.015” (0,38 mm). The blackened compass card is a non-ferromagnetic material balanced on a brass pivot and encased beneath a swaged-in 0.030” (0,76 mm) thick glass cover. The seal between the glass and the shell is hermetic to prevent the entry and/or entrapment of moisture in the compass chamber. The compass card has points at each corner and at the middle of each edge: eight points in all, set at 45 degree intervals. North is designated by a white dot lined up between a corner of the card and its center. A pair of white dots are located on the opposite corner. The dots have been coated with a luminous material, which, over the years has depleted on most of the examples you see here. The compass card turns freely on its pivot. There is no external means for detenting the card when the compass is not in use, as is common on military field compasses. A small magnet secured to the underside of the card aligns the card with the North Magnetic Pole.

- 82nd Airborne Division SSI with Detached “Airborne” Rocker: In great, unused condition. When the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917, it looked like the adventure of a lifetime for many of America’s young men, including those of the 82nd Division. Soldiers of the 82nd came from all 48 states, and from all walks of life, to fight for the United States during WWI.

As new units were formed, nicknames were given to help build esprit de corps between the Soldiers. Brigadier General W. P. Burnham of the 82nd held a competition in conjunction with the Soldiers of the Division, the citizens of Atlanta, and The Atlanta Georgian newspaper, to provide a suitable nickname for his diverse unit. It was determined that Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey, BG Burnham, and Major R.E. Beebe would be the judges.

Thousands of people submitted names, but eventually, Mrs. Vivienne Goodwyn’s, “The All American Division” was selected on April 6, 1918. Vivienne felt like the Soldiers of the 82nd represented the best attributes and values of America. To pay tribute to their nickname, 82nd Soldiers began sewing the blue circle that was in the middle of their red square shoulder patch, with the double “AA” for “All American.” Originally, some thought the “AA” on the patch stood for “All Aboard”. When the patch was first authorized, full gold patches were used for officers. Eventually the patch was standardized with the red, white and blue that you can see on this example.

- 82nd Airborne Division Association Charter Member Membership Card: This is Henry B. Zeigler’s membership card to the association. Yes the spelling of his last name is different on here, but we believe that to just be an error of the clerk who typed his name on it. The card is well worn, but the front is still legible.

The 82nd Airborne Division Association is for anyone who ever served or is currently serving in the 82nd Airborne Division, and anyone who is currently serving on active duty on jump status, or, has ever served in any of the uniformed services on either jump or glider status and was honorably discharged. The Association was organized in England, prior to the Normandy invasion (1944).

- x2 Driver’s Licenses: They are both for Ziegler and from Pennsylvania. One is from 1982 and the other from 2000 and are the same address.

- Reichskarte Map of Berlin and “Vicinity”: The map and case are in great condition.

- Karte des Deutschen Reichs Map of East Berlin: The map is in good condition but does present itself as worn and with slight tearing.

This is a wonderful grouping filled with great items! Comes more than ready for further research and display.

History of the 82nd Airborne Division in World War Two:
The 82nd Airborne Division is an active duty airborne infantry division of the United States Army, specializing in parachute assault operations into denied areas. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is part of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

The 82nd Division was constituted in the National Army on 5 August 1917, and was organized on 25 August 1917, at Camp Gordon, Georgia. Since its initial members came from all 48 states, the unit acquired the nickname All-American, which is the basis for its famed AA shoulder patch. Famous soldiers of the division include Sergeant Alvin C. York, General James M. Gavin, Senator Strom Thurmond (325th GIR in World War II), Senator Jack Reed, and Congressman Patrick Murphy (the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress).

The 82nd Division was first constituted on 5 August 1917 in the National Army. It was organized and formally activated on 25 August 1917 at Camp Gordon, Georgia. The division consisted entirely of newly conscripted soldiers. When commanders discovered that the division contained draftees from the forty-eight U.S. states that existed at the time, they nicknamed it "the All-American division."

The bulk of the division was two infantry brigades, each commanding two regiments. The 163rd Infantry Brigade commanded the 325th Infantry Regiment and the 326th Infantry Regiment. The 164th Infantry Brigade commanded the 327th Infantry Regiment and the 328th Infantry Regiment. Also in the division were the 157th Field Artillery Brigade, composed of the 319th, 320th and 321st Field Artillery Regiments and the 307th Trench Mortar Battery; a divisional troops contingent, and a division train. It sailed to Europe to join the American Expeditionary Force in fighting World War I.

Louisiana to Italy
The 82nd Division was re-designated on 13 February 1942 as Division Headquarters, 82nd Division. It was recalled to active service on 25 March 1942, and reorganized at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana, under the command of Major General Omar N. Bradley.
During this training period, the division brought together four officers who would ultimately steer the US Army during the following two decades: Matthew B. Ridgway, Matthew D. Query, James M. Gavin, and Maxwell D. Taylor who became the commander of the 101st Airborne Division in 1944. This was following Bill Lee's heart attack. Under General Bradley, the 82nd Division's Chief of Staff was George Van Pope. The Allied invasion of Sicily was originally to be kept a secret.

On 15 August 1942, the 82nd Infantry Division became the Army's first airborne division, and was re-designated the 82nd Airborne Division. In April 1943, its paratroopers deployed to North Africa under the command of Major General Matthew B. Ridgway to take part in the campaign to invade Italy. The division's first two combat operations were parachute assaults into Sicily on 9 July and Salerno on 13 September. The initial assault on Sicily, by the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, was the first regimental-sized combat parachute assault conducted by the United States Army. The first glider assault did not occur until Operation Neptune as part of D-Day. Glider troopers of the 319th and 320th Glider Field Artillery and the 325th Glider Infantry instead arrived in Italy by landing craft at Maiori (319th) and Salerno (320th, 325th).

In January 1944, the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, which was temporarily detached to fight at Anzio, adopted the nickname "Devils in Baggy Pants", taken from an entry in a German officer's diary. While the 504th was detached, the remainder of the 82nd moved to the United Kingdom in November 1943 to prepare for the liberation of Europe. See RAF North Witham and RAF Folkingham.

With two combat assaults under its belt, the 82nd Airborne Division was now ready for the most ambitious airborne operation of the war so far, as part of Operation Neptune, the invasion of Normandy. The division conducted Operation Boston, part of the airborne assault phase of the Operation Overlord plan.

In preparation for the operation, the division was reorganized. To ease the integration of replacement troops, rest, and refitting following the fighting in Italy, the 504th did not rejoin the division for the invasion. Two new parachute infantry regiments (PIRs), the 507th and the 508th, provided it, along with the 505th, a three-parachute infantry regiment punch. On 5 and 6 June, these paratroopers, parachute artillery elements, and the 319th and 320th, boarded hundreds of transport planes and gliders to begin history's largest airborne assault at the time (only Operation Market Garden later that year would be larger). During the June 6th assault, a 508th platoon leader, Lt. Robert P. Mathias, would be the first American officer killed by German fire on D-Day On June 7, after this first wave of attack, the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment would arrive by glider to provide a division reserve.

By the time the All-American Division was pulled back to England, it had seen 33 days of bloody combat and suffered 5,245 troopers killed, wounded, or missing. Ridgway's post-battle report stated in part, "33 days of action without relief, without replacements. Every mission accomplished. No ground gained was ever relinquished."

Following Normandy, the 82nd became part of the newly organized XVIII Airborne Corps, which consisted of the U.S. 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne Divisions. Ridgway was given command, but was not promoted to lieutenant general until 1945. His recommendation for succession as commander was Brigadier General James M. Gavin. Ridgway's recommendation met with approval, and upon promotion Gavin became the youngest general since the Civil War to command a US Army division.

Market Garden
On 2 August 1944 the division became part of the First Allied Airborne Army. In September, the 82nd began planning for Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. The operation called for three-plus airborne divisions to seize and hold key bridges and roads deep behind German lines. The 504th, now back at full strength, was reassigned to the 82nd, while the 507th was assigned to the 17th Airborne. On 17 September, the 82nd conducted its fourth World War II combat assault. Fighting off German counter-attacks, the 82nd captured its objectives between Grave, and Nijmegen. Its success, however, was short-lived because the defeat of other Allied units at the Battle of Arnhem. After a period of duty on the Arnhem front, the 82nd was relieved by Canadian troops, and sent to France.

The Bulge
On 16 December, the Germans launched a surprise offensive through the Ardennes Forest which became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Two days later the 82nd joined the fighting and blunted General Gerd von Rundstedt's northern penetration of American lines. During this campaign, PFC Martin, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, told a sergeant in a retreating tank destroyer to, "pull your vehicle behind me—I'm the 82nd Airborne, and this is as far as the bastards are going!"

After helping to secure the Ruhr, the division ended the war at Ludwigslust past the Elbe River, accepting the surrender of over 150,000 of Lieutenant General Kurt von Tippelskirch's 21st Army. General Bradley stated in a 1975 interview with Gavin that Montgomery told him German opposition was too great to cross the Elbe. When Gavin's division crossed the river, the division moved 36 miles in one day and captured over 100,000 troops, causing great laughter in Bradley's 12th Army Group headquarters.

Following Germany's surrender, the 82nd entered Berlin for occupation duty, lasting from April until December 1945. In Berlin General George Patton was so impressed with the 82nd's honor guard he said, "In all my years in the Army and all the honor guards I have ever seen, the 82nd's honor guard is undoubtedly the best." Hence the "All-American" became also known as "America's Guard of Honor". The war ended before their scheduled participation in the invasion of Japan. During the invasion of Italy in World War II, Ridgway considered Will Lang Jr. of TIME magazine an honorary member of the division.

The 82nd returned to the United States 3rd January 1946. Instead of being demobilized, the 82nd made its permanent home at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and was designated a regular Army division on 15th November 1948.

After nearly two years overseas and 442 days in combat, the war ended for the All Americans.

Medals of Honor 3
1st Sgt. Leonard Funk, Jr., Pfc. Charles N. Deglopper, Pte John R. Towle)
Distinguished Service Crosses 79
Silver Star 894
Bronze Star Medals 2,478
numerous other US and foreign decorations.

1,619 killed in action
6,560 wounded in action
332 died of wounds

To commemorate the 1944 Waal assault river crossing made by the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 307th Engineer Battalion (Airborne) during Operation Market Garden, an annual Crossing of the Waal competition is staged on the anniversary of the operation at McKellar’s Lake near Fort Bragg. The winning company receives a paddle. The paddle signifies that in the original crossing, many paratroopers had to row with their weapons because the canvas boats lacked sufficient paddles.

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