Under the Radar

Army Airborne Celebrates 100th With New Podcast

By Richard Sisk

The story goes that Army Maj. William Lee was riding a desk in Washington and sulking about his commanders ordering him to shut up about his goofy idea to help win the war.

The phone rang. The guy on the other end of the line wanted to know everything about these gizmos called parachutes and how they could be used to drop troops behind enemy lines.

Lee had a question: Just who the hell are you?

The guy said he worked for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR thought airborne assault just might be crazy enough to work, said Sgt. 1st Class Alex Burnett of the "All American" 82nd Airborne Division.

Lee would become known as the "Father of the U.S. Airborne," and go on to lead the 101st Airborne.

The 82nd, which fought in the trenches of World War I, was reformed in 1942 and went into the history books with drops in Italy and Normandy, and in the bridge-too-far "Operation Market Garden."

The division, which serves as the nation's Global Response Force -- ready to go anywhere on the globe within 18 hours, is marking the centennial of its 1917 formation for World War I with a series of podcasts and events on its proud legacy.

It includes tributes to the legends who came from its ranks -- Sgt. Alvin York, Lt. Gen. James "Jumpin' Jim" Gavin, Gen. Omar Bradley and others.

You can listen to and subscribe to the podcast here.


Show Full Article