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The 82nd Airborne Monument

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The 82nd Airborne Monument consists of a bronze sculpture of a paratrooper who stands atop a white concrete base that is cornered by four columns crowned by concrete American eagles. According to the central plaque that is mounted on the face and sides of the base, the monument is dedicated to all paratroopers and glidermen, living and deceased, who have served during peace or war in the Armed Forces of the United States. “To these men who have and are wearing the coveted badge of courage as From Underneath (2)paratroopers-glidermen, we of the Gulf Coast Chapter, 82nd Airborne Division Ass’n., salute you.”

The monument is located in the northwest corner of the Park of Palms at the intersection of Edwards Drive and Lee Street in the downtown Fort Myers River District. The City of Fort Myers donated the site. Naples sculptor Andrew McGowan cast and donated the bronze statue of the paratrooper (but it is not known whether he also carved the four eagles). Felix J. Lopez, Jr. donated the monument. The memorial was dedicated in 1983.

 

About the 82nd Airborne Division

Another ViewThe 82nd Airborne Division is an active duty airborne infantry division of the United States Army. It specializes in parachute assault operations into denied areas. Based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 82nd Airborne Division is the primary fighting arm of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

As the largest parachute force in the free world, the 82nd Airborne Division is trained to deploy anywhere, at any time, to North Side View (4)fight upon arrival and to win. From cook to computer operator, from infantryman or engineer, every soldier in the 82nd is airborne qualified. Almost every piece of divisional combat equipment can be dropped by parachute onto the field of battle. No other military unit can respond more rapidly and effectively to conflict anywhere in the world than the 82nd Airborne Division. In fact, the 82nd Airborne’s mission is to, within Rear View (2)18 hours of notification, strategically deploy, conduct forcible entry parachute assault and secure key objectives for follow-on military operations in support of U.S. national interests, with their primary objective typically being airfield and seaport seizure. Once on the ground, they provide the secured terrain and facilities to rapidly receive additional combat forces.

The 82nd Division was constituted on August 5 and organized on August 25, 1917, South Side View (4)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. Today, the Division is the nation’s strategic offensive force, maintaining the highest state of combat readiness. Known as “America’s Guard of Honor,” the 82nd is widely recognized as one of the most powerful forces in Long Distance View (3)America’s military arsenal.

It does not appear that the 82nd Airborne ever trained at either of Fort Myers’ World War II training bases, namely Buckingham Army Airfield or Page Army Airfield. Thus, the monument’s only connection to Fort Myers inheres in those local residents who have served over the years in the Division.

 

About the 82nd Airborne Division Association

Plaque 1The 82nd Airborne Division Association was organized in England in 1944 prior to the Normandy invasion. Membership is open to anyone who ever served in the 82nd Airborne Division, anyone who is currently serving on active duty on jump status, and anyone who has ever served in any of the uniformed services on either jump or glider status and was honorably discharged.

The Association is divided into local chapters. The Gulf Coast CPlaques 2hapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association disbanded and was administratively dissolved by the Florida Department of State on September 19, 2003. The Tampa Bay All Airborne Chapter of the 82n Airborne thereupon succeeded to ownership and responsibility for the monument’s conservation and maintenance. Their address is c/o Edward Richards, Chr., 352 Lafayette Blvd., Oldsmar, FL 34677-3753 (813-855-8133).

 

Location, Measurements and Materials.

  • Statue Donated by Andrew McGowanThe monument is located at 1309 Lee Street.
  • The monument is located at N 26 deg 38′ 48.4348″ Latitude and W 81 deg 52′ 8.1733″ Longitude.
  • Through the Flowers (2)The paratrooper is cast in bronze.
  • The American eagles are concrete.
  • The base of the monument is painted concrete.
  1. hello Tom Hall………I am one of the original members of the Gulf Coast Chapter. My name can be seen on one of the bronze plaques. The original starter of this chapter was named Ed O’Shea, I have been trying to find out what has happened to him. I lived in Cape Coral from 1977 till 87 when I moved to the Atlanta area. We used to meet at the American Legion when it was on the river near downtown, don’t know if its still there. Anyways its a great thing that it is still being taken care of by the city and Tampa chapter.

  2. My godfather and uncle Manuel Joseph Angulo served in the 82nd for years. He died last week and I was reading about this division and came upon this site. Thank you for serving!

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