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Camp Claiborne Birthplace of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions

At this site on May 7 1942 Sergeant Alvin C York the most decorated Soldier of WWI addressed the 82nd Infantry Division under the command of General Omar Bradley. The division would later become the 82nd Airborne Division and furnish personnel to form the 101st Airborne Division at Camp Claiborne. Therefore, Camp Claiborne is the birthplace of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. The original headquarter buildings for the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were located directly behind this location.

To listen to the speech that SGT York gave here on May 7, 1942, visit https://archive.org/details/WhatAreWeFightingFor_496. This link will take you to a recording of the speech he gave to his old division, the 82nd Infantry at Camp Claiborne, LA.

SGT York was a member of the 82nd Infantry Division during WWI. For his acts of heroism on October 8, 1918 in the Argonne forest of France he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Congressional Medal of Honor, and the French Croix de Guerre. During WWII, SGT York visited military camps in support of the war.

Omar Bradley was the Commanding General of the 82nd Infantry Division. General Bradley was transferred to Camp Livingston, LA and General Ridgeway assumed command of the 82nd Airborne Division and General Lee assumed command of the 101st Airborne Division.

Photo Caption: 82nd Infantry Division standing "Retreat” following SGT Alvin C. York''s address to the Division The first assembly of the Division since Re-activation. Camp Claiborne, LA- May 7, 1942.

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