Craig Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Gavin
  • FORENAME
James Maurice
  • UNIT
505th Parachute Infantry Regiment
  • RANK
Colonel
  • NUMBER
0-17676
  • AWARD
Distinguished Service Cross
  • PLACE
Sicily, Italy, 11th July 1943
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
resided Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania
born 22.03.1907, Brooklyn, New York, USA
father Martin Gavin (1866-1940)
mother Mary (nee Tyrell) Gavin (1875-1934)
1924 entered service as Private (Coast Artillery Corps)
1929 graduated U.S. Military Academy, West Point (2nd Lieutenant)
1929 married Irma Baulsir (divorced 1947)
1934 promoted to 1st Lieutenant
1939 promoted to Captain
1941 promoted to Major
1942 promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, attended Command and General Staff School
1943 promoted to Brigadier General
1944 promoted to Major General
op.Huskey, op.Avalanche, op.Overlord, op.Market Garden, Battle of the Bulge
1948 married Jean Caroline (nee Emert) Gavin (1923-2016) 5 children
1955 appointed Chief of Research and Development, promoted Lieutenant General
1958 retired Army
awards 2 x Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 x Silver Star, 2 x Army Distinguished Service Medals
1961-1962 American Ambassador to France
died 23.02.1990 (Aged 82), Baltimore, Maryland, USA
United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, New York, USA. Section 10, Row L, Grave 235
 

CITATION:

Distinguished Service Cross : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Colonel (Infantry) James Maurice Gavin (ASN: 0-17676), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Regimental Commander, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne, in action against enemy forces on 11 July 1943, approximately five miles west of Vittoria, Sicily. Throughout daylight on 11 July 1943, Colonel Gavin, together with a small portion of his regiment, held and drove back a superior force of German infantry and tanks in the face of heavy gunfire and counterattack, led by tanks, which reached to within fifty yards of his command post. This successful action enabled the 182d Infantry, 45th Division which had been held up all that day, to resume its advance. Colonel Gavin displayed cool courageous leadership of the highest order throughout the day's fighting, encouraging and inspiring his men, and by his heroic example achieved decisive success in the face of greatly superior odds. His inspiring leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

Distinguished Service Cross (Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster) : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Brigadier General James Maurice Gavin (ASN: 0-17676), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Assistant Division Commander, 82d Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces on 9 June 1944, in France. In a battalion attack upon the town of le Motey, extremely heavy and intense enemy artillery fire inflicted heavy casualties among the officers and men, causing disorganization in the battalion. General Gavin, observing the results of this action, went immediately to the front lines. There he took charge, personally effected a reorganization of the battalion and directed it to a renewed attack upon the town. General Gavin, in order to better control the assault, moved to an exposed position in a wheat field. Although enemy fire was particularly intense at this point, General Gavin remained in this position until the battalion had completed a successful assault upon the town. The courage, personal bravery and outstanding leadership of General Gavin exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

Silver Star : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Major General [then Brigadier General] James Maurice Gavin (ASN: 0-17676), United States Army, for gallantry in action as Assistant Division Commander, 82d Airborne Division, in action in the vicinity of Mook, Holland, on 20 September 1944. When two simultaneous attacks by enemy forces against the thinly held sector in the vicinity of Beek and Mook were made by the enemy, Major General Gavin moved the Division reserve to a position of vantage and went personally to Mook, the most critical sector. Upon arrival at the railroad overpass immediately west of the village, he came under intense artillery and mortar fire. Pressing on to obtain a more accurate picture of the situation, he came upon elements of a defending infantry unit which had lost many of their leaders. Major General Gavin directed and carried out the reorganization and disposed the unit to effect a counter-attack. The ensuing attack broke the desperate bid of the enemy to break through. Major General Gavin's presence with the assault echelon encouraged and inspired our troops, and his personal leadership at a critical moment resulted in the shattering of the enemy attempts to break through our lines. The courage and inspiring leadership displayed by Major General Gavin at Mook were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

Army Distinguished Service Medal : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Major General James Maurice Gavin (ASN: 0-17676), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General, 82d Airborne Division, from June 1944 to June 1945. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of General Gavin and his dedicated contributions in the service of his country reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Army Distinguished Service Medal (Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster) : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Lieutenant General James Maurice Gavin (ASN: 0-17676), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility from July 1945 to March 1958.

WEB LINKS:

https://valor.militarytimes.com/hero/23091
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_M._Gavin

FINDAGRAVE:

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/4078/james-maurice-gavin
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