Honoring the History of U.S. Paratroopers
General James Gavin, third Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division serving in WWI, famously said of paratroopers, “Show me a man who will jump out of an airplane, and I’ll show you a man who will fight.”
At HEAVENDROPt, a division of Evergreen Life Services, we honor and celebrate paratroopers every day. We are an official third-party recycling facility for military parachutes, with over 70,000 pounds of used parachutes from WWII to the Korean War in our Largo, Florida warehouse. We tell the story of these parachutes through our unique, one-of-a-kind products ranging from keychains and bracelets, to backpacks, to pet bandanas and hammocks--all manufactured right here in the U.S. by veterans and people with disabilities.
Here is a brief history of how U.S. military branches have been utilizing paratroopers in a variety of combat missions for over 75 years:
Fort Benning's 29th Infantry Regiment executes the Army's first airborne training jump less than 45 days after airborne was formed. The U.S. joined other countries including Italy, Germany, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union who also developed this capability after WWI.
The US carried out its first major airborne assault of World War II during Operation Torch, the largely-amphibious invasion of North Africa. The U.S. 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment flew from Britain into present-day Algeria to capture two airfields near Oran.
1,200-plane airborne assault into France hours before the larger beach landings at Normandy on D-Day known as Operation Overlord. U.S. paratroopers from 101st and 82nd Airborne division achieved some key goals including securing flanks for amphibious invasion.
Over 16,000 allied paratroopers participated in Operation Varsity during the last major airborne operation of WWII. It was the largest one-day drop.
The second of two Korean War jumps by about 3,400 “Rakkasans” with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, which was known as Operation Tomahawk.
Approximately 800 paratroopers engage in Operation Junction City, America’s lone combat jump into Vietnam.
4,000 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division make first jump since WWI along with the 75th Ranger Regiment to invade Panama to remove dictator Manuel Noriega.
Planes were loaded with paratroopers from 82nd Airborne Division on the way to Haiti to invade during Operation Uphold Democracy. But, coup leader and dictator Raoul Cedras stepped down prior to their arrival.
Almost 1,000 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade jump into Northern Iraq to help secure the airfield.
To learn more about our mission, view our amazing yet affordable products, and discover how we serve veterans and people with disabilities by providing vocational training through upcycling authentic military parachutes, visit heavendropt.org and evergreenls.org.
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