Oral Report Mathew Ridgeway

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Matthew Ridgway - Early Life:Matthew Bunker Ridgway was born March 3, 1895, at Fort Monroe, VA. The son of Colonel Thomas Ridgway and Ruth Bunker Ridgway, he was reared on army posts across the United States and took pride in being an "army brat." Graduating from English High School in Boston, MA in 1912, he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and applied for acceptance to West Point. Deficient in mathematics, he failed in his first attempt, but after extensive study of the subject gained entry the following year. Serving as the undergraduate manager of the football team while at school, he graduated in 1917 Matthew Ridgway - World War II:Graduating in 1937, Ridgway saw service as the deputy chief of staff for the Second Army and later the assistant chief of staff of the Fourth Army. His performance in these roles caught the eye of General George Marshall who had him transferred to the War Plans Division in September 1939. With the US entry into World War II in December 1941, Ridgway was fast-tracked to higher command. Promoted to brigadier general in January 1942, he was again promoted that August and given command of the 82nd Infantry Division after Major General Omar Bradley was sent to the 28th Infantry Division Now a major general, Ridgway oversaw the 82nd's transition into the US Army's first airborne division. Rigorously training his men, Ridgway was credited with turning the unit into a highly-effective combat division. Though initially resented by his men for being a "leg" (non-airborne qualified), he ultimately gained his paratrooper wings. Ordered to North Africa, the 82nd Airborne began training for the invasion of Sicily. Having played a key role in planning the invasion, Ridgway led the division into battle in July 1943. The first major airborne operation in US history, his men took heavy losses.Following the campaign in Normandy, Ridgway was appointed to lead the new XVIII Airborne Corps which consisted of the 17th, 82nd, and 101st Airborne...
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