WWII Original Book To be Donated to the 82nd Airborne Division Museum

The Fay Observer reported on January 25, 2014 the story of a WWII book that is to be donated to the 82nd Airborne Division museum.

The commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division has presented a special book to the museum. Major General John W. Nicholson Jr. presented the book, “A Bridge Too Far” to the museum on January 11, according to officials.

The book details the operation Market Garden during World War II. It is signed by many of the veterans who fought in the operation—this includes General Matthrew D. Ridgeway who commanded the 19th Airborne Corps and Lieutenant General James M. Gavin whoi commanded the 82nd Airborne Division.

Other signatures include Captain James Megellas who earned the Distinguished Service Cross during the famous crossing of the Waal River.

The book originally belonged to its author, Cornelius Ryan. It was then passed down to Major Julian Cook. Cook always was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Military Willems Order, the highest honor the Netherlands gives for bravery in combat.

Cook’s widow passed the book onto the retired Lieutenant General Michael Steele. Steele commanded the 82nd Airborne Division from 1993 to 1995. He then donated the book to the division.

Officials said the book will hold the place of honor in the 82nd Airborne Division War Memorial Museum.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE