How Exceptional Was Strom Thurmond?

January 06, 2004

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A Generous Cleveland
Reader Makes A Population Point

From: Robert A. Lynn

Re:

VDARE.com: 12/21/03 – Strom Thurmond
Really Was Exceptional!

The late U.S. Senator Thurmond didn`t land a glider
during the D-Day operation but parachuted in. He was
attached to the 82nd Airborne Division from the Civil
Affairs Section of the First Army Group. He was

awarded 18 decorations, medals, and awards
of which
some are provided here: the Combat Infantryman`s Badge
or CIB, Basic Airborne Wings with one (1) star for a
combat jump, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, one
(1) Bronze Star for Valor, one (1) Purple Heart, the
Belgian Order of the Crown, and the French Croix de
Guerre.

I hope this corrects the record of an outstanding
Southern gentleman and a true Son of the South.

VDARE.COM comments:
Our research indicates that it was a glider,
although we did find references to him having parachuted
in. Perhaps this is because most people have forgotten
about the


glider infantry of WWII.

Thurmond was 42 when he
landed, which is pretty old to be landing in enemy
territory in a glider, but really old to be
making a combat jump by parachute.



Remarks by The Honorable Les Brownlee

Under Secretary of the Army
Dedication Ceremony, MG Strom Thurmond Strategic
Deployment Facility
Pope AFB, NC
16 September 2002

During World War II,
although exempt from military service due to both his
age and position as a judge, he took a four-year leave
of absence from a Circuit Judgeship in South Carolina in
order to voluntarily serve his country as a soldier. As
a 43 year old lieutenant colonel he served with the All
Americans – the 82nd Airborne – and landed in a glider
carrying 8 other soldiers and a jeep as part of the
D-Day invasion in Normandy. His team reinforced
parachute troops that landed earlier that day and
collectively routed the German forces from the town of

Ste. Mere-Eglise.

In fact, I remember
discussing the glider operations with Senator Thurmond.
Riding a glider into battle is high adventure, and the
usual result was a crash-landing. That`s in fact how
Senator Thurmond landed – a terrific crash that wounded
him and destroyed the jeep the glider was carrying. I
asked the Senator how he got out of the glider and into
the battle. He explained that the entire side of the
glider had been torn open. “All you had to do was to
stand up and walk right out the side!”

Secretary Brownlee read a
letter from Senator Thurmond:

“I think one of my
proudest distinctions as a Soldier is my association
with the 82nd Airborne Division. A lot of things have
changed over the past 55 years that makes the
Paratrooper an even more efficient Soldier than he was
in 1944. Thank goodness you do not use wooden gliders
anymore. I must confess that my one and only ride in
that particular aircraft
is not one of my favorite
memories. We can be proud that today`s Paratrooper is
better equipped, better trained, better armed and more
lethal than the Airborne Soldiers of any other
generation or army. The military power that a Regiment
of 21st Century Paratroopers brings to bear in a fight
is nothing short of awe-inspiring to our allies, and
nothing less than terrifying to our enemies.