Here are this year’s 82nd Airborne Division Hall of Fame winners


This story was first published in The Fayetteville Observer.

FORT BRAGG — Nine paratroopers will be inducted into the 82nd Airborne Division Hall of Fame next month, officials said.

The ceremony takes place Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. at the Hall of Heroes at Fort Bragg during Division American Week.

The Hall of Fame honors veteran paratroopers based on their service to the division, their lifelong commitment to division values, their valorous combat action, and their contributions to their field of service. predilection outside the division.

Twenty-one Paratroopers were inducted into the inaugural class in 2018, 16 were inducted in 2019, 12 were inducted in 2020, and eight were inducted last year.

The inductees were selected by a council of senior leaders from nominations made by units in the division.

Induction criteria included consideration of candidates who received the Medal of Honor or those who served at least two years in the division and at least five years retired from their last service in the division.

This year’s winners are:

General Curtis ‘Mike’ Scaparrotti

Gen. Curtis “Mike” Scaparrotti, a native of Logan, Ohio, was commissioned into the military in 1978 from West Point.

His first assignment was as a platoon leader, operations officer and company commander in the 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division.

He commanded the division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team from 1999 to 2001 and became commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in October 2008, deploying the division’s headquarters in eastern Afghanistan. and serving as commander of Combined Joint Task Force 82 and Regional Command East until 2010.

Scaparrotti’s other assignments included commanding forces during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, serving as director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and commander of European Command before his retirement in 2019.

Lieutenant General Raymond Mason

Lt. Gen. Raymond Mason served in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1983 to 1998, serving in corporate leadership positions at the division level.

Mason commanded Company E, 407th Supply and Service Battalion, and later commanded the 407th Support Battalion.

He was the divisional support command operations officer for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, responsible for supporting no-notice deployment and sustaining combat operations for the division.

Mason also served as Deputy Division Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Forces Command and the Army.

After retiring from the Army in 2014, Mason continued to help soldiers serving as Director of the Army Emergency Relief Fund.

Col. Benjamin H. Vandervoort

Colonel Benjamin H. Vandervoort served with the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment from 1940 to 1945 and was the regiment’s operations officer during the invasion of Sicily and Salerno, Italy.

He commanded the 2nd Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the Normandy landings in 1944, leading his battalion into combat at Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Nijmegen and Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

After Vandervoort led an assault on the Waal Bridge in Holland, he was described by Division Commander General Matthew Ridgway as “one of the bravest and toughest combat commanders I have ever had. known”.

Vandervoort’s actions in Holland earned him Oak Leaf Bunches for his Distinguished Service Cross and two Oak Leaf Bunches for his Purple Heart.

He suffered multiple injuries throughout his tenure as battalion commander, which eventually led to his retirement from medical service at the rank of colonel in 1946. After his retirement, he served as a civilian for the CIA and the US Army General Staff. He died aged 75 in 1990.

Cpt. John B. Sauls

Cpt. John B. Sauls commanded Company G, 401st Glider Infantry Regiment.

On June 9, 1944, Sauls led an attack on German defensive positions that were impeding the advance of Allied movement west of Normandy.

Without cover or concealment, Sauls and company charged towards the Nazis, maneuvering down the 500-yard corridor directly into machine gun fire and artillery.

After descending the causeway, Sauls realized he had only one squad-sized element with him and the rest of the company were pinned down, wounded or killed.

Sauls crossed the corridor of fire and overtook the German first line of defense, firing at the Nazis with his Thompson submachine gun.

For his actions, Sauls earned the Silver Star. He died in 1987 at the age of 73.

Captain Gerald A. Wolford

Captain Gerald A. Wolford served in the 82nd Airborne Division from 2000 to 2006.

As a Staff Sergeant deployed to Iraq in 2003, Wolford’s Company D Gun Section, 3rd Battalion, 325th Infantry came under fire during a river crossing at As- Samawah, Iraq.

Unable to suppress with small arms, Wolford silenced the position using a non-standard tactical vehicle and an anti-tank weapon.

As his unit approached the town, a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle, injuring two paratroopers.

Wolford got the injured paratroopers to safety before his vehicle was struck a second time while escorting a dismounted squad to a forward position.

Wolford continued to direct section fire and engage the enemy when a third rocket-propelled grenade was reported near his truck and a fourth grenade went over his head.

For his actions, Wolford received the Silver Star and was selected as the 2003 USO Soldier of the Year.

He entered service with the infantry branch in 2006 and ended his career as an Information Operations Officer with the Department of Army Headquarters at the Pentagon.

Wolford became a teacher in Sullivan, Maine after retiring and now lives in Center Hall, Pennsylvania.

1st Lt Waverly Wray

1st Lt. Waverly Wray, of Tocowa, Mississippi, served as Platoon Leader and General Manager of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment from 1940 to 1944.

Wray participated in airborne operations in Normandy and Holland in support of Operation Overlord and Operation Market Garden.

During the defense of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, Wray’s company was attacked by two reinforced Nazi battalions.

Despite enemy machine gun fire and casualties, Wray crawled past his lines, destroyed the position with grenades, and killed 15 enemy soldiers with rifle fire.

After being ordered to lead an attack on the rest of the German battalion, Wray conducted a personal reconnaissance to determine the size of the enemy force and found a battalion headquarters of eight Nazis.

Wray killed all eight officers, allowing for a successful defense for his unit.

Wray was later killed in action aged 21 during operations in 1943 in Holland.

Commanding Sgt. Major Wolf Amacker

Commanding Sgt. Major Wolf Amacker served in the 82nd Airborne Division from 1996 to 2006, holding leadership positions from squad leader to command sergeant major in the Airborne Field Artillery.

After serving as commandant of the 18th Airborne Corps Officer Academy in 2001, Amacker was selected as the command sergeant major of the 82nd Airborne Division.

While serving as the division’s senior advisor, he deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and established the first Iraqi training center which trained thousands of Iraqi nationals and brought security to the conflict in the Sunni triangle.

Amacker conducted 319 airborne operations during his time with the division.

After retiring in 2006, he served as the division’s Chief of Investigations from 2006 to 2009.

In 2009, Amacker became Chief of Operations for Fort Bragg Range Control. Since 2015, he has served as an Installation Range Officer at Fort Bragg.

Commanding Sgt. Major Bryant Lambert

Commanding Sgt. Major Bryant Lambert joined the Army as an infantryman in 1983 and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division after completing US Army Airborne School.

He returned to the unit in 1993 after serving as an instructor for the Army Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia, and completing U.S. Army Sergeant School at Fort Leonard Wood. , Missouri.

Upon graduation from the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas in 2000, Lambert was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, before becoming the Regimental Command Sergeant Major of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

In July 2010, Lambert became the command sergeant major of the 82nd Airborne Division and served as the senior enlisted advisor for Regional Command-South and Combined Joint Task Force-82 during Operation Enduring Freedom from October 2011 to September 2012.

Lambert, who has held every position from rifleman to division command sergeant major, spent 26 years of his military career serving with the 82nd Airborne Division, before retiring in 2018.

Cpl. John S. Gilbertie

Cpl. John S. Gilbertie was born in Italy before moving to America and growing up in Westport, Connecticut.

He served in the 82nd Airborne Division from October 1917 to May 1919, notably as an infantryman and squad leader in Company E, 327th Infantry Regiment during the Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns of the First World War.

Gilbertie led night patrols for the 327th Regiment in October 1918, earning him the Distinguished Service Cross.

According to his citation, he carried messages from the front lines to battalion and regimental headquarters in October 1918 near Cornay, France.

“Although suffering from the effects of gas and disease, he twice volunteered and led patrols in enemy territory, obtaining and returning with information of the utmost importance and value,” his citation reads. .

Gilbertie was also awarded the Silver Star Medal, the First World War Victory Medal with three clasps, and the Italian Croix de Guerre.

After the war, Gilbertie started a taxi service in Westport, Connecticut, and also served as an elected representative for Westport City Hall.

He died aged 81 in 1977.


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