Maj. Gen. Nicholson donates WWII book to 82nd Airborne Division museum

By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: January 26, 2014

The commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division has donated a special book to the division's museum.

Maj. Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. presented a copy of "A Bridge Too Far" to the museum on Jan. 11, according to officials.

The book, which details Operation Market Garden during World War II, is signed by many veterans who fought in the operation, including Gen. Matthew D. Ridgway, who commanded the 18th Airborne Corps, and Lt. Gen. James M. Gavin, who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division.

Other signatures include that of Capt. James Megellas, who earned the Distinguished Service Cross during the famed crossing of the Waal River, officials said.

The book originally belonged to its author, Cornelius Ryan, and was passed down to Maj. Julian Cook, who also was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Military Willems Order, the highest honor the Netherlands bestows for bravery in combat.

One of the latest owners was retired Lt. Gen. Michael Steele, who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division from 1993 to 1995.

Officials did not say how Nicholson came to have the book.

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


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