• Presidential Medal of Honor Recipient, Military Hero Gen. Ridgway Led Allied Invasion

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    GENERAL MATTHEW BUNKER RIDGWAY (March 3, 1895-July 26, 1993) was a senior officer in the United States Army. Holding several major commands, Ridgway was most famous for resurrecting the United Nations war effort during the Korean War.  Several historians have credited him with turning the war around in favor of the United Nations’ side.  President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom on May 12, 1986. In doing so, Reagan said, “Heroes come when they’re needed; great men step forward when courage seems in short supply.”

    During World War II, Ridgway helped plan the airborne element of the invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and commanded the 82nd Airborne in combat.  In 1944, he helped plan the airborne operations in the Allied invasion of Normandy.  In March 1945, he led his troops into Germany and was wounded in the shoulder by German grenade fragments. In June of that year, he was promoted to lieutenant general.

    One page, TLS, on his personal letterhead, November 29, 1983, to Jack B. Gross, National Treasurer of the Air Force Association:

    “It was most thoughtful and generous of you to make me such an unusual gift.

    “I was no sooner back home than my dear wife opened the package and sampled one of the Hershey Golden Nuggets, finding it the most delicious she had ever tasted.

    “The luncheon and seminar, in fact the entire afternoon was delightful.

    “With warm thanks and kindest regards,

    “Sincerely,

    “M.B. Ridgway

    “General, US Army,

    “Retired.”

    At one point, the Jack Gross Award was established to recognize chapters of the Air Force Association with the highest percentage of new members.

    Letter has folds, minor wear. The signature has light brushing but is still very strong. A great piece of Americana from this American hero.

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