EGERTON FAMILY STORIES
Gavin C Egerton
Gavin was born on July 19. 1921 in Greenwich, CT.
He was the son of Charles J. Egerton and Margaret Murphy.
Gavin was my father in law.
Trying out all the tools
Area unknown as Gavin is looking down the sight of the machine gun.
It appears to be a training and instructional session.
Likely early on in his military career in South Carolina during boot camp.
Gavin and friends taking a break
Gavin was a member of Company I, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. 82nd Airborne Division from August 1942 to August 1945.
His combat jumps included:
Gela, Sicily on July 9, 1943
Salerno, Italy on September 17, 1943
Ste Mere Englise, France on June 6, 1944
Nijmegen, Holland on September 17, 1944
The campaigns he was is were:
Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace: & Central-Europe
He was in direct combat with the enemy for more than 200 days.
His First Sergeant, Howard P. Melvin stated,
"I know of his courage and ability under fire."
To survive what he did was only by the grace of God.
Letter fromJames Maurice Gavin, sometimes called "Jumpin' Jim"
Every member of the 505th Airborne received one of these letters.
This is Gavin C. Egerton's letter that made it all the way through WWII. The battles this has seen and the courage of those that carried it is beyond words. These were some of the bravest military personel that ever lived.
The letter in it's entirety reads:
Tonight you embark upon a combat mission for which our people and the people of the free world have been waiting for two years. You will spearhead the landing of an American Force upon the island of SICILY.
Every preparation has been made to eliminate the element of chance. You have been given the means to do the job and you are backed by the largest assemblage of air power in the worlds history.
The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of every American go with you...
Since it is our first fight at night, you must use the countersign, and avoid firing on each other. The Bayonet is the night fighters best weapon. Conserve your water and ammunition.
The term “American parachutist” has become synonymous with courage of high order. Let us carry the fight to the enemy and make the American Parachutist feared and respected through all his ranks. Attack violently. Destroy him wherever found.
I know you will do your job. Good landing, good fight, and good luck.
- James M. Gavin