The 82nd Division of the United States Army has been in existence since 1917. Due to its members originating from across the nation, those in the 82nd were referred to as the "All Americans".
Originally designated the 82nd Division, it was one of a number of units mobilised to fight in the Great War. It was demobilised in 1919 after Congress chose an Isolationist policy of non-interference. It was re-organised as a reservist Division in 1921, and finally mobilised as a full Division in 1942 after the United States' entrance into the Second World War. It was then regrouped into a Parachutist unit, the 82nd Airborne Division.
The 504th and 505th Parachute Infantry Regiments took part in the invasion of Italy and Sicily in 1943. The Division would then concentrate on sending the remainder of its men to England, United Kingdom, where they prepared for Operation: Overlord, the invasion of France. A 504th and 505th PIRs, healed with reinforcement troops, were joined by the newly assigned 507th and 508th PIRs.
During the drop over Normandy, the division's members were scrambled from their units and most would not return to their comrades for the next few days following the drop on June 6th, 1944. One of the aims of the 82nd was the capture of Cherbourg and its castle fort.
In September, the 82nd, 101st Airborne Infantry Divisions invaded the Netherlands in a similar way to their invasion of Normandy, but this time, they were prepared.
Operation: Market Garden, although being the largest airborne operation of all time, was less successful, with the Allies pulling out of Arnhem after eight days, unable to keep up with German reinforcements. The only well known character from the 82nd Airborne, Doyle, did not take part in this operation after being killed in Operation Overlord.