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Matthew Bunker Ridgway

Date of birth: March 3, 1895
Date of death: July 26, 1993
Burial location: Arlington, VA
Place of Birth: Virginia, Fort Monroe
Home of record: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Matthew Ridgway's first attempt to enter West Point was unsuccessful because he failed geometry on his entrance examination. But he succeeded on second try and in 1913 he entered the academy, where be became undergraduate manager of the football team. He graduated with the Class of April 1917. From August 15, 1953 to June 29, 1955, he served as the 19th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. In 1986, he was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom. The citation said: "Heroes come when they are needed. Great men step forward when courage seems in short supply. WWII was such a time, and there was Ridgway."

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding General, 82d Airborne Division, in action against enemy forces in July 1943. Major General Ridgway's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, Seventh U.S. Army, General Orders No. 24 (September 11, 1943)

Action Date: July 1943

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Distinguished Service Cross

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Distinguished Service Cross to Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Commanding Officer, 82d Airborne Division, in action against the enemy from 6 June 1944 to 9 June 1944, in France. Major General Ridgway jumped by parachute at approximately 0200 prior to the dawn of "D" Day and landed about 3/4 mile northeast of *****, France, to spearhead the parachute landing assault of his Airborne Division on the Cotentin Peninsula. Throughout "D" Day, he visited every point in the then surrounded area in order to evaluate the opposition and to encourage his men. He penetrated to the front of every active sector without thought of the personal danger involved. He exposed himself continuously to small arms, mortar and artillery fire; as, by his presence and through words of encouragement, he greatly assisted and personally directed the operations of one of his battalions in the important task of securing the bridgehead across the ***** River, which required a frontal assault against strongly entrenched enemy positions. His personal bravery and his heroism were deciding factors in the success of his unit in France. Major General Ridgway's gallant leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 82d Airborne Division, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, First U.S. Army, General Orders No. 35 (July 19, 1944)

Action Date: June 6 - 9, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General of the 82d Airborne Division from 1942 to 1944.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 20 (1945)

Action Date: 1942 - 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Lieutenant General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility as Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, from 1944 to 1945.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 58 (1947)

Action Date: 1944 - 1945

Service: Army

Rank: Lieutenant General

Company: Commanding General

Division: XVIII Airborne Corps

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Korean War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, 20 July 1942, takes pleasure in presenting a Second Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Third Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, as Commanding General of the VIII Army from December 1950 to May 1952.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 54 (May 29, 1952)

Action Date: December 1950 - May 1952

Service: Army

Rank: General

Company: Commanding General

Division: VIII Army

Army Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Cold War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting a Third Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Fourth Award of the Army Distinguished Service Medal to General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility, culminating as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 30 May 1952 to 29 June 1955.

General Orders: Department of the Army, General Orders No. 47 (July 1, 1955)

Action Date: May 30, 1952 - June 30, 1955

Service: Army

Rank: General

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Commanding General of the 82d Airborne Division, at Eindhoven, Holland, during the period from 17 to 19 September 1944.

General Orders: Headquarters, 9th Army, General Orders No. 199 (1945)

Action Date: September 17 - 19, 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Silver Star

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Commanding General of the 82d Airborne Division, at the Elbe River, in Germany, on 30 April 1945.

General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 20 (1945)

Action Date: April 30, 1945

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding General of the 82d Airborne Division from 1942 to 1944.

General Orders: Unites States Military Academy Register of Graduates

Action Date: 1942 - 1944

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: 82d Airborne Division

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Major General Matthew Bunker Ridgway (ASN: 0-5264), United States Army, was awarded a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, from 1944 to 1945.

General Orders: Unites States Military Academy Register of Graduates

Action Date: 1944 - 1945

Service: Army

Rank: Major General

Company: Commanding General

Division: XVIII Airborne Corps