General James Gavin Supports Truman Firing MacArthur
James Maurice Gavin (March 22, 1907 – February 23, 1990) was a senior United States Army officer, with the rank of Lieutenant General, who was the third Commanding General (CG) of the 82nd Airborne Division during World War II. During the war, he was often referred to as "The Jumping General" because of his practice of taking part in combat jumps with the paratroopers under his command; he was the only American general officer to make four combat jumps in the war. Gavin was the youngest Major General to command an American division in World War II, being only 37 upon promotion, and the youngest lieutenant general after the war, in March 1955. He was awarded two Distinguished Service Crosses and several other decorations for his service in the war. During combat, he was known for his habit of carrying an M1 Garand rifle typically carried by enlisted U.S. infantry soldiers, as opposed to the M1 carbine rifles traditionally carried by officers besides the Colt Model , .45 caliber pistols. In this 1982 letter to an admirer, General Gavin states: "President Truman was absolutely correct in relieving General MacArthur. The President must be in charge, and MacArthur had openly defied him on several occasions, which is not a very healthy condition in our government." Signed, "James Gavin"
General Gavin with General Matthew B. Ridgeway who replaced MacArthur in Korea