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Editorial: Paratroops commemoration

Posted: March 26, 2018 3:41 p.m.
Updated: March 27, 2018 1:00 a.m.

Thursday marks the 75th anniversary of a very important and historic moment in U.S. military history. In fact, it is not a stretch to say it was one of the most important moments in world history -- and it happened right here in Kershaw County.
On March 29, 1943, the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division successfully completed the first mass paratrooper drop in U.S. Army history, just across the river from Camden, on fields that would later become the site of the present day INVISTA plant.

This was a difficult, dangerous feat -- in fact, several paratroopers were killed. Nonetheless, the exercise proved that strategic major insertions of airborne troops could be successfully executed -- and would be, in the invasion of Italy and in D-Day, to name a few.

One interesting sidebar is that at least one local hero was among the paratroopers; Ivey K. Connell would land safely here in Kershaw County but sadly, would die in combat in Italy a few months later, earning the Silver Star and Purple Heart. He is buried in Wateree Baptist Church cemetery.

We salute and honor those brave men and we encourage everyone to attend this special commemoration ceremony, to be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the memorial monument located on INVISTA grounds on U.S. 1 in Lugoff.

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