Military Gallery

“Rendezvous with Destiny:” the 101st Airborne Division and D-Day
Opening at Military Branch on June 6

The Tennessee State Museum opened an exhibition on easy companyJune 6, 2014, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, commemorating the service and elite tradition of the 101st Airborne Division. The exhibit, “Rendezvous with Destiny:” the 101st Airborne Division and D-Day, is free to the public and is on view in the gallery of the Military Branch of the Tennessee State Museum located in the War Memorial Building in downtown Nashville.

The 101st (“Screaming Eagles”), now headquartered at Fort Campbell, participated in the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, when units of the 101st parachuted behind enemy lines in France. Their charge was to disrupt German defenses while providing invaluable support to the Allied troops who, hours later, stormed the beaches.

The 101st , activated in August 1942, underwent rigorous training in preparation for the heavy fighting ahead.  An important part of that training occurred in Tennessee during the 1943 maneuvers. Almost as a premonition of the future, Major General William C. Lee, the first commander of the 101st, famously said: “The 101st…has no history, but it has a rendezvous with destiny.”

The drama and heroism of the 101st and its role in the liberation of Europe was recently captured in the HBO series, “Band of Brothers,” which was based on a book by Stephen Ambrose.  “Band of Brothers” features a 101st unit, “Easy” Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and its commanding officer, Richard “Dick” Winters.

The exhibition will feature a selection of historic artifacts from the museum at Fort Campbell and from the collection of the State Museum, as well as the uniform, pistol, and other personal items of Dick Winters, borrowed from a private collection. The exhibit will also showcase some selected scenes from “Band of Brothers,” through the cooperation of HBO.

“The 101st Airborne Division is one of the most storied and illustrious units in the U.S. Armed Forces,” Lois Riggins-Ezzell, Museum Director, said.  “The museum is honored to present their history.”

The 101st ‘s post-World War II service will also be recognized including the division’s Vietnam, Desert Storm, Desert Shield service, as well as its current deployments.

“Rendezvous with Destiny:” the 101st Airborne Division and D-Day will be on view through January 10, 2015.

 

Above right: Paratroopers of the legendary “Easy” Company of the 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne, a “Band of Brothers” June 7, 1944: In the square at St. Marie-du-Mont, (front, l-r) Forrest Guth, Frank Mellet, David Morris, Daniel West, Floyd Talbert, and C.T. Smith, pose with infantrymen from the Army’s 4th Division. (Photo by Walter Gordon)

Above left: Souvenir pillow cover. The 101st Airborne Division participated in the 1943 Tennessee Maneuvers with the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, stationed at Camp (now Fort) Campbell, KY.

 

 





tn4me

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

FREE ADMISSION

Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org

 





tn4me

Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243-1120

FREE ADMISSION

Open: Tuesday - Saturday:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 5 p.m.
Closed: Mondays and four holidays: New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

(615) 741-2692
TOLL-FREE: 800-407-4324
museuminfo@tnmuseum.org