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Lt. Col. James “Maggie” Megellas the most decorated Officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division is a paratrooper who got his “Baptism of Fire” in his 82nd Airborne Division 504 PIR in the Appenine mountains of Italy. Then the PIR made an assault landing at Anzio where he was wounded twice and evacuated on a hospital ship to a Naples, Italy. hospital where he recuperated for 4 weeks. He rejoined the 82nd Airborne and flew into England.


In 1944 his Division was rushed to the Battle of the Bulge through freezing snow, they approached a Belgium town and surprised 350 Germans leaving town. They caught them off guard and the battle was devastating and they killed many Germans. However, on approaching the town a Mark V tank took aim and Megellas rushed forward and threw a grenade into the tank disabling it. He then led his men as they cleared and seized the town. For this he was nominated for the Medal of Honor, but was given a Silver Star because the report neglected to mention the tank in the citation.



Previously, in Holland he led a patrol behind enemy lines and single handedly attacked and wiped out a German outpost and knocked out a machine gun nest. For this action he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the 2nd highest award for “Extraordinary Heroism”.

Throughout the war he served in Company H, 504 PIR, which he would later come to command. On January 1946, he led his company down Fifth avenue in New York City in the Victory Parade.


Megellas has received over 25 medals and decorations and they include: The Distinguished Service Cross, Presidential Unit Citation (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), Silver Star Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star (with one Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart Medal (with one Oak Leaf Cluster).


Maggie travels extensively and is always supporting the troops …Maggie went with the 82nd Airborne to the front lines in Afghanistan when he was 90 and again when age 93. He forwarded 25,000 care packages to service men and women for several years. He worked with USAID in Vietnam for 2

years leading 4,000 soldiers and civilians and other nations in civil-military relations. He holds a Masters Degree of International Policy, John Hopkins University and was an instructor of International Affairs at Florida Tech. He is on hand greeting troops coming home from the battlefield and being sent there at DFW.


He is going to talk to us about his experiences on the Waal River in Nijmegin, Holland. Where he participated with American forces crossing the river under intense machine gun fire to seize two bridges over the Waal River. He received a query from Cornelius Ryan who was writing “A Bridge Too Far”, about this battle that was made into a movie of his recollections of his 1944 Holland campaign.


Few men have given their lives to their country like Lt.Col James “Maggie” Megellas. He is Larger than Life and a true Patriot and Hero.

The Park City Club  5956 Sherry Lane, 17th Floor  Dallas, Texas 75225 


Please send your reservations early to ensure we can make an accurate and timely reservation count.  Mail the reservation coupon to MOAA-GDC Programs, PO Box 515495, Dallas, TX 75251; email Dave Schafer moaaschafer@att.net or reserve online at www.moaagreaterdallas.org/onlinersvp.html.  You may also call Dave at (214)577-4107.


MOAA-GDC accepts PayPal for paying for your luncheon at our website which allows you to pay by credit card.   http://www.moaagreaterdallas.org/onlinersvp.html


Register for Luncheon

You may also use the reservation coupon.  For more information or to make a phone reservation contact  Dave Schafer at (214) 577-4107or email moaaschafer@att.net.


Scholarship Donations

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Contributions to the scholarship fund are tax deductible.  Please print a copy of your PayPal payment receipt and retain it as proof of payment for your taxes.

News and Information

2013, 2014 and 2015
5 Star Chapter

This unit was established in October 1967. Membership is open to any retired, active duty, former or reserve officer, including Warrant Officers, and widows of uniformed officers.

Our August newsletter is now available. If you are not receiving the newsletter and would like to receive, email LtCol David Schafer USAF Retired VP Membership MOAA-GDC
For past newsletters, please visit our Newsletter section.


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