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The World War II Photo of the Week
for 4 March 2002


From the Perch to the Patch ...

   "Young Abe," the American Eagle mascot of the 101st Airborne Division and flesh-and-blood counterpart of the division's "Screaming Eagle" shoulder patch, is pictured on his perch at Fort Bragg, NC. Unfortunately, he never saw action with his outfit — he passed away while the 101st was training in Tennessee in 1942. Although the 101st was the first unit of its kind in U.S. military history, Young Abe was not. Abe was said to be a direct descendant of a famous Civil War mascot named — you guessed it — "Old Abe." Old Abe survived 25 battles with the 8th Wisconsin Regiment during the War Between the States. According to the 8th's history, Old Abe would go into the fight perched between the regimental colors and Old Glory. During the action, Abe would fly screaming from his perch and flap his wings excitedly from the end of his leash, as though he were urging the troops on to victory. From the 101st Unit History pamphlet, part of the Webmaster's collection.

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