29 November 2016 – Beaufort National Cemetery
In a military honors ceremony, a hero was laid to rest today. One who gave more than his twenty years of service in the US Army.
MAJOR Gerard “Jerry” M. Devlin USA Ret. fought in two wars – Korea and Vietnam – it was a tour in Vietnam where he earned the Distinguished Service Cross awarded for his gallantry and valor during that conflict. Beyond his service to the United States – his twenty years in the US Army, he became an author and military historian.
I met Jerry at an event commemorating Operation Dragoon, the second invasion of France during WW II. He was introduced as the author of the book Paratrooper considered “The Bible of the Airborne”. As I was in midst of completion of my first book Images of America – Fort Myer, I shared that I was a new soon-to-be-published author. That was the beginning of a great friendship which was much more with his sage advice and insights.
I secured a copy of Paratrooper and immediately delved into the book. I found it to be well presented and very informative. Since Jerry lived in South Carolina and I was heading there in a few months, I contacted him to get the book autographed. What was supposed to be “over coffee” turned out to be a rather significant meeting. It also included LTG E. M. “Fly” Flanagan, who commanded the Special Forces of the US Army in 1968 to 1971 and the author of the book Airborne.
The friendship continued and the coaching about the publishing world along with tips about successful book promotion came along with it. Much sage advice was provided. My annual trips to South Carolina always included some time with Jerry. He also expanded my network in many ways, including befriending the command historian of the XVIII Airborne Corps.
We had what I believe a very symbiotic friendship. My second book, Images of America – Fort Lesley J. McNair has been a great success with the insights and coaching from Jerry. While he was working on a book about LTG William P. Yarborough, The Father of the Modern Green Berets, I would locate items that might have been of interest or spoken to someone who had contact with the general.
I am thankful to have met him and shared many wonderful minutes with him. He’ll be sorely missed.
I set up a memorial to Jerry on Find-A-Grave’s website