We have here a Marlene Dietrich autograph given to a member of the 17th Airborne Division during World War Two and photos of her with General James Gavin and paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division.
The autograph was given to a member of the 17th Airborne Division while she was visiting that unit. Marlene spent much of WWII visiting troops overseas and putting on shows. This soldier was able to get an autograph from her. He also wrote in the pictured letter about Marlene visiting.
Marlene was most famous for starring in movies like The Blue Angel, A Foreign Affair, and Judgment at Nuremberg. One of the other things Marlene was known for was playing a large lumber saw as a musical instrument. According to a book about Dietrich memorabilia, Marlene Dietrich: Photographs and Memories, she had cards depicting her playing the saw, printed in notepad format for autographs. When an autograph was requested, she would sign the card and tear it off the pad. This book has a photo of one of these autograph card pads.
The photos of Marlene pictured where taken by a different airborne trooper soon after the war ended. They were found amongst his mementos from the war. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division and was able to take these snapshot photos when Marlene Dietrich came to visit the commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, General James Gavin, at the 82nd Airborne headquarters. I have seen one photo in a book that was taken during this visit by Marlene, but I don’t believe any of the photos shown here have ever been published before. General Jim Gavin and Marlene Dietrich were very close friends and Dietrich was a frequent visitor to 82nd Airborne Division during wartime and the occupation period.