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If you can supply the Company assignment for anyone, please e-mail Jumpmaster@508Pir.prg
Pvt George F. Schairer
probably taken while home on leave, perhaps prior to jump school.

(courtesy Arthur Rottier)
Pvt George F. Schairer
poses with what may have been his father.
(courtesy Arthur Rottier)
Pfc Joseph P. Schwan Pvt Raymond H. Smith (left) and unidentified friend apparently celebrate jump school graduation Lt. Smith
was the only caption provided by Bill Giegold. It is uncertain which of the 8 officers with that name it may have been.

Recently Landed Overseas
Spurgeon Joins Paratroops
Writes He Was Shocked
at Destitution Seen in France While Enroute     

   LeRoy Spurgeon, who has recently landed overseas, writes home from Marburg, Germany, that he has joined the paratroops and after attending "jump school" at Frankfurt, expects to be assigned to the 508th paratroops there.
   Aside from the fact that he wanted to "see just how much I can take," Spurgeon had other reasons for wanting to be a member of the 508th.
   "This 508th is known as the snappiest outfit in the ETO," he wrote.  "They are an honor guard to Gen McNarney, commander of the occupational troops and wear white gloves and white pistol slings the year round." There's a boost in pay, too, that he thought was all right.
   Spurgeon had been shocked by the starvation

seen in France in passing through that country on his way to Germany.
   "Back in the states with plenty to eat and warm clothes and a good home, the words 'starvation' and 'nakedness' had little meaning," he said.  "But you can't argue with reality stark and cold, staring you in the face.  The French are really destitute."
   He told of seeing children clothed in rags, GI shoes and layers of dirt, standing with cans, collecting the food the men were about to throw in the garbage cans as they came out of their mess hall, and "even digging into the slimy can itself for bits of bread and meat."
   Spurgeon spoke highly of the Red Cross, the only place he had to write, he said. 
   At Marburg it was set up in an old hotel and was the only place outside the mess hall where food could be had.  Candy, etc., at the PX was rationed.
   The son of Mr. and Mrs.. E. L. Spurgeon, 920 9th S.E., he entered the Army last September.

Junior LeRoy Spurgeon
Mason City High School, Mason City, IA (1945)

[Note: whether Spurgeon successfully completed jump school is unknown]



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