Noted Airborne Combat Team,
508th, To Pass Through City
Annistonians will see units of one of the
most famous existing military units Wednesday when the 508th "Red Devil"
Airborne Regimental Combat Team passes through.
The 508th --- commanded by Col. Glenn J. McGowan --- is being
transferred from Fort Benning, Ga. to Fort Campbell, Ky, and will make a stop
for gas at Fort McClellan tomorrow afternoon.
Component units of the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team are
the 508th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 320th Airborne Field Artillery
Battalion, 598th Airborne Engineer Company and the 510th Airborne
Formed in 1951
The combat team was born Aug 1, 1951, when the 508th Airborne
Regiment and the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion were combined at
The original 508th Infantry Regiment jumped into Normandy on D-Day
with the 82nd Airborne Division and went on to Frankfurt-am-Main after VE
Day to become honor guard unit for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's headquarters.
The 508th Regiment came to Fort Benning from Fort Bragg, N.C. in May, 1951.
The colorful history of the 320th Airborne Field Artillery
Battalion dates back to World War I when it fought at St. Mihiel, Meuse -
Argonne and Lorraine. Known as the 320th Glider Artillery Battalion
during World War II, it saw action in Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy,
Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns. It was
reactivated at Fort Benning in August, 1951, to become part of the combat
First Such Unit
Organized at Fort Benning in November, 1952 the 19th
Airborne Quartermaster Company was the first such unit in the Army.
Its job is to pack and maintain all parachutes and airborne equipment for
the 508th and supervise all the heavy equipment drops.
During World War II, the 508th Airborne Engineer Company served at Fort
Mitchell, NC and was activated in August, 1951 as part of the 508th.
One of only two airborne regimental combat teams on active duty,
the 508th showed its combat readiness during maneuvers in December 1951, at
Camp Rucker when it took the role of aggressor forces and opposed the 47th
[Source: The Anniston star, Anniston, AL, Tuesday,
February 16, 1954, Page 7] [PDF
Will Be Sent
To Japan Soon
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. --- Pfc James E. Downing, 21, son of Mrs. Lessie
C. Downing, 236 Hospital ave., Greenwood, S.C., is scheduled to be
sent to Japan as part of Operation Gyroscope, the Army's new rotation
Downing will be flown to the Far East with approximately 4000 other
members of the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in giant C-124
Globemasters. The 508th will replace the 187 RCT.
A squad leader in Headquarters Company, Downing
entered the army in December 1953 and completed basic training at
Camp Gordon, Ga.