The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (P.I.R.) was authorized by the Secretary of War and its formal organization was achieved through the issuance of the Army Adjutant General's Order AG 320.2, dated October 6, 1942. That order constituted the 508th and assigned it to the Airborne Command.
at Camp Blanding was ordered to activate the unit "at the earliest practicable date in October 1942."
The unit strength was to include 140 officers, 4 warrant officers, 1,856 enlisted men.
The order authorized an over strength of 278 enlisted personnel in anticipation of training attrition.
In actuality, there were many more men rejected by the regiment as it diligently scoured the volunteers for men who had the right skills and determination.
were to be shipped to Blanding at the earliest practicable date.
Officers and warrant officers were to be provided from Airborne Command.
Enlisted personnel were to be drawn from volunteers at processing centers, nation-wide.
Such volunteers were to be examined upon arrival to determine suitability for parachute duty. Volunteers failing the physical exam were to be reported to Airborne command for reassignment. Others dropped during training were handled similarly.
A number of personnel listed on the Christmas 1941 roster of
the 503rd Parachute Battalion would soon be relevant to the 508th.
including dependants; were authorized "for packing, unpacking and shipping equipment, impediments and household goods; tolls and ferriages enroute; gasoline, oil and repairs to motor vehicles enroute; communication services; rental of camp sites and procurement of utility services"
The above would have applied only to offices and senior enlisted personnel although the allowance for camp sites, etc. could be construed to include a motor convoy of personnel.
| A cadre of non-jumpers was authorized as follows:|
| || |
|3 Bn Hq|
|T. Sgt. (Pers) (8976)|| ||1|| || ||1|
|St. Sgt. (Mess) (824)||1|| || ||3||4|
|St. Sgt. (Trans) (873)|| || ||1|| ||1|
|Corp (Clerks) (405)|| ||14|| || ||14|
|Pvt. (4) Clerk, Hq (405)|| ||1|| || ||1|
|Pvt. (5) Clerk, Hq (405)|| ||1|| || ||1|
|Pvt. (5) Cook, Hq (060)||2|| || ||12||14|
|Pvt. (4) Cook, Hq (060)||2|| || ||12||14|
|Note that the initial service company personnel were specified as non-jumpers although most, if not all, became jump qualified. This initial criterion probably was necessitated by the
unavailability of jump qualified cooks and clerks at that time.|