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2006 ALL AMERICAN WEEK: Old timers of 508th WW II enjoyed mixing with the newly formed 508 during the All American Week at Ft Bragg, May 24-28. WW II 508ers were invited by the new 508th to a delightful picnic on May 25. Guests were WOODY & NAN WODOWSKI, daughter NANNETTE PALMER, JIM SMITH, WALTER & GLORIA BARRETT, KEN & EVELY JANISH, KENNETH (ROCK) MERRITT, ZIG BOROUGHS & son-in-law TERRY DWYER.
The new 508th is now an integral component of the 4th Brigade Combat team of the 82nd Airborne division. The men and women of the new 508th made us old-timers proud to be a part of the 508th tradition. The women paratroopers demonstrated high quality teamwork, efficiency and Airborne spirit that have always characterized Airborne Troops.
At the picnic, awards were presented. KENNETH (ROCK) MERRITT was made Honorary Command Sergeant Major.
   When the 82nd Division passed in review, a small group of 82nd Airborne Veterans marched before the reviewing stand. The parade narrator announced the Veterans representatives from World War II through the present conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The World War II contingent was noticeably small, with only about four from the WW II 508th. However, those marched with vigor and pride.
It was a thrill to hear the 82 Airborne Chorus sing at the Review. "Gotta be rough and tough, in the rain, in the sun, no sweat not yet. Airborne!!" Equally thrilling was the spectacular performance of the Golden Eagles with their colorful air acrobatics. As usual each paratrooper landed right on target.
On a sad note: At the memorial service 49 new names were added to the monument of fallen heroes killed from March 2005 through March 2006 and a new squadron headquarter building was named in honor of Captain KIMBERLY N. HAMPTON. Captain HAMPTON, a helicopter pilot, was the first female member of the 82nd Airborne Division killed in combat
Change of Command Ceremony: The 4th Brigade Combat Team and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted Change of Command Ceremony 15 June 2006 at Fort Bragg. Outgoing Commander Col VICTOR PETRENKO passed the Command to Col MARTIN P. SCHWEITZER. Honorary CSM KENNETH (ROCK) MERRITT passed the 508th Colors to the new Command.
The printed program for the ceremony included historical accounts of the original 508th and other 508th units through the years. The Red Devil patch was prominently displayed on the back program cover; and the Red Devil logo is on the new 508th uniforms. Although several battalion-sized units were named 508th since the WW II 508th was disbanded, the new 508th is the first regimental sized unit to carry our name. The New Command included all historical 508th as part of their heritage.
2006 D-Day Normandy Events: JO BARET, a Frenchman, and JOHN RICHARDSON, son of FAYETTE O. RICHARDSON, H Co scout and D-Day pathfinder, teamed up in a reenactment of June 6, D-Day, 1944. Both wore uniforms of the era. RICHARDSON was dressed as a medic and drove a jeep loaded with medical equipment. They toured the battle area in the jeep and they visited the family where Lt MALCOLM BRANNEN killed German Gen WILHELM F ALLEY in front of their home.
   Dedication of LaSalle de TOM PORCELLA: GENE GARREN, CHET GRAHAM, JACK SCHLEGEL, ARLENE POWERS, JAN SILVER, TOM and MOLLY PORCELLA and their sons JIM and JOHN, were among the 508ers, who attended the dedication of the Picauville Library Room "LaSalle, de TOM PORCELLA" in honor of TOM PORCELLA. Picauville’s Mayor, the honorable PHILLIPPE CATHERINE spoke in French and TOM's sons, JIM and JOHN translated into English. Colonel McNEIL sent Troops from Ft Nix to perform as color guards for the ceremony.
TOM PORCELLA donated 350 books about Allied Airborne of WW II for the room. He also presented a plaque with the names of 320 508ers killed in the Normandy Campaign, which is displayed in the room.
Wollaton Park Museum: GRAHAM LAWSON, asked me to thank Veterans of the 508th in the STATIC LINE column for ail the contributions made to Wollaton Park Museum in Nottingham. LAWSON requested, "If anyone else wishes to contribute copies of photos or stories about their time in the 508th, please contact me at: GRAHAM LAWSON, 10 Clayfield Close, Bulwell, Nottingham NG6 8DG, United Kingdom." LAWSON wishes to inform the 508th that the 400-year-old WOLLATON Hall is undergoing total refurbishment. The work began last October and should be completed in two years. It is partially open to the public during repairs.
17th Hq 1st 2006 Reunion Augusta, GA: TROY and DONNA PALMER, son and daughter-in-law of LARRY and LAURA PALMER are hosting this reunion. They are extending the invitation to All 508th PIR WWII Veterans, their families and friends. Tentative plans are for Friday • Saturday, October 20 - 22. TROY wants us to spread the word, and sign up soon, so he can firm up plans. His address is: TROY PALMER, 1206 River Lane, Evans, GA 30809. His e-mail is: palmertroypalm@aol.com.

   Send News for Column to Interim 508th STATIC LINE editor
P.O. Box 1131
Pickens. SC 29671
PH: (864) 878-9523
e-mail: ralph.boroughs@att.net

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