4 July: this column is being written for
September. However, work began on this column on 4 July 2006. I am taking
the liberty of reflecting about Hill 95,4 July 1944.
In the book by JAN BOS, et al, ROLL OF
HONOR 82 AIRBORNE DIVISION WORLD WAR TWO, only nineteen 508ers are
listed as killed on 4 July 1944. Considering the numbers of 508ers, who
were seriously wounded on that day, the small number that died is a
tribute to the doctors, medics and fellow-soldiers, who saved many who
might have died.
Lt HOMER JONES was shot through the neck
and lay paralyzed on Hill 95. Sgt ROLAND FECTEAU stuck his fingers in
holes on both sides of JONES' neck. JONES plead[ed] with FECTEAU saying,
"I don't want to live as a paralytic. Let me bleed to death."
FECTEAU refused to obey his officer's
command, and persisted in preventing more loss of blood while waiting for
the medics. It turned out that the paralysis was only temporary. Today
HOMER JONES is a healthy 85 year-old Veteran, who is grateful to have had
the opportunity of sharing this information with Fecteau’s FAMILY MEMBERS.
The 508 Web Site www508PIR.org: Many
family members of deceased 508th Veterans are using the 508th web site to
learn about their departed loved-ones. DICK O'DONNELL, Jumpmaster of the
Web Site, is getting many requests for such information. Almost every week
someone is asking about a loved one, who has passed on, and they would
like to hear from anyone who can furnish information.
E Company: CHARLES (CHUCK)
WILKINS sent word that his E company buddy AMOS MOSS passed away about 3
months ago. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. AMOS (PHYLLIS) MOSS at 3035
7th, Columbia City, OR 97018-9710.
508 PIR Association News by NORB STUDELSKA: We are saddened by the news of
the passing of JOHN CZAHOR (Clear-water, FL) on March 28,2006 and TOM
MacBLANE (Elmira, NY) on April 27,2006. Our love and condolences are
extended to NOREEN CZAHOR and JERRY MacBLANE and their families.
D Company Mini-Reunion: D
company had a successful mini-reunion during the week of April 5,6,7,2006
held at the Kirkley Hotel and Conference Center in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The reunion was sponsored by TOM and JEANNE PURKINS. Along with TOM and
JEANNE, those in attendance were WALTER and IRENE BAKER and their son;
LORENE HADDY and friend MARIE; VIRGINIA LENNELL and friend BOB; BILL and
MARTHA McCLURE; and BEN and LILA NIENHART. BILLIE AGEE, a resident of
Lynchburg, was under the weather and was unable to attend. D Company
thanks TOM and JEANNE for all the work and time involved and we look
forward to another get-together in 2007.
Military Change of Command:
I am just learning about the new Airborne organizational structure of the
4th Brigade Combat Team and 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment On 15 June a
Ceremony for the Change of Command was conducted. The ceremony was for the
change of the top command at the Brigade level when Colonel VICTOR
PETRENKO handed over the command to Colonel MARTIN SCHWEITZER. The 4th
Brigade currently has 2 Battalions of 508th PIR, a Calvary Battalion,
which is a squadron of helicopter personnel, a Field Artillery Battalion,
the 4th BSTB (Brigade Special Troops Battalion) and the 782nd BSB (Brigade
On 21 June the 1st Battalion of the 508th
Parachute Infantry Regiment conducted a Change of Command Ceremony. Lt
Colonel SWIFT turned over command of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute
Infantry Regiment to Lt Colonel BRIAN MENNES. The Battalion has 6
Companies listed, Headquarters and Headquarters Co, Alpha Co, Bravo Co,
Charlie Co, Delta Co and Echo Co.
ROCK MERRITT sent
the Brigade Change of Command Ceremony Program. JIM SMITH sent the
Battalion Change of Command Program.
TROY PALMER, host of the HQ 1st and C Co
Reunion, invites all 508th WWII Veterans, plus family and friends of
508ers to join them in Augusta, Georgia, October 18,19 & 20. Dates
announced earlier conflicted with a very important PALMER family
visitation. TROY is still negotiating with hotels for a meeting place and
he will notify us by mail when plans are finalized.
The traditional format will be followed:
The CP will be opened the evening of October 17 for early arrivals and on
other days during free time. A Welcoming Breakfast will be served the
first morning, a Banquet the second day, and a Farewell Breakfast the last
day. Registration is $75 per person. Hotel reservations are each
For further information contact: TROY PALMER,
1206 River Lane, Evans, GA 30809. Phone (706) 855-1453; e-mail: