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   Taps for Mrs. GERTRUDE FUNK: Mrs. GERTRUDE FUNK, widow of First Sergeant LEONARD FUNK of C Company of the 508th PIR, passed away peacefully during the night of September 18,2006. MIKE TROSTER, Chairman of the Leonard A. Funk 82 Airborne Chapter wrote that she was a long time member and supporter of several Airborne chapters, GORDON SUMMERS wrote of Mrs. FUNK. She was a first class lady and true champion of the Airborne Community. She will be sorely missed by all of us."
First Sergeant LEONARD FUNK was the most decorated soldier of World War Two 82nd Airborne Division. GERTRUDE helped take care of LEONARD'S mother in her declining years and nursed LEONARD in his final illness. C Company and the whole 508th loved her like a mother. (E-mail from GEORGE STOECKERT: forwarded e-mail from JAN BOS and ELLEN PETERS.)
Telephone Message from ANGELINA SPEARS FULLER: ANGIE called on September 2 to remind me that her brother LOUIS SPERA, along with two other men were killed on September 2,1944. It was at Fulbeck Airport that her brother LOUIS, Sergeant ROBERT W. SHEARER and Private WILLIAM R. MITCHELL, all of Company I, were killed in a tragic accident. The men killed were unloading parapacks filled with antitank mines when an explosion occurred that blew up the truck they were unloading and disabled three C-47 airplanes.
The telegram to the SPERA family explained that LOUIS was killed by "friendly land mines." They could not understand how mines that killed their loved one could be called "friendly." Much later they learned that the mines were called "friendly" because the mines were ours, and not the enemy's.
ANGELO SPERA, LOUIS SPERA's brother, was discharged being sent to Korea because the family had already lost two sons in World War Two - one in the Air Force and LOUIS in the 508th.
History of Camp Mackall: copy of letter to ANGELINA FULLER from LOWELL W. STEVENS. Sr: Mr. STEVENS wrote to Mrs. FULLER to thank her for a copy of a letter her brother LOUIS SPERA had written to her parents on Camp Mackall stationery about a parachute jump from a glider, in which LOUIS participated. At that time LOUIS was in the 551st PIR. He had volunteered to jump in an experimental parachute jump to test the feasibility of using gliders to transport paratroopers.
If you have information or pictures of Camp Mackall, send to LOWELL W. Hill Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303-2551: Day Phone (910) 396-4925, Night phone (910) 8644252. E-mail: lowell.w.stevens@us.army.mil.
   Corporal HUGH "ROSEY ATKINS: Recently I have learned a great deal more about my friend ROSEY ATKINS, who was killed in Holland, through his brother GERALD T. ATKINS and from JEAN-LOUIS VIJGEN of Holland.
HUGH "ROSEY" ATKINS was born in 1923 and finished high school in 1941. He was very popular in and out of school, In the Army he was called "ROSEY" because of his rosey cheeks, but at home he was called "FOO". He was handsome, fun loving, daring and really enjoyed life. He was above average as a student and in basketball and in football. He was active in all school activities, such as chorus and class presentations. He was an active member of St Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Dury Borough, Pennsylvania.
JEAN-LOUIS VIJGEN has adopted ROSEY's grave at the American War Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands. VIJGEN was able to contact ROSEY's brother GERALD in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He sent me GERALD'S address and now I have heard directly from GERALD himself. Also I have a map of a portion of Holland with a spot at the place where ROSEY was killed while on patrol October 2, 1944. The spot is east of Kamp Community and east of the highway between Wyler, Germany and Groesbeek, Holland.
JEAN VIJGEN prepared a web site on HUGH J. AKINS http:www.soldiersoffreedom.nl/Hugh.us.htm He sent me a printed copy of the 2 pages on AKINS. (I was not able to call the website on my computer. Some of you may be able to. I will forward my copy to DICK O’DONNELL, the 508th Webmaster.) [Note: O’Donnell has successfully brought up the website using the URL listed above.]
From ROSEY's brother GERALD I learned that ROSEY had 8 sisters and 2 brothers. His older brother FRANCIS was a pilot who was killed when his plane was shot down over Poland. The mission was to drop supplies to Polish fighters resisting the German army in the Battle of Warsaw. GERALD, the youngest of three ATKINS brothers, was drafted during the Korean War. He then volunteered for the Airborne, and trained in the 101st Airborne Division. After reaching Korea he was sent home because the family had lost their other two sons in WWII.
GERALD ATKINS was another hardship discharge like ANGELO SPERA and like Private RYAN in the movie "Saving Private RYAN." GERALD AKINS' oldest grandson is carrying on the family Air-borne tradition and is currently serving his second tour of duty in lraq with the 82nd Airborne Division.
   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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