| 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
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
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:
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
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.
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Column to Interim 508th STATIC LINE editor
P.O. Box 1131
Pickens. SC 29671
PH: (864) 878-9523