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      WHITE CHRISTMAS: During a lull in Holland, the Communication Section of the 508th Regimental Headquarters Company had limited duties. Communication Specialists STEVE SCHMELICK wired our foxholes with radio connections and earphones to Axis SALLY, who played "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." Then she invited us to come over to the German side, predicting that it might get us home for Christmas.
hristmas Day 1944 in the Belgian Ardennes, was not a holiday celebration for the 508th, but the new fallen snow covering the evergreen forest made many paratroopers exclaim, "If you dreamed of a white Christmas, we have it today!"
     JOE BRESSLER of Headquarter 1st remembered that "White Christmas." JOE said that MEL BEETS and OSCAR PRASSE, in a Christmas mood, appropriated some Belgian booze to enliven their spirits. In a little while the men on their mortar crew were singing "Jingle Bells: and "Silent Night."
t GEORGE STOECKERT, platoon commander, came to inspect their position. The Lieutenant ordered them to put aside their merriment and get combat-ready. In listening to STOECKERT, BRESSLER and BEETS at 508th reunions, I think I have heard STOECKERT say that he wondered how he survived the war with guys like BRESSLER, PRASSE and BEETS in his platoon. And I think I have heard BRESSLER respond that STOECKERT survived because of three afore mentioned saved his a--. I know I have observed STOECKERT, BEETS and BRESSLER laughing while exchanging friendly insults and I have a picture of the three with arms around each other. Hey - we 508ers are family!
     Reunion, October 16-19, of 508th HQ 1st & Family and Friends of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) Association: TROY PALMER, son of LARRY and LAURA PALMER, hosted the reunion. TROY learned from his parents who had hosted several HQ 1st mini- reunions. All appreciated the well-planned program. TROY never seemed frustrated and always had a happy smile and merry laugh. Forty-one people attended the reunion: Eleven were WWII Veterans. Thirty were family and friends.
ELCOME MEMORIAL BREAKFAST: ROCK MERRITT led the Memortal Ceremony. To light the candles, ROCK called on PAMELA MURRAY, daughter of Lt ROY W. MURRAY, who was killed 7 June 1944 on a volunteer mission to carry blood plasma to Colonel SHANLEY's group on Hill 30. ROCK was with the same group as Lt MURRAY and gave a stirring account of the events around Lt. MURRAY's death. PAMELA MURRAY lighting the candles was a living object lesson reminding us that the candles represented real people killed and their deaths were a tremendous loss to their loved-ones.
     LELAND BURNS, guest speaker for the Memorial Breakfast, gave a heart-rending account of the last days of his father DWAYNE BURNS. LELAND reminded us that months earlier he and his dad had planned to be present at the reunion to introduce the book JUMP INTO THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW that he and his dad co-authored. Unfortunately, DWAYNE died August 8, two months be-fore the reunion. One of DWAYNE's final acts was to nod approval from his hospital bed for the book cover.
SSOCIATION BUSINESS MEETING: Association President and Webmaster RICHARD O'DONNELL chaired the meeting. O'DONNELL presented the Articles of Organization and By-Laws. He explained that free legal work was arranged by JOAN SHANLEY, daughter of Veteran IRVIN SHANLEY, for these documents to be written and filed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, when approved by the Association. Both the Organization document and the By-Laws were approved.
     The new Association is named "Family and Friends of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) Association, Inc." The Articles of Organization lists the following Officers and Directors: RICHARD J. O'DONNELL as both President and Treasurer, JOAN F. SHANLEY as Clerk: Directors are RICHARD J. O'DONNELL, TROY L. PALMER and JAN SILVER. O'DONNELL plead for help: Besides being President, Treasurer and Director, he is our Webmaster and Editor of the Newsletter. In response, ELLEN PETERS, a Certified Public Accountant, volunteered and was approved by the Association as Treasurer. LELAND BURNS volunteered and was approved as Editor of the Newsletter.
ommand Sergeant Major (CSM) ROGER HOWARD, CSM of the current 508th outlined the organizational structure of the 4th Brigade and the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment atthe Reunion Banquet He explained that the Brigade is presently being reorganized and equipped into a modern combatteam. HOWARD described the paratroopers as passionate, ready to fight and win. They are scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in Mid January- early February 2007.
JlM SMITH: JIM sent a clipping about two 508th Medics whose alert actions saved a shooting victim at a Fayetteville mall. JIM reported on his own health: He had a Carotid Artery operation and a pacemaker inserted for his heart. He is much better now. JIM SMITH also wrote that JIM ALLARDYCE has been placed in a nursing home after 9 weeks of hospitalization.

ZIG BOROUGHS, Interim 508th STATIC LINE Columnist
P.O. Box 1131
Pickens. SC 29671
PH: (864) 878-9523
e-mail: ralph.boroughs@att.net


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