What's New
Search Engine
Photo Gallery
Unit History
Unit Honors
Voices Of Past
How To Submit

Back Up Next

From The



   TAPS: VAN RICHARD WALKER Sr of HQ 1st died May 28, 2006 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He served 23 years in the military. He retired with the rank of master Sergeant In World War II, VAN served in the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment. During the Korean War he served in the Air Force. The WALKER family moved from Texas to Florida in recent years, where VAN was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Baptist Church. He was buried in the Biloxi National Cemetery, Biloxi, Mississippi, with full military honors. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, ALLEAN WALKER, three sons and five grandchildren. Condolences may be sent to Mrs ALLEN WALKER, 30 Holly Ave, # 104, Shalimar, FL 32579. Phone: (850)862-9379. Reported by JOE BRESSLER.
TAPS: STEVE SCHMELICK, age 90 died November 5, 2005. STEVE was a Communication specialist in Regimental headquarters Company of the 508th. His daughter Mrs. FRANK (DORIS) SNYDER reported that STEVE passed away in his sleep at his residence at park Health Center, Clairsville, Ohio.
STEVE was born in Wheeling, West Virginia. After serving in world War II, STEVE worked as an electrician in Wheeling Pittsburg Steel Corporation.
Memorials may be sent to Valley Hospice, 132 Peters Run Road, Wheeling, WV 26003. Condolences can be sent to the family at www.kepnerfuneral.com. (FRANK and HELEN SAKOWSKI sent this sad news).
killed Jan. 30,1945 in the Ardennes, by GLENN WARD'S daughter, Mrs JUDITH DURKEE, 215 Court Park, Rhinelander, Wl 54501, e-mail iudith.durkee@alz.org.

INFORMATION WANTED about PFC JOHN A. DAUM, Company B, 508th Killed June 8,1944 in Normandy. Send information to TOM STRUMPNER, a nephew of JOHN DAUM, e-mail: itstumpner(5)highstream.com.
From 508th 4th Brigade troops preparing for assignment in Afghanistan: A newspaper clipping sent from JIM SMITH tells of the expected mission in Afghanistan of the 508th beginning early in 2007. The troops are quoted as saying they are prepared both to fight the Taliban, whose strength is growing, and to give humanitarian assistance to the native population.
BOOK REVIEW: Jump into the Valley of the Shadow by DWAYNE T. BURNS and LELAND BURNS.  DWAYNE BURNS, F company, 508th, enlisted his son LELAND, who had professional writing experience, in writing DWAYNE's World War Two memories. Sadly DWAYNE passed away just hours before the full account went to press. The BURNS team produced a book that keeps the reader's interested from cover to cover.
Jump into the Valley of the Shadow tells the stories of courageous paratroopers in deadly combat, who persevered with inadequate sleep, often hungry, in all kinds of weather and against unbelievable odds. Although many of DWAYNE's friends were killed and many more were wounded, DWAYNE survived through it all, missing only a few days at the end of the Battle of the Bulge, when he was evacuated and treated for frozen feet.
The book's title comes from the 23rd Psalm in the Holy Bible with one slight alteration. DWAYNE and his fiancée MINERVA had postponed their marriage until after the war. To reassure DWAYNE that the would come home safely, MINERVA wrote the 23rd Psalm on a card, which DWAYNE carried inside his helmet. DWAYNE crossed out "walk through" and inserted "jump into," so that verse 4 reads "Yea though I jump into the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." The Psalm constantly reminded DWAYNE of a double comfort: god's protective love and MINERVA's love and commitment to him.
As you read Jump into the Valley of the Shadow, a prominent theme, the Brotherhood of the paratroopers, is apparent and runs through the whole book: You will notice their concern for each other and their grief over their fallen comrades. JOE ENSMINGER, one of DWAYNE's close friend always said prayers over the field graves of their buddies killed in combat. Tragically, ENSMINGER himself was killed near the end of their time in combat.
Another theme of the book is the importance of Leadership. Among the leaders mentioned by DWAYNE BURNS that made a difference for their survival and success in combat are: Captain FLANDERS, L POLETTE, Lt GOODALE, and a combat-experienced sergeant from the 505th, who led them in the early days of Normandy.
Jump into the Valley of the Shadow is a must read for the Airborne Community. To get your copy, contact LELAND BURNS e-mail jumper@newwordlranch.com. or by US postal service LELAND BURNS 336 Preston Lane, Keller, TX 76248.
ZIG BOROUGHS, Interim 508th STATIC LINE Columnist
P.O. Box 1131
Pickens. SC 29671
PH: (864) 878-9523
e-mail: ralph.boroughs@att.net

Top of Page

Copyright and all other rights reserved by the Family and Friends of The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association or by those who are otherwise cited,
For problems or questions regarding this web site, please contact