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From The


JULY 2007

Letter from ROCK MERRITT

   To: All 508th World War II Association Members:

   I will be holding a 508th reunion here in Fayetteville and Fort Bragg one month after the active duty 508th returns from Afghanistan. It should be sometime after June 2008. Now I know that we retired our beloved 508th Association at Camp Blanding, Florida October 20, 2004, but this will be a good time to meet some of the active troopers of the 508th. I can assure you that this reunion will be supported by all the officers and men of the active 508th. I will keep you informed from time to time. The exact date will depend on the return of the 508th from Afghanistan. Keep these dates in mind and let us all get together for one big 508th reunion before it is too late.
     ROCK MERRITT, President 508th Parachute Infantry Association

   Good News about TOM BENO: TOM's wife MONICA wrote that TOM has been accepted to enter the Manteno Home for veterans on May 29, The VA center is located in the town of Manteno Illinois, not far from Chicago. A few quotes from MONICA BENO's letter. TOM and I toured Manteno about 15 years ago (my brother used to deliver fruit to the VA every Friday - so that was now we came to know about it) and TOM said that if he had to be in a VA facility, to place him there."
We are originally from the Chicago area, so now we can have many more visitors. I will stay with my daughter who is about 30 miles away." "TOM is suffering from PTDS (Post Traumatic Distress Syndrome) he is on the waiting list to see a psychologist -but they are too busy. He now cries about his buddies in the war. Hopefully they can help TOM in Manteno. It is so hard to see TOM helpless in this state. TOM was so strong."
   TOM's condition was brought on by a stroke which has left TOM paralyzed on one side. MONICA expressed thanks for those who have remembered TOM in their prayers and those who have tried to help the family in their struggle with the Veterans Administration.
 News about LAURA PALMER, widow of LARRY PALMER, HQ 1st: TROY PALMER, son of LARRY and LAURA PALMER wrote: "Mom is doing very well. We moved her back home Monday (May 14). Her mind is clear and sharp as ever. We have a little way to go to build up her strength but overall she is doing well." (Mrs PALMER had a massive heart attack about a month earlier.)
News about Mrs MABEL GOUDY: Mrs MABEL GOUDY, widow of BILL GOUDY, HQ 1st can hardly walk without severe pain due to swollen feet caused by congestive heart failure. Her daughters are assisting with medical and housekeeping needs. With treatment from her cardiologist, the family hopes that MABEL will be back on her feet soon. (From LOIS ANDREWS, MABLE's daughter, relayed by DICK O'DONNELL.)
July 1944: The month of July 1944 started with preparation for the attacks on Hills 131 and 95. Those first few days of July, and especially July 4, proved both the value and the vulnerability of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. By July 5 they had taken both Hill 131 and Hill 95, but at tremendous cost in killed and wounded. By July 15 the regiment was back in Nottingham. It was a bittersweet celebration as Nottingham girls looked for their sweethearts. Some rejoiced and some mourned. "Of the 2056 who had dropped on D-Day, 1161 had become casualties, 307 of them buried on French soil." (Quote from WILLIAM LORD'S book HISTORY OF THE 508th PARACHUTE INFANTRY.)
July, 1945: By July 1945, the 508th was in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany as Honor Guard for General EISENHOWER's Supreme Headquarters of the allied Expeditionary Force. Many of our combat Veterans were being separated from the Army on the point system and many replacements were needed. Some Airborne troops were being sent to the Pacific where the war with Japan was still in progress. Athletes among those troops being sent to Japan were recruited by the 508th with promises to play on the 508th Red Devil athletic teams, DOUGLAS B. LOVEDAY, a football player, had been in the 513th Regiment of the 17th Airborne Division. Loveday was one of those athletes who joined us in Frankfurt. LOVEDAY wrote, "Almost the whole team from the 17th came over at the same time.
   The Red Devil's football team won the local championship in the area of Frankfurt and traveled to Southern France to play for the European championship but lost that game. After their defeat, some Red Devils went to a local bar to lick their wounds. Soon a fight broke out involving Red Devil team members, who were promptly arrested by MPs. BIG JIM KURZ was quoted as telling the MPs, "IKE won't like this," and the players were released from custody (DOUG LOVEDAY and FRANK SAKOWSKI furnished this information.)

Send news for column to
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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