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From The

APRIL 2004

Dear 508 Veterans,
            Family Members,
                         or Friends of the 508th

Ralph “Zig” Boroughs, 508 Man of the Year

   It is my pleasure to announce (again) Ralph Boroughs (HQ HQ Co.) has been chosen as the 508 PIR Association’s Man-of-the-Year. Instead of receiving his award at the Airborne Awards in Atlanta this spring,

   Ralph will be presented with his award at the 508 Reunion at Gainesville, Florida, this October. Ralph has done more to preserve the history of the 508 PIR than any person I know. He is the author of two books about the 508, ”The Devil’s Tale” and “A Private’s Eye View,” and currently Ralph is anticipating the publication of his latest book, “508 Connections.”

HQ1 “Mini” Reunion in San Antonio

   The HQ1st folks, led and hosted by Van and Allean Walker, enjoyed a wonderful reunion in San Antonio, Texas, March 12-15 of this year. This was the second HQ1 “Mini” hosted by the Walkers, and it was splendidly done.

   Guests enjoyed a variety of experiences--strolling on San Antonio’s famous River Walk, touring the Alamo, visiting with one another, laughing, and in general, having a grand time.  As the case has been for the recent 508 Reunions, there were a lot of younger generation 508ers in attendance, including Lois and Bill Andrews (Bill and Mabel Goudy’s daughter and son-in-law), Cheyenne Cuddeback (Marion Cuddeback’s granddaughter, who is graduating with a degree in history this spring and getting married in June), Bud and Amy Windham (Amy is Allean Walker’s niece and husband, Bud, is a history buff), Mary Nunnery and Janice Wargo (Mike Wargo’s daughters), Maureen Stoeckert (daughter of George and Shirley Stoeckert), and Peter McCormick (Warren Brown’s nephew). These are the sort of folks who will ensure the 508 PIR is remembered.

Colonel Robert Abraham (1914-2004)

   Robert (Bob) Abraham, Commanding Officer of HQHQ Company during World War II, died on March 10, 2004 at his home in Bethany, Oklahoma after a lengthy illness. Bob is survived by his daughter, Deborah (Abraham) Apperson and her husband, Rob. 

   Bob, in addition to being with the 508 PIR from its inception in October 1942 through the Battle of the Bulge, where he was wounded in  action, served a one-year tour with the Army in Vietnam beginning in
1953, as the Senior U.S. Advisor to the South Vietnamese Airborne Brigade.

   During the late ‘60s, Bob received a gubernatorial appointment to the position of Deputy Adjutant General of the Oklahoma National Guard.  He later worked in the civilian world as a banker with the First
National Bank of Bethany.

   As I stated in last month’s column, Bob was a dear friend, who opened the door to my experiences with the 508 PIR Association. He was a constant source of encouragement for his friends, family, and members of HQHQ Company.

   Bob and his wife, Alice, will be buried late this spring in a joint service at Arlington National Cemetery.

Irish Author Seeks Pictures from Portstewart

   John McCann, an author from Northern Ireland, is currently searching for information about the 508’s experiences in Portstewart (to be included in his upcoming book about the 82nd Airborne’s stay in
Ireland). John would welcome recollections and especially copies of photographs taken of the 508 during its time in Portstewart. If you would like to help John in his efforts, contact him at:

John McCann
5 Mountview Gardens
Moneymore Co.
Northern Ireland
Phone: 011-44-28-867-47029 (if dialed from the U.S.)

508 PIR Association 30th Annual Reunion

   The year 2004 is rapidly passing, and it is time to register for the 508 PIR Association’s 30th annual (and final) Reunion, which is to be held Sunday, October 17th through Thursday, October 21st, 2004 in
Gainesville, Florida.

The reunion will be held at the Paramount Hotel, 2900 SW 13th St., Gainesville, Florida 32608.

The retirement ceremony will be held on Tuesday, October 19th at Camp Blanding, and it will be hosted by the staff of Camp Blanding. 

For more information about the 30th Annual Reunion and Retirement Ceremony, Contact Ernie Lamson, 508 PIR Association Treasurer, at (651) 699-7366.

Just a Texan who types,

Bill C. Nation
Email: bnation@sw.rr.com (new address)

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