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

Back Up Next


From The

JULY 2005

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


After ten years of planning and possibilities, Maggie and I have moved about 300 miles south of our previous home in Wichita Falls to the city of Kerrville, Texas (in the Texas Hill Country).

This means, among other things, I have not had the usual amount of time recently to devote to things 508-related. Still, the 508 is still making the news -- I recently heard from one of the 508’s dearest friends, Tony Rogers in the U.K., who attended the reunion in Tampa in 2001, that the BBC aired a seven or eight minute long story about the 508 and my uncle, Capt. William Nation. The reporter for this piece, Mr. James Roberson, used various shots from 8mm movies Uncle Bill took while in Nottingham and Derby in 1944. Though I haven’t gotten the opportunity to view the story, it is supposed to be posted on the Internet and viewable via streaming video at some point shortly after I submit this column. By the time this column is published, one should be able to find a link to the streaming video at the 508’s official website: 508pir.org.

This news from Tony arrived the very day we were packing and loading a moving van, and it has taken a few days for this news to sink in. I receive great joy knowing anytime my uncle’s story (and movies) are used by the news media, the 508 is also mentioned prominently. As some of you may have been aware, NBC’s Today Show showed about an eight-minute-long story about Capt. Nation which aired in June 2004 during the network’s coverage of the 60th anniversary of D-Day. The narrator specifically mentioned the 508 PIR in that story as well, which is about time considering the amount of attention other paratrooper outfits (not naming names, mind you) seem to garner. Tony Rogers is to be congratulated and thanked for his persistence in getting the 508 a portion of the recognition it is due. He has been hard at this task for years and has been tireless in his endeavors. Those with email can reach Tony attony1suffolk@btopenworld.com, and he may be reached by “real” mail at:

17 Ebberns Road
Hemel Hempstead
Herts, U.K. HP3 9QR

Drop Tony a line -- I know he’d love to hear from any 508ers.

From Heaven to Hell: Men like no others” by Benoiˆt Lelandais

One of my dearest friends, Pascal Milet, of Normandy, recently gave me a copy of a newly published book about HQ1 Company’s experiences during the Normandy operations, entitled “From Heaven to Hell: Men like no others.” Pascal is a cousin of the author, Benoiˆt Lelandais. This book is a large paperback with many historical photographs, both in black and white and color and is 108 pages in length.

Mr. Lelandais includes accounts by many HQ1 soldiers in his book, including O. B. Hill (founder of the 508 PIR Association), Rock Merritt (most recent president of the 508 PIR Association), James Wynne, Gene Hull, Warren Brown, George Stoeckert, Walt Silver, John Marshall, Royal Dononvan, Hank LeFebvre, Bill Goudy, James McMahon, James Lutton, Joe Esposito, Joe Bressler, Michael Wargo, Frank Staples, Robert Blickensderfer, Grady Murray, George Richotte, Ray Hummel, and James Roberts.

This is a professionally published book and is a “must have” for anyone interested in the history of the 508 during the Normandy campaign. I highly recommend it. To obtain a copy of Mr. Lelandais’ book, contact the publisher:

OREP Editions
15, rue de Largerie
14480 Cully

Via the internet, OREP can be reached at: www.orep-pub.com or via email at: info@orep-pub.com.

Taps for James Arva, Service Company

Heimer Swanson, company rep for Service Company, reports James Arva died in February of this year.

Bill Nation

Click To Email:

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