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From The


APRIL 2008

   ROCK MERRITT has announced that he and  JIM SMITH will sponsor the 508th World War II reunion from 14-18 October 2008 celebrating the 66th anniversary of the 508th activation. The reunion will be held in the Fort Bragg and Fayetteville area at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux Motel. All former 508th Association members are welcomed plus members of the Family and Friends Of The 508th PIR Association. Final details will be published three to four months prior to the reunion.
Let us make this a special day in the history of the 508th. Our active duty 508 will have returned from 15 months of duty in Afghanistan and we will have a chance to mingle and talk with these fine troopers on our day with the 508th at Bragg. So mark your calendar for the 14-18th October 2008.“
LOST AND FOUND – An interesting e-mail landed on our desk recently. LOWELL STEVENS, a civilian worker at Fort Bragg, wrote, “Sir, recently a worker on Fort Bragg found an old Series E Bond under a file cabinet when it was moved.
The 25-dollar Bond had the following information printed on its front: PLEAS R. BYRD, 508th INF 1-31-1966, RA-11308627, 589-761-1875.
Perhaps through your website you could contact this individual or someone who may know of his whereabouts and pass along this information to him.
We all realize that 25-dollars might not be very much today but it was a pretty good sum of money in 1966. Thank you for your time and consideration.”
Anyone with information regarding PLEAS BYRD can contact MR. STEVENS via e-mail at lowell.w.stevenssr@us.army.mil
TAPS: WILFORD A. STILL took his Final Jump on January 12, 2008. WILFORD was from Chambersburg, PA and had been a member of Regimental HQ Company.
   We have just learned that A Company’s one-time 1st Sgt. ROY BENNETT, has left us as well. Roy’s photo appears many times on the 508th web site. In July 1976, Sgt BENNETT made his Final Jump in Dayton, OH.

Also arriving is the late news of the death of WILLIS CARL JACKSON. In 1978 Mr. Jackson successfully sailed solo from the U.S. to Scotland in his boat the “Carla Mia”. JACKSON received a heroic homecoming and later recounted his experiences during the solo crossing in "The Log of the Carla Mia."
Three years later, in May 1981, the month of his 58th birthday, he set sail for a return voyage but was lost at sea. Specific date and circumstance of his demise are unknown. Wreckage of his boat was later found off the coast of Spain.
WEB SITE UPDATES – Thanks to the tireless efforts of a number of true friends of the 508th, all 508th WW-II graves and entries on the tablets of the missing in Normandy, Margraten, Henri Chapelle, Ardennes and Cambridge cemeteries have now been documented on our web site. Only nine graves in France, within the Epinal and Lorraine cemeteries, remain to be photographed and complete the record for all European burial sites.
 U.S. grave sites are slowly being documented as they are located. This task is much more difficult as some burials are known only to be within a given state. Volunteer photographers for those burials that have a known city and cemetery are being sought and 14 such requests are now outstanding.
LACE UP YOUR BOOTS – Fred Hoek of the Netherlands wrote recently that the Annual March in The Footsteps Of The 82nd Airborne Division was to be held on Feb. 23rd. The start was at the Noirfontain farm in Lierneux, Belgium where the intrepid hikers were served lunch in 2007.
This year’s sojourn focused on the trails of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion.
LAST GLIDER TO FRANCE – Plans are being laid to refurbish and tow a CG-4A WACO glider to Normandy in June 2009. The flight via tow craft and the silent landing on a Norman LZ is to be a living tribute to the men of the Normandy Invasion Glider Forces. This may be the very last opportunity to pay a fitting tribute to the allied glider pilots and the men who flew with them.


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

Melbourne, FL 32904
PH: (321) 759-6174
e-mail: Jumpmaster@508PIR.org

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