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From The


JULY 2008

   HARRY ROLL (H Company), received the 508th Man Of The Year Award at the recent annual Airborne Awards Week in Atlanta, GA.
The festivities were well attended by members of the Family and Friends of the 508th PIR Association who cheered for HARRY as he received his well deserved award. HARRY’S wife RUBY, a WW-II WAC, was perhaps the most vocal of all!

   DEVILS MEETING – KEN HAMILL, Secretary of the 508th Airborne Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association was also present at the Awards Week. It was the first occasion for a representative of that association to confer with the Family and Friends of the 508th. Each group looks forward to collaborating with the other in future endeavors.
   CHATS – JEAN LOUIS VIGEN, adopter of the grave of PVT HAROLD GAYLE in the Henri Chapelle cemetery, Belgium recently wrote requesting contact information for RAYMOND KENNEDY, of Louisiana. KENNEDY is GAYLE’S brother-in-law. We telephoned RAYMOND and learned that he was in the 1st Battalion while GAYLE was in the 3rd. Despite that they were able to keep in contact. KENNEDY spoke with GAYLE on New Year’s Eve, 1944 and promised to see him again the following day. When he went to GAYLE’s position on the next day, he learned that Gayle had been killed. As you might expect, RAYMOND said that the news came as a great shock.
   TAPS: ELAINE STUDELSKA, wife of Norbert (Company D, WW-II) left us on April 11, 2008. Elaine, 79, was a well-known figure at the 508 PIR Association’s past reunions. Condolences may be sent to Norb Studelska, 1021 12th Avenue, Grafton, WI, 53024.
   WILLIAM JASPER "POPS" BOGGS, 85, passed away Sunday, January 28, 2007 in Thomasville, NC. BOGGS also served in the 101st and Special Forces.
   Funeral services and burial were in the Clarksburg [NC] United Methodist Church Cemetery.
  NANCY (BYRD) YARRELL, 82, died April 21, 2008. Nancy had been engaged to 508er Pfc Thomas Lott who was KIA on 7 June 1944. She was made an Associate Member by O.B. Hill and became a legacy member of the Family and Friends of the 508th as well. She remained in touch with both associations throughout her life.
   HAROLD E. BRODD, Blackstone, MA, departed on April 14, 2008. Harold was a member of I Company throughout the war and amongst other decorations earned two Purple Hearts.
   EARL J. DOUCET, 82, died February 23, 2008 at his home in Harahan, LA. He served in Normandy, Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. In civilian life he was owner/partner of Doucet Bros. Construction and Realty Company.
   SEARCHING FOR - ALICIA CHERRY is seeking information on her father, PFC CLIFTON E. SMITH of Lafayette, TN. She recalls that SMITH fell on his face on his first jump and broke his nose. Apparently a replacement trooper, SMITH arrived in the ETO on 23 September 1944. He fought in the Ardennes and was wounded on 29 January 1945. SMITH was discharged eight months later from a convalescent hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida. CLIFTON made his Final Jump on 15 April 1988. Contact ALICIA at utvolcheche@comcast.net
   BRIAN PESCE is looking for details regarding his great-uncle PFC FRANK J. PESCE, HQ 1st. BRIAN is particularly interested in hearing about his uncle’s actions that earned him the Bronze Star Medal as well as what happened on 7 Jul 44 for him to be awarded the Purple Heart. He would love to hear any stories that veterans may have about PESCE. Brian can be contacted at docswatcop@yahoo.com
   OTHER NEWS OF NOTE – GRAHAM LAWSON, stalwart friend of the 508th recently wrote, “Thanks for the latest edition Of Diablo. LINDA and I are just going out into Nottingham City Center to see a few friends and have a few drinks. We will go to the “TRIP TO JERUSALEM” (pub) as we always do. I always raise my glass to the 508ers who never made it back.”
   PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN – a 508th friend, known only as “DAVE”, recently volunteered to provide a photo of Chaplin (Capt) Ignatius Maternowski’s grave marker. He sent the requested photo and also wrote “…It was my pleasure and at the same time I went on the 508 site. Made me very proud to be an American, thank you for all you do. Dave”
   The photo of MATERNOWSKI’S unusual grave marker, inscribed in Polish, can be seen on the website in the Roll of Honor section.


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

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

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