ABRAHAM ENTERED INTO
OKLAHOMA MILITARY HALL OF FAME
name of Col. [Ret.] ROBERT ABRAHAM recently joined the ranks of a number
of military figures, including GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS, in the Oklahoma
Military Hall of Fame.
[1914-2004] was company commander of the 508th regimental headquarters
company during World War II. He made his first combat jump into
Normandy, France on D-Day followed by the leap into Holland in September
of that same year. BOB was also part of the operations during the Battle
of The Bulge in 1944-45. His decorations include the Legion of Merit,
two Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart.
NOTE – as of November 2008, the Family and Friends of the 508th PIR
Association has 437 Members, with veterans of all eras and including 163
WW-II veterans. Quite a feat for a less than two-year-old group!
SERVICE ARROWHEAD (BSA) – General Order #60, dated 25 May 1945 awarded
hundreds of 508ers this special device. Worn on the Europe-Africa-Middle
East Campaign (EAME) ribbon, the small bronze arrowhead denoting their
participation in the invasion of Normandy was a highly prized and
list, so far, is lengthier than the Purple Heart roster as numerous
order sets are missing. In fact, General Orders 1 through 49, all dated
in 1945, are MIA from the National Archives. If anyone has even a
partial copy of any of these orders, please contact the “Jumpmaster”.
(See bottom of column for contact details.)
side benefit of entering these names for the BSA is the fact that many
of these individuals were previously unknown to us. Researching the
names has also enabled us to determine that some of these men have taken
their “Final Jump”. Those details have been entered on the web site.
– a recent notice of the passing of 508th veteran JOHN L. SIMMONS was
received from his namesake son. Mixed with the obvious sadness was a
touch of humor as JOHN, JR. wrote the following about his father who
passed away on June 25, 2008.
father was proud of his service to our country. Often he would sit with
his children and grandchildren providing us with his memories of the
war. His presentation was humble; he would always tell us of the
sacrifices made by his brother soldiers, some of whom never came home.
of my favorite stories was about his landing in Normandy. He landed near
a hedgerow and cleared his parachute. He said that as he began moving
forward he heard a ‘clopping’ noise which he associated with German
the sound got louder he moved into a position behind the hedgerow and
prepared ‘to take out as many of the enemy as possible.’ When he stood
up to fire he found an ‘old gray mare’ instead of a column of soldiers.
He said he could have kissed that old horse.
couple of days later Dad took a piece of shrapnel through his jaw. He
was sent back to England to recuperate and was awarded a Purple Heart.
While recuperating, he met my mother. She was the love of his life. They
were married in England after the war and celebrated their 62nd wedding
anniversary on December 24, 2007.
will be missed, but we will never forget the part he and his fellow WWII
soldiers played in the name of freedom. Our thoughts and prayers are
with all those who are now or who have ever served in the military.”
– LUKE JETER recently sent photos of his great-uncle PFC Ronald A.
McNeil who was killed December 27, 1944 and is buried at Henri-Chapelle.
Luke is trying to “dig up as much information as possible about Ronald
and the 508th”. If you can help, contact LUKE at Luke.A.Jeter@USA.DuPont.com
CLUB CRASHES - Emile Lacroix has announced that he is no longer
associated in any way with the C-47 Club. Due to unfortunate
circumstances all ties have been severed. There is a new Belgian chapter
that has no involvement with Emile and any materials received from that
Chapter are not from Mr. Lacroix.
“In the Footsteps of the 82nd March” will not be affected in any way as
it is run by Emile’s All American Jeep Group. Of course, all members of
the C-47 Club are welcome to attend Emile’s march as they have always
been welcome to do so.