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From The


MARCH 2009

     HENRY LEFEBVRE, reports his wife MARY ALICE, “is very much still with us. As has been said by my more famous people, the reports of his death are greatly exaggerated.” The family has been besieged with expressions of condolence which are, thankfully, not required. MARY ALICE contacted us by both phone and mail to request that we let everyone know that although “HANK” spent the better part of December through February in a rehabilitation facility he “can still make his ideas known.” That is great news and we all wish this iconic 508th member well.
GOURBESVILLE MEMORIAL UNVEILING – Two men of I Company will be memorialized on June 4th in Gourbesville, France. The village lies about 5 miles NNW of Ste. Mere Eglise. JAMES R. HATTRICK and R. B. LEWELLEN were best friends and jumped one behind the other on D-Day. They were members of the stick led by Col. Mendez. HATTRICK apparently landed near the village square and was soon in a firefight with Germans. He did not survive. Meanwhile, LEWELLEN dropped into a small field less than 100 meters distant. He too soon encountered the enemy, exchanged fire and was severely wounded in one hand. While attempting to evade the troops he was hit in the thigh and captured. Brought to an enemy aid station in the town, his mangled hand was amputated by a German doctor. R. B. spent the rest of the war as a POW and now lives in Texas. It was many years before he learned of his best friend’s fate.
RANDY LEWELLEN will represent his father at the unveiling ceremony. RICHARD O’DONNELL, who contributed to researching JAMES HATTRICK and located HATTRICK’s final resting place, will represent the Family and Friends of the 508th PIR Association.
TAPS – COLONEL PAUL W, HAMBLIN was interred with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on February 11, 2009. His casket was brought to the grave site by a horse drawn caisson followed by a rider-less horse complete with saddle, saber, and reversed boots, accompanied by a marching band and a platoon of soldiers. A group of mourners comprised of Paul's former military associates, friends and neighbors witnessed ceremonies that included a 21 gun salute, and an outstanding bugler.
     MARGARET SCHALASKY (widow of GEORGE, B Co.) died November 3, 2008 according to a note received from, her daughter, MARY ANNE DAVIS.
RESEARCHING - LTC Elizabeth Coble, military historian and friend of the 508th holds two masters degrees. Specializing in US Military History, she wrote her thesis on LTG James Gavin. Liz is currently a student at the U.S. Army War College where she is now preparing her Strategy Research Paper (thesis equivalent) on Operation MARKET GARDEN, specifically the 82d's AO. She was also approved to do an Elective on 82d Veterans' Oral History of MARKET GARDEN.
  “It is my goal in these two projects,” she writes, “to help capture more of the 82d's history, especially from veterans who have not yet told their stories. I am seeking men who participated in MARKET GARDEN and would be willing to talk with me about it. I am also interested in any unpublished accounts of MARKET GARDEN that I could use. This could include audio or video tapes, handwritten notes or letters, or typed documents.”
Phone LTC Coble at 703-344-4016 or send e-mail to elizabeth.coble@us.army.mil (alternate email abnatw@gmail.com)
SEARCHING – RON ALLEGA, is trying to piece together facts regarding the WW-II service of his grandfather, MELIO ALLEGA. He has few known details and would welcome input from anyone who knew MELIO who was a member of C Company and now resides in Beaver County, PA.
TV DOCUMENTARY BEING MADE AT WOLLATON PARK - the Archaeology Department, Nottingham University has been provided with all of the information GRAHAM LAWSON has on the 508th including, letters, stories, photographs etc. LAWSON has met with JULIAN RICHARDS, an archeologist and British TV personality to provide other insights. The documentary planning is now 85% complete and filming is planned for completion while the STATIC LINE tour group visits Wollaton in June. In addition, the Elizabethan water fountain at Wollaton Park is being considered as the site for the 508th PIR Memorial, as the water will represent the flow of life.


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

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

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