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From The


APRIL 2009

     AIRBORNE AWARDS WEEK A HUGE SUCCESS – While memories of DON LASSEN were in everyone’s mind, his longstanding traditional week of airborne ceremonies and celebrations apparently went off without a hitch.
LAWRENCE JEFFRIES (HQ 3rd) received the 508th Man Of The Year award while his wife and daughter beamed on the sidelines. Also attending were 508ers ROCK MERRITT; NORB STUDELSKA; and BOB SPEERS whose daughter PAM SPEERS accompanied him. JAN SILVER (widow of WALT, Co C) was there as well. Family and Friends members ELLEN PETERS, LTC ELIZABETH COBLE and MIKE FEEKO also attended.
After the awards banquet, ROCK presented LARRY with a inlaid wooden memento box made by 508th veteran TOM NORTHROP whose handicraft is always appreciated.
CONDOLENCES – AARON LAMSON, 34-year-old grandson of ERNIE LAMSON (Co A), went missing recently while surfing at a location known as “Crack 14” in Anahola, Hawaii. Aaron was reported as having lost his surfboard at 1:14 pm on March 13, 2009 and has not been seen since. A massive three-day shoreline search mounted by firefighters and rescue specialists as well as aerial searches by Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and helicopters was unable to locate Mr. Lamson. Heartfelt sympathies go out to Ernie and his family. Condolences may be sent to Ernest and Charlene Lamson, 1600 Arundel St., #205, St. Paul, MN 55117.
ACCIDENTAL DEATH CORRECTION – PVT JAMES DEATON has long been listed on our website as having died on December 9, 1943 at Camp Mackall, presumably due to a chute failure during a practice jump.
JAMES DEATON and I were close friends and in the 2nd Platoon, Company I,” reports BOB CHISOLM (Lt. Col. Ret). “He lived in Arkansas and I was from Texas. Whenever we had a furlough or pass that would allow us to go home, we travelled by train together and he would get off in Little Rock and I would go on to Dallas.
I know for fact that he was not killed in an aircraft or jump accident. He was killed when an explosive charge that he was setting for a training exercise exploded prematurely at our training area in Camp Mackall. He and I were both graduates of the Demolition School and I never fully understood exactly what happened. Actually, at the time the accident was pretty hush-hush and I was never aware of the exact circumstances.”
Thanks to BOB for clarifying the circumstances of JAMES’ untimely death which preceded the regiment’s departure for the ETO by less than three weeks.
JAMES now rests in the Oakland Cemetery in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas.
SEARCHING – KRISTEN (MONT) DAMES recently wrote that she had “stumbled across [our] newsletter in researching a football game in Frankfurt that took place between the 508 PIR and the 7th Army/3rd Infantry team coached and quarterbacked by my grandfather, TOMMY MONT (alive and living in Phoenix.)
KRISTEN would appreciate receiving any information that members of the 508 team or soldiers who were at the game may have.
My grandfather,” she states, “has greatly enjoyed remembering his time in Europe playing on the intra-army teams … and smiled at the ‘Ike won’t like this…’ memory featured in your newsletter.”
Send any information you may have to KRISTEN (MONT) DAMES at Dames@mac.com or call her at 314 776 4899. Alternatively, her postal address is 2519 South 12 St, Saint Louis, MO 63104.
MORNING REPORT FUND DRIVE A SUCCESS – A recent plea for donations to support the acquisition of 17 months (January 1944 through May 1945) of 508th Morning Reports has been very successful. Almost all of the nearly $1300 initially fronted by DICK O’DONNELL has been recovered. Any money received that may exceed this amount will be placed in the treasury reserve fund supporting the 508th web site.
The original reports were received from the National Archives as microfilm images that were then converted to digital form as PDF files. The resulting files contain more than 6200 pages of reports for the twelve companies and sometimes include the band as a separately reported entity.
Transcribing the pertinent data will be a huge task but will generate the best possible record available of personnel transfers into and out of the regiment as well as wounds, injuries and deaths that occurred during the period.


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

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

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