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     Our third reunion, held in conjunction with the SUN CITY “ALL AIRBORNE” FIESTA V – was a resounding success.  Hosted by the ROY P. BENAVIDEZ-ROBERT PATTERSON (BP) Chapter, the 82nd Airborne in El Paso, Texas.  If you missed this event, you missed a lot!
     JOHN CEBALLOS, BP chapter chairman, managed to cram nearly non-stop entertainment and activities into the agenda.  Performances by local talent included Line Dancers; Ballet Folklorico; Mariachi groups; Native American dancers; the Fort Bliss Jazz Ensemble and Disco music.
     Attended by many, “VIVA EL PASO”, a musical drama staged at nearby McKelligon Canyon’s outdoor amphitheatre, was an informative and dazzlingly colorful review of “4 CENTURIES, 4 CULTURES AND 1 CITY.”  At least 40 performers participated in the multiple acts staged during the course of the evening.
     While most activities were held in the El Paso Marriott Airport Hotel, the BP association’s Partida Hall was the site of a Fajita Buffet lunch on Saturday as well as a Menudo and Tamales lunch on Monday. Yum!
    So, if you missed it, slap your forehead and say ”I should have been there!”
     NEW DIRECTORS ELECTED - the Family & Friends of the 508th PIR business meeting held during the El Paso reunion included election of the Board of Directors for Fiscal 2009.  Those elected were Barry Deere, Dick O’Donnell, Troy Palmer, Jan Silver and Tom Stumpner.
     508th DEPLOYMENT- In preparedness for deployment to Afghanistan scheduled for the 19th of August, the 4th Brigade Combat Team cased its colors, including those of the 508th on August 7th.
     CSM (ret.) ROCK MERRITT with the Brigade Commander, COL DRINKWINE, had the honor to case the 508th Colors.
    ROCK was also a guest speaker relating the honor and respect due to unit colors and what they stand for.  He also mentioned that when GEN CUSTER was killed in battle, the 7th Calvary Regiment Colors were laying beside him and even the Indians respected the Colors as they left them lying next to him.  After the ceremony the whole Brigade enjoyed a huge picnic.
     PASSAGES – HEIMER SWANSON (Service Co) wrote to advise us that DAVID OLDEMEYER lost his wife, ELIZABETH “LIB” on August 6th after an extended illness.  Funeral services were held Monday, August 10 at First Presbyterian Church in Holland, Michigan.
    “DAVE”, HEIMER wrote, “was a trooper in Service Company and served as chaplain’s assistant to Chaplain ELDER during WW-II.  Both DAVE and LIB had been regular attendees at reunions held by the 508th PIR (WW-II) Association.”  Send condolences to DAVID OLDMEYER, 135 Ridge View Dr, Pipestone, MN  56164.
     BOB CHISOLM’s wife MARGARET succumbed to cardiac arrest on August 15th.  They had been married for sixty-three years.  Arrangements were tentatively scheduled for August 24th with burial in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery.
     Condolences may be sent to LTC (ret.) ROBERT E. CHISOLM, 7 Cielo Lindo, Anthony, NM  88021-9259.
     MORNING REPORTS A VALUABLE RESOURCE – Morning Reports (MRs) for the period January 1944 through May 1945 were recently acquired thanks to the generous donations of many members of the 508th family.  These reports were filed daily by each company and recorded various personnel details such as transfers into or out of the company. During combat periods other critical information such as date, name, rank and ASN of those missing, wounded or killed were documented.
     Details found in the MRs have already proven to be highly beneficial.  Some 508ers who had previously been unable to file a successful VA claim are now able to do so since the date of their wound was documented in the MR.
     Additionally, some men on the 508th Honor Roll had previously been listed with only a general date of death but a specific date is now known thanks to the MR entries.
     MORNING REPORTS PHASE TWO - an order has now been placed for the earlier Morning Reports (October 1942 through December 1943).  The cost for acquiring these files is $1,500 and donations will be gratefully accepted.  Please write “Morning Reports” on the memo line of your check to ensure the accounting is kept straight and make them payable to “F&F 508th PIR Association”.  Mailing address for our treasurer is: ELLEN PETERS, 3630 Townsend Dr, Dallas, TX  75229.


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

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

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