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From The


October 2010

     508TH WEB SITE HAS A LONG REACH – a recent e-mail from BILL GALYEAN stated: “Your webpage has some photos of a memorial [ceremony at HÉMEVEZ, France] … on June 5, 2009.” The ceremony he referred to was in honor of men of the 507th who had been executed by the Germans and put into a mass grave.
     “My wife's brother”, he continued, “PFC Elsworth Heck, was one of the 7 soldiers recognized on this memorial. He was a member of the 507th PIR and was captured and executed by the Germans on D-Day. I hope your resources would be able obtain some better photos of both sides of this memorial.
     This has been a shock to us as we were first informed that Elsworth Heck was murdered by the Germans just last week. We will appreciate any information you can provide.”
     We found it remarkable that the HECK and GALYEAN families had been in the dark for 66 years regarding the circumstances of ELSWORTH’S death and that our website had given them their first glimpse of the memorial to him and the other six paratroopers.
     We immediately contacted the ASSOCIATION U. S. NORMANDIE which is responsible for this memorial and many others in the area. Members of the association are now in contract with the GALYEAN family.
     Although it involved a different regiment, it was gratifying to help this family seeking information so much after the fact.
     SICK CALL – CYNTHIA CARRUTH recently advised us that her father, Ray Wilson, fell on August 14th. He was hospitalized and underwent a heart catheterization followed by implantation of a pacemaker.
     It was also determined RAY had a compression fracture of the T10 vertebra and a vertebroplasty procedure, injection of bone cement to correct the fractured vertebra, was also performed.
     Please join us in wishing Ray a very speedy recovery. Cards and letters can be sent to him at: RAY WILSON, c/o CYNTHIA CARRUTH, 3 Windwood Cove, Jackson, TN 38305.
     DICK O’DONNELL was recently hospitalized due to multiple pulmonary embolisms in both lungs. He subsequently learned that he also had a blood clot in the right leg, something he had endured eight years earlier.
     Released after 6 days of treatment, DICK reports that his prognosis is good and that he will be taking Coumadin (Warfarin), a blood thinner for the rest of his life. He now feels great and thanks everyone who conveyed their well wishes during his recovery.
     TAPS - We reported last month that GEORGE FAIRMAN (Hq 2nd) had suffered a stroke and was in critical condition. Unfortunately, GEORGE succumbed to the effects of the stroke on September 2nd. GEORGE was laid to rest in Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier CA.
     JAMES W. MORRELL (Co G), made his Final Jump on 5 June 2010. Three grandsons presented the flag which had draped the casket to his widow, MRS. EULA MORRELL.
All three are on active duty and were in uniform. They are: SEAN MORRELL, 2nd Lieutenant Royal Norwegian Air Force currently at the NATO flight training center Sheppard AFB, Texas; JACOB MORRELL, Petty Officer 1st Class U.S. Navy Seal Team 10; and, JOSH MORRELL, Petty Officer 2nd Class U.S. Navy diver stationed in San Diego, California.
     Three of the Morrell sons are military veterans. Michael was a helicopter crew chief with the 1st Brigade Headquarters Company, 82nd Airborne. Steven was an F-15 pilot in the Air Force and Donald was in Army intelligence in Europe.
    GRAVE ADOPTERS SEEK INFORMATION – DOMINIQUE POTIER of Belgium, with his sister NATHALIE HAYES, have adopted three graves in HENRI CHAPELLE cemetery. Most recently, NATHALIE adopted the grave of CLABORNE STEELE, Company A, who died on 8 January 1945.
     Also adopted was the grave of PFC R. Q. LESTER. Very little is known of LESTER who was killed in action on 20 February 1945. Even his company has yet to be determined.
If you can provide any information on STEELE or LESTER, please e-mail DOMINIQUE at paracsm@hotmail.com
     Another recent adoption was made by JEAN-LUC LORENA, also of Belgium. He now refers to SGT ROBERT F. GERVAIS as his “godson” and seeks any information or photographs possible. Jean-Luc can be contacted at lorenalucie@hotmail.com

Send news for the column, or website material, to:
Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive
West Melbourne, FL 32904-1812, USA;
Phone: (321) 759-6174
E-mail: Jumpmaster@508PIR.org


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

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

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