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December 2010

     NOMINATION COMMITTEE FORMED – BOB CHISOLM (Co I) was appointed at the Oklahoma City reunion to chair a nominations committee. The group will select and recommend a slate of officers for the 2011 election.
     The positions which will be open are President, Vice President, Treasurer and such other officers, if any, that the Board of Directors or the members may determine. The committee wants to afford all Association members the opportunity to be considered for office.
     Anyone interested in being considered by the Nominating Committee should contact BOB by writing him at 7 Cielo Lindo, Anthony, NM 88021 or via E-mail at rchisolm01@elp.com
508TH SCULPTURE MODEL? - the Hq 1st Morning Report for August 1, 1943 contains an entry stating that T/4 WILLIAM R. O’KEEFE returned from Detached Service in Lake Mahopac, N.Y. with sculptor LOUIS PAUL JONAS. That is highly unusual temporary duty!
     LOUIS PAUL JONAS (1894-1971), a Hungarian born sculptor, studied with the internationally known naturalist, animal sculptor, and taxidermist CARL AKELEY (1864-1926). Like Akeley, Jonas favored African wildlife, and together they created the famous African Elephant Group that remains on exhibit in Akeley Hall at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Eventually, Jonas abandoned taxidermy to concentrate on sculpture and, in 1939, opened a studio in Mahopac, New York.
     We still don’t know what the TDY was about, but immerging facts lend themselves to forming a theory.
     An article in the July 17, 1943 edition of DEVILS DIGEST (Vol. 1, No. 4), reported O’KEEFE being awarded the Soldier’s Medal. The prestigious award was for a heroic act earlier that month when he saved the life of FRANK LYONS in the appropriately named “Drowning Creek”. That creek runs through Southern Pines, NC, near Camp Mackall where the 508th was training.
     Four weeks after the incident, O’KEEFE is shown returning from a stint with the sculptor. Could it be that the War Department sent O’KEEFE to Lake Mahopac so that the selfless act of the rescue could be captured by the artist for some sort of war effort advertisement? Got any better ideas?
     UNEARTHED WW-II ARTIFACT – We recently received an e-mail from SAMUEL RENARD of Normandy who asked that we put him in contact with BOB CHISOLM (Co I).
Over the years SAMUEL has found a number of military objects using his metal detector in local fields. One such item was a Dog Tag bearing the name of CARL L. CHISOLM and he wanted to return the identity tag to its owner or to a family member.
     After some on-line sleuthing in the WW-II Enlistment Files in our National Archives, SAMUEL deduced that CARL L. and ROBERT E. CHISOLM might be brothers. While he couldn’t locate CARL, a bit more searching yielded BOB’S name on our web site.
     We forwarded SAMUEL’S e-mail to BOB who quickly confirmed that CARL was indeed his brother. He has now established contact with SAMUEL and we expect that the Dog Tag will soon be returned.
     TAPS - LAWRENCE F. MURRAY, (Captain, Co B), age 90, passed away at his home on September 26, 2010 after a long illness. Born January 9, 1920, in Alva, (near Fort Myers), Florida he more recently resided in Tallahassee, Florida.
     CHARLENE M. LAMSON, wife of ERNIE LAMSON for more than 66 years, died unexpectedly on November 26, 2010. She was preceded in death by a son, Kevin and her grandson, Aaron. Survivors include her daughters Gail & Renee'; 7 grandchildren; and 2 great grandchildren.
     A Mass of Christian Burial was held on December 1 at the Church Of St. Andrew, St. Paul, MN with interment following at Roselawn Cemetery.
Cards of condolence may be sent to the family at 1600 Arundel St, #205, St. Paul, MN 55117.
     SICK CALL – SYLVIA HAMBLIN, her son PAUL reports, is doing reasonably well but he says the future is less promising. His 91-year old mother was recently hospitalized for about 4 days with pneumonia.
     Her progressing dementia coupled with little appetite, have, in PAUL’S words, “tipped the scale. He feels that in the not too distant future SYLVIA may not be able to receive telephone calls. If you would like to say “Hi” her phone number is (715) 386-0016. PAUL and his wife KITTY can be reached at their home by calling (715)386-9724.


Dick O’Donnell
760 Conestee Drive

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

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