Colonel Louis G. Mendez at Book Signing March 31, 2001
The book-signing took place at Barnes & Noble, Springfield, Virginia. George Stoeckert, Hq 1st was on hand to assist Lou Mendez. The book, “BEYOND VALOR”, by historian, Patrick K. O’Donnell was praised by General Hugh Shelton..
Three men of the 508th PIR are represented in the book, Mendez, Lamoureux and John Hardie. Lou Mendez, Hq Co, 3rd Bn relates his encounter with death in the fighting on July 4, 1944 at La Haye-du-Puits
The Bronze Star Medal was presented by Colonel Mendez to Francis M. Lamoureux, G Co, Pathfinder nearly 57 years after jumping into Normandy with the 3rd Battalion's Pathfinder Team. Lamoureux’s account of the 3rd Battalion attack on Pretot on June 20, 1944 is in the book.
John Hardie recounts action in Holland with “C” company on September 18, 1944. With 1st Sgt. Leonard Funk fearlessly leading the way they cleared the drop zone held by German troops to provide a secure landing for glider troops coming in with supplies.
In photo above, seated – Col. Mendez, standing, L to R, unidentified trooper, Lamoureux (wearing Bronze Star), David Berry, historian and author, and Delbert Kuehl, chaplain who made the crossing of the Waal River with the 504 in canvas boats in broad daylight on September 20, 1944 to capture the bridge at Nijmegen.
Panama veteran: "David Nielson" 1st Ranger Bat., David, 2 weeks prior had walked over 700 miles from Ft. Benning, Georgia to Washington, D.C.,leading the fight against the Chief of Staff of the Army,"Gen. Eric Shinsecki",for the rangers to keep there "coveted black beret", and not waste over $35 million dollars issuing it to the entire army! He attempted to present the beret, which belonged to a comrad killed in Panama to" Senator John Warner" of Virginia. Warner refused the beret saying, "I can't accept it, I didn't earn it". Omaha Beach veteran "Sid Salomon" C-company, 2nd Rangers. "Sids" unit was the first to climb the cliff, near enemy position WN 73 and the Gambier house. Of the 37 men in Sid's landing craft, only 9 were alive at the end of D-Day and all but 2, had been wounded.