What's New
Search Engine
Photo Gallery
Unit History
Unit Honors
Voices Of Past
F&F Association
How To Submit

Joins Parachute Battalion Lieut. Walter C. DeLong of the Fort Custer reception center since December, 1940, has transferred to the parachute troops and is now in training at Fort Benning, Ga. Lieutenant and Mrs. DeLong and their daughter have been living at 24 Enwood. Before [he] entered the army in November, 1940, Lieutenant DeLong was an Instructor in military science at Michigan State college.

[Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI, Page 5]

Promoted to Captain
   Lieut. Walter C. DeLong, formerly of the Fort Custer reception center and now personnel adjutant of the 505th Paratroop Regiment at Fort Benning, Ga.. has been promoted to the rank of captain. Captain DeLong was appointed personnel adjutant of the regiment after receiving his wings in the paratroops. Captain and Mrs. DeLong formerly lived at 24 Enwood in Battle Creek. They are making their home on Edgewood drive, Columbus, Ga.

[Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI, Page 5]

Former Fort Custer Officer Is Wounded
   Capt. Walter C. DeLong. commander of a paratroop company in the 82nd Airborne Division, was wounded in action in France June 8. it was learned he was hospitalized for minor shrapnel wounds in the leg, and apparently returned to duty after a few days.
   A letter written to his wife, Mildred of 294 Cliff, extracts of which were printed in the Enquirer and News. July 4. described his participation in the capture of a French town on June 17, his 30th birthday. The letter mentioned nothing about his wounds.
   Captain DeLong has been in the army since he was 16 years old. He came to Fort Custer from Fort Sheridan in 1940 and was stationed here for two years. He volunteered for paratroop training and was sent to Fort Benning. Ga.. in 1942. He was assigned to the 82nd Division when it was organized at Fort Bragg, N. C. and went overseas in April 1943. He saw action in Sicily and Italy and was transferred to Ireland last December. For several months before the invasion he was stationed in England.
   Before the start of the war. he was stationed at Michigan State college for three years as ROTC instructor, with the rank of sergeant. He was commissioned from the ranks about four years ago and received his captaincy more than a year ago. Mrs. DeLong is making her Home with her sister, Mrs. Leona Neview at the Cliff street address.

[Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI, 4 AugustPage 5]

Ex-Fort Officer Gets Silver Star Cluster
   Maj. Walter C. Delong, former Fort Custer officer, has been awarded the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star, the war department has announced. Major Delong previously was awarded the Silver Star for his action on D-Day when he and his airborne infantry company captured a German-held town against stiff resistance before the Initial Allied landings In Normandy.
   Major Delong is now attending the General Staff and Command school at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He arrived at his home here on December 29. He and his wife. Mildred, who has been living at 294 Cliff, drove to Fort Leavenworth, where he reported on January 8.
   Another war department release calls him "one of the toughest combat officers in the U. S. Paratroops," describing his action with the 82nd Airborne Division in Holland "During the airborne action around the city of Nijmegen, Holland, Major Delong then a captain was acting as assistant battalion commander. He was in charge of men guarding a vital bridge leading up to the Allied spearhead further in Holland. Figuring that the enemy would seek to bomb the bridge from the air. Major Delong took over an abandoned enemy Flack 38 anti-aircraft gun near the bridge approach.
   "Through self-acquired knowledge of enemy weapons. Major Delong was able to put the gun back into action, master its operation, and devise a sight to replace one missing. He also trained a crew to assist in loading and preparing the ammunition.
   "More than 100 enemy aircraft did attack the bridge and adjacent Installations during the nights of September 24 and 25. Despite heavy bombardment from the air. Major Delong manned the gun continually during attacks and placed effective anti-aircraft fire on enemy aircraft. Two planes were believed to have been brought down as a result of his firing."
   Major Delong was .stationed at Michigan State college for three years as an ROTC Instructor, with the rank of sergeant. He was commissioned from the ranks, and received his present rank about three months ago. He was stationed at Fort Custer for two years before volunteering for paratroop training. He went overseas in April, 1943, and was awarded the Bronze Star for gallantry in action during the Sicily campaign and a cluster to the Bronze Star for the Normandy invasion. He holds the Purple Heart for wounds received there, and has the Fourragére Francaise, a French decoration similar to the Presidential Unit Citation.

[Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI, 10 JanuaryPage 12]

    - Soldiers Prepare for Derby of Their Own at Sauerkraut Downs

   OCCUPIED GERMANY (UP) Unless something occurs to change current plans, the great Deutschland Derby will be run off here at Sauerkraut Downs the same day that the traditional galloping classic takes place in old Kentucky.
   Naturally the nags will not be as high class as the Churchill Downs bluebloods because they all are captured Hungarian horses. Furthermore, being warwise bangtails, their whole attitude is, what's the hurry when there Isn't any shooting.
   Nevertheless, they are being prepared with daily races which some of them even finish and the boys of the 505th Parachute Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division almost enthusiastic about the Derby prospects.
  IT STARTED when paratroopers who had been fighting since Africa suddenly came to V-E Day with nothing more to occupy them than a few German towns or vice versa. Anyhow, they looked about for something to do, Sauerkraut Downs was the result.
   It's only a half-mile track due to the unanimous doubt whether these. beatup bangtails ever will gain sufficient enthusiasm and stamina to do more than stroll the full Derby course.
   But you would be surprised at what can happen In a half-mile.
   There isn't any rail because . paratroopers use psychology: They strung mine-field tape where the rail would be.  The GI jockeys know its fake, but they have become so allergic to such taped-off areas through a half-dozen campaigns that practically nobody crowds the rail except when some uninformed nag gets out of hand.
   THE BOSS of the establishment is Maj. Walter C. Delong, of Battle Creek, Mich., a regular Army man who is tough enough to handle his Matt Winn job. He is assisted by a number of characters who in prewar days thought a bugle was merely something to call the horses to the post. They borrowed a baker's scales to weigh the boys In, but nobody can figure out why because there is no limit and the track's leading jockey tips the scales at 175 pounds. There's no saliva test either, but the consensus Is that even a shot In the shoulder or a half-dozen pills couldn't put speed Into these Hungarian swaybacks. There was considerable growling among the customers the other day when 12 horses started and only one finished especially when it developed the winner was wearing only three shoes, had a glass eye. and was limping. But the track's normal confusion had been complicated by dust and accusers couldn't prove anything. it's amazing what can happen in a half-mile.
   Come on, Derby Day!

[Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek, MI, 19 MayPage 16]

Calls from Germany
   A trans-Atlantic phone call was made Saturdayfrom Frankfort, Germany, by Maj. Walter C DeLong. to learn of the condition of his wife, who has undergone surgery at Leila hospital. His call was received by Mrs. Knorbert Ritchie, who lives in an apartment at 294 Cliff, where Mrs. DeLong also resides. Major DeLong hopes to receive an emergency leave to return home. Twice winner of the Silver Star, he is now serving his second tour of duty overseas, and has been gone a total of more than two years. He was formerly stationed at Fort Custer and was in the States a year ago to attend General Staff and Command school at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

[Battle Creek Enquirer (Battle Creek, Michigan) ˇ 20 Jan 1946, Sun ˇ Page 8[

Mrs. Mildred DeLong DANVERS --- (PNS)--- Mrs. Mildred Bess DeLong of Littleton, Colo., a former Danvers resident, died Thursday at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver, Colo. She had been in failing health for several months. Funeral and burial services will be held Sunday at Littleton. Colo. She was born Feb. 12, 1912 in Prophetstown, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Bess. She was married to Walter DeLong. She moved to Colorado from Danvers in 1938. Survivors are her father, J. C. Erss of Danvers; her husband; a daughter, Diane; two brothers, Walter of Danvers and Albert of Fairbury, and two sisters, Mrs. Leona Younger of East Alton and Mrs. Doris Thompson, R. R, 3, Bloomington.

[The Pantagraph (Bloomington, Illinois) ˇ 31 Oct 1959, Sat ˇ Page 16]

(courtesy of "Concetta")

Grave marker for Walter C. Delong in Section L, Site 351, Fort Logan National Cemetery, Denver (Denver county), Colorado.

Major Delong was transferred from 82nd Airborne Division to Hq  Hq, 508th PIR on 14 October 1945.

On 8 December 1948, Major Delong arrived in New York, NY from London, England on Pan American Airways Charter 5/CROW, Aircraft NC-88528

[* N86528, Lockheed 749 Constellation, a Clipper named "Sovereign of the Skies",  originally ordered by Transcontinental and Western Airways but not taken up. It was delivered to Pan Am on 21 June 1947
Thd aircraft was sold to Air France on 5 June 1950, registered F-BAZV.[below)
Air France converted it to Lockheed 749A Constellation standards. It was retired and stored in October 1960. It was finally broken up in November 1964.

Nothing more is now of Walter's military history ewyonmd te fact that he retired as a Major.

He re-married some after his first wife died.  The second wife, Judy {nee?] is also buried with Walter and Mildred.

Copyright and all other rights reserved by the Family and Friends of The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association or by those who are otherwise cited,
For problems or questions regarding this web site, please contact