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

Up Co Mendez (2) Co Mendez (3)

The following appeared in Issue 85 (Summer - Fall 2001) of the 508th PIR Association Newsletter.

Col. Louis G. Mendez. Jr.

July 14, 1915
September 19, 2001

   Colonel Mendez graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. in the Class of 1940.
   At Camp Blanding, Florida he assumed command of the 3rd Battalion of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment upon their activation in October 1942.
   He forged the men under his command into a combat-ready unit of soldiers whose esprit de corps would serve them well under the baptism of fire in Normandy.
   On June 6, 1944 (D-Day) he parachuted into France with his Battalion 10 miles behind the German lines.
   For thirty-three days without relief Colonel Mendez and his men distinguished themselves as they pushed back the enemy, thereby sparing the seaborne landings at Utah and Omaha Beach from further assault. At great cost in human lives, the largest airborne armada in the history of warfare helped secure the beaches and guaranteed the break-through onto the Normandy peninsula. No ground gained by the 508 was ever relinquished.
   Colonel Mendez was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for leading the attack that captured the town of Prétot, France on June 20, 1944.
   On September 17, 1944 Colonel Mendez parachuted into Holland in the Nijmegen sector with his men. Again, the 508 fought valiantly, liberating many Dutch towns.
   The final assault took place in December, 1944 – the Battle of the Bulge- where Colonel Mendez’s 3rd Battalion distinguished themselves at Thier- du-Mont Ridge and at Lanzerath.
   At war’s end, May 8, 1945 the 508 was assigned to SHAEF Headquarters in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany were it served as honor guard to General Eisenhower.
   Colonel Mendez then took over command of the 508 Regiment.

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