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Matthew Pavel, a twenty-year old railroad worker with just one year of high school under his belt, enlisted in the U. S. Army on October 17, 1942 in Indianapolis, Indiana and volunteered for parachutist duty.  He was sent immediately to Camp Blanding where the 508th PIR had just been activated.  On arrival he was assigned to Company E
   After completion of basic training at Camp Blanding the regiment moved to Fort Benning, GA for jump school.  In March 1943, after the completion of his five requisite jumps "from an aircraft in flight", Pvt Pavel pinned on his coveted parachutist wings.  The unit then moved on to Camp Mackall, NC for advanced training.
   In October 1943 Matthew suffered an injury during a practice night jump and was removed from jump status. 

He was transferred to the regular infantry and ultimately became a member of a mortar squad in Company I, 335th Infantry, 84th Division.
   Pfc Pavel arrived in England in October 1944.  From there he was sent to France on November 1, 1944.  His unit crossed Holland and entered Germany.  By that time he had become the squad leader for an 60mm mortar platoon. His luck ran out on November 29th when during a German counter attack at Lindem (south of Bremen), Germany,  he was captured and became a prisoner of war.

Pfc Pavel Matthew was interned at Stalag 2A Neubrandenburg Mecklenberg 53-13, approximately 72 miles north of Berlin.  He was liberated in April 1945 by a Soviet armored division .

(courtesy of Judith Norman)

Grave marker for Matthew Pavel in Section H of the Calvary Cemetery, Portage (Porter county), Indiana.

Matthew enlisted in the Army at Indianapolis, IN 17 October 1942

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