Diablo - Feb 2007

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					    DIABLO          Voice Of The Family And Friends Of The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association-   February 2007- Vol. 2, Nr. 1



                    Friends and Family Reunion Set For Birmingham
                          New Association’s First Regimental-Wide Gathering

From The Jumpmaster                                     From The Crewmember                                     further exposed them to open fire.
By Dick O’Donnell                                       By Leland Burns - editor                                Making matters worse the German fire
                                                                                                                had the American outpost on edge and
    The 508th web site continues to be a                     I continue to meet new wonderful                   they started firing in that direction at
popular Internet “LZ” for numerous                      people with ties to the 508th. And now I                anything that moved. Even a “run for
people within the U.S. and in various                   have three more favorites on my ever-                   it” approach was out of the question.
European nations as well. You may have                  growing list of airborne heroes. The                         Holding tight to the current
noted that the visitation counter has                   saga of 1st Lt. Roy Murray‟s team came                  position wasn‟t an option either. By
increased by more than 10,000 since our                 to my light recently when I was able to                 now German and American riflemen
reunion meeting last October.                           meet his daughter Pam in Augusta this                   were firing at each other and the plasma
    We are frequently the recipient of e-               past fall.                                              team was in the middle. They started to
mail from people seeking additional                          D-day+2 on Hill 30 Colonel                         withdraw on the run and while looking
information about the 508th and its men.                Shanley was in dire need for blood                      for    some       opening     somewhere.
It is our privilege to assist them in                   plasma. Captain Adams of the 1st                        Lieutenant Roy Murray was shot dead.
whatever manner that we can. Most                       Battalion with 50 to 70 men, holding                    Seconds later Frank Circelli was hit
gratifying is the increasing occasion of                ground south of the hill and boxed in                   several times in the arm and then took
contacts by family members previously                   near the river, had 12 units.                           devastating shots into his lower jaw and
unknown to us. As a result, our newsletter                   There were several guys who                        neck. He and James Green both
distribution list has swelled to more than              volunteered but Captain Adams                           reached the river but had become
1,300 individuals.                                      selected Roy Murray of the 3rd Battalion                separated.
    An enclosure to this newsletter details             to lead the team. Two men were chosen                        Green was seen by a German and
the Association‟s first annual Reunion that             to go with him. They were Corporal                      had a potato masher tossed at him. It
will be held in Birmingham, Alabama in                  James Green, also from the 3rd, and                     exploded in the water beside him and
August 2007. We hope that you will take                 PFC Frank Circelli of 1st Battalion.                    knocked him into a concussion. Dazed
advantage of this event to meet with                         At dark the three volunteers had                   and no longer able to realize his
veterans, families and friends of the 508th.            the plasma strapped down and headed                     whereabouts he managed to move out
    We are already thinking about future                off through a flooded area. Slipping past               of the river and into a thicket. It took
reunions. Rock Merritt has agreed to be                 the first Germans was easy (by                          several days to recover his senses.
the host for our 2008 reunion that will be              comparison) and the team of three                            Circelli managed to find his way
held at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Stay                made progress by moving up through                      back to Captain Adams and, although
tuned for the specifics at a later date. We             the flood waters. Then when trying to                   talking was difficult, shared that his
have also nailed down a spot in the Sun                 leave the river and move into the                       lieutenant had been killed. Ken “Rock”
City Fiesta to be held in El Paso, Texas in             orchard around Hill 30 they came under                  Merritt recalls that Circelli looked like
July 2009.                                              heavy enemy fire. They withdrew with                    walking death. A few days later Circelli
                                                        thoughts of moving left and trying                      was surprising more than a few by
                                                        again. Jerries however must have seen                   staying alive. Rock Merritt went to see
               Diablo Editor                            them reenter the swampy area and                        him and Circelli asked, “When the hell
            336 S. Pearson Lane                         moved in.                                               are we getting out of here?”
              Keller, TX 76034                               Moving forward again they found a                       Rock wanted to offer his friend
            Phone: (817) 337-7492                       small hole and managed to get close                     some encouraging words and looked
  E-mail: Editor@508PIR.org                             enough to see an American outpost on                    away to think of some. He saw it just as
                                                        Hill 30. Progress from there however                    he heard it. In the distance an American
                                                        was impeded. Attempts to move up                        tank came up the road bearing the
DIABLO FEBRUARY 2007                                                                                                           PAGE - 2 -


markings of the Texas-Oklahoma                   They presented me with a photo of             announcement of our appointment as
Division.                                    “The Human Liberty Bell” - 25000                  Eisenhower‟s‟ Honor Guard was made.
     “Right now Frank, we‟re getting         officers and men at Camp Dix, New                     Some of us who were eligible to return
out now.”                                    Jersey.                                           by the end of ‟45 were transferred to the
                                                 They were dressed as soldiers in the          101st, which was to return, possibly for the
             MAIL BOX                        uniform of 1918. The gift was from the            Victory Parade. As we know the plans
                                             soldiers and civilians of Fort Dix.               changed and we were reassigned to the
Dick,                                                  Tom Porcella                            82nd (the 504), to return and participate in
    Could you please add these updates                 Thomasmlb@aol.com                       the New York parade. What a reception,
about Wollaton Park to the DIABLO?           (Editors note: Liz Farrell forwarded some         the cab drivers wouldn‟t take our money!
    I had a meeting with the Wollaton        photos around of Tom Porcella being honored           As I said at the start, I was a late
Park management team on January 7,           at Fort Dix. This letter to Ellen Peters was an   comer, and being assigned to the motor
                                             explanation of the photos.)                       pool didn‟t get to know and be close to a
2007. I have now handed over half of
my collection with the other half to                                                           lot of the guys, but obviously I‟m proud to
follow on Easter. Wollaton Park was          Jumpmaster 508 PIR                                have been, and be a part of the 508 family.
extremely excited and grateful. They              I am most grateful for you continuing        Thanks for the memories.
expressed thanks to the 508th P.I.R. for     to maintain the Diablo publication. I was a                  Marv Silver
their kindly contributions.                  latecomer to the 508, joining in England                     Service Co., 508 PIR
    I would like to thank the following      just before the Holland jump. In fact the                    Sept. ‟44 to Jan. „46
people for their inspiration in helping      day we were to start jumping we instead                      1742 Ridge Point Loop
me to re-develop the 508th Museum at         watched the C47‟s fly to Holland. I finally                  Santa Fe, NM 87506
Wollaton Park: Walter & Gloria Barrett,      caught up with the regiment in Belgium                       Phone # 505-820-9949
Tom & Molly Porcella, Ellen Peters,          when the Nottingham base camp was                           Fax # 505-988-7330
Dave & Sharon Pike.                          closed and everyone went to the Bulge.
    My good friend Jimmy Wynne will              As I read some of the recollections in        Dear Sir!!!
be staying with Linda and me for 2           the Aug. issue I thought I could supply a             I was away from home for a week
weeks in June. Hopefully he will be the      few dates and events. We arrived back at          and found the November Diablo
first WWII Paratrooper to see the            Sisson from Belgium the end of Feb. ‟45. I        Newsletter in my computer!! I
museum‟s new look.                           was in the Service Co. Motor Pool, and            appreciate your consideration greatly
    Once again – thanks – and I hope to      was assigned to drive for Major Medusky.          and thank you for your kind intention
see each of you soon.                        The tragic training jump, which I didn‟t          sending it to me! I am sorry I was
          Graham Lawson                      make as I had just finished jump school in        unable to make the Augusta reunion but
                                             Sept, was in March while we were in               will try to make it next year!!! It was an
Ellen,                                       Sisson. A plane lost an engine (or prop.)         honor and a big privilege to escort Pam
     Colonel MacNeil invited me to be        and nosed down through the stick that             Murray on her father's footsteps in
the guest of honor at Fort Dix, New          had just jumped from the plane in front. I        Normandy and to meet my close pal
Jersey. They have this dinner once a         don‟t know if Marlene Dietrich was                Ernie and Charlene Lamson in St Paul
year for non-commissioned officers and       watching that jump, I do know she was             last month. Proud to be part of the 508
high ranking officers. They drink a toast    there about that time, I have a picture of        family, the very best to you from
to all the wars we were in. At the head      she and her friend standing with me in the        Normandy.
table were full colonels and generals and    chow line, and she did stay for lunch with                   Bobby
little ol‟ me – a private. To me it was an   us.                                                          Bobby.feuillye@wanadoo.fr
honor to be there.                           On April 4th we went to the Airports for
                                             the proposed jump on the POW time was
     Col. MacNeil arranged the para-
                                             on May 7th. One of my duties as Maj.                     Incorporation Info
drop in Normandy every year. His first
trip to Normandy was in 1984. I have         Meduskys‟ driver was to pick up the daily            The “Family and Friends of The 508th
been visiting Normandy since 1969 and        regimental messages from the teletype             PIR Association” is incorporated as a
along the way I met the colonel. Every       office at the airport headquarters. On May        501(c)7 corporation in the Common-
year in Normandy the colonel wanted          7th the men I was friendly with at the            wealth of Massachusetts.
me to speak to the troops about the          office showed me a copy of the official              William Mone, Attorney
battle of Normandy. They have an             message announcing the signing in Rheims             Ropes & Gray, LLC.
enormous amount of respect for               of the German surrender at 02:41. I
Normandy vets. Some times I feel like        returned to our camp and told everyone
                                             the news. THE WAR WAS OVER, AND                      Newsletter Distribution
I‟m on “show and tell”. The young
troopers are in awe to meet a                NO ONE BELIEVED ME! It was while                       All Family and Friends on file
Normandy vet.                                we were still in Chartres that the                receive the newsletter regardless of
                                                                                               membership status. Postage for each
DIABLO FEBRUARY 2007                                                                                                       PAGE - 3 -


quarterly    newsletter      edition    is   Robinson                                      action and suffered body and mental
approximately $500 and that doesn‟t          Philip "Robbie" Robinson would like it to     injuries. Back then, we just did not care
include the cost of printing the items to    be reported that his wife passed away on      for our men with such disorders.
be mailed. The subscription is free, but     02/07/99. She was from Heidelberg,              I am now trying to find out anything I
membership or donations are welcome.         Germany. The two were married 45 years.       can to restore his dignity and to tell the
     Use of e-mail is an effective cost                                                    true story to the remaining family
cutting mechanism. The newsletter can                                                      members. The only thing I have is his V-
be attached in either Microsoft‟s Word               Searching For …                       Mails (4). I've looked on the 508th site but
or Adobe‟s PDF formats – or both.            Sgt Jack M Chambers                           never found a picture or name. Do you
     If you prefer to receive The Diablo     Dear Sirs,                                    have any suggestions on how to proceed
via e-mail please drop a line to              My wife was a cousin to Sgt. Jack M.         with this research?
jumpmaster@508PIR.org.                       Chambers, 508 Parachute INF, 82               Honor and Respect, Britt Mitchell
     Hard copies will continue to be         Airborne Division, WW II, born 28 May         guitarpilot@hotmail.com
delivered to physical addresses as long      1922 WV, d. 5 July 1944. Buried: Rece
as they remain active. If you are reading    Cemetery, Milton, WV. Does anyone             Pvt. Raul L. Ortega
this by way of email – Thank you.            know how he died?                             Hello, my great-uncle was Pvt. Raul L.
                                                                                           Ortega, Co. E, 508th PIR, killed in action
                                                       Thank you,                          during Market Garden near Bemmel,
           Condolences                                 Prentice D. Eubanks                 Holland on 11/8/44.        Raul was a
                                             email; prentice.eubanks@sbcglobal.net         replacement after D-Day, joining the
Longiotti, Leona                                                                           508th in England. I'm asking if anyone
     Leona, formerly of Meadville, PA.,      Steve Mauro                                   knew my uncle, it would be very
wife of Frank Longiotti, Co. C, died          Trying to find any information on my         appreciated that you contact us at
December 3rd 2006.                           uncle, Steve Mauro, from Rochester, NY        f9f9@aol.com. Thank you very much.
                                             who was in the 508 in WW II. I know he
                                             received a Silver Star in Normandy and                  Joe Aguirre
                                             was involved in Market Garden where he                  f9f9@aol.com
                                             briefly spoke with his brother (my father)
                                             over a field phone. My father, Lt. Carl       Tony Pacheco
                                             Mauro, was in Co. E, 504. I hope to learn     (Letter from Canon City Colorado.)
                                             which company of the 508th he was in so I     I would like to hear from anyone in E Co.
                                             can obtain after-action reports               who knew Tony Pacheco. Tony jumped in
                                                                                           Normandy and Holland and was wounded
                                                      From: Carl Mauro Jr.                 in the Bulge.
                                                      carl.square1@verizon.net
                                                                                                     Charles Garcia
                                             PFC Troy Mitchell                                       garcia3947@aol.com
                                             Dear Mr. O‟Donnell,
    Born May 1, 1925, in Blair, Ohio,            I am the nephew of Troy Mitchell,         2nd LT William S. Scudder
she was a daughter of Carl Horn and          508th Par. Unfortunately I have very little   Dear Sirs:
Mabel Bussard Horn. On July 2, 1949,         history on my uncle, other than he was             It has taken me over 42 years to
she married Frank Longiotti. She had         involved in the initial jump into             write this letter to you. You see, the
been employed at Meadville Laundry,          Normandy. It appears by his V-Mail that       man listed above, 2nd Lt. William S.
Keystone View, Viscose Talon, GTI            he was wounded during the initial             Scudder, killed in action, Normandy,
and DIC Tool. She was of the Lutheran        operation. I do not know if he continued      France, July 3rd, 1944 is my grandfather.
faith and served as a volunteer at           with the 508th after his recovery. As a       My grandmother was pregnant with my
Crawford County Care Center and a            young child, I remember the rest of the       father when she received the news that
member of its auxiliary. She was also a      family talked of him being an alcoholic       her husband had been killed.
candy striper for Meadville Hospital         and "not right" after his return. He died,    Unfortunately, my father never had the
during World War II. She enjoyed             with the family feeling he was an             chance to meet his father, and all my
bingo, garage sales and bowling. In          embarrassment and social outcast. He now      family has is a few newspaper clippings,
addition to her husband of 57 years,         lies in an unmarked grave.                    his Purple Heart and precious few other
survivors include two sons, three                 I did not ever feel that way. He was     mementos to recall the life of a husband
grandchildren,       three       great-      always kind to me, and did mention that       and father and for me a grandfather I
grandchildren; and lots of nieces and        he was wounded in action in Europe. He        never knew. The obituary tells the story
nephews.                                     died before I reached the age of              that his company came under enemy
                                             understanding. I know now that he saw
DIABLO FEBRUARY 2007                                                                                                    PAGE - 4 -


fire and retreated to a safer location,                                                    shot. Any additional info you could
then, under the cover of darkness, my                  Paul Geutjes                        provide or anyone of your unit
grandfather organized a group of                       Please contact me at                members who may have known my
volunteers to return to the field of                   paulgeutjes@hotmail.com.            father would be appreciated. I‟d love to
battle and recover the dead and                                                            hear, as we say in the Navy, a Sea story
wounded. The story goes on to say that        PFC Julius Veriest                           or two. Thank you for your service!
during this rescue and recovery mission       Dear Sirs,
that my grandfather was killed by sniper          I am doing research on my father,                 V/r,
fire.                                         PFC Julius Verniest. I came across your               CDR John W. Verniest
      Every kid wants to grow up              website from a Google search and                      U.S. NAVY
thinking that their relative who died in      learned my father served in the 508th                 jcverniest@comcast.net
combat was a hero, but after 42 years of      and earned numerous medals including
my life I just want to know what              the Purple Heart and Combat Infantry
happened to the man who is my father‟s        badge. Unfortunately, my father is now                      Get Well
father.    Any assistance you could           deceased and has been since 1986.
provide would be gratefully appreciated.      Since then I graduated from SJSU in          Smith, James
                                              1990 and earned a Commission in the          A note was sent by Jim Smith explaining
         Sincerely,                           US Navy and am now a CDR serving in          he missed the Augusta reunion due to
         Wiliam Blaine Scudder, Jr.           VP-30, the P-3 Fleet Replacement             health reasons. He had a Carotid
         Knight2King3@aol.com                 Squadron. Your website has helped me         operation and had a pace maker put in
                                              learn more about my father‟s military        and is now doing great. Jim added he
PFC Harold Francis Taylor                     service then he ever talked about when       does not surf the web and thus it is
I‟m looking for information that is related   I was a child growing up and for that, I     expected he does not have e-mail. You
to paratrooper Harold Francis Taylor,         thank you. Father did jump in Normandy,      can write him at –
508th. He died on 19th Sept. 1944, Market     but that‟s about all he disclosed as I was            1403 Valencia Dr.
Garden, Wylerbaan at Groesbeek, buried        growing up. I later learned from one of               Fayetteville, NC
at Margraten, The Netherlands. We found       my Uncles, he made the march from
his signed coffee cup.                        France, all the way into Germany and was




              The Diablo
            336 S. Pearson Lane
             Keller, TX 76034

				
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