Wednesday, May 23, 2012

509th PIB News Roundup for Memorial Day

Parachute Trooper Johnson (the dummy) at the 504th 
Parachute Battalion dance, held in the Third Hangar, 
Lawson Field, Fort Benning, GA October 21, 1941.  
Army Signal Corps Photograph 124264
National Archives, College Park, MD.
From the time I started research for The Boldest Plan is the Best: The Combat History of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion During WWII, I've been keeping up with news about the unit and its veterans.  Here are a couple of news items that came up on the radar today:

- According to the Avon (Connecticut) News, Morton N. Katz will be the keynote speaker for the Memorial Day events in Avon.  Katz served as a lieutenant in the 509th PIB during World War II.  He served in North Africa, Italy, France, and Belgium.  Katz is active in the local VFW Post 3272 and continues to practice law in Avon.

- The Bullard Banner News ran an article about 509th veteran Lloyd Wells of Upshur County, Texas.  Mr. Wells is also a veteran of North Africa, Avellino, Anzio, Southern France, and the Battle of the Bulge.  Unfortunately, Wells lost his medals (and his house) during the Texas wildfires last year.  On May 19, Wells was presented with his medals once again at a surprise ceremony at a local museum.  The article goes on to tell us that Lloyd Wells, just short of his 92nd birthday, still works full-time at Walmart in Gilmer, Texas, assembling bikes, barbecues, and furniture.

What I noticed about both news items is that these veterans, both over the age of ninety, are still working full-time.  It never ceases to amaze me...those paratroopers just don't know how to quit.

Please take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to thank a veteran for their service, and remember those who have fallen.  I've included a picture from the National Archives for you that didn't make it into the book.  It was taken during a happier moment in Geronimo history.  Enjoy the holiday.

No comments: