Airborne In Normandy   FAQs   Links    Homepage   Store   Contact  Us     About Us    WWII Research 

To the Family and Friends of the 508th PIR Association,

The 508th Prcht Inf soldiers killed in WWII and buried at the ABMC Cemeteries in Europe have the word Regt at the end of their Headstones.  Yet the 501st Prcht Inf has 101st Abn Div at the end, not Regt.

There are one of three options for the 501st and the 508th Prcht Inf Regts. 

They have to be uniform across the board for their headstones in Europe.  Since they were all only atchd to their respective Divisions the 82nd Abn Div and the 101st Abn Div their headstones should match.

The 501st and the 508th were part of the 2nd Abn Bde until after Normandy.   So their headstones have to match and as mentioned and they don’t match.  For both the 501st and the 508th Prcht Inf Regts they can either say Regt, or Division (82nd or the 101st) or the 501st and the 508th can list 2nd Abn Bde.

In the first option all of the 508th headstones at the ABMC have to be changed to 82nd Abn Div through out Europe.  They would then have the 501st and 508th uniformly listed. 

The second option is that the 508th Prcht Inf remains the same and all of the 501st Prcht Inf needs to be changed to Regt and remove the 101st Abn Div on the headstones.

Then for the 501st and the 508th for Normandy headstones have to match and since they were both still organic to the 2nd Abn Bde is should say for both the 501st and the 508th Prcht Inf 2nd Abn Bde.  After Normandy it should list Regt at the end.  So the 501st would have to be completely redone and for the 508th changed for Normandy only.

Attached is documentation showing that the 501st and the 508th were part of the 2nd Abn Bde until after Normandy.  To most this doesn’t seem like a big deal but to the soldiers killed in Europe and who were buried wearing the insignia of their respective Divisions (82nd Abn Div and 101st Abn Div) that is a big deal for their families. 

The 508th Prcht Inf Regt was deactivated in November of 1946 while the 501st was deactivated August of 1945.  Yet the 501st men when the permanent headstones were erected at the ABMC were given the honor of having the 101st Abn Div.  The 508th who was in service more than 17 months longer were not given that same honor.

I’m sure if we dig deep enough you will find someone working with the ABMC in the early 1950s doing this.  What other reason can there be when two different Regts were not given the credit for being in a Division while the 101st Abn Div was given to the 501st.

The 501st Prcht Inf headstones shouldn’t be changed as they were part of the 101st Abn Div while in Combat and were allowed to wear the 101st Abn Div Insignia.  This means of course that the 508th Prcht Inf Regt for their time in the 82nd Abn Div for all of Europe should like the 501st Prcht Inf be afforded the same honor on their headstones.

Attached is a letter to the ABMC, CMH & US Army War College that was sent today to them.


Abbreviations

Abn – Airborne

atchd – attached

Bde – Brigade

Div – Division

Inf – Infantry

Prcht – Parachute

Regt – Regiment

WWII – World War Two


Brian N. Siddall

September 22, 2017

 


Contact BN Siddall @
Tel: (315) 567-4542
Airborne In Normandy Research
PO Box 3897
Ithaca, NY 14852
Send an e-mail at researcher@airborneinnormandy.com  
 
Copyright © 2002-2017 Airborne In Normandy Research - All rights reserved.
Website design by airborneinnormandy