Making History Project
"Preserving Veterans' Stories"
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

82nd Airborne Archive

2018 Reunion for 508 P.I.R.

The details for the upcoming 2018 Reunion for the Family and Friends of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment were recently released.

The annual reunion that honors the legacy of the Veterans for the 82nd Airborne is in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The dates for the reunion are October 31, 2018, to November 4, 2018.

This year’s reunion marks the 50th Anniversary for the Golden Brigade in Vietnam, the 35th Anniversary for Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada, and the 15th Anniversary for OIF Operation Northern Delay in Iraq.

The reunion will honor all former paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne as well as active duty service members. Typically, Veterans from World War II, Korea, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, Grenada, Iraq, and Afghanistan attend the reunion. Naturally, the Making History Project is planning on attending this fantastic event.

To sign up to attend or to learn more, visit the 508 P.I.R Reunion Site.

 

Happy Birthday Rock Merritt!

Rock MerrittAugust 10, 2018, is the 95th birthday for Kenneth “Rock” Merritt.

Rock Merritt is a true hero having jumped into Normandy, France on D-Day as a member of the 82nd Airborne.

One of my first oral history interviews was with Rock at a picnic table in La Fiere during the 70th Anniversary for the D-Day landings.

To this day, Rock is an authoritative voice on the history of the 82nd Airborne, 508 P.I.R., and all things related to the Normandy campaign. Rock Merritt rose to be a Command Sergeant Major in the Army and served his country in Vietnam as well.

For all of his accomplishments, Rock was enshrined as one of the original members for the All American Hall of Fame for the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Gracious with his time and an inspiration to current paratroopers, I consider Rock to be a Great American and a true friend.

Happy Birthday…Command Sergeant Major!

75th Anniversary Airborne Jump Flag

82nd Airborne 75th Anniversary Jum

On October 20, 2017, the 508 P.I.R. of the 82nd Airborne performed a commemorative jump for the Family & Friends of the 508 P.I.R on the 75th Anniversary of the Airborne. Present and observing were paratroopers from the conflicts of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Panama.

I was also present and fortunate enough to win a silent auction for the signed jump flag from that day. All paratroopers that jumped signed the flag.

Below is a picture of the signed flag as held by Lt. Col. Browning and CSM Donaldson right before they jumped.

75th Anniversary Jump Flag