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

82nd Airborne Archive

In Tribute: Bob Chisholm – An American Hero

We lost a true All-American Hero on January 4, 2022. Bob Chisholm was a WWII Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne who then went on to also serve his country in Korea and then later in Viet Nam.

Paratrooper Bob Chisholm, WWII

Bob was selected as a member of the second class for the 82nd Airborne’s All American Hall of Fame. This incredible honor is bestowed only upon the very best of the best paratroopers. Bob had combat jumps into Normandy on D-Day, into Holland for Operation Market Garden, and then fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium.

As a 2nd Lieutenant, Bob Chisholm participated in one of the last major combat actions in Korea where he earned a battlefield promotion to 1st Lieutenant. Finally, Bob served bravely in classified missions in both Viet Nam and Thailand. LTC Bob Chisholm retired from the Army in 1971 and is one of only 325 soldiers to have ever earned the Triple CIB (Combat Infantry Badge).

I conducted a Veteran oral history interview of Bob Chisholm in 2014 while in Dallas, Texas. Bob’s oral history interview was very thoughtful, he covered his entire career, and his advice for future generations at the end of the interview is something we all need now. Bob Chisholm loved his country and his fellow soldier. Gracious with both his time and money, Bob helped to found the El Paso Benavides-Patterson All Airborne Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association and was a sustaining member of the Family and Friends of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment Association.

Bob Chisholm, Dallas, Texas 2014

Bob, you represented the very best that America had to offer. You impacted so many lives during and after your military service. A true treasure. An All-American Hero. Fly high Bob. Salute.

LTC-Robert-E-Chisolm-AA-Hall-of-Fame-Application-reduced

In Tribute: Rock Merritt – A life well-lived.

On March 10, 2021, we all lost a legend. Rock Merritt was a World War II Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. Rock was one of my heroes and was also my first oral history interview.

Paratrooper Rock Merritt, 1944

Rock Merritt was an inaugural member of the All American Hall of Fame for the 82nd Airborne. To put that into perspective, Rock was one of twenty members inducted and his class included eight legendary Generals. Rock jumped on D-Day as one of the first boots on the ground in Normandy. Rock also jumped during Operation Market Garden and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. Photos from his long and distinguished military career can be viewed here.

My first oral history interview was with Rock Merritt on June 5, 2014 at La Fiere, Normandy, France during the 70th Anniversary for D-Day.

Rock Merritt served his country in World War II, Vietnam, and right to the end. Rock was mentioned prominently during President Obama’s address during the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. He once famously told President Obama that he only need make the call as Rock was ready to serve when needed. Rock was bigger than life. Beloved at Fort Bragg and respected by our current soldiers as a soldier’s soldier.

Rock was a caring and kind soul who gave everything to his country. He impacted so many lives with his advice, knowledge, and smile. Forever a member of the Greatest Generation. Fly high Rock. Salute.

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.