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

Veteran Oral History Interview: WWII Veteran Rock Merritt – pt2

Veteran Oral History InterviewUS Paratrooper – 82nd Airborne

Part 2 of the Veteran Oral History interview of WWII Veteran Rock Merritt is now available.

This interview was conducted in Dallas, Texas on October 16, 2014, during the annual reunion for the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne.

Rock commanded a heavy machine gun platoon for the 82nd Airborne during World War II. Rock jumped into Normandy, France during D-Day and his experience during D-Day is covered in part 1 of the interview.

Operation Market Garden

In part 2 of the interview, Rock reflects upon his experience jumping into Holland for Operation Market Garden and the resulting battles there. Later in the interview, Rock discusses his participation in the Battle of the Bulge and how he was rushed into battle without winter clothing and very little preparation to counter the last major offensive of the German Army during World War II.

Rock Merritt is a distinguished and treasured member of the 82nd Airborne after serving 35-years in the military. To this day, Rock remains the honorary Command Sergeant Major for the 508 P.I.R.


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About Author

Patrick Russell

Director and oral historian for the Making History Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Veteran stories for future generations. Resides in Miami, Florida, where he has been a practicing lawyer since 1994. Proudly serves as a staff member for the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, in addition to being a member of the Oral History Association, American Historical Association; Friends and Family of the 508 P.I.R.; and the Battle of the Bulge Association. Graduated from Marquette University with a B.A. in Political Science, and a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. Additional courses and workshops for oral history and museum studies have been taken at Baylor University and Harvard University, Harvard Extension School. Contact info: (305) 608-2977 or

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