Home of the 508th Airborne Chapter
82nd Airborne Division Association, Inc.
 |   | 
 

Counter

508th Chapter History

In 1990, Bob Murray, former member of B Company 508th ARCT recognized there was a need for an organization of former Red Devils who had served with the 508th or any of it's attached units since it's organization in October 1942. As a result the 508th Airborne Chapter was formed and chartered as a Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. Bob was the founding Chairman of the Chapter and served in that capacity from August 1990 until December 2001. During those years he additionally served as Secretary, Treasurer and Quartermaster at various times. Jack Damron, HQ 1st BN, assumed the Chairmanship 1 January 2002. He accepted a second term for 2004-2005, serving in all officer capacities except Vice Chairman, as well as writer, editor and publisher of the bimonthly Devils Digest. His second term was interrupted in August 2004 by the disastrous effects of Hurricane Charley forcing him to later resign the remainder of his term. Bob Murray in September of 2004 assumed the position of Interim Chairman and served in that capacity until December 2005. Joe Montoya, HQBtry 320th, accepted appointment to serve as Chapter Chairman for the vacant term 2006-2007. The present slate of Officers was re-elected to their positions for the same term. 

Founding Chapter Members
Stats G. Amerman, Jr. HQ3/51-54 Willie T. Lee B2/68-69
Ronald L. Anderson HQ3/51-54 Stephen Leonard C2/64-67
Walter Banas K/51-55 Edward E. Lewis K/51-53
Ron Behrens M/51-53 Mike Lord H&H/53-56
Lloyd Bender F/52-53 Pedro R. Lugo B/51-53
Norman L. Beneke F/51-52 Thomas P. Lynch H&H/51-52
Arristeo Blanco C/51-54 Joseph R. Maio L/54-56
R. Bucca M. MacDonald
David H. Burns H/51-54 George W. McClain SVC/51-53
Robert M. Campbell M/51-54 William J. Mehling HQ2/51-52
Larry Coogan I/51-54 Al Miller H&H/53-56
Leonard Crockett Willia HQ3/51-54 Robert T. Murray B/51-53
Jerry R. Curren M/51 Harry W. Paul HQ3/51-53
Walter Ducharme HQ320/55-56 George O. Pearson H&H/51-52
Ron Faulkner B3/62-65 Stanley T. Philbin F/55-56
John M. Finch SPT/54-56 Jesse B. Quiroz H&H/51-52
Dominic Govenetto HQ1/53-55 William A. Ramsey A320/51-54
John C. Harms C/52-53 James Rittenour 519/51-54
Tom Heslin B/54-56 Ken Sadilek B/46
Donald A. Holland HQ2/55-56 Theodore P. Schonhans 519/51-54
John G. Hopkins K/51-53 Ray D. Slonaker B/51-54
Leonard Jakaub HQ3/51-53 H. Soucy
Thomas E. Kesler B/51-52 James A. Swindler C/55-56
Richard W. Knapp L/51-52 Joseph Synakowski C/46
Adrian Kolkman D/45-46 Robert E. Thweatt B/53-54
George Kulstad SVC/54-56 Bernard Tucker I/52-53
William LaParl E/45-46 Clifford Villeneuve H&H/51-53
Armon D. Lee E/51-54 Joe Yester B/51-53

Purpose
The purpose of The 508th Airborne Chapter is to seek out and bring together former and current Red Devils of all eras and to preserve the proud history and traditions of the 508th Infantry.
Membership
As of October 1996 there were approximately 96 members of the chapter. In the ensuring years the chapter experienced a phenomenal period of growth. The chapter was awarded the National Association's Plaque for Membership Excellence in 1997 and 1998. Only five of the ninety-eight Association Chapters were recipients of this award in 1998. As of 21 June 1999, the Chapter has qualified for it's third consecutive Membership Excellence award.  Subsequently, the Chapter earned three more Membership Excellence Plaques through 2004.  As of 1 November 2005 there were 561 members of the Chapter. This total included sixty-one Affiliate members, who are members of other Association Chapters who served with the 508th and wish to be associated with the 508th Chapter. The Chapter, since 1996, has been awarded six Membership Excellence Awards from the 82 nd Association through 2004 and has been the second largest veteran's Chapter of the 82 nd Association for the past four years.
Membership Qualifications
The chapter accepts any airborne qualified individual who served with the 508th Infantry Regiment or the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team (this includes the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion, 598th Airborne Engineer Company, 519th Airborne Quartermaster Company, 427th Airborne AAA Battery and the 508th Tank Company). The chapter is represented by members who served in the Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II, the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, and subsequent 508th Airborne Infantry Battalions organized under CARS and the United States Army Regimental System.
General
The first formal meeting of veterans from the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team was held in Columbus, GA over the Labor Day weekend in 1996. Thirty-nine former Red Devils along with twenty-three accompanying wives were on hand for the first meeting held since the ARCT's inactivation in March 1957. In attendance was Bob Murray, Chairman, 508th Airborne Chapter and Rodger Jacobson, Secretary/Treasurer of the 320th Airborne Artillery Battalion Association. During the meeting it was decided that there would be no effort to organize a separate 508th Association composed of only ARCT members but to support the 508th Airborne Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. It was also decided that records of 508th Red Devils should be centralized and a Chapter Data Base be built and maintained. To this end, Rodger Jacobson and Bob Murray pooled resources and work was begun on the construction of a data base in mid October 1996.
Meetings
Since the chapter is a "national chapter", there are no monthly meetings which most chapters of the association enjoy. To compensate for this lack of collegiality, the chapter, in concert with the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Association, holds "mini" reunions around the country. Mini Reunions have been held in the following years and places:  1992 - St. Louis, MO;  1994 - St. Louis, MO;  1995 - Sacramento, CA;  1996 - Tacoma, WA;  1997 - Dubuque, IA and Springfield, MA;  1997 - Tyler, TX; 1998 - Tracy, CA, Springfield, MA, Dubuque, IA and Punta Gorda, FL;  2000 - Dubuque, IA;  2002 - Corpus Christi, TX and Peoria, IL; 2004 - Corning, NY and Eugene, OR and 2005 - Rochester, MN.  In addition, bi-annual reunions have been held in Clarksville, TN (adjacent to Fort Campbell, KY - the last home of the 508th Infantry) in the years 1987. 1989. 1991. 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005.   The Clarksville reunion has proven to be very popular and as the years have gone by the attendance has dramatically risen to the point that multiple motels in the area have had to be used. Your chapter urges it's membership to also attend All American Week at Fort Bragg, NC each May and/or the Associations' National Convention held in August each year.  If you haven't been to one of these functions, you are missing out on a great time and an update of the the latest Airborne information.  Go to one or the other and watch a great jump by the 82d Airborne Division and hear the fantastic 82d Airborne Division Chorus perform.
Communications
Chapter members receive four issues of the Paraglide, the 82nd Association's publication, which keeps members up to date on association business and stories of general interest pertaining to the 82nd Airborne Division. In addition, the chapter publishes a newsletter entitled "The Red Devil Digest" six times annually which contains news of chapter members, events, and various other topics germane to membership interests. We urge chapter members to send stories, pictures and remembrances to the editor for inclusion in the newsletter. The chapter was awarded first or second prize in the National Association's Communications Contest for Category I chapters every year since 1998 for having the best or second best newsletter.  Other items of interest are found in the "News/Events" section of this web site and are updated every other month when the latest edition of The Red Devil Digest is placed in the web site.
Data Base
The Chapter Data Base is a dynamic list of current and former Red Devils. The data base project was completed in late November, 1996 with the entering of over 850 former Red Devils names, addresses, units, years of service, etc. As of August 2004, the data base contained 2463 names; 84 veterans from WWII; 2163 veterans who served with the ARCT in the 50s; 182 veterans who served with or are now serving with battalions of the 508th and 61 with an unknown period of service. In addition, the chapter maintains a data base of deceased personnel which contains 676 names. The chapter generally adds between 10 to 20 names monthly of former troopers who have been found and sends a complimentary copy of the Newsletter to each individual. Chapter members can obtain a copy of a unit, state or geographical area roster by sending to the Chapter Secretary a written request, a self addressed stamped envelope, and $1.00 for each roster requested.
 
Copyright 2005 - www.red-devils.org. All rights reserved.