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My Dad in the 82nd Army Airborne

Updated on March 11, 2014

History of a Paratrooper

My Dad died in 1995, he was a veteran of World War II and served in the 82nd Airborne during the Korean War era of the early 1950s. I know very little about his military service, he didn't talk much about it and his WWII records were stolen, lifted, or lost in Times Square when he returned home on a New Years Eve. When my Mother died in 2011 I inherited a box of photos, and newspaper clippings. From these I've pieced together his journey with the 512th and the 508th division of the 82nd Airborne.

Many veterans from that era have died, others have forgotten more than they remember, and others wouldn't think of using the internet to connect with war buddies from the past. I'm hoping family members doing genealogy and history searches such as mine will help connect the dots, and maybe be able to contribute to the little bit of knowledge I have in my search.

82nd Airborne Books - Learn About the 82nd Airborne

The 82nd Airborne is legendary for their feats in WWII. In order to understand their significance and contributions you can either talk to a veteran, although they are disappearing fast, or read one of the writings and accounts of those who were there.

History takes on a whole new meaning when someone you love participated in the real time events. My Dad was on a destroyer in the Navy in World War II, but since I don't have his records, I'll read what I can on the 82nd Airborne.

82nd Airborne
82nd Airborne

Read what made these men the most respected in the European Theatre during WWII. They landed all over the country side and managed to communicate and get to where they needed to be, all without cell phones. They had to rely on their wits and sometimes just plain good luck.

 
The All Americans in World War II: A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War
The All Americans in World War II: A Photographic History of the 82nd Airborne Division at War

Pictures speak louder than words. Paratroopers were known for their bravery, you have to be brave to jump from a plane.

 

Military Training

Texas and New York

In the newspaper clippings was an account of Operation Longhorn, my Dad's unit, the 508th Regiment was listed as participating Airborne unit and was part of a massive parachute jump. As I've read about this in various sites this exercise involved more than 100,000 military personnel over a seventeen day period in Ft. Hood Texas.

I believe it's during this time my Dad met my Mother when she was visiting her sister in Texas. But they never talked about how they met. In his military record is showed he had a four month military absence, but there is no detail. From what I've read it was not uncommon to get separated from your unit and they just have to wait for a way to communicate (no cell phones) and get transportation back to your unit.

Dad also participated in Exercise Snowstorn near Turin New York. I don't have too much information about this exercise, but at this point he had been attached to the 623rd Quartermaster.Company.

Paratrooper Training - Ft Benning Georgia

82nd Airborne Training photo from my Dad's memorabilia
82nd Airborne Training photo from my Dad's memorabilia

My Dad died in 1995 and I never really got to ask about the time he served in WWII or in during the Korean War. When my Mom died I found a box of photographs and military pictures I had never seen before.

Photos from Dad's 82nd Airborne Archives - Early 1950s

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My Dad is actually inside the WWII glider, at least that's what he wrote on the back of the photo.Dad at Fort Drum, New YorkDad on the upper right.Can't believe that Jeeps were actually parachuted from planes, had to be toughTraining photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft BenningDad in his Army Airborne uniform, pretty handsome guy.Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft BenningTraining photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning
My Dad is actually inside the WWII glider, at least that's what he wrote on the back of the photo.
My Dad is actually inside the WWII glider, at least that's what he wrote on the back of the photo.
Dad at Fort Drum, New York
Dad at Fort Drum, New York
Dad on the upper right.
Dad on the upper right.
Can't believe that Jeeps were actually parachuted from planes, had to be tough
Can't believe that Jeeps were actually parachuted from planes, had to be tough
Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning
Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning
Dad in his Army Airborne uniform, pretty handsome guy.
Dad in his Army Airborne uniform, pretty handsome guy.
Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning
Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning
Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning
Training photos of the 82nd Airborne in Ft Benning

82'nd Airborne Video

The Army still trains their Airborne division at Ft. Bragg, a classmate of my son's just finished flight school this year and got her wings. Congratulations Kalee for being a third generation paratrooper and a member of the elite group of Airborne.

My Dad trained in 1950 at Ft. Bragg as a paratrooper.

82nd Airborne Collectibles - Found on eBay

Military veterans and history buffs like collecting badges, patches, and memorabilia from the 82nd Airborne. eBay is a great place to find paratrooper treasures. The most desirable items are from World War II and can go as high as $1,000 for uniforms, jackets, and helmets.

Drop me a message on why you stopped my, what brought you here and your interest in the 82nd Airborne.

Love to Know Who Was Here. - You don't have to be a member of Squidoo to leave a message,

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    • profile image

      willie doss 3 years ago

      Can anyone tell me how I can get my jump record if so pls send it too my email dosscrib@aol.com thanks

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
      Author

      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @delia-delia: Thanks for the comments, you have quite the family history yourself.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Great lens and tribute to your father! It's amazing to see them when they were so young and had to go through so much...I don't have much from my dad because we lost everything during the war, but what I have I wrote about it...thanks for sharing you story about your dad!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
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      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @Zienna1: I hope you find what you're looking for, I know there are lots of dead ends, but you have a fascinating story as well. He was a hero, a fighter and without him you wouldn't be here. Thanks for commenting

    • profile image

      Zienna1 3 years ago

      I've been doing my genealogy too. My grandad whom I still haven't found was one of the guerrilla who took the American side and were lost during WW!!. My late grandma used to say he walked to the forest and never came back. I couldn't find any document that will really tell me how he died or what happened to him when he disappeared.

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
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      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @Country-Sunshine: Thanks so much for the response. I need to go to the records center. Hopefully I'll learn more. I have his ribbons, but didn't think about the accompanying medals.

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 3 years ago from Texas

      My late husband was in the 82nd Airborne during Vietnam. He saved many of his photos, and luckily, some stories as well. You might check with the National Personnel Records Center or the Military Personnel Records center to get copies of his records and/or medals. (Go to VA's website for link) I was able to get my husband's records, plus replacement medals, and it's a great way to learn more about their service.

    • Charlino99 profile image

      Tonie Cook 3 years ago from USA

      Thank you for sharing your story. It is nice to know people who were in the service during the time my Father and his brothers and sisters were.

    • inkedwriter lm profile image

      inkedwriter lm 3 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your story

    • cubicleconcepts1 profile image

      cubicleconcepts1 3 years ago

      Great lens & best of luck on your search quest, it is an honorable endeavor!

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
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      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @tvyps: Glad you like it, my boys are Marines and I wish I knew some of my Dad's WWII history. He said he was on a Destroyer, but I remember him also saying he started planes by "flipping the props" on deck.

    • Trudidyer profile image

      Trudidyer 3 years ago

      I have many family members who have served and are currently serving. It's a mystery I hope you one day can solve. Good Luck, and God Bless..

    • tvyps profile image

      Teri Villars 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ooooo, I love it...straight from the Military Buff Contributor. My Father was in WWII also, we should chat sometime! Great job

    • ThreeQuarters2Day profile image
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      Dawn Romine 3 years ago from Nebraska

      @Nancy Hardin: Thanks Nancy, He was very handsome, family friends have told me they were like a movie star couple. He loved his cars and he always took pride in how he looked.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I'm so glad to see this in the Best of Squidoo, well deserved. I've always been a proud member of the military. We knew the Airborne were the cream of the crop! After all, anybody who would willingly jump out of a perfectly good airplane all those feet above earth, has to be crazy or brave. I don't think any of them were crazy! BTW, your Dad was a handsome man too. Thanks for sharing this story.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Glad I found your page from your Twitter TL. FYI, The Army's Airborne School is at Ft Benning GA. The mini course at Bragg is for refresher training only. :)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm older; my Dad was in WWI. As a kid I remember seeing photos of him in uniform, on his Indian motorcycle (he was a messenger) and other formal photos with his medals. After he passed, the photos disappeared; the images are stashed in my memory. He is my hero.