How can you help in preserving the History of the First Airborne Task Force units histories in World War 2 ?
With this book project on the First Airborne Task Force, most of the different units that had formed it had fought well before or after its creation for the landing of Provence. So, I decided to become interested in the history of their battles and their whole existence during World War Two. In each story that I have been able to collect over the last few years, there has been a before and after of the Southern France campaign. It has become important for me to collect information about all these units.
For several years I have been collecting anything related to the World War 2 actions of the 517th PRCT, 509th PIB, First Special Service Force and more. I am always searching for additional material that can be used in order to build and provide the most complete and trustworthy source to go to for information about those great units. Maybe you have some things tucked away in dusty boxes that you never really look at anymore. Maybe you have some old documents or pictures?
Hereby I would like to kindly ask you to consider sharing some of these items with me in order to preserve these in a good place.
Plans are currently being made in order to have one central place where all of this will be saved and available. Some of the items that will be a great help in understanding and completing the History of those different outfits :
517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team :
Memories about being aboard SS Santa Rosa; The Crater; Naples; Fighting in Italy; Moscona Hill; Preparation for Operation Dragoon; The airfields; Combat jump; Les Arcs; Lorgues; Fayence; Var River crossing; Peïra-Cava; l’Escarène; Luceram; Col de Braus; Sospel; The Maginot Line forts; The Battle of the Bulge; Soy-Hotton; Lamormenil; Salm River; Trois-Ponts; St. Jacques; Bergeval; St. Vith; Bergstein; Hürtgen Forrest.
509th Parachute infantry Battalion :
Memories about being aboard Queen Elizabeth; First jump recollections; Youks-les-bains; El Djem; Tunisian Task Force; Avellin; The Italian Islands ‘Ventotene Raid’; Venafro; Monte Croce; Pisconola; Anzio; Training jump in Italy; The preparation for Operation Dragoon; The jump in Southern France; Saint-Tropez; Le Muy; La Napoule; Nice; Monaco; Maritime Alps; Battle of the Bulge; Sadzot; Belle Haie; Soy-Hotton; St. Vith.
First Special Service Force :
Memories about being Kiska, La Difensa, Monte Sammucro; Radicosa; Monte Majo; Anzio; Night raid on the beachhead; Anzio breakthrough; Cisterna battle; Artena; Rome; Lake Albano; amphibious training for Operation Dragoon; the Hyeres Island; On the french Riviera; Grasse; Villeneuve-Loubet; Var River crossing; Nice; Maritime-Alps; Up the mountains; Castillon, Castellar; Monte Grammondo; Force disband; Normandy.
Pictures of your grandfather, father, uncle, brother, anyone who served in those units, are very much appreciated. These can be used for future publications (when permission of course) . Also, pictures of places, events, anything would be great.
Maps are invaluable for research. If you have a map at home, and not sure what to do with it, please consider to share it with me. A copy or scan of it is also very helpful already.
3. Memoirs / Diaries / Stories
If your father, grandfather, uncle or brother has written down his war time experiences in any way or form, I would love to hear from you. These notes are so important to be read for future generations. No matter how short the notes are, they all help to get a better understanding of what happened.
4. After Action Reports.
These reports that give us more information about the actions and movements of a certain unit of the 9th Infantry Division.
5. (Combat) Interviews.
Interview transcriptions. Maybe done during the war, or after the war. Maybe you have interviewed your grandfather or father in regards to his actions in World War 2. These would be very much appreciated.
6. Books / Unit booklets
We’re always looking for books written by veterans. Privately published booklets are often very valuable to our research. If a booklet is long out of print, maybe it is possible to get a digital version of it.
Rosters provide the names of the men who served in a certain unit. Reading names and their information can be very helpful in locating other veterans or family members as well.
Citations are describing the events that led up to a soldier being awarded a medal / award.
9.1 Thunderbolt Newsletters.
The official 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team Newsletters have been published since 1943.
9.2 509th Parachute Infantry Association Newsletters