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Noted Airborne Combat Team,
508th, To Pass Through City

   Annistonians will see units of one of the most famous existing military units Wednesday when the 508th "Red Devil" Airborne Regimental Combat Team passes through.
   The 508th --- commanded by Col. Glenn J. McGowan ---  is being transferred from Fort Benning, Ga. to Fort Campbell, Ky, and will make a stop for gas at Fort McClellan tomorrow afternoon.
   Component units of the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team are the 508th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion, 598th Airborne Engineer Company and the 510th Airborne Quartermaster Detachment.

Formed in 1951
  The combat team was born Aug 1, 1951, when the 508th Airborne Regiment and the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion were combined at Fort Benning.
   The original 508th Infantry Regiment jumped into Normandy on D-Day with the 82nd Airborne Division and went on to Frankfurt-am-Main after VE Day to become honor guard unit for Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's headquarters. The 508th Regiment came to Fort Benning from Fort Bragg, N.C. in May, 1951.
   The colorful history of the 320th Airborne Field Artillery Battalion dates back to World War I when it fought at St. Mihiel, Meuse - Argonne and Lorraine.  Known as the 320th Glider Artillery Battalion during World War II, it saw action in Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns.  It was reactivated at Fort Benning in August, 1951, to become part of the combat team.

First Such Unit
   Organized at Fort Benning in November, 1952 the 19th Airborne Quartermaster Company was the first such unit in the Army.  Its job is to pack and maintain all parachutes and airborne equipment for the 508th and supervise all the heavy equipment drops.
  During World War II, the 508th Airborne Engineer Company served at Fort Mitchell, NC and was activated in August, 1951 as part of the 508th.
   One of only two airborne regimental combat teams on active duty, the 508th showed its combat readiness during maneuvers in December 1951, at Camp Rucker when it took the role of aggressor forces and opposed the 47th Infantry Division.

[Source: The Anniston star, Anniston, AL, Tuesday, February 16, 1954, Page 7]   [PDF version]

J.E. Downing
Will Be Sent
To Japan Soon

   FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. --- Pfc James E. Downing, 21, son of Mrs. Lessie C. Downing, 236 Hospital ave., Greenwood, S.C., is scheduled to be sent to Japan as part of Operation Gyroscope, the Army's new rotation plan.
   Downing will be flown to the Far East with approximately 4000 other members of the 508th Airborne Regimental Combat Team in giant C-124 Globemasters. The 508th will replace the 187 RCT.

   A squad leader in Headquarters Company, Downing entered the army in December 1953 and completed basic training at Camp Gordon, Ga.


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