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One For The Road
[l-r] Joe Prestigiacomo, Bobby Magers, and Bill Irby at the Ringside Bar across the street from Madison Square Garden , NYC on December 23, 1943.  The 508th shipped out three days later for Ireland.  (Courtesy Irv Shanley]

Cpl Laverne J. Ball (D Co), Joe Geiser and Norman Deere (both Svc Co) and Cpl Al Davies
enjoy some time at the Greenwich Village Inn before heading for the ETO

[l-r] Bob Daniels and Harold Roy (both Hq 3), and Bob Chisholm [I Co] toast the camera in the Howdy Club in Greenwich Village.  All three survived the war.

Flock of New Yorkers
gathered at an the famed Copacabana night club at
560 West 34th Street, NYC. 
[l-r] John DeLury, Tom O'Halloran, Tom Porcella and Frank Lehman. O'Halloran was from Long Island and the other three were from the city itself.  Lehman was O'Halloran's pal but he never saw him again him since that night.  The club became even more well known after Barry Manilow's song of the same name became popular in 1978...

Patriotic Pose
[l-r] Alfredo M. Guzman and Francisco Garza, both of Company D, sit before 'Old Glory'.
  Date and location of the photo is unknown but may have been as they prepared to ship out for the ETO.  Note that they are not wearing their jump wings on their uniform blouses but do have miniatures affixed to their overseas caps.  Absence of the more obvious jump wing on the 508th white oval may have been due to keeping a low profile on paratrooper unit movement.
     Note also that Guzman's shoulder patch appears to be that of the GHQ Reserves.
(Photo courtesy Cathy Greathouse)

The GHQ Reserve shoulder sleeve insignia was worn by members of small units, which were not part of a division. As such, the 508th PIR wore this patch during their basic training at Camp Blanding through Ft. Benning's jump training and while at Camp Mackall.
   Later, after the 508th was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division, this patch was replaced by various versions of the Airborne or Airborne Glider Command patches.

Three Captains
Edward Faunce King (center) and William H. Nation (right) of Service Co. share a table with an unidentified officer in New York City prior to shipping out. King would die of wounds on 11 June 1944 in England while Nation would be killed in action in Belgium on 31 Jan 1945.

Sgt Herman Hampton (Co A) [l]
shares a table with other troopers as they prepare to ship out. All others are unidentified.
   Herman enlisted on April 1, 1941 and was sent to Hawaii as part of the CAC (Coastal Artillery Corps).  Thus, unlike the others, he sports a three-ribbon bar which includes the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign and the Good Conduct Medal.
   Herman was at Pearl Harbor during the attack on Dec 7 and was wounded
in the calf by shrapnel although it is unclear that he received the Purple Heart.
   While he was recuperating, the Army found out he was only 17 and discharged him.
   He re-enlisted after his actual18th birthday and volunteered for the airborne.

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