After 20 years of searching off and on for the family of 82nd Airborne Division, 505 Combat Team Paratrooper Hector Duquette who was KIA in Holland, I finally contacted them. They had no idea that he is considered a Hero in Holland for his actions that led to the death of many enemy soldiers. His actions also saved the lives of many of his fellow paratroopers… We are still looking for the families of the other 30 paratroopers that we could never find. I will be posting their names and what part of the country they enlisted from.
Steve Zaley’s book presentation at St Michaels Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division in Western North Carolina
Here is the interview that Ben Powers was kind enough to do about the book “They Are Only Gone If They Are Forgotten”….. The story is about the original members of the 82nd Airborne Division, 505th Combat Team, Third Battalion, Headquarters Company 1942-1945.
Steve Zaley spent three decades listening to his father’s stories about fighting in World War II with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He spent another twenty years writing a full anthology about his father’s experience. The book, “They Are Only Gone If They Are Forgotten,” is the subject of the Senior Radio in Buffalo NY.
Steve walks in his father’s shoes, taking us through the formation of th 505th in 1942, then onto North Africa, Sicily, Normany, and Holland. D Day, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge: his father was actually there. This a story Steve simply had to tell and we’re glad he did. We must forever maintain the legacy of the men who defeated Nazsim and kept Europe free.
The Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division were feared by an enemy who would defy the spearhead of the world power; yet the same paratroopers the enemy feared would be welcome into the homes of the people who waited patiently and silently for their own rescue. No other fighting unit in World War II could equal the accomplishments of the 505th Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division.
There was only one dog that was a qualified paratrooper in 1942-1943. He was a 90 lb Boxer named Max. The parachute riggers designed a special harness for him and he was fitted with a cargo chute. Colonel Gavin in charge of the Combat Team said Paratroopers are strictly volunteered, he jumps on his own and is not to be thrown out of the airplane. Max wanted everyone to know he was made of the right stuff, full of piss and vinegar, just like the paratroopers he hung out with. Being one of the guys Max also picked up a few paratroopers bad habits. Max was becoming quite the celebrity with the newsreels and selling war bonds. He was a member of the 505th Combat Team. The 505th Combat Team set many first precedents and Max was proud to be one of them. The book, They Are Only Gone If They Are Forgotten is the only book that covers Max’s complete story.