April 2022

Welcome old and new friends and family of the 551 Parachute Infantry Association!

For those new to the group, the 551 Parachute Infantry Association was established in November 1984. The group celebrated at their annual reunions and regaled together in the memories of their time during WWII. My father Douglas Dillard of Company A was the last president of the association. After losing my father in 2017, I was inspired to reactivate the association and keep the history and memory alive of the brave men of the 551.

We are a non-profit 501(c)3 association. We have a website (https://551pib.us/) that includes the history of the 551, photos, interviews with veterans and much more. We also have a very active Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/551GOYA). Please like and follow. Great historical facts shared.

Dan Morgan’s book, The Left Corner of My Heart, has been out of print for the last year. Unfortunately, the publisher went out of business. We have just contracted with a new publisher that will offer even more services and marketing for the book. This should be made available by spring. We will be adding even more pictures! The book will be sold exclusively by our association in hardcover, paperback and e-book versions through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other notable sites.  Announcement will be made once the book is available for purchase.

Our association is free to join. There is a “Join the 551” link on our website which will add your information to our database. You will receive information on future reunions as well a newsletter that will be coming out in upcoming months. The association is solely operated and functions on individual donations, which are tax deductible, and greatly appreciated.  Your donations cover recurring expenses such as tax filings, postage, website domain, wreath for memorials and most important for the maintenance of the memorials.

Now that the air is beginning to clear we would like to begin planning a reunion in the USA. We would also encourage everyone to travel to Belgium and participate in the Annual 551 Goya Remembrance Walk sponsored by the C-47 Club Ardennes Salm River Chapter. I have participated every year (until covid hit) and it is an emotional and memorable occasion to march through the Ardennes in the footsteps of our fathers, grandfathers, and uncles, visiting the battlegrounds of the 551. Once dates are established details will be shared.

The veterans feared after their time on earth this organization would end but that is not how their story will play out. We, the family and friends of the GOYA are re-invigorated to keep the  memory of the 551st alive!  Join us!

Cheryl Dillard Staurulakis
Daughter of Col Douglas C. Dillard, A Company