As we all prepare for our joyous holidays please join our group in honoring all veterans by sponsoring a wreath for the holiday through "Wreaths Across America". Simply donate through our 551 website link and we will forward all donations received to WAA. Please have donations in by December 15th. The wreaths are $15.00 each. Below is more detailed information on the important work of the good people at Wreaths Across America. GOYA!
Wreath Sponsorship Wreaths Across America, Columbia Falls, ME 04623 (NAGVRW) |19520| What does it mean to sponsor a wreath? It means you’ll honor an American hero at one of more than 1,200 locations nationwide this year on Wreaths Across America Day. It’s a day that’s been set aside to lay wreaths at the places where we remember, honor and teach about our veterans: cemeteries, monuments, parks… Anywhere we can pay tribute to their sacrifices.
We can’t do that without your support, though. Your sponsorship will ensure that a wreath is hand-crafted of all-American balsam and hand-tied with a red velvet bow here in Columbia Falls, Maine. It will then be sent to one of our participating locations, where a volunteer will place it on the marker of a fallen hero. That volunteer will then “say their name” to ensure that the legacy of duty, service and sacrifice of that veteran is never forgotten.
So, what does it mean to sponsor a wreath? It means you have the opportunity to join a grateful nation in saying “thank you” to our veterans.
Our Battalion mascot “Furlough” dutifully keeps watch over the monument to the GOYAs of the 551st Parachute Infantry during a chilly Saturday morning here at Fort Benning - our eternal thanks to the Paratroopers of the 551st, their descendants, friends and supporters, who will keep the memories of their service during WWII alive for generations to come..... ... See More from 551See Less from 551
Franklin W. Zehner was one of the original GOYAs of the 551st, having been assigned to the newly designated Battalion upon completion of Parachute Rigger School in December 1942 - he arrived in Panama with the main body of the 551st in early January 1943, being assigned to the Detachment Service Company, 551st Parachute Infantry on 03 January 1943 & would remain with the Battalion in the Parachute Rigger Section - here are some documents & publications that belonged to then PFC Zehner, along with a few snapshots of him in front of the Battalion’s barracks at Fort Kobbe, Panama - GOYA! AIRBORNE!! ... See More from 551See Less from 551
Several weeks ago, Ms. Pamla Swiger, daughter of Sergeant Franklin W. Zehner, an original GOYA and Parachute Rigger with the Detachment Service Company, 551st Parachute Infantry, graciously shared many of her Father's photos, manuals, documents and other artifacts from his service with the 551st, as well as the 505th and 507th Parachute Infantry Regiments at the end of WWII; what is also unique about Sergeant Zehner is that he was already a qualified Parachutist and "Smokejumper" with the U.S. Forest Service, making 17 jumps between 23 June and 28 September 1941, before entering the Army and completing Jump School and Parachute Rigger School here at Fort Benning in November - December 1942. I'll be sharing additional photos and documents related to Sergeant Zehner over the next few weeks - GOYA! ... See More from 551See Less from 551
When the 551st was inactivated on 27 January 1945, many of the surviving GOYAs were assigned to the 505th RCT of the 82d ABN DIV; the 505th continues today with the 1-505th and 2-505th PIRs assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82d Airborne Division
Rest easy Paratrooper....It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of Pfc. Jean Cruz De Leon, a grenadier assigned to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. He died from injuries sustained during a training event in Fort Stewart, Georgia.