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504th Parachute Infantry Normandy Pathfinders  


The reason this update happened was due to an email I received the other day.  Gotta love it when someone comes out and said I was wrong as there was one soldier I didnít have as a Pathfinder. 

 

Located the Morning Reports showing that this person was beyond wrong.  But while looking for the Morning Reports for Byron Peterson I came across something of interesting about another 82nd man.

 

T/5 Carl Selfridge along with Private Peterson was transferred out of the 504th to 82nd Airborne Division, Headquarters Company.  Selfridge was busted back to Private and moved to the 82nd Division.

 

Peterson was killed on June 6 and what happened to Selfridge I donít know.  The interesting part about Selfridge was I could figure out that he was the Company B Supply Clerk before being busted and sent out of the Regiment.  Always fun to discover a little bit more about a Regiment.

 

The 507th and the 508th Parachute Regiments were going into combat for the first time so it was decided that the Pathfinders for both would receive Security from men from the 504th since they had been in combat since July of 1943.

 

28 men were attached to both the 507th and the 508th.  Only 26 of those 28 men jumped into Normandy as Pathfinders.  Two men didnít go in.  The first was Gene D. Lewis Company D of the 504th.  It turns out the Lewis came down with hepatitis May 7, 1944.  He was confined to quarters to start.  Lewis ended up going to the Hospital for a month and came back to Company D 504th the second week of June.  So even thought he was listed as going to the 508th he never got there.

 

The second man who didnít jump into Normandy was Jack Cockrell from Company E of the 504th.  Cockrell was arrested at the end of May and was sent back to Company D. 

 

So there you have it, 26 504th men jumped as Pathfinders Security into Normandy. 

 

 

BN Siddall

May 30, 2023

 


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