• 513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    The 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment was created on December 26, 1942 ("513th Parachute Infantry pre-activated and authorized cadre grades only by authority of Par. 2 letter Hq. AGF, 30 December 1942. Subject : Activation of 513th Parachute Infantry, File 321/61, Inf (R) GNGCI (12-30-42).") and activated on January 11, 1943 at Fort Benning, Georgia under command of Lieutnant Colonel Albert H Dickerson ("513th Parachute Infantry activated per SO I, Hq 513th Pcht Inf, 11 January 1943 pursuant to authority contained in GO N°2, Hq ABC 5 Jan43 (Parachute School Pool)").

    On February 20, 1943 was published the first edition of the official regimental newspaper : "the Thirteener" and on March 13, 1943 was adopted the Regimental insignia.

    Lieutnant Colonel Albert H Dickerson was promoted Colonel on March 16, 1943 while Major Allen C Miller was appointed Executive Officer of the 513th on March 17, 1943. It is on May 31, 1943 that the Regiment was relieved from its duties of administering The Parachute Replacement Pool at Fort Benning and authorized to fill to full strength in grades as shown in applicable T/O (per letter Hq. ABC, AGF, Camp MacKall, NC, File : 321 - GNVDT, Sub : Activation of 513th Parachute Infantry, dated 2 May 1943). Officers of the Regiment attended the new Division Officers course (Fort Benning) on June 7, 1943 and was graduate on July 2 of the same year.

    The motto of the Regiment "SEQUITIS BASTATII" was adopted on June 12, 1943.

    The 513th PIR was attached to the new 13th Airborne Division on August 13, 1943 and the Battalions entered Parachute School for jump training on October (October 16 for the 1st Bn, October 20 for the 2nd Bn and October 24 for the 3rd Bn).

     

    513th PIR history         513th PIR history

    Souvenir from Private Lloyd A Martin (ASN 36869581) from Co E when the 513th PIR was attached to the 13th Airborne Division. The letter was sent on September 10, 1943 from Fort Benning. Lloyd was later transferred to the 411th AQMC (TFH collection). 

     

    513th PIR history

    This other photo shows Corporal Curtis Gadd (ASN 35224978) from Co D when the 513th PIR was attached to the 13th Airborne Division. Note the shoulder sleeve insignia on the left shoulder (with courtesy of Curtiss Gadd).

      

    The Regiment completed its 13 weeks Basic training period on January 8, 1944. Colonel Albert H Dickerson was transfered to the 13th Airborne Division Hqs on January 12, 1944. He was replaced as CO by Allen C Miller.

    January 15, the Regiment completed the individual and physical tests ABC and leaved Fort Bragg the same day to join Camp MacKall, NC and the 13th Airborne Division.

    It is at Camp MacKall that Lieutnant Colonel James W Coutts took command of the 513th PIR on January 21 while Lt. Col. Miller reverted to original status of Regtl. Ex. Officer. Few days later (on February 19, 1944), Lt. Col. Ward S. Ryan appointed Regtl. Executive Officer and Lt. Col. Miller was assigned as 2nd Bn. Commanding Officer.

    The 513th PIR transferred to the Tennessee Maneuver area on March 4 where the Regiment was relieved from assignment to the 13th Airborne Division and assigned to the 17th Airborne Division on March 10, 1944 for maneuver period. The unit immediately relocated to Camp Forrest, Tennessee on March 24, 1944.

     

    The 513th PIR at Camp Forrest - spring and summer 1944

     HQ & HQ Company 

    513th PIR history

    First row : fourth from left : Lt Col Ward RYAN, fifth from left : Lt Col James W COUTTS.

      

     513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

      

     Company HQ I

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

      

    Company A 

      513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

     

    Company B

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

     

    Company C

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

     

     

    513th PIR history

    Jump training with the 513th PIR, Camp Forrest, 1944. This photo came from the book "17th Airborne Division - Volume I". It shows men of the 513th PIR just before a training jump. The photo was probably realised at Camp Forrest between march and june 1944. The paratroopers are loading their materiel aboard a C47 airplane. Of interest, note the typical M42 combat uniform with 17th AB insignia seewn on the left shoulder, the jump boots and the T5 parachute used by the unit only during training in the USA and England. It will be later replaced by the modified T5 (with quick release system) for Operation Varsity. Despite the specific M42 paratrooper uniform was classified limited standard after the adoption of the new M43 uniform and progressively replaced by this last one, men of the 17th continued to largely used it, even during the bulge and Geman campaign (original photo TFH collection). Click to enlarge.

     

    513th PIR history

    "Souvenir photo before a training jump". This photo realised at Camp Forrest shows men of Hq Platoon of Company D just before a training jump. First row (left to right) : Cpl W H De Morgan, Sgt C Markacinis, Cpl Luther Davis Jr, S/Sgt James C De Gidio (KIA 24/03/1945), Pvt Eugene Haas and Pvt Joseph D Disarro. Second row (left to right) : Pvt Bill Austin, T/Sgt Charles J Ust (KIA 24/03/1945), Pvt Jack Davis, Pvt Edward S Reider, Pvt Virgil Osteen, Pfc Robert E McClure and Sgt Albert Jacobson (with courtesy of Curtis Gadd).

      

    513th PIR history 

    Other photo realised before a training jump, this time with men of Company H. Not sur it was realised at Camp Forrest. First row (left to right) : Robert C Fastje, Closson (?), Barc (?), Higginbotham (?), John Greenle. Second row (left to right) : Miller, John R. De Noon, Bennett, Lee, Hunter, Thomas W Hooper, ?, Key and Fred A Glavan (KIA 07/01/1945) (with courtesy of Tony Glavan).

     

    On June 5, Lt. Col. James W Coutts was apointed Commandant of the 17th Airborne Division Parachute School composed of two classes of approximately 1500 Officers and Enlisted Men per class.

    The Regiment completed Unit Training courses and tests on June 17, 1944.

      

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    513th PIR history

    These three photos show men of Company D at Camp Forrest, prior to departure for Camp Myles Standish (with courtesy of Curtis Gadd).

     

    On August 13, 1944, the entire Division moved to Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts to prepare it's shipment overseas.  The 513th PIR departed the Boston Port of Embarkation on August 20, 1944 and arrived in England (Liverpool) in August 28. The Regiment was then stationned to Camp Chisledon in the 17th A/B Division staging area, on August 29, 1944. The exact position of the unit is Tidworth Barracks, Windmill Hill. The men were stationned in tent Camp.

      

    513th PIR historyCurtis Gadd Company D at Swindon, summer 1944. Note the typical tent Camp of the 513th PIR (with courtesy of Curtis Gadd).

      

    Troopers of the 513th PIR reveived the visit of Major General Matthew B Ridgeway, commander of the XVIIIth Airborne Corps. Ten days later, the Regiment received a dedication as Expert Infantry Regiment during a ceremony and review.

    The whole Regiment realised a new training jump on September 25 at Tidworth area.

    On October 4, the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment received order to moved to Barton Stacey area, Andover.

    The men marched to Chilbolton airfield for review on November 15 and paraded before Lt. Gen. L. H. Brereton, Commander of the First Allied Airborne Army, Maj. Gen. Ridgaway, Commander of the XVIIIth Airborne Corps, Maj. Gen. Williams, Commander of the 8th Troop Carrier Command and Maj. Gen. William Miley, Divisional Commander. General Miley visited the Regiment on November 23 to announce Maj. Gen. Ridgeway had selected the the 1st Bn as the best battalion participating in the Division Review of November 15.

    For Thanksgiving day (November 23) was organise a football game between the Regiment and 507th PIR with final score of 20-0 in favor of the 507th PIR !

    The Regiment realised its last Review in England on November 25 during one hundred and forty EM awarded Good Conduct ribbon by Col. Coutts, Col. Ryan and Maj. Moir.

     

    513th PIR history