Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 6:31 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: MAIL CALL NO. 1677- 517TH PRCT-DECEMBER 17,2008
 70 Pleasant St. Cohasset, MA. 02025 ,781 383 0215 * Mail Call : Ben Barrett 
I am in Dublin, Ca and will head up to Tahoe tomorrow. I will try to keep Mail Call current. Send mail
  Please let me know if you want to receive Mail Calls or if you have a problem receiving them. You can always read back Mail Calls  by clicking on

Mail Call                     
Mail Call Archives       

517th Annual Florida Mini-Reunion January 17,18,19, 20, 2009

Banquet on the 20th (Tuesday) and Departing on the 21st (Wednesday)

Hosted by: Leila Webb, Location: Ramada Hotel & Inn Gateway

7470 Highway 192 West

Kissimmee, Florida  34747

Tele: 1(800)327-9170          FAX 1(407)396-4320

Contact: Leila Webb, Helen Beddow and Lou Darden

4155 Kissimmee Park Road

St. Cloud, Florida       34772


Room Rate - $65.00            Registration Fee - $40.00

                                                                  National Reunion

Palm Springs, CA                                                Salt Lake City

West Coast Party                                                July 2009

April 20-24, 2009

Lory Curtis

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all of our 517th family.
Especially to our beloved troopers.  Because of all of you I enjoy a
very peaceful Christmas.  In 1944, you 517th troopers had a very
miserable Christmas.  Some of you have the book Letters Home, A
Paratrooper's Story.  On page 211, my Dad wrote on December 29th about
his Christmas experiences in 1944.  Thought some of you might be
interested in reading it.

Lory Curtis, son of Bud Curtis, HQ, 1st Bn.

Letter to Mom from Harland L. Curtis
Somewhere in Belgium later determined to be Stavelot
Thursday December 29, 1944, postmarked January 24, 1945

Dear Mom,

    This is the first chance I’ve had to write you for sometime
and I’m afraid for a while now my letters are going to be few and far
between, so try to understand that it isn’t my fault. 
    I’m not going to tell you anything about these past few days
because you would only worry about me and I don’t want you to do that.
I’ll tell you about it after it is all over, but for now all I’ll
say is that I’m up front fighting here in Belgium and it is plenty
      Right now I’m a little ways back from the front lines (in
Stavelot Belgium) and I am in a big mansion just like you’ve seen in
the picture shows.  I am in one of the big rooms and I am warm and even
have a radio sitting in front of me listening to a broadcast from
England, so I am enjoying myself while I can.  Yesterday I had on e of
the fellows that use to live on a farm get me a whole canteen cup of
milk out of a real live cow.  Boy, it was good just like when I was back
in Payson (Utah) and Uncle Willis (Bud’s father’s brother) milked
that old cow of Ma’s (Bud’s paternal grandmother)... ..
    I got a lot of mail yesterday and will probably get some more
today if we stay here... ..  The clipping you sent me was about our
outfit, but I’m a long ways from there now.  I came all the way across
France in one of those 40 and 8 box cars (train) you heard about in the
last war.  You won’t find much about the 517th by looking for news in
the paper because we are a “Combat Team” and wherever there is some
place they need good men fast that is where we go.  We have been
attached to almost every Army over here at different times.
    The reason we don’t get much rest is because we are a good
outfit and all the time someone is needing us.  There is nothing we
can’t do, but you people won’t read about it because we aren’t
a big enough outfit to make front page headlines.
    I was sure thinking a lot about you people at Christmas and
wondering what you were doing and if maybe you were thinking about me
that day while I was ducking bullets and shells, and if there would ever
be a time when we could all be home for Christmas together again.  I saw
a lot of guys that day both ours and Krauts that will never see another
Christmas, and all I could do was pray to God that it wasn’t my time
to go, and I guess it wasn’t cause here I am.  I’ll never forget
this Christmas as long as I do live, and you will never know how glad I
am that this war is being fought in these countries and not in ours and
I’m glad that you people there will never have to see some of the
awful things I have, but I don’t even want to think of them so I’ll
drop the subject... ..
    I’m going to heat me up something to eat now so I’ll say so
long for now, and I hope some more mail comes in tonight.  It is sure
swell to get mail from home so keep it coming.  Oh yes, I got two
packages from you just before I left that last area (censorship would
prevent Bud from telling his mother exactly where he was in case the
Germans intercepted his letters home.  Each of his letters were opened
by Army mail personnel and screened before they were sent out). To come
up here in Belgium.  Thanks a lot for them they sure tasted good.
Believe it or not I ate that whole can of pineapple and fruit ca
laying on the ground with machine gun bullets whizzing only about 6
inches over my head.  I figured at least I was going to eat that instead
of some darn Kraut, come what may.  Send some more when you can and some
cookies and candy.   Lots of Love,    Bud

Bruce Broudy


Ben, as we approach this holiday season I am reminded what the 517th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team was doing on Christmas Day 64 years ago in the Battle of the Bulge. These men truly, without exaggeration, saved the world. We are so proud that our father played a role (see his bronze medal citation below). May G-d bless you and keep you. Bruce, Ron and Eileen Broudy(Shaw)

P.S. I regret missing the Florida mini-reunion, but hope to make it to Salt Lake City


Steve Markle

hope that this finds everyone in good health and spirits as we enter  into the Christmas Season of 2008.

Here is the April 1985 issue of Wings.
Article and index for all issues;

Howard Hensleigh

Dear Ben,

I am sending Leo Dean $50 for a couple of the reprinted Odyssey to send to Chuck Boyer's Uncle who is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Darrell has these books and can send them when we get our ducks in a  row and provide him with the stuff that go with the books.. 

Since Red Meline and I knew Chuck best, we are getting up a brief history of the 3rd Bn. S-2 Section and Chuck's role in it to be sent with the books to the 82nd Lt. Col. who is on the admiral's staff.  We think Dick Seitz and Darrell will provide covering letters.  We have been a little slow on this but will get to it.

FORT BENNING.  When we had our reunion at Ft. Benning a few years ago, most of us visited the Infantry Museum.  I was impressed by the airborne display and the tribute to the infantry stating that all of the five star generals of WWII had served in the infantry, even those who ended up running the Air Corps.  The musium was a little crowded and that is the reason for this added message.

A new $104 million Infantry Museum is being constructed on a 200 acre plot where the Fort joins Columbus.  It will honor the infantry soldier from the Revolution up to the present time.  I got wind of this in the Fall issue of the SAR Magazine, which has pictures of this impressive building now going up.

Best airborne regards and a MERRY CHRISTMAS to all,  Howard Hensleigh

December 17, 1944

1944: American soldiers massacred in Belgium

Seventy to eighty-five American soldiers and officers were murdered by German soldiers today near Malmedy, Belgium. The soldiers, members of the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, were captured by the German Waffen-SS Kampfgruppe Peiper and marched into a field between the towns of Malmedy and Ligneuville. After the SS column began to move on, SS soldiers began shooting the prisoners, some of whom managed to escape into the nearby woods. “It was the first major reported violation of the prisoners of war convention by Germany against American soldiers, although the record being compiled by the allies as a whole is replete with atrocities and violations of the rules of war against civilians and other allied soldiers, especially on the eastern front,” explained The Ogden Standard-Examiner on December 30, 1944.


The 3rd BN. was in Malmedy December 24.1944. H Co slept in a hay barn Christmas eve and knew about the Massacre. Dec.25,the skies cleared and the skies were filled with American boomers heading for Germany.  The 3rd Bn. left Malmedy Dec. 25 to prepare for the retaking of Manhay Dec. 27--Ben