"A" COMPANY DIARY "
"A" CO. DIARY
22 August 1941 - 10 November 1945
Thomas Richard Pardue spent his war in Company "A" of the 503d PIR / PRCT. When he returned home, he brought with him a heavily redacted carbon copy of a 503d document which, at one point, he had corrected. The document was not a contemporaneous journal, and reads as if it has been written retrospectively, even if only several days after the events it describes. It contains numerous cross-outs and corrections in Pardue's own handwriting, indicating that the document may have been an early draft of what finally became the "A" Company Diary.
It has been transcribed preserving its original errors. Only minor formatting has been altered to enhance readability.
The document has been transcribed by James Pardue.*
Navigation: click on the top or bottom of the papers to go to the previous or following page. To see this document in its intended typeface
COMPANY “A” 503d PARACHUTE INFantry
Dedicated to those men of this company who originally started with it and to those who followed and will follow.
While parachute troops were just being experimented with, and still all of its capabilities were unknown, this company was formed as an integral part of the 503d Prcht Battalion.
With only one station with training facilities, all of the first units were trained at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Company “A” was formed on August 22, 1941 and became part of the 503d Prcht Battalion with 70 men as a nucleous.
22 August 41
Cpt. Billingalea first Commander of Company “A”, Deavours as 1st sgt. and company completed by other volunteers.
29 Sept. 41 to October 10, 41
Company further added to by other volunteers who came from Camp Wheeler, Camp Croft and Camp Roberts, Calif.
23 Oct 41
Captain Billingalea relieved of command, Capt. Kelly became commander. “A” Co.
10 Oct 41
Group Prcht School #8 started and new assigned EM were pupils of that school, a few going through #9 group, graduating and becoming prcht’s Nov. 8, 1941 and Feb 4, 42 respectively. Chattahoochee River will be remembered by these men.
2 March 42
503d Bn became 1st Bn. of new redesignation of name of 503d Prccht Infantry. 501d Bn became 2nd Bn and 502 became 3rd Bn. Batallions and companies reorganized into full strength as redesignated and activated. 2nd Batallion went to England and jumped later in Africa.
19-20 March 42
Change of station took place and our new home became Fort Bragg N.C. where advanced training began.
29-30 May 42
Washington Parade on Memorial Day for President Rooswevelt and this Company with the first Battalion para-troopers invade Wash. D. C.
24 June 42
Jackson S.C. jump executed for Winston Churchill and Roosevelt.
Capt. Osborne was hurt accidentally when his parachute pack broke oped and the wind dragged him through the plane and out the door.
25 June 42
Lst Lt Everett assumed command. Capt. Osborne reld
25 August 42
Lt. Haedicke assumed com. Everett rel’d
Company left Fot Bragg for desert maneuvers at Camp Young Calif. arriving Aug 28 by route Jackson, Miss.;Dalas, Tx; El Paso Tex; Tucson Ariz. All movement by plane. The company participated in two jumps on airport and area of Needles, Calif. Both were considered by judges as tactical success.
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Last Updated: 17-02-12
* "At times, it was almost like translating from another language," comments James Pardue. "The original document was amongst my father's wartime papers, and contains notifications in his handwriting. " The original document is available in its original form.