KUNKLE, Dave C.
2 LT
O-422431
Pennsylvania
8 November 1942
Algeria
H
5
9

Indorsement: The 2d Bn 503d PIR which departed for England under Lt. Col. Edson D. Raff, officially was the first US Paratroop unit to be shipped overseas during WWII, but did not keep that designation. They were in England commencing 10 June 1942 (Gouroch, Scotland actually, and then Hungerford England) and departed for La Siena, Algeria on 7 November, 1942. Their combat jump occurred on 8 November, 1942 after a flight of 1600 miles.  At a point still subject to debate here, the 2d Bn 503 were redesignated as "D" Company of the 509th Parachute Infantry, even though the men who conducted that operation remained of the belief that they were the second battalion of the 503d. Administratively, the date of the redesignation is recorded as occurring on 2 November 1942,likely backdated.

When the 503d PIR reached Australia, for the purposes of its reports to higher headquarters, it still carried 4 Battalions - one of which was Raff's command. This situation continued for a period of 4-6 mths. Burials of the men killed in Algeria are officially recorded as members of the 503d PIR, not of the 509th PIR.

 

The submission of a photograph of this Trooper's Grave is invited.

 

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