Donald E. Abbott
Don was drafted into the army in June 1941 from his native State of Oregon.
After completion of Basic Training in Camp Roberts, California in October 1941 he volunteered for Parachute troops and was assigned to "A" Company 503rd Parachute Infantry Battalion in Fort Benning, Georgia. While serving with the 503rd Battalion he applied for and was accepted by Infantry Officers Candidate School, across the Post at Fort Benning.
Following graduation from OCS Don was reassigned to Parachute troops. He, ultimately, went overseas in "D" Company 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment in October 1942. Later he was transferred to "E" Company where he spent approximately two years. While in "E" Company he participated in the historic jump at Nadzab, New Guinea. After Nadzab the 462nd Parachute Artillery Battalion and "C" Company 161st Parachute Engineers joined the outfit to form the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team.
Don also served in"E" Company during the fighting on Noemfoor, Dutch New Guinea where he was unfortunate to get in front of a Japanese Machine Gun, thus receiving a Purple Heart. Luckily, the wound was not particularly serious. At the time Don was a platoon leader.
Don also participated in the amphibious landing on the island of Mindoro, Philippines in December 1944. From Mindoro, Don and 2000 other members of the 503rd Parachute RCT made the famous jump on Corregidor. By this time he was Company Executive Officer. He left Corregidor lying down - as a hepatitis case.
Following the recapture of Corregidor Don recuperated and was made Company Commander of "A" Company in time for the 503rd RCT to be assigned to the island of Negros where it continued to battle Japanese forces there until the war ended in August 1945.
As soon as possible after the war ended, Don left the service and returned to studies at Oregon State University where he graduated in 1948. He went to work for Crown Zellerbach Corporation, a large Pult, Paper and Forest Products Company and worked for them until his retirement in 1982. He and his wife Elizabeth have been married almost 54 years, and they live in Santa Rosa, California.
He used his retirement to rekindle his interest in Corregidor, visiting it several times during the 1980's and 1990's, and became tireless in the 503rd Parachute Regimental Combat Team, WWII Association. In 1995 he was installed as its President, and through him a large contingent of the 503rd revisited Corregidor in 1995 He's now taking life a little quieter, though he has been a godsend for CORREGIDOR THEN AND NOW, writing several contributions (but not this one). Without his assistance and advice, and the assistance and advice of a small group of veterans and amateur historians, this website would have long ago been stillborn.
Don didn't contribute this page. I wrote it partially as thanks to him for the support he's given me. and the website
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