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John D. Reynolds


"Our soldiers never die, they just fade away!" So General of the Army Douglas MacArthur reminded us when he gave his farewell speech at West Point. And now we know that another old soldier, General George M. Jones, United States Army, Retired, has also faded away. At their meeting on the island fortress of Corregidor, Colonel Jones awaited the arrival of General MacArthur. This time the roles have been reversed as General MacArthur was there at some meeting place to greet General Jones. We all extend our sympathies to the immediate family members of General Jones even as we understand that a man may have a number of families. General George M. Jones certainly had a number of families. In addition to his conjugal family he also had his Airborne family, and within that family he had his beloved 503d family.  I know that many of the men who served in the 503d have this feeling of a family relationship. They have a closeness and a camaraderie that is shared by only a scant few in a national population of 250 million. And all of us know that it really is not appropriate to say "Good-bye." The German ex­pression of "auf wiedersehn" or" 'til we meet again" is by far the more meaningful.

And speaking of this 503d family, like all families, it has a lineage consisting of ancestors and progeny. The 503d Parachute lnfantrv Regiment and the 503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team were both just a historical segment it of the 503d lineage. They were neither the Alpha nor the Omega - the beginning or the end. In the development and the discussion of a family lineage one usually works from the present back to the past - from the foliage to the roots. And the 503d has a current foliage carrying on the name of the 503d. It is the 1st Battalion, 503d Infantry assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea. Its lineage is of THE ROCK  REGIMENT.

It had been suggested to me that many of you might be interested in the 503d lineage, interested in your 503d family. Over a period of the rest of 1996, portions of that Iineage will appear here in your column and will be presented in a chronological order. All of the lineage information comes from the U.S. ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY, 1099 14th St. N. W., Franklin Court Bldg., Washington, D.C. 2000-3402. There will be several instances where my comments will be applied.



First Published in The Static Line February 1996 
©  John D. Reynolds 2000 All Rights ReservedBye?


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