They talk about us

509th Parachute Infantry Association

My dear Stephane,

One half hour ago at the membership meeting of the 509th PIA reunion being in Columbus Georgia, who's reunion theme is also the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the formation, of the first 509th PIB unit in 1942. I rose to tell the entire membership in attendance that included WWII, Cold War and Currant wars 509th units veterans in attendance, of your deeds to honor our WWII unit in France as the leader of your group. And request that you receive the singular 509th PIA organization honor of being bestowed, a honorary member of the 509th PIA and with this please know that the voting by our generational, 509th units veterans on this issue for you was unanimous!" So allow me to be the first to congratulate you on this singularly rare honor, as the first French national to be recognized in this way by the legendary America's first paratroopers, to jump into combat. We will now work to grater on getting this membership card to you that will take some time my friend, and we again will need you mailing address?"

Also please feel free to share this message or its news with your comrades"

My Dear Stephane,

As I can find no way of posting to your entire group to express my humility’s humble gratitude for the honor friendship respect and gifts bestowed me and my wife on our recent trip to join in the celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of Dragoon, please allow me then to express them instead to only you sir as there representative in that you and the members of your prestigious group made us feel so welcome and wanted. That once again we were overwhelmed by the hospitality we were consistently shown and demonstrated and so please know that I take great pride in all of the members of your group, in there exceptional consistent professionalism and commitment to what they do and who they represent who’s individual friendships to me, has been one last great gift to an old soldier. In closing please allow me to share with you my DMOR recipient recognition and the letter that awaited me upon my return from this trip to France.

My friend a rare "honorary membership" is a free membership for life if you did not know, but it is our combined decision that you have earned this honor!"


T Larum:

509th PIA

Special Projects Group

WWII Airborne Demonstration Team

January 26, 2020

To whom it concerns,

I have been directly affiliated with the French Airborne Command organization since 2013. As a senior official of the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team, based in the United States of America, I have worked intimately with the Airborne Command for over seven years to plan and execute WWII airborne commemorative exercises throughout Europe. Every year this has involved multiple events occurring at different times and locations primarily in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Our two teams combine forces to conduct authentic WWII style parachute jump operations based on American WWII airborne doctrines. These demonstrations are performed for the general public at special commemorative ceremonies and events focused on remembering and honoring all Allied WWII veterans. Besides performing demonstration jumps the Airborne Command also serve as living historians who demonstrate the actual ground combat tactics and maneuvers that the airborne forces employed during WWII.

Since 2004, I have been involved with planning and conducting WWII commemorative events world-wide. There exists no organization today comparable to the Airborne Command when it comes to excellence, dedication and duty of mission to accurately remember, honor and serve the WWII Airborne veterans. Airborne Command’s outreach to the public to teach the history of WWII, and to keep the memory alive of what those veterans achieved, is second to none. Attention to detail and ultimate respect are the operative words here. Thanks to them, over the years, untold thousands have been exposed to and properly educated regarding WWII airborne history.

I wholeheartedly endorse anything that anyone might do to support and further the mission of the Airborne Command.


Rodney Roycroft, MAJ.

A. Co Commander

Senior Jump Master

Overseas event coordinator

Pathfinder team leader

WWI Airborne Demonstration Team, USA

First Allied Airborne Association

Hi Stephane

Well its been a week now since returning from a great week in Southern France, only just recovered.

I would like to thank you and your group for making us so welcome and feel part of your group for the week we spent attached to Airborne Command.

It was really a great week, full on and full of new experiences for us. All of us enjoyed the experience and the oportunity to represent the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion where they fought.

We enjoyed being attached to your team so much we really would like to consider joining you in Normandy next June if the offer is still there. If possible can you give me any details you have in regards to your Normandy trip, where you are staying and for how long. We have basic plans in place, but can change our overall planning to fit in with Airborne Commands deployment. We have a commitment to a 2nd Infantry Division memorial Honor Guard the second week of Normandy, around the 12th/13th I think but for the main celebrations we are free to support you as 505th PIR.

I will look into registering on the Airborne Command forum to stay in touch with the group. Please be advised that our own forum changed a while back and you are not registered on this one, but can very easily by clicking here:

Below is a very short write up on our Southern France trip, a full report once all pics in will be posted up in due course.

In closing, thanks again for allow us to be involved and well done on planning a great week in Southern France, we all appreciated your hard work

Kind Regards

Lee Bowden


The First Allied Airborne Association.




A detachment from the group have returned from a weeks attachment to the French Living History Group AIRBORNE COMMAND. To say the deployment was a success would be an understatement. From the outset we were welcomed into the group and remained part of the 509th Platoon during all operations.

Although we came from two very different countries we all had the same sense of humour and esprit de corp, we were all American Paratroopers of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion for a week.

Over the next few days I am sure a few pics will appear on these pages, but no pics can really illustrate enough the great time we had.

From the trip over of just under a 1000 Miles to the Drop zone security team task for the Le Muy Jump, the wreath Laying in St Tropez, the Landing Craft assault on the beach at St Maxime in support of 2 Shermans, a tank destroyer, half tracks and soft skin vehicles to the Color Guard task at the US Military Cemetery, and the return road trip of almost 24hrs, we were kept busy by our French friends.

A full report will get on hear in due course of that I am sure, just need some down time and colate all the photos we took during the tour.

A very big thank you has to go out to the French Group, "Airborne Command" It was a pleasure and an Honor to serve with these guys and to be with them to Comemorate the 69th anniversary of this operation.

It is hoped that this will be the start of a long working relationship with Airborne Command and already plans are being made to join the AB-C in Normandy in 2014 and return to Southern France with more group members for the 70th OP Dragoon Commemorations. A finer group of guys you could not wish to work with.



1st Lt Lee M Bowden, Platoon Leader, Support Weapons Platoon, HQ Company 509PIB

Sgt Ben Greening, Platoon Guide, 1st Platoon, Company C, 509PIB

PFC Jon J Evens, Cpl John (Possum) Mawer, T5 Richard (Doc) Bowring, Support Weapons Platoon, HQ Company 509PIB

AIRBORNE COMMAND with attached FAAA revert to leg Infantry to assualt the beach at Ste Maxime, Southern France

Note---FAAA are the last troops moving off the beach