22-12-1924 Interview With Ralph Burrus 1997
508th PIR Regimental Pocket Patch

508th  P.I.R  Assocaition  (WW-II)

 

Op de volgende pagina's kunt u het interview lezen over Ralph Burrus. Ralph Burrus was een Veteraan van het 508 Parachute Infatery Regiment. Op 17 september 1944 landde Ralph Burrus in de omgeving van Groesbeek als pathfinder van het tweede battalion. Het interview is afgenomen door Oral History Interview Het interview van Ralph Burrus kreeg ik per mail toegezonden van zijn dochter Jolené Burrus. Jolené heeft samen met haar man nog niet zo lang geleden de plek bezocht (Foxhill - Groesbeek) waar haar vader Ralph heeft gevochten tegen de Duitsers. Mocht u nog vragen hebben naar aanleiding van dit interview dan kunt u dit kenbaar maken door een mailtje te sturen naar Jolené de dochter van Ralph.

 

hill30.jpg (45623 bytes)

Click on the photograph and you see a monument of Hill 30 in Normandy. On this place? has fought Ralph Burrus. The name of my father stood in this historical wall.

 

On this webpage can you read an interview with ralph Burrus. Ralph Burrus was a veteran of the 508 P.I.R. Ralph has fought between Market Garden at the second battalion of the 508 PIR. He has also fought in and nearby Groesbeek. This interview has the daughter of Ralph sent me with her e-mail. This webpage heard by my great webpage of the beautifful tourist village Groesbeek. You can see this dutch webpage by http://www.geschiedenisgroesbeek.nl

Michel Janssen webmaster of the website Groesbeek a beautifful village in the Neterlands.

Klik om de foto te vergroten...

  • We are talking with Ralph Burrus, who was a member of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne during World War II.  Mr. Burrus what was your date of birth?
  • Ralph Burrus: December 22, 1924.
  • And where did you go to school?
  • I went to school at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Columbus, Ohio.
  • What were you doing before the war?
  • Just a student, basically.
  • Were you in high school at the time? Just before the war?
  • Yes.
  • And you graduated, did you enlist then?
  • No, no I didn’t graduate at the time because I had lost a year because I had pneumonia.  So I was about a year behind, so when the war broke out I was old enough to go, so I decided to do my last year when I got out.  So I finished up when I got back.
  • So when did you enter the service?
  • I went in December, January 1st, 1943.  My first training, I went to Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indiana.  And there from there they deployed us, distributed us wherever they wanted to put us.  I went to Fort Riley, Kansas.  I went into the horse cavalry.  Might be a very funny story for you.  When we got there they put us in actually in the horse cavalry and I went to advanced basic training in horse cavalry.  It was the last horse cavalry in the United States Army.  They disbanded after we got finished.
  • After you were all trained, you were all done.
  • So, I put an application to go to OCS and at the same time the airborne were looking for volunteers, so I put a request in for that also, and whichever one come through first that’s where I’ll go.  The airborne came through first.  Unbeknownst to me that two weeks later the acceptance letter for the OCS came through.  So anyways, we get trained we get up and go down to Fort Benning, Georgia, and they didn’t take us right into Fort Benning itself they took us across to the Sandhill area, which is in Alabama, which is across the river, the Chattahoochee.  We spent about the next month I’m assuming there, but that didn’t happen until, I got to figure my time out, that was probably May or June of 1943.  We trained for 6 or 8 weeks before we ever got through jump school over in the Alabama area.
  • What was the training like?  What type of training…
  • Mainly what we did was calisthenics and conditioning.  Nothing more than conditioning.  All the guys that were there already went through basic or something at some time or another, basically.  So as far as learning how to get in line, how to march, how to black right or black left or whatever you need to do was pretty much all part of the game.  But they got us in condition.  So we went through jump school, probably 6 weeks after we got there.  And we went through all 4 stages of the jump school.  In fact we were the first class to make a night jump in jump school.  That was part of the 541.
  • Well, sir, isn’t there a fairly well known hill or mountain that you would…
  • Cactus Hill?  Yeah Cactus Hill was on the south part of the Losset field.  Of course the first parts are all flat, you get into a little rolling hills, but its all thistle bushes.  We jumped there one day and one of our jumps and we got drug through those thistle bushes.  And I'm picking splinters out of me for weeks later.  We finished the school and we moved from there to Camp McCall, North Carolina.  At that time, they broke up a few of us and they sent me out with a 508 who were still in the country.  Now went on maneuver, went to Tennessee, and I can't remember the name of the town we were in.  I only spent two weeks there, but they had been there for a while.  Then they sent me back to 541 again.  So I went back to the 541 and about that time they decided to break up the whole 541 regiment.  Diversify them or split them up into different regiments.  Some of us went to 508, some to 507, some went to the 504, 505.  So by the end of the year this is before December, we were in Camp Shanks, New York, they put us on a ship, the James Parker, which was the same ship that the 508 had just gone over on.  Then it came back and we went over to join them.  I’ll never forget the view coming up the English Channel.  The Irish Channel, I’m sorry.  As we got near Belfast the grass was just as green as the middle of summer time, because there was  golf you understand.  We landed at Belfast and that was as I remember somewhere around the first part of January, like the 3rd or 4th or 5th of January.  And they took us to a little town called Newtonards.  We spent the next 8 or 10 days there without leave, and not much food.  They were short of rations.  So one night one of the guys decided, “You know, they’re not feeding up anything, all were getting is a little Spam for breakfast a little Spam for supper and maybe a little coffee here and there, but no bread.”  Everyone must wait for the rations to come in so we decided that if one guy goes to town everybody’s going to go.  So the whole company going to town.  So we found a little place…
Stealth rapport van 1944-1945