509th ASSOCIATION

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WARTIME FIRSTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE 509TH PIB

10 June 1942 - First American Parachute Battalion to deploy overseas arriving in Glasgow, Scotland and stationed at Chilton Foliat, England

29 August 1942 - Hold American and British wartime record for lowest mass parachute jump executed at 143 feet

08 November 1942 - First American paratroopers to conduct a combat parachute invasion, Oran, North Africa

08 November 1942 - The longest combat parachute operation of World War II from Lands End, England to Oran, North Africa a distance of 1500 miles

08 November 1942 - Lt. Dave Kunkle was the first American paratrooper killed in action on an Airborne Invasion.

08 November 1942 - First American paratrooper to receive the Distinguished Service Cross Capt. William P. Moir

08 November 1942 - First American paratroopers to earn the Combat Infantryman Badge awarded 10 April 1944

00 December 1942 - First American unit to attack German forces, Faid Pass, Tunisia

12 December 1942 - First American in WWII to be awarded the French Legion of Honor Col. Edson Raff

01 May 1943 - First American paratrooper to have a training facility named in his honor Pvt. Tom Mackall

06 June 1943 - Awarded the red beret by Major General Sir Frederick A.M. Browning, Commander 1st British Airborne who made the 509th PIB "Honorary Red Devils" basis for maroon beret

14 September 1943 - Conducted the first American Pathfinder operation behind enemy lines at Avellino, Italy

22 January 1944 - First Army paratroopers to spearhead an amphibious invasion, Anzio, Italy

06 February 1944 - First American unit to be awarded a foreign badge during World War II the French 3rd Zouave Regiment badge

08 February 1944 - First American paratrooper to receive the Medal of Honor Cpl. Paul Huff

Most decorated American parachute battalion of World War II with 1,718 Purple Hearts awarded

Developed the concept of Pathfinders while in North Africa

Developed the first parachute rigger section while in North Africa

First American paratrooper to earn a battlefield commission Lt. Jack Pogue

Performed five combat jumps in WWII - Oran, Youks les Bains, El Djem, Avellino, Southern France