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  Nation William Capt 508th PIR parachute wings med


          William H. NATION, was drafted into the U.S. Army in January 1941 from Arlington, Texas, and was sent to Camp Bowie, Texas, for basic training and incorporation in the 36th Division. While he was serving with the 36th, he was chosen to attend Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, in April 1942., and immediately after graduation in July of that year, volunteered for and was accepted into training to become a paratrooper. He was a member of the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment and become a qualified parachutist on 14 August 1942. Bill was in the original cadre of officers that formed 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. in the fall of 1942, and he served in the Personnel Section of Service Company during that time. He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 22 June 1943 and served as Regimental Adjudant (S-1) for the balance of his service in the 508th P.I.R.


          Captain NATION was part of the stick which included Colonel Roy E. LINDQUIST, Regimental Commander of the 508th P.I.R., as they parachuted onto the soil of Normandy at 2:14 a.m., 6 June 1944, and landed in the swampy floodplain of the Merderet River east of Amfreville. He remained with the 508 throughout the Normandy campaign. On 17 September 1944, Captain NATION jumped with the 508 into Holland as part of Operation Market- Garden. Captain William NATION served throughtout the fall of that year and into the next, participating in the Battle of the Bulge.


          In December 1944, the 82nd was sent in the Ardennes to stop a major German break- through. The 508th PIR took defensive position on the Salm River at Vielsalm and Salm- chateau.  Captain NATION took part to the first phase of the Battle of the Bulge in Goronne and to the tactical withdrawal on the 24th of December 1944. On the 3rd of January 1945, the Allied armies counterattacked. The regiment remained in reserve until the 07th of January. this day, the 508th retook the Thier-du-Mont hill, the same hill they occupied before Christmas. Captain NATION undertook to carry out the evacuation of civilians in the villages coming under the control of the regiment.


          On the 10th of January, the Red Devils were billeted for rest in Chevron. While in this village, Captain NATION wrote his last letter dated January 19, 1945. On the 21st, the 508 returned to the lines near the German border. Captain NATION was killed in action in the early morning hours of 31 January 45, while setting up a forward Command Post in Lanzerath-Losheim area.


His body was laid to rest in Henri-Chapelle Cemetery in Belgium.

 NATION Bill grave


          1998        --         September 2010  

                  Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery


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     I also want to honor the memory of my good friend Harry HUDEC, died March 28, 2007, in Cleveland, veteran of the 508th PIR  who gave me the opportunity to know the story of Captain NATION. Since March 1998, I've adopted the grave of Captain NATION and I honor his memory and the memory of the many young American soldiers who did the supreme sacrifices of their lives in WWII. Harry HUDEC brought the nephew and namesake of his uncle into contact with me and  I had the great privilege to meet several members of Captain Nation family in 1999 and 2001. 


 Lanzerath- April22,1999



Coo - Jan23,2001

 1999: first meeting with family members of Capt. 

             William H. NATION. Here in Lanzerath.

2001 - Very first visit of Bill C. NATION, nephew of

             Captain Nation, in the Ardennes

             L-R: Eddy LAMBERTY, Bill NATION, Claude 




     I also want to thank Mr. Dominique FRANCOIS, France who allowed me to use the dedication page to Captain Nation from his book "The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment- Les Diables Rouges" published in 2001 to write this tribute. I've added further information regarding the Battle of the Bulge.


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Nation my frame


          When I've adopted the grave of Captain Nation in March 1998.  I asked to associate Harry HUDEC to the certificate of adoption as he was the man who retrieve the body of his captain in the destroyed house in January 1945. (For more information read the book of Zig BOROUGHS 'The Devil's Tale' page 278.


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