BLESS 'EM ALL
A PICTORIAL COMPANION TO THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND BATTALION, 503D P.I.R.
by William T. Calhoun & Paul F. Whitman
Bill Calhoun and I have differences on whether history is written to honor the dead or to educate the living, but they've always been an amiable one. We both agreed, early on, that the story needed to be told of his experiences in "F" Company, 503d PIR during WWII. He had joined the 36th Div., Texas National Guard whilst in high school, and enlisted in the Reserve Army Air Corps on 4 Jan 1941. To escape a permanent stateside posting he volunteered for parachute training, and graduated in June 1942, being assigned to the 502d PIR. He attended OCS and was posted to Brisbane, Australia, arriving January 1944. He had been a platoon leader 11 months when he jumped on Corregidor. Thereafter he commanded "F" Co. of the 503d PRCT in Negros. He separated from the Army in March 1946, but stayed a career reservist, retiring as a Colonel.
Based upon his research, notes and papers, we have been able to place much of his experience and perspectives into what has become "BLESS 'EM ALL", an informal history of the 2/503 Parachute Infantry Regiment. Originally, I thought it would take the form of a book, but soon discovered that the project was so huge, and had so many diverse facets, that it needed to be told by a website, to which further stories could always be added. It was a project that's taken me more than a decade, which is rather a short time in comparison, given that it took Bill an entire lifetime to live and reassemble. The website version, found at http://corregidor.org/BEA503/navigation/bea_title.htm , still isn't finished, nor is it ever likely to be because I am always working on some aspect of improving it. More recently, faced with a large number of images not in the "BEA" website, I've put them together as a pictorial companion to the the primary work.
One doesn't have to have seen the website, because "Bless 'em All - the Pictorial Companion" reads well as a stand-alone book version, condensed by being squeezed between a couple of hundred images from Bill's private collection.
The book also includes a rare set of color photographs of the 503d PRCT on both Corregidor and Negros.
Bless 'em All is now one of ten self-published books published under the auspices of the Corregidor Historic Society and of the 503d PRCT Heritage Bn. More about these publications can be found at: http://corregidor.org/publications.htm
It delivers in at 240 pages, and the price depends on whether you get a paperback, hard-cover, or photo-cover version.
Through the Corregidor Historic Society and, more recently the 503d PRCT Heritage Regiment., Paul presents thirteen publications, all connected in some way with Corregidor and the US Armed Forces in the SWPA during WWII. He started developing the Corregidor.Org website about the 1941-42 siege and the 1945 retaking of Corregidor as a penance for being an insolvency lawyer. Now retired, he has produced ten websites, more than a dozen Military History books, and has co-produced, with Peter Parsons, the documentary of the 1945 retaking of Corregidor - "CORREGIDOR - THE ROAD BACK. He married Rosie in 1980, has three adult children, and hates cats. He lives between two shores, Corregidor and Brisbane, Australia.
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