Archive for the ‘Living-History’ Category

Farewell Friend

The 509th said goodbye to our friends and brother Doug Holaway after a courageous battle with cancer. Doug was known by many in the reenacting community as a fun, light-hearted, generous man, whose presence will be deeply missed for a long, long time. Doug was an avid WWII (509th PIB), Viet-Nam (5th Group Special Forces) Re-Enactor, and military collector. He was an honorary member of Viet-Now, a member of the World War Two Historical Reenactment Society, and a member of the EAA Warbirds of America. Doug was 52. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Debbie, and his entire family.

Godspeed Doug.

“On angels wings, I hit the ground.
My Father’s favor, I have found.
In thanks, St. Michael I do pray.
For God has helped me–ALL THE WAY.”

2010 Recap

Events this year include the WWII Tribute at Lowell, IN, an new event at the Illinois Railway Museum highlighting Anzio, Itally, an amazing week at EAA Airventure, and WWII Days in Rockford, IL.

Living Heritage

The 509th was invited to Heritage Woods of Batavia, IL, and assisted living community to participate in their annual picnic, this year’s theme theme being World War Two.  The community is home to many veterans, including WWII so it was a pleasure to talk with many vets and hear their stories. When handed an M1 Garand, one vet who saw action in France, Belgium, and Germany became very reminiscent saying, “Hello baby. I’ve missed you.”  Helping round out the event were several vehicles and displays from the First Division Museum at Cantigny in Wheaton, IL and music by The Legacy Girls, a trio bringing the music of the Andrews Sisters to life.

The 509th featured in Collinsville

In 2008 the 509th was approached by filmmaker Jerry LaBuy to play a role in his movie Collinsville. ” I wanted to make a film in which a person gets a chance to actually do something about a very important “what if?” situation in their life. One from their childhood. One they could revisit and see how different it is when seen through their adult eyes,” stated the director/producer. “The production was a great success and we had a fantastic cast and crew that made it all happen.”

Watch the film HERE.


All images are property of Caledonia NIght Sky Co. Used by permission

2009 Recap

A full year of events. Lowell, the EAA Air show at Osh Kosh, and beautiful weather and huge crowds at Rockford. Enjoy some photos from the year.

Memorial Day Parade, 2004

In 2004, the 509th had the opportunity to march downtown in the Chicago Memorial Day Parade. It is always an honor to represent an aging generation as more and more WWII veterans become unable to march themselves.

An honored tradition of the 509th is to call out any veteran seen in the audience and offer a company salute as the unit marches by. This gesture is another way we say “Thank You” to anyone who has sacrificed for our freedoms.

509th Honors, Awards, & Firsts

Some 3,000 men served with the 509th during the course of World War II. Along with the storied history of the battalion these men earned many honors, including: (more…)