Military Stories Archive > WWII Paratroopers, 511th Airborne Prepare for Reunion!

17 Apr 2006

J.D. Carothers of San Jose, California didn’t know what he was getting into when he contacted us after a long night of reminiscing about his best army buddies from WWII. As members of the 511th Airborne unit stationed in Morikai, Japan, these Paratroopers really knew what depending on your fellow soldier was all about — friendships, that they soon found out would stand the test of time - 50 years to be exact! When J.D. contacted us to find eight of his closest buddies, we set to work! Some had uncommon names and they were fairly easy to find, others took a little more work. But, one by one, we found them. Sadly, two were deceased, but the other six were alive and kicking and thrilled to death to hear from the tall, curly-headed string-bean from Arkansas. Soon they were exchanging letters, phone calls and photos. One friend and his wife drove all the way from Oregon to visit J.D. and his family, and at last word, a reunion for all six is to be held in New Orleans in September! Have fun, fellas and watch out, New Orleans!

Update! As of October 31st, we have located fifteen of J.D. Carothers’ 511th Parachute Infantry buddies who were stationed with him in Morika, Japan fifty years ago during World War Two.

Sadly, we discovered that three of the buddies were deceased, one from Missouri, one from Florida and one from Georgia. However, J.D. has been in touch with their families and has exchanged phone calls, letters and pictures with them.

The remaining twelve airmen, actually thirteen if you include J.D., are scattered all over the U.S., now living in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Arizona, Oregon, Minnesota, Mississippi, Washington, Oklahoma, and of course, J.D. in California.

The WWII vets have spent the summer exchanging phone calls, letters and pictures and reminiscing about their “good old wild and wooly” days spent so far away from home while defending out country.

Research Etc, Inc. is still searching for the remaining buddies of the 511th - and we don’t intend to stop until we locate the last one. In the meantime, we are happy to report, our brave and handsome heroes of yesterday are still proudly walking tall!


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