The Panther


The 505 RCT Newsletter

How THE PANTHER Came Into Being

The 505 RCT was formed in October 1986 at Ft. Bragg, NC. We were sending out small News Letters now & then. As we progressed with our Association, more news was coming in and News Letters were getting Bigger. As we got our Non-Profit Status thru the IRS, next move was to get our NON PROFIT Status thru the Postal Service and cut our mailing cost. At one time we were mailing out 1000 letters four times a yr. After I left the Presidents office in 1988; I took over as Vice President of Communications. The Post Office Insisted that I give our Publication a name. So we called our publication The Panther. The 505 PIR. had always been known as the Panthers at the 82nd A/B Div. In a few short yrs Bob Fielder stepped forward and took over the Company and Unit news part of our Publication. Bob did a great job for many yrs., and he did get the news out of many of our members. This past yr 2003 Bob’s eye sight became more troublesome, so he decided to take a little vacation from writing, and by the end of the year he and Betty will have moved into a retirement home. We wish the Fielders the very best. I will try to fill in for Bob the best I can. In the mean time we have been trying to correct our roster and mailing list.. This summer while asking our members for corrections on addresses and phones etc. we have received back 169 messages, which we will be placing in the next two issues of The Panther. In the past three or four yrs. we have cut our mailings from four issues to three issues. We have still been mailing out 700 copies of The Panther. We send 60 copies to the active Regiment at Ft. Bragg, plus copies to a number of Museums. We have a number of Honorary members who receive the Panther, plus our membership, widows, children etc. We have all good intentions to keep the 505 RCT in operation for another few yrs, which also means keeping “THE PANTHER” coming your way.

505th Parachute Infantry Regiment Activation July 6th 1942. 25thAnniversary of Activation Reunion May 1967; Ft.Bragg, NC. At this point of time, there was not much interest in starting an Association, so everything lay dormant for many years. But in late 1985 and early 1986, word started around for a 505 RCT Reunion at Ft. Bragg for October 1986. This was a great Reunion and they came with idea’s of starting an 505 RCT Association. So at the General Membership Meeting we decided to go for it. Donald W. McKeage of “F” CO. was elected our 1st President. At this point our directors were elected for two years and Reunions would be every two years. Under McKeage’s leadership we were off to the races. By-Laws and Constitution are needed for Association. Official Name: WWII Veterans Association of The 505th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team, (505 RCT) Dues were set at $5.00 Annual and after first Meeting of the Board, a Life Membership of $50.00 was started, making General Gavin our First Life Member. 1987 McKeage is busy making our New Association Fly. Request IRS for Non Profit Organization Status. Request Postal Service for Non Profit Organization Status. Our By-Laws and Constitution was being finalized: With copies off to the Gov’t. Units. Our Postal Permit was Approved On August 27, 1987. Our IRS Approval for Non- Profit status was Approved March 4,1988; Code 501-c- 19. Under the provisions of section 170 of the Code, donors may deduct contributions to you.

In the mean time plans were being made to hold our 2nd Reunion at Columbus, Ga. Home of the Airborne School at Ft. Banning in early Oct. 1988. At this Reunion Jack Tallerday was elected President. A Reunion was being planned for 1990, to be held back to Ft Bragg. Everything going our way, but came August 1990 and the 82nd A/B Div was ordered to leave for Desert Storm to do battle with IRAQ. So our 1990 Reunion was cancelled.

Jack Tallerday stayed on as our president. Our next Reunion was finally set up to be held at Las Vegas, NV. In Oct 1991, Robt. M. Murphy of “A” Co. was elected our president. He stayed on for 1992. Everything settled down for a number of yrs.

1993 EImo Jones of”B’ Co. elected president at New Orleans, La.

1994 J.J. Ryan of Hdqs 3rd elected president at San Antonio, Tx.

1995 Nick Psaki of “E” Co elected president at Boise, Id.

1996 Robt Fielder of Regt. Hdqs. Elected president at Myrtle Beach, SC.

1997 Robt Fielder President at Orlando, FL.

1998 Ed Thomas Hdqs 3% elected president at Boise, ID.

1999 Ed Sayre “A” Co. elected president at Ft Bragg, NC.

2000 Ed Sayre Las Vegas, NV.

2001 Ed Sayre Ft Bragg Reunion cancelled by 82nd A/B Div, because of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept 11, 2001 (9-11) So we missed another Reunion, which we can ill-afford to do with our age group, but this is a National Emergency and we must carry on.

2002 Ed Thomas of Hdqs 3rd elected president at Myrtle Beach, SC.

2003 Reunion planned for Colorado Springs, CO.

2004 If all goes well in this world of ours we plan to meet at the next reunion at Ft Bragg, NC.

Our association has made it thru 16 years and if all goes as planned we hope to add another 5+ years to that total.

The above info. Was compiled by our 1st president and for the past fifteen years, our V. President of Communications; meaning the Editor of “The Panther”.

Donald W. McKeage

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