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Paratroopers of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment

 
 

This page is dedicated to Constantine J. Szwedo

 
 

82nd Airborne Division patch

  Constantine J. Szwedo was a member of the 82nd Airborne, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Company B. Prior to becoming a paratrooper Constantine was recruited by the United States Army for their Flying Cadet program in June of 1941. It was a program that taught students how to fly all types of airplanes in the United States Army. Graduates attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant and served three years on active duty. However, while waiting to begin his pre-flight training, the Army released him from the program along with thousands of other men, as they no longer needed pilots. According to the National Archives, he then entered the Army from Chicago, Illinois on September 15, 1943, serial number 66831094. He volunteered for the paratroops after completing basic training and received his jump wings on April 1st 1944. He arrived at camp Quorn, England in early July 1944 and trained with the regiment through the summer months. Constantine parachuted into Groesbeek, Holland as part of Operation Market Garden on September 17, 1944. He was wounded there on September 23, 1944 by mortar shrapnel and sent to the 186th General Hospital in England to recover. Sometime in November before the British relieved the 505 in Holland, the regiment moved its home base from camp Quorn, England to camp Suippes, France. Constantine again saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge. I remember many of the stories he told when we were young. Some were funny, some certainly were not. I recall him talking about being in the U.S. Cavalry prior to joining the paratroopers. He spoke about riding, taking care of horses and qualifying with a 45 cal. pistol while riding a horse. I believe he was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas at the time. There's no doubt that his paratrooper service became his identity that he carried with him for the rest of his life. In his later years, he was a member of the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars). He was proud of his service and honored to be a member of the 82nd Airborne Division.

( Bio and photos courtesy of Mike and Michelle Szwedo, Constantine's son and daughter.)

   

Constantine J. Szwedo - 1944
Constantine J. Szwedo - B company



 



 


April 1st 1944



 



 




 



 




 



 




 



 




 



 

Constantine J. Szwedo - 1980
Constantine Szwedo



 



 

Constantine -



 



 


 

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