CIB Badge

Of all the Medals Upon our Chest From the Battles and War we knew, The one admired as THE VERY BEST
Is the one of Infantry Blue. It is only a rifle upon a wreath,
So why should it mean so much?
That gives it that Magic Touch. To earn this special accolade
You faced the enemy's fire
Whether you survived or not
God dialed that one desired.
For those of us who served the cause
It is the

CIB Badge

37- Joint meeting at the DROP ZONE Cafe and upcoming events for the CIB Assoc.

In this episode of the H21 Southern Branch, Austin, Texas Chapter of the Combat Infantrymen’s Association, we deliver to you the summary of the Joint meeting of the CIB chapter with the 82nd Airborne Division Association Alamo Chapter in San Antonio, Texas, on 24 October 2009, at the Drop Zone Cafe.

Drop Zone cafe in San Antonio, TX

As you will hear in the audio episode, the Drop Zone Cafe is really a historical landmark in San Antonio, just on the short path to the entrance of Fort Sam Houston, Texas. It has memorabilia and photos of Medal of Honor Winners Benavides and Rocco, as well as photos on the eaves and walls of the buildings within of past-and-present PARATROOPERS since World War II (yes, Fred Castaneda had his color version of this photo on the eave of the ceiling in the restaurant building:

Fred's color version photo in the Drop Zone Cafe

One other thing to note is that we had welcomed our newest member, Dave, who received his CIB in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. The officers Bobby Briscoe, John Torres and Tony Martinez, made him feel at home. Also, Duane Williams and Fred Castaneda joined in, as well.

CIB members welcome Dave to the group

In addition, we confirmed the upcoming membership of Don Bailey, who was interviewed in an earlier episode here at this podcast site. If you may remember, Don earned his CIB in the Battle for Grenada in Operation Urgent Fury, when he was an infantryman in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Duane Williams and Don Bailey

We had both organizations conduct their monthly meetings there. You can get all the details of the happenings and future events scheduled for:

– 4 November 2009: Bobby Briscoe and team going to Fort Hood, Texas, with a delegation for recruitment of in-service CIB award winners and the Wounded Warrior Program;

– 7 November 2009: Veterans’ Day Parade in San Antonio, Texas;

– 11 November 2009: Veterans’ Day Parade and Ceremony in Austin, Texas;

– 12 December 2009: CIB members are invited to the home of John Peed for a joint meeting and Christmas party gathering, with donations of toys, etc., for the San Antonio group of the Battered Women and Children’s Organization.

Also, during the final part of this episode, we once again honor Darrell G. Harris, member of both the CIB Association and the 82nd Airborne Division. Not only was D.G. Harris one of the very first paratroopers in World War II who made the very FIRST airborne combat jump with the 82nd Airborne, but he was one of the very FIRST who earned the COMBAT INFANTRYMAN’S BADGE in 1943 for his participation in Operation Husky in Sicily. (Note: the CIB was first created and later issues in 1943 and 1944).

Darrell had everyone in the meeting hypnotized and in awe as he recounted from memory his experiences during Operation Market-Garden (the invasion of Holland in Septermber, 1944)–especially when he participated in capturing the Grave River Bridge and the Nijmegen Bridge over the Waal River. Yes, this is the famous and dangerous suicide crossing during daylight that was recounted in the movie, A Bridge Too Far (where actor Robert Redford played Julian Cook, the Batallion Commander). And, yes, Darrell did row across the river under tremendous fire from the enemy, and he later helped to disengage and compromise the demolitions on the bridge to keep it intact for the later invasion of Germany. He explains this in his biography version of his book, Casablanca to VE-Day: A Paratrooper’s Memoirs.

D.G. Harris at the October meeting in the Drop Zone Cafe

D.G. Harris is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, San Antonio’s Alamo Chapter.

The feeling of brotherhood with all the comrades was wonderful and eventful. We encourage the members to attend these joint meetings.

We will bring you the details of the November activities and further meetings of the Chapter and its members in the next podcast episode.

Copyright (c) 2009, Matrix Solutions Corporation and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association. All Rights Reserved.

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