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The 517's Gang - new book on the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team


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(Don't know which section of the forum I can post this)


My name is Loïc, nearly 27 years old and I am french.


After nearly ten years of 'work' I self-published my very first book last may about the Independent Airborne troops in Southern France. This book entitled "The 517's Gang" tell the untold story of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team from Italy to Southern France told only by veterans.


After many years or research, I realized that dozens of testimonies never used were written by these veterans over the years. I have been able to collecting all these testimonies and I decided to organize them in a coherent and chronological way with the help of other documents and testimonies as well as some present in the few books dedicated to the unit. It is then a long work of investigation which was put in place. The unit was particularly known - for the little it was - for its fights it had delivered in Provence, but the fights in Italy in the Ardennes and Hürtgen were much more unknown.


After I have published the French version in May 2019 which get a great interest about an outfit mainly forgotten, many people asked for an English one that I did, after many month or translation and adaptation.


Forums for me was over since a while as I work a lot for my book project and in my professional job (graphic designer). None of you probably know me, but this book have been wrote with many details, and using an even more rigorous approach.

There are approximately ~450 photos in the book, most of them unpublished. I have to say however that it was very difficult to find photos about such a specific theme, so the reader should be warned that the number of high quality unpublished photos is limited, though there are a lot of them.


Every English-speaking airborne enthusiast should find this book interesting to read, because of the numerous personal stories.

Below I will show a few pages from the book, to present the style and features that can be expected in it.



The book in English is 248 pages long with the same content as French. More than 450 pictures and historical artefact (helmets, webgear) are included coming from various private collection in Southern France and Belgium.


Book can be ordered only on my personnal website (no Amazon, abebooks or other website) : https://1stabtf.com/en/boutique/the-517ths-gang-us-eng-version/







A few veterans get it recently.


Bob Webber, 1/517 Heavy Mortar Platoon



Allan Johnson, 3/596th Airborne Engineer Company


Thank you very much for you interest :)

Loïc Jankowiak, author of The 517's Gang

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Charlie Flick

Hello Loic:


Your new book looks very interesting. I don't think that the 517th RCT has ever gotten the coverage or credit which it deserves. I congratulate you on what appears to be a fine effort.


The book's cover indicates that it is Part 1. Am I correct in assuming that a Part 2 will be forthcoming and will cover the Ardennes Campaign of the 517th?


Would it be possible for you to post a picture of your Table of Contents?


Thank you.



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Hello Charlie, you have totally right ! Part two will cover the battle of the Bulge as well as the Hürtgen Forrest through the end of the war.


Here is the Table of contents :)






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Congrats! I love that you got copies into the hands of surviving vets - no doubt they had nothing but praise for your effort.



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Controvich Library

How does one get a copy?



The Controvich Library

Springfield, MA

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