Steven Zaley to Speak on his Father’s
82nd Airborne WWII Experiences
March 18, 2023 in Brevard

Steven R. Zaley, author of They Are Only Gone If They Are Forgotten: A Story about One of the Original Companies of the 82nd Airborne Division, 505th Combat Team, Third Battalion, Headquarters Company, will speak on Saturday, March 18 at 2:30 PM.

The location is the Transylvania County Library, 212 South Gaston St., Brevard. The first in the 2023 series of the Veterans History Museum of the Carolinas, Zaley’s talk in the library’s Rogow Room is free to attend and will include a question-and-answer period.

picture of author steve saley

Author Steve Zaley

Zaley has extensively researched and documented the experiences of his father, for whom he was named, from his early years through his training with the then new 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. It was one of the original combat teams of the 82nd Airborne Div., and the team’s four combat operations by parachute insertion in Sicily, Italy, Normandy and Holland.

Zaley’s research began after his father’s death in 1997 and a pivotal discussion he had with one of the 82nd Airborne’s military chaplains who had asked him to speak on his father’s experiences to a group of present-day paratroopers. From that beginning grew several years of investigation using original source materials, such as orders and after-action reports, contemporary military newspaper accounts and discussions with 82nd  Airborne veterans.

Writing in the foreword of his book, Zaley observed, “One paratrooper portrayed in this story found a niche in his young life for his cocky aggressiveness. That aggressiveness gave him the ability to function with precision while under fire. That precision, combined with a considerable amount of luck, allowed him to focus on winning the objective and disregard his high probability of death in combat. Although I was not on the battlefield with him, from my standpoint I am able to say that, for I knew him well.”

A former business jet aircraft pilot and aircraft accident incident investigator for General Dynamics, Gulfstream Aircraft, Zaley now lives with his wife in Mills River, NC. He has spoken extensively on his book project and his work has been recognized by the Army Airborne community. Zaley had a contract to produce the book with the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division, Provisional Parachute Group, Fort Benning, Georgia. The book was accepted as a part of the U.S. Army Official History.

By Mike Bazinet