Pickens vet Boroughs publishes third book

 By Nicole Guttermuth

Courier Staff

Zig Boroughs

Zig Boroughs

PICKENS — Pickens native Zig Boroughs has completed his third book about the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment titled The 508th Connection.

A Private’s Eye View of World War II was published in 1989, and The Devil’s Tale, stories of the 508th Red Devils was published in 1992.

Boroughs was discharged at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Nov. 7, 1945. The next day he accepted a job as a math and science teacher and boys and girls basketball teams coach at Pickens High School — his own alma mater.

“When I arrived home after my army discharge in 1945, the challenges of adult civilian life excited me tremendously,” writes Boroughs. “I anticipated with a passion living as a husband and father, no longer separated by the Atlantic Ocean and a dangerous war from my wife and child. Although the experiences and feelings of World War II affected my attitudes and ideals, my energies were so devoted to other interests that the memories of the war years were pushed into an inactive part of my brain.”

As a member of the Enlisted Reserve Corps at the Citadel, Boroughs witnessed a demonstration parachute jump by airborne soldiers. When inducted into the army, he immediately volunteered for the paratroopers.

After basic training, Boroughs completed parachute and demolition training at Fort Benning, Ga.

He arrived in England on June 6, 1944, which was D-Day of the Normandy Invasion. He was assigned as a replacement to the 508th Parachute Infantry, taking the place of a Normandy casualty of war.

After his return to civilian life, Boroughs says he thought very little about the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and lost contact with all but one of his paratrooper buddies.

“Then at 11 p.m., Christmas Eve, 1983, a memory of Christmas Eve 1944 forced its way to the surface. My wife and I were visiting with our daughter, Gini, and her family,” writes Boroughs. “Noticing that it was 11 p.m., I announced, ‘Let me tell you what I was doing at this hour 39 years ago.’”

Boroughs told the story “Burial and Birth,” and when he finished his story his daughter suggested he write the story down to share with other family members.

“Once I wrote one story, the dam burst and a floodgate of stories awoke in my memory, which resulted in the book A Private’s Eye View of World War II,” writes Boroughs. “Many details had faded with time, so I needed to check with my paratrooper buddies to get my stories straight.”

Boroughs served throughout Operation Market Garden in Holland, the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and in the Roer Valley of Germany with the Demolition Platoon of Regimental Headquarters Company, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.

After Boroughs published A Private’s Eye View of World War II, other veterans of the 508th began to tell him their stories. At their suggestion, he wrote and published The Devil’s Tale.

“The connections I have made in the 508th Association and among the friends of the 508th prompted me to write the 508th Connection,” said Boroughs. “The Connections are much more than sources for writing a book. They are friends whom I treasure. They are closer than friends. We are family.”

Boroughs’ books are all available for purchase through local bookstores (though they might have to be ordered) or are available through, or