Copy
The  Official Electronic Newsletter of the Veterans and Descendants of the
U.S. 17th Airborne Division, WWII 
The mission of the "Scions of the 17th Airborne" is to honor the service of all veterans of the 17th, and to educate others about the history and sacrifices made by the troopers who served in this division during WWII.

We strive to accomplish these missions by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their families can gather, and by sharing their recollections.  We communicate with our membership using this "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, through our website, and on our Facebook page. Additionally, we collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
Issue # 94 - December 2021 - January 2022
Please send us your 17th related news items, stories, questions etc., so that we can share them with the entire group.
You may direct your mail to the Scions at:
Carolyn Tuttle, Adam Coolong, Ed Siergiej Jr.- Editors
Visit our Facebook page at:

17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants)

Post your 17th related photos, stories and questions.
In This Newsletter
 
- Annual Meeting in Lancaster, PA - April 8 - 11, 2022

- Scions trip to the ETO - Jeff Schumacher 

- 17th Veterans Needing Your Calls 


- Membership Renewal Information - by Secretary Ed Siergiej


- Welcome New Members

- Donations to Memorial & General Funds




Thunder Mail Call in memory of Editor Trooper Bill Tom
 
- Letters From Home and Abroad

- New book about the 17th Airborne Division

- Become a Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne

- TAPS

- 17th Airborne Online Store


 
Scions Annual Meeting in Lancaster, PA

We want you!
 
Calling all 17th Airborne Troopers, Trooperettes, Scions and Friends. We want you to attend our Annual Reunion April 8-11, 2022 in Lancaster, PA.

Please call the Steamboat Inn to make your reservations (717-299-9999) before March 8, 2022. But don't wait that long; the hotel is a popular destination and fills quickly. A major credit card will hold your room; you will not be charged until check-out. Make sure that you mention that you are a member of the 17th Airborne group.

The nightly rates are as follows: Single: $193.35, Double: $236.75, Triple: $280.15, and Quad: $323.15, all plus 11% tax. Rates include family-style breakfast (Saturday, Sunday, Monday) and dinner (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). We look forward to seeing you!

As we get closer to the reunion date, details will follow in the newsletter about the reunion schedule. However, note that check-in will begin on Friday, April 8th, at 3:00 PM, with check-out the following Monday, April 11, (no later than) 11:00 AM. At this point in the planning process, do know that the schedule will include our Candlelight Memorial Service, a brief on our recently completed trip to the ETO with veterans Herrera and Weaver, attending veterans open mic session, our annual general membership meeting, a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the 17th Airborne, and jump qualification for our new members. For those who have not attended in the past, our Candlelight Memorial Service will honor those troopers who died during WWII by unit, as well as those troopers who we have lost during the past year.

While Lancaster has many attractions and beautiful countryside, our main focus will be to be together, share stories, make new friends, meet our attending troopers, relax, and...
 
HAVE FUN!

 

From Scion President Jeff Schumacher

SCIONS ETO TRIP WRAP-UP (Part II)

October 25 - November 6, 2021
 
This is the second of a two-part summary of the activities and events from our two-week experience. This segment covers the second week of the trip; Monday, November 1st through Saturday, November 6th.

First,
 allow me to address a truly noteworthy item which was inadvertently omitted from Part I. On Sunday, October 24,th once we shuttled to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, we were soon thereafter met by Frederic Dehon (Golden Talon Belgian Association) and Helen Patton, granddaughter of General George Patton. Helen met and spent some personal time with the veterans, their families and the other Scion travelers who had arrived that morning. She also brought several copies of the book  VICTORY; 335 Days for Getting Europe Free,  for which she had written the preface. Helen signed the books she brought and presented them to the veterans and others in the group. Her visit was quite a wonderful surprise for all. Pictured with Helen is Dennis Neal, son-in-law of Trooper Richard Weaver.
Many thanks, Helen (and thanks for the picture, Dennis)!
Monday, 1 November, we enjoyed our last breakfast at the Hotel Melba in Bastogne before checking out and heading for Germany. Marilyn and the hotel staff gave the group a "so long, farewell" wave from the hotel as we rolled away. En route, we visited the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery near Hombourg, Belgium. This cemetery covers fifty seven acres, with 7,987 graves. After visiting the welcome center and map room, a floral arrangement was placed at the foot of the archangel statue, and yellow roses at the headstones of the 17th Airborne troopers at rest; thirty seven graves and one at the Wall of the Missing.
https://abmc.gov/Henri-Chapelle

(Monday, 1 November, continued) A catered lunch was enjoyed on the coach prior to rolling again. Next stop, Wesel, Germany. After crossing the Rhine River bridge and winding our way through Wesel, we arrived at the Hotel House Duden before dark and in time to unpack and relax for a while before enjoying a tasty dinner buffet (and pudding). Hotel House Duden, which would be our "Command Post" for the remainder of the week, is located within the boundary of what was "Landing Zone S," where hundreds of the 17th Airborne gliders landed on the morning of March 24,th 1945.   

Tuesday, 2 November, after breakfast, we convened in the hotel’s conference room for an overview of “Operation Varsity,” presented by Jos Bex. The group loaded up on the coach for a short trip to downtown Hamminkeln (British drop and landing zones), where we were received by the Bürgermeister (Mayor) and staff. We gathered in the town hall meeting room where the veterans were formally recognized and thanked for their service and sacrifices in liberating the German people. Brief messages were delivered by Mayor Romanski, Skip Greeby and Andrea Kormann-Lowe. Also in attendance were local high school students who were selected to join and witness the visit of our returning troopers to Hamminkeln. After the presentations, the group adjourned to the plaza where a wreath was placed and a moment of silence observed near where a number of memorial plaques are displayed, including one honoring the 17th Airborne Division.
(Tuesday, 2 November, continued) The plaques made for great photo ops for all. (One with the veterans and high school students is included above.) 

We then walked a few short blocks for a tasty lunch hosted by Mayor Romanski. We enjoyed the lunch and the time to relax and converse. After lunch, the coach was loaded and again rolling, this time to the site of “Liberation Tower.” This new museum, the creation of Mr. Olaf Prinz, was to have been dedicated in 2020, but the Opening Ceremonies were rescheduled to coincide with the arrival of veterans Weaver and Herrera. The structure was an electrical utility transformer tower prior to the acquisition by Mr. Prinz. It now includes relics and artifacts from 1945 and celebrates the liberation of Germany and specifically, those in this area where Operation Varsity was conducted. Mr. Prinz told of his vision and the process to bring the museum project to fruition, after which the museum was opened to the veterans for first visits, then the remaining attendees, public and press. Our thanks to Mr. Prinz for all his efforts to make the museum a reality and for the opportunity to have 17th Airborne veteran representation at the opening ceremonies. 
(Tuesday, 2 November, continued) Departing from Liberation Tower, we returned to the Hotel House Duden for a warm-up and rest before the 17th Airborne Memorial Service, held in the Hotel Haus Duden conference room. 

It is at this service, a tradition of the 17th Airborne Association and now maintained by the Scions, where 17th Airborne troopers who made the ultimate sacrifice are remembered and honored, as well as those 17th Airborne troopers who have passed in the last year. Veterans and family members are involved in the service during which each unit; Company, Regiment, Battalion, etc. is recognized and a candle lit for each. A warm and rich buffet dinner followed in the dining room, with hospitality afterwards. Then, it was time for some much needed rest!
 
Wednesday November 3,rd  we again boarded our rolling home-on-wheels with the Lembeck area as our first destination. Upon arrival at Lembeck Castle, we were warmly greeted and received by our host, Herr Graf von Merveldt. “The Count” explained much about the castle; when it was initially constructed, additions made and up to present day remediation to the moat and sea wall structures.  Maintaining a castle takes resources! 
(Wednesday, 3 November, continued) This is the third time the veterans and Scions group has visited the castle, with each visit bringing more meaning and significance for both the Count and we visitors. Indeed, since our last visit in 2017, our tour guide and fellow Scion Jos Bex was chief negotiator and boots on the ground to secure support from the Herr von Merveldt to memorialize Medal of Honor recipient TSgt. Clinton M. Hedrick. Trooper Hedrick was mortally wounded near the sally port of the castle bridge and perished from his injuries.  

The plaque honoring trooper Hedrick was formally dedicated by the veterans, the Count, the Mayor of Lembeck and Scions in attendance. Technical Sergeant Hedrick’s Medal of Honor citation was read, flowers placed and a moment of silence was observed following taps.
(Wednesday, 3 November, continued) Following the dedication of the plaque, snacks and coffee were enjoyed at the café, with hostesses Birgitt and Heike, who opened the Café especially for our group!  Cakes and desserts...delicious! Thanks, ladies!

Back to the coach for the ride back to Hotel Haus Duden for a little rest and dinner after this memorable day.

Thursday, 4 November was our day for small group battlefield tours. Two tours were conducted; the morning tour group was that of veterans and families of 193rd/194th GIR veterans. A variety of sites where the 194th gliders landed and where the troopers were engaged in combat were visited. 
(Thursday, 4 November, continued) Flowers were placed at a location of significance identified by trooper Herrera near Viervinden (four winds) and the Issel River. Between tours, a light lunch sandwich & soup buffet was served in the hotel dining room.
(Thursday, 4 November, continued) The afternoon tour group included veterans and families of the 466th PFAB, 513th PIR and Division HQ. Placing of flowers was done at the 466th, & 513th Drop Zones and in remembrance of  Division HQ.

After dinner at the hotel, the group gathered to view a presentation recorded by Tony Parks, an Australian whose family members were liberated by the 17th Airborne Division from a forced labor camp in the general area of Münster. Tony was unable to travel with us due to restrictions in Australia, but wanted to convey the story of his family, and the resulting domino effect (from their liberation) over the last seventy six years. Thank you, Tony!

Friday, 5 November; our last full day in Germany. It was a busy one! We adjusted the schedule a bit to include a trip to Haltern am See, where Richard Weaver recalled some adventures. I believe I heard him say “that’s where I almost got my ticket punched..twice.” Richard has a way of concisely conveying the situation.
(Friday, 5 November, continued) Off to Haltern we went with not much of plan other than to explore. As it turned out, Haltern was quite a pleasant surprise. The weather was decent, Charles-Henry easily found a place to park the coach, and the center of town was a short walk through pedestrian-only streets, lots of shops and a farmer’s market underway in the town square (which was a circle).

A great place to wander, shop or sit with a cup of coffee and people watch. One might think the author would have taken many pictures! Nope. But below is a picture of the old town hall and I’d guess it was taken around 11:00 am. Exciting…I guess you had to be there!

Richard, and family along with Jos and Greg made connections in the aforementioned old town hall (see photo below) with historians who helped decipher where Richard, ticket still intact, might have been in April of 1945. It seems they did indeed identify a location where the Division HQ command post was for a time, in a residential area. After a brief visit, it was determined that Division HQ had been at this location, but it was not the ticket-punching location. Onward!

We loaded up and made one more swing through town with our sights set on Duisburg. Here we go, but we made an emergency stop for (wait for it…) a McDonalds! No kidding, and in order to avoid certain mutiny, the coach made a right turn and full stop just before masses of Scion inmates escaped and ran for die Goldenen Bögen. It was kind of funny, but no pictures were allowed. 

After filling the coach with the wafting fumes from the Royales with Cheese and Shrimp Combos (really), we re-played Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and continued for Duisburg. Traffic into the center of Duisburg was slow, but our coach pilot expertly routed us to the center of town and parked the coach across the street from the Duisburger Hof Hotel and the Opera House, both of which were places of note in 17th troopers’ recollections of the area. 

We gathered at a spot directly across from the Opera House and König-Heinrich-Platz (King Henry Place). This area has been significantly redeveloped into a mixed-use commercial marketplace. However, in 1945 this was the spot where 17th Airborne Division troopers made Nazis exhume and rebury the bodies of labor camp victims. This seemed a place of significance to read a message to the group from Tony Parks and observe a moment of silence for these poor souls, now perhaps long forgotten except by 17th Airborne veterans (and Scions). 
    Opera House (background)
   King Henry Place & shopping (background)
(Friday, 5 November, continued) We had some time to wander, get a coffee or visit the shopping mall before re-boarding and heading to Munster. Yes, one more stop on this busy day of retracing the steps of the 17th Airborne in Germany. The weather turned a bit sour on us before we got to Munster, so the umbrellas and rain gear were needed. We had time to wander a bit, sight-see, shop, or just sit and have a beer with friends. Hint: don’t play cards with Richard and Dennis. Just watch and learn.   

At the appointed time (or shortly thereafter), the group began to filter back from the streets to the parking lot where the coach was waiting, with the heater running. Bless you Charles-Henry! Now dark, it was time to set sail for Hotel Haus Duden and our last dinner there (with pudding). After some more hospitality, it was time to get started packing for the next morning’s coach loading efforts. Our time in Germany for this trip was almost up.
 
Saturday, November 6,th our last day of scheduled activities started with a special treat; a Covid test! Okay, not so much a treat as a necessity, but I do want to express our gratitude to the Hotel Haus Duden staff and EMT team who accommodated the testing of our entire group after breakfast. Before we were done loading the coach and ready to depart, we had everyone’s test results in hand (all negative), and were thus armed with some of the documentation required for our return trip to the US. 

Our first stop of the day was the Netherlands American Cemetery at Margraten. The Netherlands Cemetery occupies over sixty five acres and includes over 8,000 graves, with the Tablets of the Missing adding another 1,700+ names of those lost in WWII. 

https://abmc.gov/Netherlands

Upon arrival, we were greeted by our friends from the Netherlands, both old acquaintances and new. It was satisfying to once again have an opportunity to shake hands with these friends who have for many years been the custodians for the graves of our fallen heroes. We see them too infrequently but are often reminded of their dedication to the tradition of remembrance and honoring the fallen of the 17th and all American soldiers. 

We were also met by representatives of American Legion Post NL1, including Post Commander Joshua Steinlicht and Legion member Mark Chernek. As many of our 17th Airborne veterans are and were members of the Legion, it was especially meaningful to have them there with us. Mark Chernek, a Legion member and Marine once again performed for the veterans and Scions in the entrance chapel, singing several songs, and playing guitar. Mark also had a young lady accompanying on several songs and who serenaded the veterans and Scions on the bus before we departed. Wonderful voices and very special tributes to our veterans.

The group placed floral wreaths at the entrance to the tower chapel, after which teams of Scions and veterans visited and placed yellow roses at the headstones of 279 graves and three at the Tablets of Missing. Although the weather was brisk, there were no complaints. Once again, our veterans showed their mettle, and everyone in our group felt the significance of honoring these soldiers, saying their names aloud once again. A floral wreath was also placed at the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Private George J. Peters, 507th PIR, 17th Airborne Division.
(Saturday, 6 November, continued) After long good-byes, it was time for us to be on our way. We bade "farewell, for now" to our Margraten friends and marched on. Last stop: Brussels.

We arrived at the Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport in time to check in and relax for a little while before gathering in the dining room for our farewell dinner. We were joined by a number of friends who hosted and supported us during our 2 week trip. Greg, Winnie-Virginie and the boys, Laurent, Sigita and Ugne, Frederic Dehon and his escort, Real and Marianne, Daniel and Nicole, our pilot, Charles-Henri. We enjoyed an evening of good food and camaraderie, hugs and laughter and a few tears as well.   

There are so many people to thank for the extraordinary effort that goes into the crafting of all we saw and experienced. Some we have never met, and possibly never will. Others we know well and will see again, but never soon enough. On behalf of our traveling group and the Scions organization, please know that our gratitude is greater than our ability to convey and reflect what is in our hearts. 

To see these veterans honored in the presence of their families and on behalf of their brothers is overwhelming and serves to further fuel our commitment to them. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this trip a reality and to overcome the many challenges. In the spirit of the 17th Airborne, everyone adapted and overcame each obstacle and in doing so created a gallery of experiences we will never forget. We look forward to the next great adventure, together! 

Lastly and especially, a heart-felt thanks to our veterans. You have persevered and overcome many challenges in your days. We thank you and your families for making this trip and for allowing us to walk with you. It has certainly been a great honor to do so.

Airborne…
Jeff
Please Help Us to Keep Tabs on Our Veterans
 
Time is taking its toll on our 17th Airborne veterans. Each month, we send a hard copy of this newsletter to over fifty 17th veterans, but every month we get some back notifying us that the address is no longer current. Sometimes they have relocated to be closer to family, or to a nursing facility. We do our best to track them down, but it can be challenging and time-consuming.

We are asking for your help. If you are aware of one of our veterans who has moved, please let us know by emailing us at Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com

If you become aware that one of our veterans has passed away, we would ask you to notify us immediately at Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com. Our Veterans Outreach Team will work to arrange to ship our replica  of the Division Flag to the Memorial Service, and also to arrange for one of our members to attend if at all possible. The sooner that we know of a veterans passing the better. Thank you for your help in honoring our honored Troopers.
Please take some time to reach out to these
17th Airborne Veterans


By Ed Siergiej Jr, Secretary
 
Our Veterans outreach team has been sending cards to the seventy-three 17th Airborne veterans for whom we have contact information, as well as to some of the widows of our troopers. The current health crisis has had a tough impact on many of our veterans, who in some cases are not allowed to leave their homes, or even rooms. As tough as it is for all of us, it is much harder for our veterans. The following veterans have specifically reached out to ask us to share their contact information.
 
A call from you would make a great difference in their lives right now.

Additionally, we would like to find volunteers to stay in contact with our remaining veterans on a regular basis. In some cases they have moved, or are having health issues, and we are not notified in time to be of some comfort. If you are willing to be a part of this effort, please contact us at Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com and we will pass on a few of their names to you. Remember how much we owe them!

Leo (Marty) Schlocker 513 Co D
118 47th Street
Newport Beach, CA. 92663-2506
951-639-7248

Paul A Wilson  193rd / 194th
Norman Veterans Center
1776 E Robinson Street Room D207
Norman, OK 73071
405-414-7817

Sidney Levit
3675 N Country Club Drive Apt 2602
Aventora, FL 33180
973-214-4169 


 
Membership Renewal
 By Ed Siergiej

 
Our membership year runs from March 1 to February 29th of each year. Renewal notices were mailed out in February, and many of you have already renewed your membership. 

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to send in your renewal, so that we can continue to fulfill our missions. 

This newsletter, and all the activities of our Scions organization are supported by your membership. We mail hard copies of this newsletter to all of our 17th veterans, at no cost to them. 

If you are unsure of your dues status, please email us at Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com. 

Yearly Membership is $35 per person or $50 for a family.

Our mailing address is: 
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811-3353

If you use Paypal, you can pay your dues that way. Please use the Paypal Calculator to add the Paypal fee.   
https://www.salecalc.com/paypal

If you would like to make an additional contribution to support our General Fund, Memorial Fund, or the Dead Mans Ridge Walk Fund, it would be most appreciated. All donations will be acknowledged for tax purposes.

We thank you for your support of our missions, to honor the men of the 17th, and to keep its history alive.
Welcome New Members

Donald Murray
Son of George E Hilton (139/B)

Duncan Hollands
Historian

Marc Van Bijlin
Associate Member

Donna Mountain
2nd Cousin of Raymond Lesher (194/K) KIA

Jeffrey Lefebvre
Son of Leon L. Lefebvre (513th)

Jeffrey Montgomery
Son of George J. Montgomery (513/A)

Stephen Lamica
Nephew of William A Barrett (193HQ2 / 194AT)

David DuBois
Son of Boris DuBoisky (Div HQ)

Patty Swedberg
Daughter of Edward J Pawlowski (194th)

John Sindoni
Son of John Sindoni 194/D

Patricia Oakes
Scion of Robert Nugent (513/C)
Scions Memorial Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.

The "Scions of the 17th Airborne Memorial Fund" is an account with the specific purpose of supporting activities that honor the memory of our veterans who have passed on.

Some examples of how these funds will be used are as follows:
  • Providing wreaths for our annual ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Providing wreaths for the four Medal of Honor recipients on Memorial Day.
  • Funding for the cards sent to the families of veterans who have passed on.
  • Shipping our Division Flag to funerals for 17th veterans.
Contributions in memory of a 17th Veteran, or any group of 17th Veterans (Such as Co F, 513th, for example)
may be made to this fund by so designating.

Contributions can be made to:
Scions of the 17th Airborne Memorial Fund
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811


Generous Donations to our Memorial Fund have been made by:

Robert Readinger

Nancy Horsley

John and Helen Lee Coleman

Chuck Katz

Peggy Martinez

Linda Vanek

John Heinrich

Mavee Hoover

 
Donations to Wesel Memorial Trip Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.

Ray Sindoni

Kurt Hunter
In Memory of William R Hunter (194/HQ)

Larry Hunter
In Memory of William R Hunter (194/HQ)

Bonnie Weaver
In Memory of Wayne Leyda (194th GIR)

Ryan White

Donna Mountain

Donald Lesher

Tom Liddell

Douglas Blanc

Jeff Schumacher

Peter Brooks
In Memory of Peter Gautier Brooks (Div HQ)

Erwin Flohr

Luc Horck

Nancy Horsley
To honor John A Cutchin Jr (513/I)


John G McKenna
In Memory of George W McKenna 513/HQ

Stanley Kasavage

Chuck and Leonard Katz
In memory of John Katz (194/HQ)
Wounded in Action March 24, 1945

John Heinrich

Eric Grimshaw

Diane Balderson

Joe Hatfield

Patricia Oakes

Jean Redmerski



Reflects Donations as of 2/18/2022
Donations to Scions General Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.

John McKenna

Duncan Galloway

Thunder Mail Call

For many years, Trooper Bill Tom (194/C) was a major contributor to the original hard copy newsletter of the 17th Airborne Division Association, "Thunder From Heaven." After the dissolution of the Association in 2007, Bill began an email version of the newsletter, and continued that publication, "Thunder Mail Call" until the formation of the Scions Organization in 2011. With Bill's help, we integrated his newsletter into this publication. We were saddened to hear of Bills passing on September 10, 2019. We dedicate this portion of our newsletter to Bill.

WANT ADS AND REQUESTS
FOR INFORMATION


Have a request to make for information, or for research help?  Send us an email and we will post it in a future edition of the Thunder From Heaven newsletter, in this section!
                                   New Book                   

               17th Airborne Division at War
                   Photographs from the National Archives

                                 by Edward R. Siergiej

This new book was the result of research at the US National Archives. It includes over 160 
photographs from a collection of the US Army Signal Corp taken in Belgium and Germany. Each photograph has the original caption by the Signal Corp photographer. Context to the photographs is provided with excerpts from the Division Diary.
 
$25 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
 Mail your check to:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811
or 
Pay with PayPal to Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com
Diary of a WWII Gliderman 263 pages indexed with numerous pictures.  Jack and Betty Ogden letters (1940-1945) from 17th AB 194th HQ,  Camp Mackall, Camp Forrest, Battle of the Bulge, Operation Varsity, plus letters from family and friends in other theaters of operation.  Limited copies $40.00, checks only, John Ogden, 102 Adams Avenue, Woodsfield, OH 4379
For orders outside of the USA, contact John for postage.

Editors note: This book gives a great insight into what was going through the mind of one trooper in the 17th during training, combat, and after the end of the fighting in the ETO. Information from the division historical record gives context to the bigger picture that was unknown to the men in the front lines. A great book for anyone who wants to know more about what it was like to be "Airborne" in 1944 - 45. Thanks to Scion John Ogden for making this limited edition book available.  (Ed Siergiej Jr.)

 
Robbie Rijnmond is interested in locating a photo of Trooper Eugene Ferry (194/K) who was KIA March 27, 1945. Anyone with information can send it to us at Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com
Great Article From a New Member
Scion Burke Morton, son of Trooper Frederick Morton (194/B) provided a link to an article about his father which was published in VFW magazine in 1948. Click  on the link below to read this great story.

 

TAPS

 
IN MEMORY OF THE FALLEN SOLDIER
by Isaac Epps (RIP)

 
   The ones who went
   Were truly sent
   To do a Noble Deed;
   When evil showed
   They took the load
   In Justice, they believed.
   They heard the call
   And gave their All
   And some did not not come back.
   They knew the chance

   But took the stance
   When Liberty was attacked.
   It Speaks of Duty, Faith; and Love;
   It speaks of a respect
   for Country; For Others,
   For the Right of Man;
   To forget would be neglect.
   On this Their Day

   We stop to pray
   Their Memory shall live;
   The sacrifice they made was Life.
   What more can someone Give?
17th Airborne Memorial
Fort Benning, Georgia
Standing Guard

Submitted by Dominic Biello
If you become aware of the passing of one of our 17th Airborne veterans, please notify us immediately. We will make every effort to locate a member of the organization to attend the funeral and support the family in any way possible. Often, by the time an obituary is posted, little time remains to make these arrangements. Send an email to
Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com.
Our Veteran Outreach Team will also contact the family. 
Kenneth W Anderson
681/A

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 
Kenneth W. Anderson, Sr., 97, formerly of Hellertown, died Sunday, December 26, 2021 at his home. He is the husband of the late Eleanor V. (Mullen) Anderson who died January 5, 2006. Kenneth was born in Bethlehem on September 26, 1924 to the late Erving, Sr. and Edith (Stiles) Anderson. He served our country faithfully in the US Army during World War II. Ken was a layout operator for Electric Western Electric for 34 years until retiring in 1984. He was a lifelong member of Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church, Center Valley, Edward H. Ackerman Post 397, VFW Post 3904, and the Dewey Fire Company, all in Hellertown.

SURVIVORS: Children: Tory V. Weaver of Bethlehem, Nadine L. (Matthew S.) Baumann of Chula Vista, CA, Kenneth W., Jr. (Deborah) of Richmond,VA; grandchildren: Jennifer, Jonathan, Kaelyn, Gregory, Shawn; great grandchildren: Amanda, Christopher. Predeceased by brothers: Robert C. Anderson, October 7, 2014, Erving, Jr. in 1938.

SERVICE: Family and friends are invited to call 10-11 a.m. Thursday, December 30th, 2021 at the Heintzelman Funeral Home, Inc. 326 Main Street – Hellertown followed by the service at 11 a.m. The interment will conclude services at Highland Memorial Park, Allentown. Make positive choices following CDC guidelines. Online expressions of sympathy can be recorded at: 
www.heintzelmancares.com.

CONTRIBUTIONS: In lieu of flowers, memorials to a charity of one's choosing.
Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association
 
Trooper Blanchard's son reports that
"He was planning to parachute jump for his 100th birthday on March 3, 2022. It is sad that he didn't get to accomplish that dream. However his two Grand-daughters and I are going to jump with some of his ashes on the first sunny weekend near his birthday. He lived a long and proud life. We couldn't be more proud that his passing was on the Veterans Day Weekend as he served with the VFW and the Am Vets in Corning, CA. The Am Vets had renamed their post the Thad Blanchard Post. So he leaves quite a legacy of service to his fellow Veterans."

Arthur Dahl

681/B

Victor Filimon
139/C

Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Lakeway: Victor Filimon passed away at the age of 106 in his home December 24, 2021. He was born in Canton, Ohio on August 15th, 1915, the third son of Eva and Daniel Filimon. Preceded in death, Victor's wife, Mozelle departed to heaven April 4th, 2018.

Victor attended OSU and was commissioned a Second LT in the US Army at graduation. Victor earned his Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree in 1941 from Ohio State and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Case Western Reserve. World War II interrupted his work and he served in the European Theater as Captain US Army, Parachute Co-Commander 17th Airborne Division, "Golden Talons". He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals for his heroic service.

Upon release from the US Army, Victor was employed by the Standard Oil Co. of Ohio from which he retired some 35 years later. On June 29th, 1952 Victor married Mozelle Nowlin. Continuing his work with Sohio and projects in the lower 48, it was requested he manage the design and construction of the Valdez Marine Terminal for The Trans-Alaska Pipeline located in Valdez, Alaska.

Victor and Mozelle retired in Lakeway Texas in 1980 where they were active members of the Tres Vista community. Victor was one of the first members of the Hills Signature Golf Course when it opened in 1981. Victor and Mozelle were members of the Lakeway Church. They felt truly blessed that they were able to grow old together with 65 years of marriage.

Victor is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, many close friends, and his beloved cat Tosha, all of whom will miss him dearly. A special thanks to his loving caregivers for their tireless efforts and who were like family to him.

Victor and Mozelle did not have children of their own but were parents to many through their caring love and support.

A memorial service will take place at a later date. Memorial online condolences can be made at www.neptunesociety.com

Posted online on December 28, 2021

Published in Austin American Statesman

Edward Good
513/HQ & HQ Co.

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 
Edward Pershing Good passed from this life early on the morning of December 23rd, joining his devoted wife of 67 years who passed away just four months ago. He is survived by his five children: Thomas (Marcia Giltner), Amy (David Finkel), David, Gretchen (Daniel Nash), and Christopher (Ann Daugherty). He will be missed and fondly remembered as “Grandpa Good” by Jordan, Katie (Alejandro Morales), and Lydia Good, Ann and Justin Finkel, Leo and Tiffany Nash, Jacob and Jeremiah Good, and great-grandsons Nico and Emilio Morales. He will be dearly missed also by 11 nieces and nephews and many loving friends. Edward was predeceased by his sister Jane Good Fazio (Alphonse, d. 1993), and brother Frank (d. 1926).

In recent years Edward received much well-deserved recognition for his WWII service as a paratrooper and infantryman. His five sons and daughters grew up knowing little about this chapter in his life, not because he was reluctant to tell wartime stories, but because he was fundamentally a humble man who would talk of his valorous experiences only when asked. If pressed about his occupation he would say, “I’m a lawyer,” because “attorney” to him sounded a bit too pretentious. It was left to his children, once they became old enough to appreciate his accomplishments, to add that his client was the entire US auto industry, and that he once argued a case before the US Supreme Court. Only if pinned down with a direct question would he admit that his legal education was “in New Haven,” by which he meant at Yale. The only bragging he ever did was about the accomplishments of his wife, children, grandchildren, and their pets (not always in that order).
 
He was a lifelong, ardent admirer and lover of his wife, Justine. He read much and retained nearly all of what he read. He was an instinctively good and patient father who instructed and guided his children much more by example than command, and a faithful son of the Church. He had an independent, reflective mind and was an engaged citizen at the neighborhood, county, state and national levels. In retirement he volunteered at local hospitals, at church and assisted the Wayne County Sheriff’s department as an assistant deputy at public events.
 
We, his sons and daughters, are grateful for the staff at Sunrise Senior Living - Farmington Hills, and Michigan Community VNA- Hospice for the care and support they gave him.
 
Details about visitation and a memorial service will be at the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home website when finalized.  We are proceeding cautiously and with some delay in celebrating his life in order to safeguard the health and safety of friends and family, given the current Covid surge.
 
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Alternatives for Girls at alternativesforgirls.org
.Verna Dean Greenwald
Widow of Harold Greenwald (680/HQ)

 
The Scions are sad to report the passing of Verna Dean Greenwald. She and her husband Harold were active members of the 17th Airborne Division Association. At many annual reunions of the 17th Association they provided music for the Sing Alongs and Memorial Services. 
 
Verna Dean Greenwald, 93, died January 31, 2022, in Columbus, OH.  She was born on November 18, 1928, in Cleveland to the late George H. and Erma (Poole) Krause.  She graduated from Kent State University in 1949.  An English teacher in Wyandot County and Tiffin, she retired from Tiffin Columbian High School in 1986 after 30 years in teaching.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Harold Greenwald; also preceded in death by her brother, Warren Krause.  Survived by her children Daniel Greenwald (Janet) of Iowa City, IA; Jane Greenwald (Robert Kowalski) of Dublin, OH; Alice Greenwald (Dwight Corn) of Foley, AL; grandchildren Renee Walker (Ben) of Germany; Jeffrey Greenwald of Iowa City, IA; Sam Kowalski of Dearborn, MI; Philip Kowalski of Washington, DC; Marc Zimmerman (Chaozhao Zhang) of Duluth, GA; great-grandchildren Lillian and Bradley Walker. She was a member of Hilliard Senior Center and St. James Lutheran Church.  Friends may call at TIDD FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 5265 Norwich Street, Hilliard, OH, 43026 (614)-876-1722 on SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2022 from 1:00-2:00pm. with the Memorial Service following at 2:00pm with Pastor John Hood officiating.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. James Lutheran Church, 5660 Trabue Road, Columbus, OH  43228.  You may leave condolences and memories at www.tiddfuneralservice.com.  The family requests that visitors wear masks, with no physical contact to protect everyone.
Jerome Knittle
517th Signal Company
Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 

Jerome Lawrence “Jerry” Knittle passed away on January 21, 2022 at the age of 97. Born November 16, 1924 in Grand Rapids, MI to Lawrence Knittle and Louise Busch Knittle, Jerry grew up in Washington, D.C. and was a member of the St. John’s College Class of 1942. After serving in the Army during WWII, he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Jerry started his career in government service working for the Federal Power Commission, which was brought into the Department of Energy as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He retired in 1979 and often joked that he had been retired more years than he had worked! Jerry was the proud father of Christine Knittle Willis (Edward), John Knittle (Geraldine), Joseph Knittle, James Knittle (Elizabeth), Patrick Knittle (Ingrid), Paul Knittle (Kelly), and Mariam Knittle Virag. He was grandfather to Claire Willis, Jeremy Willis, Diana Dolan-Beulah (Mike), Amanda Knittle (Janine), Sean Knittle, Andrew Knittle, Lindsay Knittle, Sophie Knittle, Maggie Knittle, Caleb Knittle, Isaac Knittle, Meghan Knittle, Charlie Virag, Ben Virag, and Abby Virag. He was great-grandfather to Cameron Beulah and Lexi Knittle. Jerry is also survived by his only sister Jeanne Knittle Hasty, his sister-in-law, Jeanne Baker Rossomondo, brother-in-law, Herb Baker, and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his lovely bride of 55 years, Dolores Baker Knittle, Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers-in-law, Richard Hasty, Frank Baker & Frank Rossomondo, his sister-in-law, Jeanne Martin Baker, and his son-in-law, Dean Virag. Jerry was a devout Catholic who sincerely believed in the right to life and the dignity of the human person. There wasn’t anything he wouldn't do for his family, his church, or to help another human being. He was a long-time member of St. Louis Catholic Church in Groveton, VA, where he volunteered his time at a variety of church functions, serving as President of the Men’s Council, President of the Home and School League, being a lector, usher and lay minister, even selling Christmas trees. He was a 100% devoted Dad, supporting his kids in their activities and sports events, including coaching for the church Little League. Jerry believed in Catholic education and was a supporter of both St. Louis Catholic School and Bishop Ireton Catholic High School in Alexandria from their beginnings. He made sure that all of his children attended and graduated from Catholic schools. After he retired, Jerry was active in the Mount Vernon Council of the Knights of Columbus. He learned to play golf and played regularly with the local senior league. He drove for the Meals on Wheels program and was a volunteer for the church transportation committee.

After his wife’s death, Jerry moved to Culpeper to be near his daughters. He joined Precious Blood Catholic Church, became a member of the John J. Cempre Council of the Knights of Columbus, and was an avid supporter of Epiphany Catholic School. Weather and health permitting, he drove himself to daily Mass every morning and followed that with a visit to pray at his wife’s grave. If the opportunity arose while visiting the cemetery, he made a point to introduce himself to his future neighbors. He knew the power of humor as both a calming and uplifting force. Jerry enjoyed playing golf and played several days at Bryce Resort the week of his 97th birthday. He enjoyed dancing, an ice cold Rolling Rock, and body surfing in the ocean while at the family beach house in Nags Head, NC. A member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division, Jerry loved his country and attended reunions with his Army buddies whenever he could. In character and in the way he lived his life, Jerry was an example of everything a person should strive to be.

The family will receive friends at Clore-English Funeral Home, 11190 James Monroe Highway, Culpeper, VA, Sunday, January 30, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. – 8 p.m. Opening prayers and rosary service will begin the afternoon session. A wake service will take place at the end of the evening session. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday, January 31, 2022 at Precious Blood Catholic Church, 114 E. Edmondson Street, Culpeper, VA at 10:30 a.m. with Father Robert Cilinski officiating. Interment will follow services in the Culpeper National Cemetery, Old Grounds with military honors provided by the VFW post 2524. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Epiphany Catholic School (https://www.epiphanycatholicschool.org/support-epiphany), Hospice of the Piedmont (https://www.hopva.org/giving/) or any charity close to your heart. Fond memories of Jerry and condolences may be offered to the Knittle family through www.clore-english.com. The Knittle family has entrusted Clore-English Funeral Home with these arrangements.

Adolph L. Martinez
513/C
Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 
We have been advised of the passing of Trooper Adoph Martinez.
Details will be posted when they are available.
Richard G. Thomson
193/A

Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 
WWII Veteran Richard Girard Thomson passed away January 10, 2021, in Mesa Arizona, at 96 years old. He left behind his wife of 67 years Marcia (maiden name Eischeid), son Scott Thomson (married to Greg Comstock), daughters Trish (married to Howard Kellogg), Molly Thomson, and Mary Liz Thomson. He had 5 grandchildren, 4 great-grand-children and multiple nieces and nephews. He loved them all unconditionally, and they were everything to him until his last moments.

Born in Storm Lake, Iowa, on October 29, 1924, Richard's parents were mother Hanora Toohey (Thomson), who went by Nan, and his father Charles Russell Thomson. Richard and his two siblings Peg and Jim, were raised with affection and love by their mother and her three sisters. Richard Thomson's aunts were members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and his lineage can be traced to Pioneers Ezra Meeker and Kit Carson, and to Brigadier General John Cadwalader who fought alongside George Washington in the Revolutionary War.

In April 1943 Richard volunteered and entered the United States Army. He became part of the 17th Airborne mission for World War II, a Rifleman in Combat Infantry, and a Paratrooper in the 193rd Glider Infantry. He was part of the Battle of the Bulge campaign in Rhineland Ardennes Central Europe that was one of the toughest of the war, with the 17th Airborne carrying the most casualties. Christmas often brought those memories back. Thomson suffered shrapnel injuries, and later while flying into enemy fire in Germany, his glider was shot down. Thomson was awarded 3 Bronze Stars for bravery and saving fellow soldiers, and 2 Purple Hearts for his wounds in action. His brother Jim an Air Force pilot was shot down over Germany and taken as a prisoner of war.

Richard went on to become a friendly, caring man, excelling at sales for men's clothing. He was able to see the humanity in everyone he met and put people at ease. Richard and Marcia Thomson raised their family on Mercer Island, Washington, joining Saint Monica's Catholic Church, where his children also went to school. Richard was a wonderful father dearly loved by his children. He was kind, loving, and considerate. He gave them great advice accompanied with warmth and a hug. To him a good positive attitude was important. He loved to say, "Thumbs up!" He also loved to laugh and had a wonderful sense of humor. He taught his children the importance of family and to always love and respect each other, no matter what. He accepted complexity. His children are all extremely close today as a result.


Richard and his wife Marcia lived in California after Washington for many years and retired in Mesa, Arizona. They both loved playing golf and Richard watched it every chance he could get. They made lifelong friends everywhere they lived. Marcia Thomson continues to reside in Mesa Arizona. A memorial was held at Tahoma National Cemetery July 2, 2021.

 
17th Airborne Division "Online Store"
Click here to be directed to the store
Below are some of the items in our "Online Store"

All items include S&H in the USA. Mail your check to:

Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811

Or use Paypal by sending your funds to us at
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This 280 page collection of stories from Troopers of Company A of the 513th PIR is reformatted for easier reading. Includes many photos, maps and diagrams from the troopers of Co A.

$35 Includes S&H in the USA. Mail your check to:

Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811
 Show your 17th Airborne pride with this new cap made only for the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division.
Made in the USA !!!

$25 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
 These new 22 oz. stainless steel water bottles are made in the U.S.A, and feature the 17th Talon on one side, and the Scions logo on the other.

$17 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.

Scion Coffee Mugs
 
These new 15 oz. mugs are made in the U.S.A., and feature the 17th Talon on one side, and the Scions logo on the other.

$20 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
 

Become a Member of the
Scions of the 17th Airborne!


Our mission is to ensure that the sacrifice and history of the 17th Airborne Division is not forgotten.

Distinguished Honorary Members 
All veterans of the 17th are considered as "Distinguished Honorary Members" of the Scions.  We exist to honor you, our veterans.
We do not ask for dues from our honored veterans, as we exist to honor you!

Regular membership in the "Scions of the 17th Airborne" is open to any descendant or family member of any trooper who served with the 17th during its existence.

Associate Membership is available to individuals who have an interest in the history of the 17th Airborne, but are not related to a veteran of the 17th. Associate Members do not have voting rights.


.Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.comTo join our growing organization, contact the Scions at: 

Our website contains a wealth of information on the 17th Airborne and its history, and our Members Section (open exclusively to dues-paying Scions) contains hundreds of pages of documents obtained from the National Archives!  Check it out at www.17thscions.org!

We also have a great Facebook page, where there are lots of great posts by friends of the 17th in the U.S. and in Europe. Check us out on Facebook at: 
17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants).

Please consider passing this on to your children and grandchildren, if they are not already members. As our membership grows, we can take on new projects of value.

President
Jeff Schumacher, Son of John Schumacher (194/D & HQ)
Vice President
Skip Greeby, Scion of William Smith ( 466HQ)
Secretary
Ed Siergiej Jr., son of Edward J. Siergiej (194/C)
 

Treasurer
Dan Aas, Son of Lynn Aas (193/D)
 
Past Presidents
Adam Coolong, grandson of Charles E. Booth (680th/HQ)
 Melanie Sembrat, daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Rose Friday, daughter of Edward Friday (194th)

 Committee Chairs

Veteran Outreach / Family Liaison Coordinators - Patricia Bowers, Rose Friday and Sandy Remes 
Membership Committee - Patricia Bowers, Chair

Advisory Committee - Melanie Sembrat - daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Legal Council - Chuck Katz - son of John Katz (194th) 
Historian - Paul Madden - son of Harold Madden (680th/A)

Memorial Committee - Jerry and Pat O'Brien
Archive Coordinator - Adam Coolong
Thunder From Heaven Newsletter - Ed Siergiej and Carolyn Tuttle


 
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Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd
Danbury, CT 06811

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