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 # 101 September 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 Gathering at Arlington National Cemetery

- Scions Dedicate New Memorial to Gen. Miley

- 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

- New book about the 17th Airborne Division

- 17th Airborne Online Store
Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 9 & 10, 2022
Arlington National Cemetery

Important - Book your room by October 19
This annual gathering, held on Veterans Day week each year, honors all the men in the 17th Airborne Division. 

At this time, we are aware of fifty one 17th Airborne Troopers who lie at rest at Arlington.
We will travel about the cemetery and lay flowers on each grave as well as at the Battle of the Bulge memorial.

In addition, we will visit the World War II Memorial, and place a wreath at the Airborne panel.

If you plan to attend, please see the Important information below from Scion Pat O'Brien who is the event coordinator.

Hello Scions.
Below is the link regarding the Veterans Day event from November 9 – 11. We are staying at the same hotel as last year with the same room rate of $139 per night. We expect to honor the graves on Thursday, Nov 10, and also visit the WWII memorial in DC that same day. We will send a thorough itinerary later.

We have reserved a block of rooms for
November 9th and 10th at the Hilton Garden Inn Arlington/Courthouse Plaza at 1333 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington, VA 22201 (telephone 703-528-4444) which is about 2.1 miles from the entrance to the cemetery.

The cost will be the same rate as last year--$139 per night plus tax. The hotel has a restaurant but only serves breakfast at this time, which would be an additional cost. Our contract states that parking will be $15 per night, not $25 as shown in the link. After trying to get the parking rate corrected on the link, the hotel has told me it cannot be changed on the link but should correct itself when the Scions pay their bill, and the clerks see our “Group Rate Code S1722” in their system. Please make sure you are only charged $15 per night for parking.

“Please make your hotel reservation using the link below under the “Scions of the 17th Airborne:”
Available Rooms - Hilton Garden Inn Arlington/Courthouse Plaza
The cutoff date for the block of rooms is October 19.

If you plan to attend, please send the following information to Pat O’Brien (
Name and contact information including cell phone number
Names of additional persons in your party
Arrival Date
Departure Date
Whether you will stay at the hotel
Whether you will drive directly to the cemetery
If you have an Arlington Cemetery parking pass

If you have questions, contact Pat O'Brien at
Please let Pat know if  you are planning to attend.

Below are some photos from previous years gatherings at Arlington.

Scions Dedicate New Memorial to
General William Miley

Although there are a number of monuments that honor the service of General William "Bud" Miley, most are on active military bases and not accessible to the general public. 

Several years ago, the Scions initiated a project to honor General Miley, who commanded the 17th Airborne Division from its activation until the end of WWII. A memorial paver was designed with the help of General Mileys son Jack. The memorial was installed at the entrance to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC. in 2020. 

The dedication ceremony was delayed due to the Covid pandemic, but we have been anxious to formally dedicate the monument at the earliest possible date.

We were fortunate to have great help from Kriss Johnson and the staff at the Airborne & Special Operations museum as well as from the 82nd Airborne Division at nearby Fort Bragg who helped us to make this ceremony a special event for everyone who attended.

The invocation was provided by Lt. Col. Eric Spicer from the 82nd Airborne Division.

Captain Darren Cinatl, Public Affairs Officer for the 82nd, spoke about General Mileys contributions to the development of the Airborne concept, and how his legacy continues today.

We were most fortunate to have four members of General Mileys family present at the ceremony. Nancy Murray, and Sara Miley, both grand daughters, David Gasken and Robert Handlery, both great grandsons attended. Nancy and David were our featured speakers. Nancy and Sara also brought some treasured family photos and related some great stories about General Miley. 

The Miley family then unveiled the memorial paver.

Following the ceremony we all adjourned to a local restaurant for lunch and then returned to the museum for a personal tour by Kriss Johnson and Capt. Cinatl.
LTC Eric Spicer - 82nd Airborne Division, provided the invocation for our ceremony.
Scion President Skip Greeby welcomes everyone ot the ceremony.
We were honored to have four members of the Miley family attend the dedication. Grand daughters Sara Miley and Nancy Murray, and Great Grandsons David Gasken (kneeling) and Robert Handlery.
The Miley family with Scion officers Ed Siergiej, Jerry O'Brien and Skip Greeby.
David Gasken and Robert Handlery enjoy a photograph of their great grandfather, General William M Miley at the Airborne and Special Operations Musuem. 
Inside the C-47 mockup at the museum. 
Museum official Kriss Johnson gives a special guided tour to our group. One of the very few existing CG4-A gliders on dispay. 
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

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:

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

Cindy Speer
Daughter of Gilbert Herrera (194/B)

Marsha Redder
Daughter of Jack Fry (194th)

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:

Tim Cox
Fort Belvoir Memorial 

Eric Grimshaw

Eugene Renzi
In Memory of Gabriel Renzi (194/C)

Trooper Marty Schlocker

Peggy Ingram
Wife of James Ingram (194 D & L)

Donations to Scions General Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.

Trooper Sydney Levit (194/A)

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.
                                              New Book                   
17th Airborne Division at War
Photographs from the National Archive
by Edward R. Siergiej

This new book is 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.

 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
Pay with PayPal to
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.)

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
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
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.

To 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!

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.

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

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

Scion Facebook Page
Scion Facebook Page
Scions Website
Scions Website
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Our mailing address is:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
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