The  Official Electronic Newsletter of the Veterans and Descendants of the
U.S. 17th Airborne Division, WWII 
The missions of the "Scions of the 17th Airborne" are 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 WW II.

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. In addition we collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
Issue # 23 - August 2014
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:
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
-   Scions receives Tax Exempt Status
     by Ed Siergiej Jr., Secretary / Treasurer

-   Schumachers are Ambassadors During D-Day Ceremonies 

-   Scions 2014 Gathering Schedule

-   Plan now for the Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National

    Scions to Invade Europe in 2015
    by Jeff Schumacher

-   Scions Memorial Fund
     by Ed Siergiej Jr.

-   Welcome New Scion Members

-   Chaplain's Corner
     by Isaac Epps, Scion Chaplain

-   Proposed Scions Bylaw Change
     by Ed Siergiej Jr - Secretary / Treasurer

Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom

- Letters From Home and Abroad

-  Sick Call


-  17th Airborne Online Store

-   Become a Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne
 Do You Know of a Veteran Who Does Not Use Email?
Each month this newsletter, "Thunder From Heaven" goes out to almost 500 members of the 17th Airborne family.  We know that some of our veterans no longer use, or have never used email.  Scion Kerri Whitaker, grand daughter of Richard L. Wise (194/C), has volunteered to send hard copies of the newsletter to our veterans each month, and has been doing so for a number of months now. 
 If you know of a veteran who would like a copy of the newsletter, please let us know, and we will add them to the list.
Just send an email to:
Help the Scions to Provide This Newsletter to Our Veterans Who Do Not Use Email
Our list of veterans who are getting this newsletter in a hard copy format is growing as our organization grows. Up to this point the cost of printing copies of the newsletter and mailing it has been donated by one of our Scions. However as the list grows the organization will need to offset these costs. Please consider making a donation to support this effort.
 Donations can be sent to us at the address below. Please note that the gift is earmarked to support the newsletter effort.

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


Scions of the 17th Airborne Receives
Tax Exempt Status

By Ed Siergiej Jr., Secretary / Treasurer
 After about 16 months, the Scions of the 17th Airborne has received 501c3 Tax Exempt Status, as a Public Charity,  from the IRS.
 Bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts to the Scions are deductible under Section 170 of the IRS code. 

We have received a very generous donation to the Memorial Fund from Col. John Kormann. 
 Trooper Stories
Each month "Thunder From Heaven" features a story about a 17th trooper in his own words, or as told to a family member or friend. We encourage those who would like to submit an article to send them in to us at:

        Jeff, Melinda and John J. Schumacher Attend “D” Day observances for 17th
On Friday July 30 the Schu’s boarded a flight that originated in Kansas City, Mo. on the first leg to Minnesota., and from there direct to Heathrow International in U.K.,where we were met by Lars Ahlgren, a 1977 exchange student hosted by John J., Wanda and Jeff.  Lars and family were gracious hosts for three days, touring London and Southern England Camp sites near Chiselden & Augborne St. George where John J. spent the later part of 1944.
Jeff rented a car on Monday and on Tuesday A.M. they drove to the Brittany Ferry Landing for the trip across the English Channel. the trip took 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. and the Veterans were given a special welcome as a group  as they boarded and were seated separately as a group  where  snacks were provided.  This is where I met my first 101 St A/B Veteran of the trip and I introduced myself adding  17th A/B Battle of the Bulge.  He looked me right in the eye and said,  17th Airborne, huh, you guys saved our Butts. This is the first such acknowledgement I can recall – seems like a long time in coming.  There were a number of dignitaries in the group but the one that impressed me most was General Tommy Frank, who I shook  hands with and introduced my self, and he said  Hi John I’m Tom.  An interesting down to earth gentleman easy to visit with and whose parting words were,  "John, people think that Generals make Generals but that’s not true, You guys make Generals. Thank you for your service. Take Care".
June 3,  we were met on the Normandy side by Gregory DeCock who was personal host to Jeff and me at the Dead Mans Walk Dedications in Belgium in March 2012, where Greg, Ginni , Laurent Olivier and the rest of the Belgian Friendlies treated us like Royalty. This same group hosted us again and took care of during the entire Normandy visit. This same group provided Honor Guards and Flag Bearers  and coordinated 7 or 8 different observances and/or Dedications where Jeff, Melinda and John J. made floral presentations in behalf of the 17th A/B and SCIONS.  Greg Led us to our lodging site provided by Greg and Ginni  ( Virgini) where the rest of the group were waiting patiently for Jeff and Melinda, not having a clue that John J. was coming, which was
according to Greg and Ginni’s plan.  What a treat to see the looks of disbelief on everyone’s face.  The rest of the day was spent getting reacquainted and getting somewhat familiar with the area and then visiting the WW II style encampment a short distance away, where more of our friends were lodged including a group from UK who we knew from the 2012 gathering. The day ended with a barbeque and fellowship .
June 4,  Our local group loaded into Greg's WW II US Army Truck and motored to nearby Ste. Mere Du Monde, for a reunion and lunch with our Belgian, Brit and French Re-enactor friends with a approx. 70-75 in attendance, for an emotional reunion.  This was  Melinda’s first exposure to the entire group.
After lunch we moved to a rather large open area in anticipation of a celebratory fly-over and parachute jump, but apparently the wind was too strong for a safe operation and the jump was cancelled.  From there Greg and Ginni took us to a museum with some large temporary  structures for special displays for the D-day observances.  We were taken to a large permanent masonry wall partially covered with tiles with names of visiting Veterans inscribed .   One tile had an American flag covering it and Greg said, John J. take the flag away from that spot, which I did, and under it was a tile with the inscription  - In Everlasting Honor Of John J. Schumacher Hdq. & “D” Co.  194th GIR 17th Airborne Division.  From Greg and Ginni DeCock.  After recovering from the emotion of the occasion we moved inside where we met more Veteran and Re-enactor friends and where many German artifacts were displayed.  Everywhere we went there were autographs to sign on everything from cards, books, Jacket backs and even steel helmets. There was never  dull moment and a constant stream of well wishers wanting autographs , a photo , a hug and a chance for the Europeans to say Thank You.
Thursday June 5.   Our first day of involvement in the more formal observances and this one was at a nearby Church where trooper Joe Beyrle was one of the first to be killed on D-day. a plaque had been placed on the side of the Church with his name and unit inscribed.  His three children were present for the floral presentation and dedication,  one of which served as Ambassador to France after WW II.  Many Town officials and local dignitaries were  in attendance, as is the case in all observances honoring Veterans.
Then the group continued by truck to Ravenoville to a property owned by David Ashe and his wife Celine,  which he is turning into a full fledged private museum – with dignity, respect and love, and impressive beauty.  The occasion began with a spectacular Flag Ceremony that would give any  American the shivers.  Following the Flag Ceremony was another Presentation- on either side of a boardwalk with ropes on each side,  are trees being planted on special occasions. On this day seven additional trees were to be presented to attending Veterans who were escorted to the site to “plant” their tree.  Come #6  the name John J. Schumacher was read, again another complete surprise and again the work of Greg and Ginni.  Jeff and John J. were escorted by a lady in Uniform to the tree which we placed in the pre-dug hole.  In  front of the tree was a plaque  which read,  In Honor of John J. Schumacher, with all the Military Unit designations inscribed w/ before and after pics and the ever be loved Golden Talon.  - Tears-        But-  this  still wasn’t the end.  Next was a  presentation of a 12 in. tall cast Bronze Statue of an  American Trooper to each of the honored Veterans present, I believe 12 in all.  My statue was delivered to me by Ginni DeCock with a hug and a kiss,  and Jeff reminded me that mine was the only one so delivered.   WOW.
Every day there were various fly-overs of WW II planes  and Celebratory Jumps by various groups, weather permitting,  always impressive. Many of the observances included the presentation of Legion of Honor Medals to US Veterans by the French,  always gracious, always friendly.
June 6,  THE BIG DAY.   In Class “ A” wools all day.   The first Ceremony of the day was at Heisville  and honored the first Gliderman  killed at Normandy. The Presentation began with the Belgian Friendly  Honor Guard Advancement of the Colors, always with the Stars and Stripes in prominent position.  Here we participated in presenting floral arrangements in behalf of the 17th, the Scions and the Belgian Group. There was a large attendance present and talks were given by several local dignitaries and most were in French and  English.  Then one of our 506 PIR Veterans was asked to say a few words in regard to the Glidermen of WW II in which he stated in closing,  I want you to know that these Glidermen of WW II were equal in every way to their Parachute Brothers, and served just as Honorable and effectively. This service was closed by a missing man Jet fly-over  and many photos, autographs and greetings.
Next, just a short walk away was an observance honoring the first US Military  Hospital established at Normandy.   There were two WW II Army nurses present who were Honored at this Memorial. Our next stop was Utah Beach and a spot where the first Patton mile marker is located.  This  memorial is marked  “0”  as it represents the spot where the General started  his successful  campaign beginning on “D’’  Day.  It is noted that there is such a marker at  each mile, or Km.  of his advance.  From this site there was a small opening or pathway leading to the beach, which hosted crowds of visitors.  Jeff  thought this would be a memorable spot to recognize Mels’ and his wedding anniversary, so he acquired  a bottle of champagne and a few glasses and we toasted the occasion then and there.  After many more signings  and greetings from attendees we made our way back to the Group Camp for another planned barbeque potluck. 
One of the Brit Re-enactors  had driven his WW II Willys Jeep to the observance and finding that I was a driver during the war, invited me to  take a  spin .  It was just like I had always been driving and quite a thrill to be behind  the wheel again.  The owners name was Paul and he told me I was the only Veteran that has driven his Jeep and would I autograph his glove box cover.  This would be my first for that Honor and I was glad to accommodate. The day ended with food, fellowship, pictures  and much conversation.
Saturday June 7, Normandy;   Observances commenced with a striking Service and Dedication at the Navy Memorial on Utah Beach.  the Belgian Friendlies were again leading the program as Flag Bearers and Honor Guards,  this time in Navy Blue Uniform – sharp and Military  in their presentations.  a special emotional touch was the piping aboard of the WW II Veterans as each approached the Monument site.  the piping was performed by Laurent Olivier who is in the Belgian Navy.  Jeff, Melinda and John J. presented Floral arrangements in behalf of the 17th , & the SCIONS,  and a special tribute from Jeff and Melinda honoring Navy Lt. Commander Willard Walters who Jeff accompanied as Guardian on an Honor Flight out of Minneapolis, to the WW II Memorial in D.C. The Navy Observance was especially  meaningful since it was noted that the Navy’s participation on “D” day involved over 4,000  seagoing vessels and has had very little recognition publicly.
Later in the day after the Navy Observance  The Friendlies took part in another observance,  this time back in Army colors,  and this time in special recognition of of a 506  PIR Demolition Team known as the “Filthy Thirteen”,  with special Honors for Jack Womer  the last member of the team to pass on.  He had made plans to attend the 70th  Anniversary but fate dictated differently.  The Schu’s  again assisted  in the floral presentations from the SCIONS and Belgian  Friendlies. Jacks Daughter Ellen was present and graciously acknowledged the presentations Honoring her Father. John J. again had the Honor of being seated by Ellen who I met earlier at Ravenoville.
Sunday  June,  8  Our last day- A BIG ONE-  Belgian Friendlies again active in Army Dress at the US Military Cemetery near Omaha Beach.  John J. and Jeff assisted in the presentation of Floral Arrangements from the 17th A/B and SCIONS.  This was an especially touching Ceremony in that after the Formal and Floral parts  the crowd was asked to face the Beach where the Stars  and Stripes waved in all of her Glory, while saluting or standing at attention for the playing of the Star Spangled banner.  don’t think there was a dry eye in the crowd, regardless of National Origin.
The group then gathered for pictures at the Cemetery site Memorial and spent some time in quiet remembrance among the thousands of crosses, row on row , in tribute to those who gave all. Some additional time was spent at Omaha Beach with dinner at a restaurant on the Beach.
Following  a great dinner some discussion emerged, in spite of our mutual near state of exhaustion, it would be a shame not to spent some time at  Pointe Du Hoc , the site of the famous Ranger assault of the high beach walls.  The decision to visit the site was a good one of course and the evidence of the tremendous beating inflicted by  Navy shells , bombs and other artillery ,  which remains pretty much as it was left 70 years ago.  We also learned some of the here to fore unknown details of the attack by the Rangers , from a young Belgian Military Soldier and Historian.
Much of the armament and concrete bunkers , tank barriers etc. still remain along the beach, as a stark reminder  of the extreme sacrifices of the operation  in the minds and hearts of all who see.
Monday  morning  came time to  “Lock and load” and begin our Journey for our Wonderful America the Beautiful.
It has truly been an honor to represent the 17th,  and the SCIONS on this Wonderful, Emotional, stressful, fulfilling  and unforgettable experience.   THANK YOU FOR THAT PRIVILEGE.
Scion 2014-15 Gathering Schedule
In this section of the newsletter we will post information on both annual and regional gatherings, so we can reserve the time in our schedules. We will keep this schedule updated each month.

 If you are planing a 17th Airborne related event, let us know, and we will post it below.

Arlington VA Gathering

November 2014

Each year, the Scions gather in Arlington, VA. for ceremonies at the memorial to the 17th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonies are scheduled for Monday, November 10th. Our ceremony is a part of a wonderful program organized by the Ruben Tucker chapter of the 82nd Airborne Div. Assoc. After these ceremonies are over, the Scions travel over to the National World War II Memorial, and lay another wreath at the "Airborne Relief" at the Memorial. 

 For those who are interested, this year, we will again return to the U.S. National Archives in College Park, MD to scan documents related to the 17th. If you are interested in participating in this visit, contact us at:,  to sign up. Due to the location of the Archives and DC traffic, those attending will probably stay at a hotel closer to the Archives for November 7th and 8th. 

Schedule - 

November 7th - Research at the U.S. National Archives - College Park, MD

November 8th - Research at the U.S. National Archives - College Park, MD

November 9th - Check in to hotel

November 10th - Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and National WWII Memorial

November 11th - Check out of hotel 

As more details are finalized, we will post them here.

Accommodations - 
This year, we have selected the "Marriott Courtyard Arlington Pentagon South" as our base of operations. We have a block of rooms reserved at this hotel at a special rate of $109/night. This rate includes breakfast for up to two people per room. Please make your reservations by following the following link provided by the hotel: 

Marriott Courtyard Arlington Pentagon South

4641 Kenmore Avenue,  Alexandria  VA  22304 

Start date: 11/9/14

End date: 11/11/14

Last day to book by: 10/17/14

Marriott hotel(s) offering your special group rate:

  • Courtyard Alexandria Pentagon South  for $109.00 per night


Scions to Invade Europe in 2015!
March 18 - 29, 2015 
September 2014 Update:

Greetings fellow Scions and honored Veterans.  

This has been quite a summer - the busiest I can recall - and with September upon us, planning is in full swing for the March 2015 trip to the WWII European Theater of Operations (ETO).  We are at the stage now where we need to establish numbers (travelers) in order to secure firm pricing - which is a bit of a challenge.  We’ll get there, though.   The trip schedule is centered on the dates of Operation Varsity, with activities both before and after.  

Basic travel itinerary is for U.S. departure on Wednesday, March 18th for a Thursday, March 19th arrival in Belgium, and returning Sunday, March 29th.  Between those dates, there will be touring of The Bulge: the Belgian Ardennes, Bastogne, Flamierge, Dead Man’s Ridge and the surrounding area, and of course Operation Varsity, including the Drop and Landing Zones around Wesel and Hamminkeln, with a trip to the city of Munster as well.   

The trip would not be complete without visitation to American cemeteries in the area, including the Netherlands American Cemetery (Margraten), and the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in Hamm (Luxembourg City).  Between these two sites alone are buried over 400 17th AB troopers.  
There will be much to see and do - and some relaxation time in the schedule as well.  Jos Bex is coordinating the Varsity segment of the activities, and the Belgian Friendly group will host activities in Belgium. 

Drop a line at the email address below if you are interested (and have not already done so).  Please make sure to include the names & contact info, your 17th vet connection (i.e. son/daughter, etc. of a veteran?), please indicate the unit(s) in which “your vet” served, and be sure to advise as to who & how many people could prospectively travel in your party, approximate ages of each, and please include a mailing address and telephone number(s) in your email.  

We will be needing to secure deposits in the very near future and start locking down commitments for travelers and the accommodations abroad.  Transportation and lodging are the major variables (big hotels or small, mini-vans or motor coach).  I will forward cost estimates to those on the ‘interested’ list just as soon as possible - Jos and Greg are working on group rates in Germany and Belgium. 

Please reach out now if you are interested in the trip - here’s how to get in touch:

Drop an email to  

Airborne...All the Way!
Jeff Schumacher
(proud Scion of John J. Schumacher, 194th GIR)

Jeff Schumacher
1331 SW Wintergreen Lane
Blue Springs, MO  64015
Home phone:  (816) 224-3779
Scions Memorial Fund
by Scion Secretary / Treasurer Ed Siergiej Jr.

The "Scions of the 17th Airborne Memorial Fund"  has been set up as a seperate 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.

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

The Scions of the 17th Airborne, gratefully acknowledges the generous donations to our Memorial Fund in Memory of Bill Smith, by the following individuals during the past month:
John & Cecelia Macauley
Mike Rock
Louisa & Larry Davis
John, Jeff & Melinda Schumacher

A very generous donation to our Memorial Fund has been received from Col. John Kormann

 Donations to the Scions Memorial Fund are deductible under Section 170 of the IRS code.

Welcome New Scion Members

The Scions of the 17th Airborne are proud to welcome the following new members, who have joined our organization this month. As our membership grows, we can take on additional projects to honor our veterans and educate about the history of the 17th Airborne.
Raymond Vilevac
Nephew of Andrew S. Straka (193/A) KIA Jan 7, 45
Boise, Idaho 
Richard L. Reams
Son of Robert J. Reams (464th)
Fayetteville, GA 
Dennis M. Connors ( Associate Member)
Silver Spring, MD 

Carol M. Larson
Daughter of Junior O. Larson (194th) 
Maple Grove, MN 

Ronald Coakley 
Son of Charles E. Coakley (680th)
Troutville, VA

Larry C. Larson
Son of Junior Orville Larson (194th)
Marietta, GA

Paul R Larson 

Son of Junior Orville Larson (194th)
Wayzata, MN

Elizabeth J. Ogden
Wife of Jack Ogden (194/HQ)
Woodsfield, OH
Stanley Kasavage
Son of Stanley C. Kasavage (466 / HQ)
Edgewater, FL

Jeremy Martinez
Grandson of Adolph Martinez (513/C)
4153 El Coral Way
San Jose, CA 
Chaplains Corner
by Isaac Epps

Greetings--I hope this finds everyone in good health and spirits.
  I would like to use this space this month to offer support for Col. Bill Weber and his effort for getting the Korean War Memorial expansion project through Congress.
  Col. Weber has long been a supporter of the 17th and the Scions. When the 17th Association disbanded in October 2007; he devoted most of that issue of his fine publication; "Airborne Quarterly" to honoring the 17th. He has since published articles about the Scions organization and our work to honor the 17th Airborne Division without hesitation; and has expressed his desire to continue that support for our cause.
  The 17th has a strong connection when it comes to that beautiful Memorial on the National Mall in Washington. Two 17th Veterans were actual models for the figures there that represent a squad on patrol. Joe Quade (PM) and Adolph Martinez (513C) are represented there; and Col. Weber has also lent his image there as one of the Troopers in that squad.
  Besides the fact that many 17th Troopers went on to Korea after WWII and served in that conflict; the actual sculptor responsible for designing and completing that project was a 17th Trooper named Frank Gaylord (513C) ; so the connection is strong--and even if not; the need to support this effort is important and necessary.
  Anyone interested in supporting Col. Weber and his Airborne Quarterly and joining the American Airborne Association can contact him at or call 410-775-7733.
  The article as to the Korean Memorial follows; and is reprinted with permission from the summer 2014 edition of Airborne Quarterly.
  Help Korean War Vets Honor Their Fallen Comrades! Urge your Representative in Congress to become a co-sponsor of HR-318. Korean War=36,574 KIA--103,854 WIA in 36 months!
  HR 318 is a proposed bill to add a Wall of Remembrance to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Its purpose is to complete the Memorial's message as was specifically required by PL 99-572, which authorized the Memorial.
  A similar Bill, HR 2563, in the 112th Congress heard by the House SubCmte on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations SubCmte in 2010 and favorably reported to the House Committee on Natural Resources, was not forwarded by the full Committee to the full house for a vote, and became moot at the end of the 112th Congress. HR 318 is now its replacement in the 113th Congress.
  PL 99-572 called for the President to appoint a Korean War Veteran War Veterans Memorial Advisory Board (KWVMAB), whose mission, in part, was to---(---"recommending the site and selecting the design with the approval of the American Battle Monuments Commission")---
  In effect this required selecting a design that would also be accepted and approved by the other various government Commissions that must approve Memorials and Monuments erected on the Mall.
  The specific language of PL 99-572, negotiated to ensure the Korean War Veterans Memorial gave appropriate recognition to the sacrifices of American Soldiery, emphasized by the phrase "---to honor members of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Korean War; particularly who were killed in action; and are still missing in action; or were held as prisoners of war"!
  It is the dominant element of the law---and now a major requirement to the intended theme of the Memorial---it defines the intent of Congress and the People it represents.
  In keeping with PL 99-572 and the overwhelming wishes of the nation's Korean War Veterans and the families of the fallen, the KWVMAB sought means to meet the specific requirements of PL 99-572; and satisfy the several Commissions which held veto rights over any design. The KWVMAB was not able to resolve the primary requirements of PL 99-572 due to a seeming atmosphere of not wanting another "Wall on the Mall" of names of fallen American Soldiery!
  As a result, through a truly magnificent "work of art" type Memorial  which clearly honors those who served in the Korean War; it does not appropriately honor those who sacrificed so much in the war.! The visitor leaves with a sense of wonder at the magnificent artistry of the Memorial---but absent any sense of the full message it as intended to convey.
  The Memorial's theme; "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE" is not defined---for the magnitude of the cost is absent as a major element of the Memorial!
  Recording the KIA names and WIA and POW by number; for posterity on a Glass Wall of Remembrance; will personalize the numbers and focus on the enormity of their sacrifice.
  As well, Republic of Korean Soldiers known as KATUSA (Korean Augmentation to United States Army); who served along aside their US comrades in US units; and gave their lives and their blood; deserve recognition. Over 8000+ KATUSA were KIA and over 20,000 WIA and/or MIA. Their sacrifice would have otherwise been American Soldiery whom they replaced. Their names are lost to history but their numbers deserve recognition for their sacrifice would have been otherwise been American lives or American wounded or MIA.
  Given the state of the art at the time the Memorial design was finalized, A Wall of Remembrance of granite may have been an architectural barrier isolating the Memorial from the Mall and may have been incorrectly interpreted as coping or detracting from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A glass wall will not be an architectural 'barrier', it will be a light, delicate element, not a heavy solid granite wall. It is designed and approved by the original memorial architects. Such a Wall will insure the Memorial is integral to the Mall while still giving it a sense of closure and full meaning to the intended purpose of the Memorial.
  Contrary to the present pattern of visitation, the Wall will induce visitation to encircle the entire Memorial view of the Wall of Remembrance and then pause to view the Pool of Remembrance to stimulate respectful and reverent reflection. Current visitation habits ignore the Pool of Remembrance by the vast majority of visitors. Encircling only the line of sculptures is the typical pattern of visitation.
  CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE! Ask him/her to become a co-sponsor ASAP. He/she may tell you the Interior Dept. has 'concerns'! Ask him/her to have Interior be specific! You'll find they have no meaningful substantive reason--architecturally, symbolically, memorialization-wise or prohibition by law. The precedent for modification and addition to Memorials was set by the Vietnam Memorial and the approved corrections to the MLK Memorial! The Wall of Remembrance won't make it a 'new' Memorial--it will enhance and complete it as the law originally intended! OUR FALLEN SOLDIERS DESERVE NO LESS!
  The Korean War remains "The Forgotten War" in the history of our nation. Mindful that this war was a benchmark of the 20th Century and notwithstanding the magnificence of the Memorial, it is appropriate that the extent of our Soldiery's sacrifice remains unknown. Their sacrifice gave birth to the catalyst that generated the downfall of the USSR's goal to dominate the world.
  Just as surely as America fought WWII to save the world FOR DEMOCRACY so too, did we fight the Korean War to save the world FROM COMMUNISM!
  Your help is essential to ensure enactment of HR-318! Demand that your representative become a co-sponsor! Let the will of the people, not bureaucrats, be the means by which we honor our Korean War Fallen Soldiery.
  The Wall of Remembrance completes the Memorial as the People's Congress intended! It adds the missing link and gives honored and deserved recognition to Korean War American Soldiery who have been FORGOTTEN!
  Go to for more information.
Proposed Change to Scion Bylaws
by Ed Siergiej Jr
Secretary / Treasurer 

The Scion organization has grown considerably since our founding in 2011. As we have grown, we have been able to spread out the work of operating the organization, which also helps us to better serve the needs of the organization. Some of the changes made in the last year are:

Scion Paul Madden, son of Hal Madden (680th A Battery) has offered to take on the role of Historian

Scion Adam Coolong, grandson of Charles E. Booth (680th HQ) has agreed to take the point on the Newsletter and also the Coordinator of the material mined from the National Archives

Scion Chuck Katz, son of John Katz (194th GIR) has offered to serve as a legal adviser to the organization. 

With these important roles established, it has been suggested that we make two changes to the Bylaws.

1. Increase the number of members on the Executive Committee from 8 to 15 Scions.
The existing 8 seats on the Executive Committee are filled by:

President - Currently - Rose Friday
Vice President - Currently - Michele Smith
Seceratary / Treasurer - Currently - Ed Siergiej Jr.
Chaplain - Currently - Isaac Epps
Melanie Sembrat
Cindy Heigl
Robert Smith

The proposed change is to "Add 7 seats on the Executive Committee to make a total of 15, providing seats for:

Newsletter Editor - Currently - Adam Coolong
Historian - Currently - Paul Madden
Legal Adviser - Currently - Chuck Katz
Membership Committee Chair
Recording Secretary
(3) At Large positions

2. "Change the name of the "Executive Committee" to "Board of Directors"

As required by our existing Bylaws, we are communicating these proposed changes in our newsletter from April to November 2014. 
We are accepting comment on the proposed changes. Those who would like to comment on these changes can contact us by email at:, or by mail at:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811

The changes will be discussed and voted on at our next meeting in Arlington, VA in November.

Ed Siergiej Jr
Seceratary / Treasurer
April 30, 2014
Minutes of the Annual Meeting Held in Lancaster, PA

by Ed Siergiej Jr. & Melanie Sembrt

Attached are links to the Minutes of our Annual Meeting, as well as Secretary's and Treasurer's Reports. Many thanks to Scion Melanie Sembrat for acting as recording secretary.

Click here to read the Minutes from the meeting.

Click here to read the Secretary's Report from the meeting.

Click here to read the Treasurer's Report from the meeting. 

Dear Friends,
Our september greetings in remembrance of the Liberation of our area Limburg, south of the Netherlands
from september 11th till 28 september 1944.
Remembrances came above through an interview by Annette McDermott in Dutch Magazine USA.
Hope you can open and read about this in attachments.
Warm regards,
Pierre Ackermans,
Margraten Memorial Group 17th ABN Holland.
Per our FB conversation, here are some photos taken in February, 2012 of my Dad, Junior Larson, 194th Glider Infantry at the American Aviation Heritage Foundation Project to restore a Waco Combat Glider.  
Kind regards,
Carol Larson

Sick Call

Mike Rock (680B) is home from the hospital and recovering from a bout with sepsis.

I'm sure it would really cheer him up to get some get well cards from all of us - sent to his home address is best as his daughter Diane visits daily.Thanks.
Mike's address is;
 Mike Rock
70 Gasko Road
Mays Landing, NJ 08330


by Isaac Epps

   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?
Standing Guard

Submitted by Dominic Biello
Thomas F. Bold
Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Thomas F. Bold, 88, of Myerstown, formerly of Bingen, died Thursday, January 12, 2012 at his residence. Born in Fountain Hill on November 9, 1923 to the late Charles M. Bold and Marie (Kehs) Bright. He is the husband of Florence I. (Smith) Bold. He served our country faithfully in the US Army during WWII as a Paratrooper. Thomas worked as an Engineer for the Philadelphia, Bethlehem, New England Railroad until retiring in 1989. Survivors:In addition to his loving spouse of 63 years; children, Kathleen C. and her husband Robert S. Edris of Myerstown; step-brother, John and his wife Florence Bright of Quakertown; step-sister, Marguerite Voortman of Bingen; three grandchildren, Keirstan G. of Myerstown, Megan B. and her husband D. Heath Webb of Phoenixville, Hillary R. of Temple; great-grandson Isaac G. Webb. Services:Family and friends are invited to call 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at the Heintzelman Funeral Home, Inc., 326 Main Street, Hellertown. The service will be at 11 a.m. The interment will conclude services at Union Cemetery of Hellertown with military honors. Online expressions of sympathy can be recorded at Contributions: In lieu of flowers, memorials to the StoneRidge Retirement Living, Benevolent Care Fund, 440 East Lincoln Avenue, Myerstown, PA 17067. 
17th Airborne Online Store
Sales of the items below help to support the missions of the "Scions of the 17th Airborne", to honor the veterans of the 17th, and to keep the history of the Division alive.

Send your check to:

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

Scion Coffee Mugs
Your beverage is guaranteed to taste better
in this Scions mug than in a canteen cup!

$16 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
Scions Tee Shirts

We had a sample Tee shirt made up to display at the 2012 Lancaster Reunion, and got a great response from those who attended. As a result, we can offer this 100% Cotten Tee Shirt with the Scion logo, and the motto "Thunder From Heaven" on the front and the back. Available in sizes S, M, L, & XL for $22 each, size XL for $25 each.
Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353

Operation Varsity Reports Available
This 57 page document was produced by the 17th Airborne staff at the end of the war. Included are maps of Drop and Landing Zones, Status of each glider load after landing, pre- arranged artillery coordinates, and much more.
8.5" x 14". Great reading.

Available in hard copy for a donation of $22 each
or on a CD for $12 each. Includes S&H in the U.S. 

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
17th Airborne Challenge Coins
Challenge coins have been created by military organizations for many years. 
This beautiful, high quality challenge coin was developed by Scion Jeff Schumacher and his wife Melinda as a tribute to the 17th Airborne. The coin has the 17th Airborne insignia on one side, and the Scions logo on the reverse side. 
These coins are another great way to foster, promote, and honor the story of the 17th. On both sides around the perimeter of the coin there is a "rope" boundary symbolizing shroud lines of a parachute and tow ropes of the gliders (on two sides because they did double tow in Varsity).The black color symbolizes "SURPRISE" and the gold is the golden opportunity to seize by surprise. Also some blue on the Airborne side of the coin representing the blue skies on 3/24/45.
Available for $15 each, two for $25. Any additional coins above the quantity of two would be $10 each. Includes S&H.

Consider donating additional funds so that we can send these to as many of our veterans as possible, or buy two and give one to your special 17th veteran!
At the recent funeral of one of our veterans, the family actually included one of these coins with the veterans remains.

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
Scion Hats and Patches
Show your pride to be a Scion of the 17th Airborne Division
The sample hats that we had made up for the Lancaster, PA Operation Varsity gathering sold out very quickly, so we had some more made up. Available in Blue, Black, or Red, these hats have our Scion patch sewn on.
A $25.00 donation is requested for each hat.

We also have additional Scion patches identical to those included in the packages sent to new members.he Patches are 3.5"H x 3"W and are available for $3.00 each.
Includes S&H in the U.S.

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne", 62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353

Proceeds from the sale of these items help to support the mission of the Scions, to honor our veterans, and to tell the story of the 17th Airborne Division
17th Airborne Decals

Scion Gary Stift had these great decals made up, and donated a quantity to us for sale to our members. Thanks Gary!!

Decals are available for $8.00 each, includes S&H in the USA.

Please indicate if you want the Talon Decal, or the Scion logo Decal, and the quantity requested.

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
Talon Newspapers on CD
  During WWII, the 17th published a number of magazines, or newspapers under the title of "Talon". The two most well known are "Talon in Ardennes" and "Talon Crosses the Rhine". In addition we have located 14 additional issues. We have scanned these issues, and combined them on one CD, so that they can be made available to our membership. Thanks to those who have donated  these materials.
Thanks to our membership, we have the funds to put this package together!

The CD is available for $10 each. Includes S&H in the USA

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353

"Thunderbolt" Commemorative Book

  This 118 page book, published by the 17th before deployment to Europe, has many photo of individual units, as well as photos of the training.
  Two sample pages are shown below. Perhaps you can find your father, or grandfathers photo !
  Thanks to our membership, we have the funds to put this package together!

The CD is available for $20 each. Includes S&H in the USA

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353

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

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.

Our mission is to insure 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.

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:
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).

The Scions also has a website up and running, although it is still under construction. We will have information on the history of the 17th, documents that are related to the 17th, a place to post copies of our newsletters, and other valuable information.

The website is located at:

Many thanks go out to Scion Danny Carter, who is assisting us in setting up the website!

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.
Rose Friday, daughter of Edward Friday (194th)

Vice President
Michele Smith, daughter of Bill Smith (466th)

Ed Siergiej Jr., son of Edward J. Siergiej (194th)
Executive Committee:

Cindy Heigl - daughter of Tony Heigl (193rd)
Melanie Sembrat - daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Robert Smith - brother of Levert L. Smith (194th)
Isaac Epps - son of Ralph Epps (194th)
Scion Facebook Page
Scion Facebook Page
Scions Website
Scions Website
Copyright © *|2013|* *|Scions of the 17th Airborne, All rights reserved.

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