Copy
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 # 33 - August 2015
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

-  Trooper Stories -  interview with Trooper George Hudica -
   155th AB AA Battalion

  "In the Footsteps of Our Fathers"-Marty and Cindy Cavanah's
     Trip to Europe


-   Scions Launch Directory Project

-   Scions Committees
     by Michele Smith


-   Scions 2015 Gathering Schedules

       - Arlington, VA Veterans Day Ceremonies - November 2015  
       -  Lancaster, PA -  2016

        
-   Scions Memorial Fund
     by Ed Siergiej Jr.

-   Welcome New Scion Members

-   Information on Membership and Dues

-   Chaplain's Corner
    
-   Minutes of Annual Meeting
  

 
Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom

- Letters From Home and Abroad

-  Sick Call

-  TAPS


-  17th Airborne Online Store


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

Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com

                     
Above: George Hudica - 155th Airborne Anti Aircraft Bn

Editor's note- the following article was printed in the July edition of Independence, Missouri's "Lakewood News" magazine, home of Scions Marty and Cindy Cavanah.


MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS
 
Marty And Cindy Cavanah
In The Footsteps Of Our Fathers!

 
By Kirby Asplund, Lakewood resident
 
Earlier this year, Marty Cavanah took the trip of a lifetime. In fact - two lifetimes: his own, and his father's.
 
On March 24,2015, Marty, along with 54 other Americans, set foot on the German fields where 70 years earlier - to the hour- the U.S. Army's 17th Airborne Division - including Marty's father - crossed the Rhine River to do battle with crack German troops. It was a trip Marty had long dreamed of taking. It only came about recently, but it was 70-plus years in the making.
 
Earl Kenneth ("Kenny") Cavanah grew up in Independence. He finished high school while war raged in Europe, graduating in 1942 at the age of 17. He was drafted in March of '43.
 
Kenny was packed off to Camp McCall, North Carolina for training as a glider trooper - troops trained to fly into combat zones in an airplane without an engine, which is towed aloft and glides to its destination. He was at Camp Forest, Tennessee when news of D-Day arrived: June 6,1944. The 17th Airborne arrived in England in August.
 
Although costly in terms of lives and material, the invasion of Europe was progressing well. Hitler's war machine was on the defensive. Some believed that the Allies would be in Berlin before Christmas.
 
Then, on December 16, the Germans launched a massive offensive through the densely forested Ardennes region of Belgium, France and Luxembourg. The Battle of the Bulge had begun, and would grind on for six weeks. The Americans incurred huge losses, their highest casualties for any operation during the war.
 
Bastogne, Belgium stood at a major strategic crossroads. It was here that Kenny Cavanah and the untested 17th Airborne got their first taste of combat. The Allies, having been taken completely off guard, were unprepared for the coldest winter in more than fifty years. For the sake of speed they had left behind galoshes and overcoats. Frostbite was common. Opposition was fierce.
 
Like many men who share the bond of combat, the men of the 17th Airborne became very close. They stayed in touch through the years, holding several reunions. As time passed, however, the number of veterans from the original division became fewer and fewer, and it was decided to disband. It was then that a new generation rose up to continue the camaraderie and tradition. The Scions of the 17th Airborne came into being, formed by the children and grandchildren of the original troops.
 
Some months ago, prompted by the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Scions began to discuss the possibility of a trip in the footsteps of their fathers. Ultimately, 55 people made the trip into history, including four veterans. They began their journey, appropriately, in Bastogne.
 
"It was touching and humbling - the love and respect the people of Belgium have for the veterans," recalls Marty Cavanah. "They had lived under harsh German rule for more than five years, and they have a deep appreciation for freedom, and for the Allied troops who had come to liberate them. The gratitude they showed us was overwhelming."
 
An amazing event occurred while the group was at Bastogne.  While the Scions toured, some 150 period reenactors, perfectly outfitted as members of the 17th Airborne, walked through an area known as Dead Man's Ridge - an annual event in which they honor the Allies who fought the battle. "It was stunning,"recalls Marty. "We were absolutely taken back in time - right up until a modern car drove through the background of the scene."
 
After the Battle of the Bulge, the 17th Airborne left for a time of recovery and refitting. Six weeks later, they were again called into action - this time for Operation Varsity. Nine hundred gliders of a joint American - British force crossed the Rhine into Germany. It was March 24,1945. This time, there was no element of surprise - the Allies were fully expected. The daylight invasion was met with fierce opposition from anti-aircraft fire as well as ground troops. They incurred eleven hundred casualties in the first 12 hours.
 
"Our group arrived there 70 years to the hour after our fathers landed," says Marty. "The surrounding lands have changed very little. You can still see the bullet holes in the walls of the farm houses, the wreckage and the relics of war."
 
When the Scions of the 17th Airborne completed their 11-day tour, it was time for most of the group members to return to the States. It was then that Marty's wife, Cindy, joined him for eight days in France, Germany, Belgium, and England.
 
Among the couple's adventures - solving the mystery of a photo of Private Kenny Cavanah and several buddies next to a massive statue of a lion. "My dad couldn't remember the name of the town where the photo had been taken, so I did a little detective work,"he says. "A sign in the photo includes the French word, ABRI - which translates 'shelter,'- so I knew it was taken in France." A Google search for that lion confirmed the location. And knowing that a man included in the photo - a very close friend of his father's- was killed in combat during Operation Varsity - placed the photo during the period of R&R after the Bulge.
 
Mystery solved. Marty and Cindy visited the village of Chalons-sur-Marne, (which has been renamed Chalon-en-Champaign.) They recreated the photo in exactly the same spot where Kenny had stood 70 years prior. In this manner, they replicated several iconic photos of specific places and events where the elder Cavanah had been.
 
Sometime after the celebration of VE Day ("Victory in Europe") in May of 1945, the 17th Airborne boarded ships and sailed across the Atlantic. They fully expected to be refitted and be sent to the other side of the world to participate in the invasion of Japan. While en route, however, word came that a second atomic bomb had been dropped. Japan had unconditionally surrendered. The 17th Airborne was going home.
 
Kenny Cavanah finished lire war us a corporal. After being discharged, he returned to Independence, married and raised a family. He enjoyed a 38-year career with Southwestern Bell. He passed away in April 2013, at the age of 88.
 
"Ir was an amazing journey to walk in my father's footsteps," says Marty. "I wish we could have taken it together."
 
Marty and Cindy Cavanah have lived in Lakewood since 1984. Marty is a retired Independence Police Officer. Cindy is retired from her family's business, Cable Dahmer Chevrolet.

Photo on left was taken in March 1945 after the Battle of the Bulge in Chalons-sur-Marne City Hall. My Dad Kenny Cavanah is middle back row with his friend Cecil Dawson sitting in front of him. Cecil was killed on March 24th, 1945 during Operation Varsity. Photo on right was taken March, 2015 in same location.

Photo on left was taken March 2015 in Munster, Germany. Photo on right was taken in same location in April 1945 with British Churchill Tanks and members of the 17th Airborne. 

Scions Launch Directory Project
by Ed Siergiej Jr.

Many Scions members have asked for some way to identify what members we have in each state.  To that end, we will be creating a directory of our membership list. This will be of great help in organizing regional gatherings of the Scions, and connecting us to one another. The directory will be sorted by state as well as by unit of the 17th, which will help those seeking contacts in a particular Regiment or Company. As our membership expands, this will be an important tool. Our concern for your privacy is paramount, and we will never disclose your contact information without your approval first. 

One challenge we face is that our membership increases each week, if not each day, and any printed list would be out of date before it is issued. The most practical solution is to locate the list in a password-protected section of our website, www.17thscions.orgaccessible only to members.

This posting is "Step 1" in the process. We have also sent out a mass email to our membership as well, and the responses are coming in. 

At this time we have had 80 responses. If you have not yet responded, we encourage you to do so.
If you would like to have your name and address included in the Directory, please send us an email with the following information to: Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com

Name______________________________________________
Address ___________________________________________
Email address ______________________________________
17th Veteran you represent  ___________________________
Phone # ____________________________________________

Occupation or Talent ____________________________

If you do not want to include your phone or email, please indicate. 


If you DO NOT want to be included in the directory please let us know and we will not pester you about it further.

If you would like to help us with this project, please let us know as well. As our membership expands, we can use lots of help to make projects like this happen in a timely manner.

Scions Committees
By Michele Smith (Vice President)

As the Scion organization has grown we have recognized the need to continue to make organizational changes to support our growth. We have developed the structure below to define the different areas where our members can become involved. Ideally we would like to have a Chairperson and at least 2 members to assist.  If you are interested in being a committee chairperson or member please advise by sending us an email to : Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com

MARKETING COMMITTEE
Scions Donna "Cooper" Meise and Fred Nothstine, have already volunteered to lead our marketing team and are hard at work with ideas. Cooper has designed a new T-shirt to be advertised in the Newsletter and on our website. 

VETERAN'S OUTREACH COMMITTEE
The Veterans Outreach Committee includes two primary responsibilities. Chaplain duties, and Veteran Support.

Chaplains - Our Chaplan, Isaac Epps, reaches out to our veterans and the families of our veterans in times of need. When a veteran passes the Chaplain consults our geographic list of members and attempts to locate a member who can attend the funeral. Isaac would like to a few additional Scions to help out when he is unavailable. Currently, Sec/Tres Ed Siergiej and President Rose Friday act as backup for Isaac. 
Scion Dusty Cornelius has expressed an interest in assisting Isaac with chaplain duties, but we would like to identify at least one more person as well.

 
Veteran Support - Currently our Chaplain Isaac Epps and Michele Smith work send out sympathy cards and get well cards to veterans and wives. The cards were developed by Michele based on input from Trooper Norvel "Luke" Lucas and Col. John Kormann. 
 
Update: The following Scions have recently volunteered to attend funerals and support our veterans and their families. 

Barbara Tuttle - Virginia
Charlie Jones - Ohio
Terri Gebler - Ohio
Cindy Gang - Florida
Dusty Cornelius - Texas
Sherrie Binkley - Tennessee

 
FINANCE COMMITTEE
The role of this committee is to assist the Treasurer in managing and monitoring the organizations finances. Typically chaired by the Treasurer, it provides an opportunity for discussion and consideration of financial matters with regular reporting to the Board of Directors. 

Update:
Scion Melanie Sembrat has volunteered to be a member of this committee


MEMORIAL FUND COMMITTEE
The primary role of this committee is to coordinate arrangements for the placement of wreaths at the graves of our 4 Medal of honor recipients (3 in the US and 1 in the Netherlands) each year on Memorial Day. We have individuals who have stepped up each year to do this job, but the committee would confirm that they take on this task again. In addition the committee may recommend and coordinate the laying of wreaths at other locations, such as the 17th Memorial in Arlington. Scions Jerry and Pat O'Brien have volunteered to serve on this committee. Jerry and Pat have taken on the role of placing the wreath at the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Isadore Jachman and are working to contact the remaining family about our interest in honoring him. 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The role of this committee is to nominate candidates for office within the organization and examine the skills and characteristics that are needed in Board candidates representing the best interests of the membership. Available candidates either nominated or written in are then voted into office at our annual meeting. 

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
This committee is in charge of all activities designed to increase membership in our organization. As my Dad Bill Smith always encouraged, "Get the youth involved, they are our future leaders and will carry on the torch of our mission".
 One project that we would like to take on is the publishing of an article about the Scions in Military related magazines, such as WWII magazine and the American Legion Magazine.

Help us to honor our 17th Airborne veterans and keep the history of the 17th alive by pitching in to make the Scions organization better.
Marketing Committee Design New Scions T-Shirt
 
Our Marketing Committee, Donna "Cooper" Meise and Fred Nothstine have come up with a design for a new Scions T-Shirt that we think everyone will like. Details are in the "Online Store" section of the newsletter, below and also in the Store section of our website. 
 Do You Know of a Veteran Who Does Not Use Email?
 
Each month this newsletter, "Thunder From Heaven" goes out to over 600 members of the 17th Airborne family.  We know that some of our veterans no longer use, or have never used email.  Scion Kerri Whitaker, granddaughter of Richard L. Wise (194/C), has volunteered to send hard copies of the newsletter to our veterans each month. 

 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: Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com.
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.

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
 
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 now deductible under Section 170 of the IRS code. 

All donations are acknowledged with a letter that can be used for tax purposes.
The Latest on the Miley Postage Stamp

by Ed Siergiej Jr.
 
 Col. John Kormann had been working to get a postage stamp issued by the USPS to honor General Miley as the father of the U.S. Paratrooper for some time. We have encourage our membership to write to the Postmaster General in support for this stamp. 

Editors Note: Scion Diane Clark, daughter of Mel Lagoon (  ) sent us a copy of the letter that she and her family sent in support of this effort. 
 
Megan J. Brennan
Postmaster General and CEO
475 L'Enfant Plaza, 
Washington DC 20260
 
Subject:  General Miley Postage Stamp
 

Madam Postmaster General,

In memory of General Miley we would like to petition you to honor him and his significant work during World War II.  General Miley is known as the father of the U.S. Paratrooper.  He was instrumental in  the formation of the Airborne, as we know it today, especially the 17th Airborne Division which he led during the trying times of the Battle of the Bulge and the airborne assault of Operation Varsity.

Thank you for your consideration to create a special stamp for General Miley that would memorialize his contributions and  honor all of the 17th Airborne Division veterans that sacrificed during WWII.

Sincerely yours,


 
Scion 2015 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.

Our next gathering will be on Veterans Day Week at Arlington National Cemetery. Details will be posted here in the next issue.

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

 
Photo from our initial gathering in 2011

Scions Veterans Day Ceremonies
Arlington National Cemetery
November 10 & 11, 2015


Make your reservations now !
 
Our annual Veterans Day gathering at Arlington National Cemetery will be held on Monday November 9th and Tuesday November 10th. This very special ceremony is sponsored by the Reuben Tucker Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association each year and features a procession to each of the Airborne Memorials in the Cemetery. At the Memorial to the 17th we will lay a wreath in memory of the fallen troopers of the 17th. Later in the day, we will gather at the National WWII Memorial, and place a wreath at the Airborne panel. In the past, the Arlington Ceremony has taken place on November 10th. We are planning some special events for the 9th as well, hopefully including a dinner with Mrs. John Kormann. In the past, the Kormanns have hosted us for dinner at their home. Since the passing of Col. Kormann, Mrs. Kormann has relocated, and we plan to do the hosting for now on. 
 
Our accommodations last year Marriott Courtyard Pentagon South were so well received last year that we have made arrangements to have our "Headquarters" at this hotel again. We have reserved a block of rooms, which need to be booked before 10/11/15. The hotel is only 7 miles from Arlington Cemetery.

The Marriott has given us the same rate and amenities as last year.

Room Rate - $109/ night + tax (This is a great rate for a nice hotel in a great location)

Option to extend - The hotel has agreed to extend the above rate for up to 2 days before and/or after the 10th and 11th if rooms are available. This will be great for those who want to spend more time in DC 


Complementary Parking - If you have stayed in the DC area you know how great this is! 

Complementary Full American Breakfast for up to 2 people per room.


This package has a cut off date of 10/11/15. Please try to book early so that we will know how many people we are anticipating. You can cancel up to 2 days prior to the event without penalty. Use the link below to make your reservations, or call 
1 888 236 2427. Make sure that you tell them you are with the Scions of the 17th Airborne. 
 
As the schedule is finalized, we will publish it here. Marcy Schuerholz, daughter of Mick Stinchcomb (HQ/680th) has stepped up to organize the schedule this year. Thanks Marcy!!!!
2016 Lancaster, PA Operation Varsity Gathering
May 6 - May 11, 2016

By Michele Smith

ATTENTION TROOPERS, TROOPERETTES, SCIONS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

Mark your calendars, the 2016 Lancaster Reunion has been scheduled for check-in Friday May 6 to Wednesday May 11 checkout. You asked us and we listened.

Many Scions who are still working requested that the Reunion fall over a weekend so they are able to attend. The Fulton Steamboat Inn has graciously set aside a block of rooms. Trooper Mike Rock already has his room reserved, in true Airborne spirit!

I would love to see us fill up the entire hotel!  More complete details will follow in future newsletters. Here are the daily rates which include breakfast, dinner, all taxes and gratuities.
                                                   SINGLE:  $146.15
                                                   DOUBLE: $181.35
                                                   TRIPLE :  $ 216.55
                                                    QUAD:    $ 251.75
 
There will be a Registration Fee of $25.00 per person or $40.00 per couple to help cover the cost of our Hospitality Room and entertainment. May is a beautiful time of the season in this part of the country. Lots to see and do to make this a memorable family vacation in addition to attending the reunion.

Even if you can only come for a day or two please plan to attend. Come and meet your extended Scion family and most especially, our honored 17th Airborne Troopers!

If you haven't attended in the past you can view the website here.  
Their direct telephone number is 717-299-9999 ext.405 (Crystal Lombardo is the Group Coordinator there).

If you have any questions in the interim you can email me at: 
micheleasmith@verizon.net. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
 
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



Jane and Alan Dole have made a generous contribution in memory of Bob Quegan (513/H)
Everyone should have a 17th Decal on their car! 

Scion Michele Smith reports that "My Dad and I have 17th AB license plates and 2 times in the past year I ran into 17th Veteran's sons who had no idea the Scions existed"

See the  "Online Store" below to get your decals

 

Information on Membership and Dues

 "Regular Membership" in the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division is open to any family member or descendant of any veteran of the 17th Airborne Division. 

 "Associate Membership" is available for those who are not related to a 17th veteran but have an interest in our missions., to honor the men of the 17th and to keep their history alive. 
 All veterans of the 17th Airborne Division are considered to be "
Distinguished Honorary Members" of the Scions.

 Regular and Associate Membership dues are $20/year. We strive to keep the dues low, to encourage membership, and renewals. We send an email reminder to each member on the anniversary of their initial membership. Funds generated from dues are our main source of revenue to operate the organization. If you have any question about your dues status, please send us an email to
Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com. Likewise, any questions about membership, please contact us at the email address above as well.

 With your support, we can continue to fulfill and expand our missions to honor the men of the 17th and to keep their history alive.

Ed Siergiej Jr
Sec/Tres
Scions of the 17th Airborne, Inc.

 

Donations to the General Fund

This month we have received generous donations to our general fund by the following individuals 



Edward Good (513/HQ)

Chaplains Corner
by Isaac Epps
 
 I would like to use this space this month to share two stories that I have told at Bill Smith's Lancaster reunions, and I believe they bear repeating here.
  They are a testament to the fact that the men of the 17th Airborne, those "devils in baggy pants", as the Germans described them, could still muster up compassion in the midst of the grim tasks of war.
  They both involve my father, Ralph I. Epps (194HQ).
  The first happened when he drew duty as mess officer when the 17th was in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, preparing for Operation Varsity. His job was to stand where the troopers scraped off their plates; and to note on a form what food was not being eaten so the cooks could make adjustments.
  Children from the town began to show up with buckets, and the men would empty their plates into these containers, assuming the food was for their animals.
  My father did some investigating and learned that the food was being eaten by their families, who were living in a desperate situation because of the ravages of the war.
  Word of this got back to the Troopers and they took it upon themselves to take action. They decided that every day each table would give up one item for the children; who returned to their homes with full meals of peas, potatoes, bread and such instead of just scraps.
   Each day, my father wrote on the form, "All the food was eaten today".
 
  The second story happened when the Division was breaking camp just prior to Varsity.
   For some reason, a Colonel in charge of supply ordered my father to get a detail together and to bury all the remaining cases of canned food.
  Lt. Epps, not one to endure wasting food, decided differently. He commandeered a truck, a driver, and two Troopers. They loaded the cases up and headed for town.
  As they passed through each neighborhood, the men would toss out the cases while still on the move. My father said he never forgot the sight of those cases breaking apart; cans going everywhere; and children and mothers racing around gathering them up, smiling and waving back at him.
  When he reported back to the Colonel, he simply stated that he had gotten rid of the cases; snapped off a salute; and turned and walked away smiling.
  AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!!
Minutes of the Annual Meeting Held in Lancaster, PA

by Ed Siergiej Jr. & Melanie Sembrat


 

Below are links to the documents produced at our Annual Meeting from Lancaster this past month.

2015 Annual Meeting Minutes

Secretary's Report

Treasurer's Report

Many thanks to Scion Melanie Sembrat for acting as recording secretary.

 

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!
From Scion Director Patty Bowers, daughter of Thomas Miller (193/HQ2):

This is the table I set up on Saturday at the Local WWII VE Day event.  It was very well attended and have about 10 vets speak.  Great out pouring of support from locals and may people from out of the area.

Spoke with many people.  Passed out about 250 slips with our web page and facebook info.  Everyone was impressed that we are carrying on the tradition and memories of our fathers.

English Translation of "Die Luftlanding" Book
Now Back in Stock


 
This book, a translation of "Die Luftlanding" by Jonan Nitrowski, was compiled by Jos Bex. Mr Nitrowski gave permission for Jos to translate the book from the original German, into English, so that our veterans could read it. This book is a detailed account of Operation Varsity.

 We have just received a new supply of books from the author and anticipate selling them quickly. Send us an email to reserve your copy today. $80 each, including S&H in the USA. 
 
Scion Director Melanie Sembrat forwarded this link to a Memorial Service at Yellowstone National Cemetery featuring 17th Veteran Willard Baker (513th).  Click here to read!
From Scion VP Michele Smith:

Trooper Chuck Davis sent these pictures to me with a note that he and David Shortt thought the Scions would be interested in these photos taken in front of the entrance to their museum. David had the front and rear bumpers of the jeep marked with the 517th Signal Co: 17th Airborne Division, though not exposed in these photos. Chuck tells the 17th Scions "Keep up the good work! Airborne All the Way!"
All Dear Friends,
 
Our Summer greetings for a nice Season.
 
Margraten Memorial Group 17th ABN
 
Pierre Ackermans
From Scion Barbara Tuttle:

Does anyone remember Sgt. LeRoy L. Haynes, who enlisted in Ohio and was killed in Operation Varsity?  If you have any information on his family, please email btuttle48@verizon.net.  His gravetender in Margraten would like to contact his family.

Sick Call

 
 
 
 

TAPS

 
IN MEMORY OF THE FALLEN SOLDIER
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
Dr. Hubert Miller

Parachute Maintenance (PM) Company

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association


Trooper Joe Quade reports the death of Dr. Hubert " Pappy" Miller (PM) at age 97. Dr Miller had attended several reunions of the 17th Airborne Division Association. Dr Miller had resided in Sarasota, Florida. No obituary is available at this time. 
James P. Case, Sr.

193/HQ

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

James P. Case, Sr., 89, of Easton, PA died Wednesday, June 19, 2013, at Hospice House of the VNA of St. Lukes in Bethlehem. Born October 11, 1923 in Bethlehem, he was the son of the late Walter A. and Mary E. (Ward) Case. He was the husband of Georgine M. (Geary) Case with whom he celebrated 70 years of marriage this year. James was an assistant division manager in the Accounting Department in the Billing Division of the Bethlehem Steel Corp, retiring in 1982 after 34 years of service. He was a graduate of Liberty High School where he participated in football, basketball, and baseball. He was a member of the 1940 undefeated football team and the Big Fifteen State Champion Football Teams in 1940 and 1942. James was a Pennsylvania All State Halfback selection in 1942. He was an U.S. Army Veteran of World War II, serving with the 17th Airborne Division in Europe. James was a qualified paratrooper and a glidetrooper. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes), Central Europe and the Rhineland. He was a sergeant in charge of the first Glider, from his outfit, to cross The Rhine River in Germany, near Wesel, during Operation Varsity on March 24, 1945. He received the Combat Infantry Badge, three Battle Campaign Stars and one Bronze Arrowhead and Bronze Star Medal. James was a 1949 Graduate of Lehigh University with a bachelors degree in Business Administration. While at Lehigh, he played halfback and quarterback from 1946 to 1948 and was a member of Phi Sigma Fraternity. He was formerly on the Board of Governors of the Bethlehem District Catholic You Organization (CYO). He coached CYO football, basketball, and softball for many years. He served as the First CYO President of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish. James also coached American legion Baseball, coached at Notre Dame High School, Green Pond 1960 to 1964, serving as defensive and offensive coordinator and punting coach. He coached during Notre Dames first undefeated football team in 1963 and is a member of Notre Dame High Schools Hall of Fame. James was a life member of the North End Wanderers Athletic Association and a member of the Retired Employees Benefits Coalition (REBCO) for former Bethlehem Steel employees. He was also a member of the Lehigh South Side Boosters Association and the Easton YMCA. James was a Charter Member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Bethlehem Township. Survivors: In addition to his wife; he is survived by his son, James P. Case, Jr. and wife, Kathleen, of Easton; five grandchildren, Colleen, wife of Keith Miller, James P. Case, III and wife, Amy, Allison, wife of Patrick Hockenberry, Stephanie, wife of Michael Sponchiado, and Bethann, wife of James Gonzalez; and great-grandchildren, Justin, Jake, Nathan, Liam, Aiden, Maura, Seth, Teresa, and Lucas James. James was preceded in death by his brother, Richard F. Case; and sister, Marguerite. Services: A viewing will be held on Friday, June 21, 2013, at Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St., Bethlehem, PA 18018 from 6 to 8 p.m. A calling hour will be on Saturday at the funeral home from 9 to 10 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian burial at Our lady Of Perpetual Help, 3219 Santee Rd., Bethlehem, PA 18020 at 11 a.m. Burial with Military Honors will be at Holy Saviour Cemetery in Bethlehem. Online condolences www.connellfuneral.com. Contributions: Memorial contributions may be made in James name to the church or to Hospice of the VNA of St. Lukes, 801 Ostrum St., Bethlehem, PA 18015.
 
Published in Morning Call on June 21, 2013 - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/mcall/obituary.aspx?pid=165447983#sthash.6rMDunGC.dpuf
Frank Nastasee

193/F

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association
 
Frank P. Nastasee, 90, of Bethlehem, died peacefully surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren. Born October 10, 1924 in Hazelton, he was the son of the late Frank and Rose (Rentz) Nastasee. Frank was married to his beloved wife, Bernadine, for 68 years. Frank's greatest joy was hosting large family gatherings and being surrounded by his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, good food, and a lot of laughter. He enjoyed the simple things in life particularly making new friends and finding out their life histories. He loved surfing the net on his computer. Frank was a combat veteran during World War II, 17th Airborne Division, and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He worked for Bethlehem Steel in the General Services Dept. for 43 years before his retirement. Survivors: Wife- Bernadine (Salabsky); Daughters- Antonia R. wife of John Faibisy of Ruther Glen, VA and Jane F. wife of Robin Hardin of Modesto, CA; Sons- Thomas A. Nastasee of Bethlehem and Francis P. Nastasee husband of Mary Anne (Richards) of Bethlehem; 6 Grandchildren and 8 Great Grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son- James Nastasee of Bethlehem. Services: Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, August 15th at 10:30AM in Saints Simon and Jude Catholic Church 730 W. Broad St. Bethlehem. Burial will follow Privately for the Family in Holy Saviour Cemetery. Contributions: Donations can be made in Frank's memory to the Wounded Warriors Project care of Downing Funeral Home, Inc.
Published in Morning Call on Aug. 13, 2015
Donald Nestor

194th

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association


 On June 10, 2015, Donald Nestor, 90, of Cumberland, passed away at the Golden Living Center.
Donald was born on Sept. 12, 1924, in Cumberland. Donald graduated from Fort Hill High School in 1942, and he served in World War II in the 17th Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He was awarded the Bronze Star for service from 1943 to 1946. Donald retired from Kelly Springfield Tire Company. He was a member of the Cumberland Pentecostal Church.
Donald was the son of the late Amanda (Troutman) and Charles Nestor. Besides his parents, he was also preceded in death by his wife, Ruby M. (Cook) Nestor; brothers, Bud Nestor and Lindy Nestor; and grandson, Michael Twigg.
Donald is survived by his son, Don Nestor and wife, Linda, of Royston, Ga.; daughters, Debra Dean, Cumberland, and Connie Twigg and husband, Rick, Cumberland; grandchildren, DJ and wife, Heather, Shelley and husband, Brian, Tara Dean, Julie Dean, Matt Twigg, and Sara Twigg; and great-grandchildren, Austin, Chase, and Brandon Nestor, Savannah and Brett Chambers, and London Lars Dean; as well as, numerous nieces and nephews.
Friends will be received at Scarpelli Funeral Home, P.A., 108 Virginia Avenue, Cumberland, on Friday, June 12, 2015, from 1 to 2 p.m.
A funeral service will be conducted at the funeral home on Friday, June 12, 2015, at 2 p.m. with Donald’s son, the Rev. Donald Nestor, officiating.
Military Honors will be accorded by the Post 13 Veteran’s Honor Guard.
Interment will be in Sunset Memorial Park.
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
17th Airborne Car Flags

These high quality car flags are double sided, 12" x 18", and feature a heavy duty window mount. A great way to show your pride in the 17th Airborne Division

$25 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.

Scions of the 17th Airborne Pins

This pin was designed by our founding veteran, Col. John Kormann. The pin is 3/4" in Diameter, with the Scion Logo


$10 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.

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.
 
New Scions Tee Shirts
 
Our new Marketing Team designed these great new T - Shirts. The shirts are Made in the USA, Preshrunk 100% Cotton with the Scion logo on the front and the back.
Available in sizes    
S, M, L, & XL & 2XL 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 or Black, 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:  Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com.

Our brand-new 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
Rose Friday, daughter of Edward Friday (194th)

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

Secretary/Treasurer
Ed Siergiej Jr., son of Edward J. Siergiej (194th)

 

Board of Directors

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)
Jeff Schumacher - son of John Schumacher (194th)
Chuck Katz - son of John Katz (194th)
Adam Coolong - grandson of Charles Booth (680/HQ)
Paul Madden - son of Harold Madden (680/A Battery)
Marty Cavanah - son of Earl Cavanah (193rd/194th)
Patty Bowers - daughter of Thomas Miller (193/HQ2)






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

Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com
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