Copy
The  Official Electronic Newsletter of the Veterans and Descendants of the
U.S. 17th Airborne Division, WWII 
Issue # 16 - January 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:
Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com.
Ed Siergiej Jr. & Adam Coolong - Editors
 
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.
Visit our Facebook page at:

17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants)

Post your 17th related photos, stories and questions.
In This Newsletter
 
-  Trooper Stories

-  Scions 2013 Gathering Schedule
    
-  Operation Varsity Reunions in 2014
   by Michele Smith & Nancy Lauria

-  Scions to Invade Europe in 2015
    by Jeff Schumacher

-  Calling all Scions
   by Michele Smith

-  Welcome New Scion Members


-   Scions Memorial Fund

-   Chaplain's Corner
    by Isaac Epps, Scion Chaplain

-  Adopt a Veteran Project
   by Michele Smith

- Airborne Awards Festival Invitation

- Dead Mans Ridge Walk 2014
  by Gregory DeCock


- Translation of the book "Die Luftlanding" now available

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


-  17th Airborne Online Store
 
Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom

- Letters From Home and Abroad

-  Sick Call

-  TAPS
 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

                     
The story above was originally printed int the hard copy "Thunder From Heaven" by Editor Joe Quade
The story above was originally printed int the Summer 2003 hard copy newsletter,
"Thunder From Heaven" by Editor Joe Quade
Scion 2013 - 2014 Gathering Schedule
 
It seems like a good idea to post information on our annual gatherings in this newsletter each month, 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 here. 


_________________________________________________________________
 
 
March 23rd - 27th, 2014 - Lancaster, PA

Bill Smith's annual "Operation Varsity" gathering in Lancaster, PA. This event grows in popularity each year. A great time to relax and spend time with our veterans. Often some of our friends from Europe attend as well. (See below for details)

________________________________________________________________
 
April 24th through April 27, 2014 - Wheeling, WV

Nancy Lauria has hosted an "Operation Varsity" gathering for a number of years. In 2014, the location has changed to Wheeling, WV. (See below for details) As we get more information, we will post it here.
Plan now to attend the Lancaster, PA, "Operation Varsity' Gathering of the Scions

by Michele Smith

 

Hello 17th Airborne Troopers, Trooperettes, Scions, Family and Friends! It's time to start planning to attend our 2014 Reunion in March. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE THE WONDERFUL CAMARADERIE OF THE 17TH AIRBORNE FAMILY. DON'T MISS OUT.Let's make this our largest "Operation Friendly Invasion" ever. Trooper Mike Rock, 680th Battery B already has his room reserved.Let's emulate his spirit and take over the entire hotel! SCIONS, YOU KNOW OUR MISSION IS TO HONOR AND PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF THE 17TH AIRBORNE AND WHAT BETTER WAY TO DO SO THAN GET INVOLVED AND HAVE FUN AT THE SAME TIME!
 Anyone who has ever attended will tell you the experience of mingling with "our 17th heroes" is priceless. The staff of the Fulton Steamboat Inn of Lancaster Pennsylvania treat us like gold and always look forward to our return. That being said, it is an extremely popular hotel in a year round resort and it fills up quickly, so we want to make sure you do not miss out on reserving a room.
A MAJOR CREDIT CARD WILL HOLD YOUR ROOM - YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED - AND IF FOR SOME REASON YOU WOULD HAVE TO CANCEL AT THE LAST MINUTE, THEY WILL NOT PENALIZE YOU AS LONG AS YOU NOTIFY THEM AHEAD OF TIME. PLEASE CALL THE HOTEL AT1-717-299-9999 TODAY TO BOOK YOUR ROOM. MAKE SURE YOU INDICATE YOU ARE WITH THE 17TH AIRBORNE GROUP WHEN YOU CALL SO THAT YOU ARE GIVEN THE PACKAGE DEAL.
Reunion Date and rates: Sunday March 22,2014 to Thursday March 27, 2014.
Single Rate : $105.42, Double Rate $146.52, Triple Rate $187.62, Quad Rate $228.72
These prices INCLUDE your room, Breakfast and Dinner in Huckleberry's restaurant located on the main floor of the Inn, all taxes and gratuities, our private Hospitality Room, and as the Steamboat Staff like to say "The Run of the Place"!
All guest rooms include a refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffeemaker, a 32" flat screen TV, iron/ironing board,AM/FM clock radio, hairdryer, direct dial phone with voicemail, high speed wireless internet and guest computer station is also available.There is an indoor pool and fitness center and a 24 hour convenience store on premise (Arlene runs the gift store and always gives the 17th a nice discount).In addition to the picturesque Amish farmlands, the Steamboat Inn is ideally located across from outlets galore.The Hotel is also just up the road from the American Music Theatre and the Sight and Sound Theatre.You can visit their website at Fulton SteamboatInn.com for a virtual tour, photos, directions etc.The Fulton Steamboat Inn is located at the corner of Rtes 30 and 896 Lancaster Pa. THE ADDRESS TO USE FOR MAP QUEST AND GPS IS 1 HARTMAN BRIDGE ROAD LANCASTER PA 17602. Also, please notify me, Michele Smith, that you plan to attend or if you have any questions, by calling me at (610) 630-8807 or by email micheleasmith@verizon.net
Dress code is casual, but we hold a beautiful Memorial Service at a nearby Church so you will want to keep that in mind when packing. ONCE AGAIN, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT 100% SURE YOU CAN ATTEND, PLEASE CALL AND AT LEAST RESERVE A ROOM.ALSO, IF YOU CAN ONLY ATTEND FOR A DAY OR TWO YOU CAN STILL GET THE PACKAGE RATE. WE HOPE THOUGH TO SEE YOU THERE FOR THE ENTIRE TIME AS WE CAN GUARANTEE THIS WILL BE A SPECIAL MEMORY YOU WILL ALWAYS TREASURE! Why not extend your vacation and visit historic Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington DC.  In any event, we hope to see you!!!
From Scion Nancy Lauria:

        22nd Annual Reunion

Wheeling, WV
 
           When: April 24 – April 27, 2014
           
            WHERE: Hampton Inn
                             795 National Rd.
                             WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA 26003
            Phone:  1-304-233-0440
   
 
        Rate:  $138.88 Includes all taxes (queen beds)
                     free hot & cold breakfast in lobby.
                             
When reserving your room, let them know you are with The 17th Airborne to get the rate of $138.88. Please reserve your room early. RESERVATION MUST BE MADE BY APRIL 17TH, 2014.
 
Hospitality room opens everyday at 9:00 A.M. and closes when the last person leaves.  We will provide ice, pop, liquor, paper products, snacks, coffee and tea.  We ask beer drinkers to bring their own beer. 
 There will be a complimentary Friday night dinner in the hotel.  Saturday night we will also eat dinner in the hotel.  Bob Hitchman, the owner of the hotel has offered to cook dinner for us on Friday and Saturday.  Saturdays  menu will be chicken tenders ( 2 dipping sauces) pork chops and accompanying sides.   The cost  will be $20.00 - $25.00 per person.
 
Please let us know if you are attending The Varsity Reunion.  If you are unable to attend, we would appreciate a note from you to read to your friends.
Airborne All The Way
     ( Jim) & Nancy Lauria                                                    Betty Rea
      1888 Micaela Ct.                                                            1117 Main St.
      Lakeview, N.Y. 14085                                                    Follansbee, WV. 26037
     716- 627 -5077                                                                  304-527-0567
E-Mail: MLauria319@roadrunner.com                                                                                                         
Scions to Invade Europe in 2015!
 
Hello and Seasons Greetings, fellow Scions and especially to our Veterans.
In the recent September issue of Thunder From Heaven, we read about a prospective 70th Anniversary European Tour.  That is, a Scions-sponsored tour of 17th Airborne sites in Europe, tentatively scheduled for March of 2015.   
‘Thank You’ to our Scions Board of Directors and Peter Schleck for getting this initiative off the ground (airborne!).   My name is Jeff Schumacher, son of John J. Schumacher (D Company, 194th GIR, 17th Airborne), and I am pleased to pick up the mantle and serve as coordinator for the prospective Scions of the 17th Airborne Trip to the ETO (how about “Scions Trip 2015” for short?). 
This is the second “Call for Interest” for the Scions Trip 2015.  Like the initial call, we are primarily soliciting for those of you who are interested in traveling to The Belgian Ardennes (the Bulge) and to Wesel (Varsity), and various points in between in the European Theater of Operations, to walk in the steps of the 17th Airborne.  Yes, for safety reasons, the plan is to  keep it to ‘walking in their steps’, rather than jumping or gliding – which we believe to be the prudent course of action.  Again, there is no commitment needed this point, but even at this early juncture we’d like to get that ‘show of hands’ in order to start getting a feel for just how many travelers there might be, and what that might entail as far as accommodations and other resources.
Here’s all that is requested at this point:
  1. Email me at the  address shown below.
  2. Tell me just a little about yourself – son/daughter, etc. of veteran (please so indicate), and the unit that your veteran was in. 
  3. How many people would prospectively travel in your party (and their approximate ages)?
  4. Include some basic contact information – email and telephone numbers welcome.  None of this  information will be distributed.
  5. If you are reading a printed copy of this Thunder From Heaven or prefer not to use email, that’s OK  – just call or write to me.   My contact information is provided below.
Some of you I have had the pleasure of meeting – others not (yet) – but I do want to share with you that I was privileged and proud to accompany my dad to the Bulge and Wesel areas in March of 2012.  It was a wonderful experience – one we will never forget – and we encourage you to make the trip.  If you can join us in 2015 – it will make for a memorable, wonderful experience. 
Thanks – more updates in the months to come.
Jeff Schumacher
1331 SW Wintergreen Lane
Blue Springs, MO  64015
Home phone:  (816) 224-3779
Scions Trip 2015 email:   ScionsTrip2015@gmail.com


Editors Note:
  The Executive Committee wishes to thank Jeff for taking the lead on this exciting project. Those who know Jeff, have great confidance that the trip will be well planned, well communicated, and well done!
  Jeff reports that we have a growing list of those who are interested in this trip.

 
CALLING ALL SCIONS!
WE NEED YOUR TO HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

by Scion VP Michele Smith
 
Everyone has a talent they can share and as we grow as an organization, the Scions of the 17th Airborne will benefit from your time and talent.This should be fun and personally rewarding and should not interfere with your normal employment and everyday duties. I came across an old letter my Dad, Bill Smith 466th, wrote in the TMC when he was Chairman of one of his 17th Reunions entitled "Future Reunions" and realized much of his advice then, still applies to us today, so I will paraphrase his remarks with some of my own as it relates to the Scions.
The Future belongs to those who prepare for it! Preparation should start now in order to perpetuate our organization. As we continue to grow, it's more important than ever to have a team effort to accomplish our objectives. First, consider attending the mini Reunions held in Lancaster and Ohio and also the Veteran's Day ceremonies at Arlington. Anyone who has ever attended has always enjoyed the camaraderie of interacting with our Veterans and fellow Scions. Patricia Bowers, who attended Lancaster for the first time last March and again in Arlington told me she feels like she has a second family in the Scions. I guarantee you will feel that way too! Consider also organizing your own mini reunion. It is relatively easy to do and we are here to help you get started. To successfully run your reunion it's important to have a team effort if you are chairing the reunion with a committee of 3-5 scions working closely with you. We can possibly help you locate Troopers in your area who would like to attend if they are able. We have had Troopers and Scions attend from all over the country as well as our European friends. Other Troopers have expressed interest in attending, but because of the distance or physical restriction that prevents them from driving or traveling alone, have not been able to attend.
Wouldn't it be nice if a reunion was held near them and they could buddy up with someone so they could attend. If you think you would like to host a future reunion email me at micheleasmith@verizon.net with a number I can reach you and I will be happy to give you ideas on how our reunions are organized and run.
Many of you have expressed an interest in getting involved and helping. When we had our business meeting in Arlington we discussed some areas where we need volunteers to chair and join a committee, and they are as follows: 
 
Membership Chair and committee:
Currently we have 150 Members, 56 Honorary Members, 23 Distinguished Honorary Members and 2 Associate Members. Our numbers grow monthly thanks to Facebook and the great job Ed Siergiej Jr has done with  the help of fellow Scion Adam Coolong on our evolving website with the help of Scion Danny Carter. We have many more names who can be contacted, who may still not be aware of our organization and need to be brought into the fold. Membership committee also follows up on annual dues.

 
Archives Coordinator.
Each year a team has gone to the National Archives prior to attending the Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington. To this point close to 1000 pages of documents have been scanned. Our goal is to organize this information in such a way that we can provide information to Scions researching their 17th veteran, as well as selecting which of these files will be included on our website. When we have a research request, this would also be directed to the Archives Coordinator. Ideally, the coordinator would also plan future trips to the Archives and prevent duplication of effort.
Scion Adam Coolong has volunteered to help coordinate this project. Adam has already been of great help with the publication of this newsletter and has great technical computer skills. Thanks Adam, for stepping up!!!

 
Arlington Coordinator:
Our annual gathering for the ceremonies at Arlington is attracting more Scions each year. This position would involve coordinating with the 82nd Airborne group who plans the event,  selecting a hotel, hopefully with a package rate plan for the weekend, and making everyone aware of the events, time etc.
 
Scion Directory.
This is a project that Scion Isaac Epps has been pushing for, for quite some time. A Scion directory will be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons, including finding local volunteers to represent Scions at funerals
 , to promote the "Adopt a Veteran Program", for visits to hospitals, nursing homes or hospice facilities, for coordination of mini reunions, and contacting other Scions whose Dads, Uncles, Brothers were in the same unit. Participation in the directory is strictly voluntary by permission only.

 
Bookkeeper: to assist the Secretary /Treasurer
As the organization grows we feel it seems prudent to make sure that the finances remain in good control. It is anticipated that in 2014, the Scion will get approval from the Federal Government on our application for Non-Profit status. This will require an annual filing. With these issues in mind, we are seeking a Scion with Accounting, or Bookkeeping experience to act as another set of eyes on the finances, and to assist with any filings required.
Scion Jeff Schumacher has volunteered to help support us in this regard. Thanks, Jeff for your help !!

 
Elections
Elections will be held at the Lancaster gathering in March 2014 for President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. We will also have a discussion on increasing the number on our Board of Directors and perhaps including a Parliamentarian. The one stipulation for running for office is that you will attend at least one of the Scion reunions in Lancaster, Ohio, or Arlington and be willing to actively participate in the organization throuought the year. If you would like to run, please submit a short description of yourself and your qualifications and which office you would like to run for or be a part of.
Please email your interest in volunteering for any of the above to Ed Siergiej at: Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com Please make sure that you indicate which committee you would like to Chair or join or Office and a number you can be reached.
Finally, these were areas we discussed where help is needed now. We always welcome other suggestions or ideas from you to make our organization bigger and better.
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.
 
Christopher Record
Scion of Walter J. Finger, Div. HQ
Rome, NY


Richard Ringler
son of Earl Ringler 194/E
Keyser, WV

Amanda Magill Ryan
grand daughter of Dr. John Magill Jr, 466 HQ
Dauphin, PA

Edward T Maley
nephew of Edward P. Maley 513/E KIA 
Lexington, KY

Edward Whitmarsh
son of Edward D Whitmarsh 194/G
Aurora, MO


Barbara Whitmarsh
daughter in law of Edward D Whitmarsh 194/G
Aurora, MO

Linda Green
wife of Hal Green, 194th
Chadds Ford, PA

Samuel Price Jr
son of Samuel Price, 155th / Battery A

Tyro, VA

Sherrie Binkley
daughter of Willis B. Grice, 513 / F
Antioch, Tn

 
Cynthia Gang
daughter of Curt Gadd, 513 / D
Valrico, FL
 
Tom Gadd
Son of Curt Gadd, 513 / D
Fairview Park, Ohio

 
Thanks for joining us to honor the men of the 17th Airborne! 
 
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)  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

 
Chaplains Corner
by Isaac Epps

 
 This month I want to share a poem that I am sure many have read before.
  But before that; I want to remind everyone that even as you read this, there is a Veteran--- right now---right this minute--who is dealing with health issues--whether that Vet be 17th Airborne; or not---and there are families who are grieving the loss of their Veteran; who stepped forward and served wherever he or she was ordered to go and serve--on the front lines; as a nurse; or a cook; or a clerk---whether in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Granada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan ; or to wherever their orders sent them.
  Keep these folks in your thoughts and prayers now.
  My prayer is that God's Healing Hand be on those Veterans who are struggling with health issues; and on the families who are dealing with their Veterans' passing. 
  This poem is by James Casey; who wrote many verses with a patriotic theme; especially about honoring Memorial Day.
 
   THE LAST INSPECTION by James Casey in 1967
 
  The soldier stood and faced his God, which must always come to pass.
  He hoped his shoes were shining, just as brightly as his brass.
  "Step forward now, you soldier, how shall I deal with you?
  Have you always turned the other cheek? To my church have you been true?"
 
  The soldier squared his shoulders and said, "No Lord, I guess I ain't.
  Because those of us who carry guns, can't always be a saint.
  I've had to work most Sundays, and at times my talk was tough.
  And sometimes I've been violent, because the world is awfully rough.
 
  But I never took a penny, that wasn't mine to keep...
  Though I've worked a lot of overtime, when the bills just got too steep.
  And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear.
  And sometimes, God, forgive me; I wept an unmanly tear.
 
  I know I don't deserve a place, among the people here.
  They never wanted me around, except to calm their fear.
  If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand.
  I never expected or had too much, but if you don't, I'll understand."
 
  There was a silence all around the throne, where the saints had often trod.
  As the soldier waited quietly, for the judgement of his God.
  "Step forward, now you soldier, you've borne your buddies well.
  Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets; you've done your time in hell."
 
    May God Bless our Veterans and their families right now.
 
Adopt a Veteran Project
by Michele Smith, VP of the Scions of the 17th Airborne

Hello Scions, 17th Veterans, Families and Friends!
We had a great gathering in Arlington this year and wish all of you could have joined us. During our business meeting we discussed various areas where we need volunteers from our Scions. One is our "Adopt a Veteran(s) Program". Not all of our Scions have had the grand opportunity as we have had, of attending one of our mini reunions in Lancaster or Ohio or Arlington where we get to spend quality time with our Veterans.Of course, we are hoping to change that in the years to come! In the meantime,here's how we would like to see this program go forward. If you would like to participate Scions, please notify us with some basic information about yourself, where you live and who you are a Scion of, and a phone number we can reach you with best times to call. Make sure you indicate you are volunteering for the "Adopt a Veteran Program" as we have other committees we will be asking volunteers for. We will then attempt to pair you up with a Veteran. We would like for you to keep in touch with that Veteran with a weekly phone call. You can interview them about their wartime experience, keep up to date with their health or family news, send birthday, holiday cards etc. and then every couple of months or so write up a small report about your time spent together to be submitted to the newsletter.Some of us are doing this already, but we know others of you would like to get involved and here's one way of doing it. Please notify me,
micheleasmith@verizon.net or isaac.epps@gmail.com if you would like to participate in this program.We also welcome your suggestions!
Airborne Awards Festival

Fellow Troopers and Chapters,
 
Attached is your invitation to the 2014 Airborne Awards Festival to be held 2-5 April 2014 at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia.  Our theme for this years event will be the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion at Normandy.  Please feel free to forward this invitation to any and all members of your organization or paratroopers, past and present, that you may know!  We also ask that you share this letter on your organizations website.
 
As you will see in the letter, we are excited to have Lieutenant General (Retired) John LeMoyne as our Guest of Honor and Guest Speaker at the Awards Banquet.  General LeMoyne is a Paratrooper, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, and decorated Viet Nam Veteran.  He also commanded the Brigade that led the "Hail Mary" behind the Iraqi Army in Kuwait during the first Gulf War that contributed to the quick end to hostilities.  He is a SUPER person, both professionally and personally.  We are honored to have him as our Guest of Honor.
 
Based on survey results after last years Festival, we have also added several new things to this years Festival.  First, we have added a Friday bus trip to Camp Merrill (Ranger Training Camp in Dahlonega) & Camp Toccoa (Band of Brothers training site), both in the mountains of Georgia.  This will be in addition to the Benning trip that we take every year.  Both the Benning trip and Merrill/Toccoa trip will be Friday the 4th.
 
We also have the 18-member Sentimental Journey Orchestra, a modern big band instrumental group, lined-up to entertain you during and after the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.  They also have arrangements that feature a male and female vocalist.  We will have a dance floor in place, so practice your "moves"!
 
We would ask that you forward this e-mail and attachment to your organization's members and any troopers that you may know anywhere in the world to maximize our reach ensuring everyone has the opportunity to attend this year's festival.  This one promises to be one of the best ever!
 
Please remember that this is for ALL Airborne Troopers and their families past and present, Rangers, Special Forces, Special Operations, Navy Seals, etc.  All we ask is that you are or were Airborne Qualified or a family or friend.
 
If you have any questions, comments, or input, please contact Mr. Tommy Tillman, email:82ndtrooper@comcast.net.  Tommy is our Marketing Committee Chairman, and is ready for your contact!
 
We look forward to having you in Atlanta this coming April!
 
Airborne!
 
Troy E. "Gil" Gilleland
Colonel (Retired), Senior Executive Service (Retired)
Chairman
Donald D. Lassen Atlanta All Airborne Chapter

Dead Mans Ridge Walk


Hello dear participants to the "Dead Man's Ridge Walk",

Here is our second newsletter about the DMRW 2014.

Please find in attachment the documents and information related to the 6th edition that will take place on Sunday March 23rd, 2014 from and back to Houmont, commune of Sainte-Ode, 5 miles West of Bastogne, Belgium.

As each year, two trails are combinable, in the morning, in the afternoon or the whole day.

Registration stays at 5€ per person older than 12, including insurance, a free drink and a certificate.

The board of the DMRW has the pleasure to announce that, this year too, all the benefits will entirely be used for the trip back to Europe of a WWII US 17th Airborne Veteran that fought in January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge.

Staff Sergeant John Leather will be present with his family on the day of the walk. He served in Fox Company, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, fought at Houmont and the surroundings hamlets.

You too can help John's remembrance trip to Europe by visiting the following website. Every donation will be entirely used for his trip. You can also scan the QR code in attachment.

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/3fhy0?variant=2A&utm_expid=35112346-2.Ha7NegCKQLO97s8rW-jMoQ.3&psid=eb78a80ef05b479cada04d7281431f86&fb_ref=share__61E1K0

Our blog is still operational, as our Facebook page "Dead Man's Ridge Walk".

http://17thairbornewalk.blogspot.be/

We are waiting for you, join us.

Best regards.

Gregory DE COCK

Secretary DMRW.

English Translation of "Die Luftlanding" Book AvaiIable
 
 
The translation of “Die Luftlandung” is completed and the books are ready to ship.
 
Those who have signed up for the book at the reunion in Lancaster will receive a personal email or a letter in which the book can be ordered.
 
Other interested persons can email, write, or call Jos the address below.
 
The book will be personally autographed and comes with a WWII patch of the Regiment or Battalion related to the one your family member served in during Operation Varsity.
 
Cheapest way is to transfer the money by bank to:
 
Bank name                                                                                       ABN-AMRO
International Bank Account Number     ( IBAN )                NL84ABNA0534860346
Bank Identification Code                        ( BIC )                             ABNANL2A
Amount             €  77 or $ 102.50  *
On behalf of             J.J. Bex
*Standard shipping ( non tracable )
 
Name of my Bank:         ABN-AMRO
Address of the bank:   Langekerkstraat                                                                                                      45 6851 BM Huissen

POTENTIAL BUYERS SEEM TO BE HAVING AN ISSUE WITH WIRING MONEY TO PAY FOR THE TRANSLATION.
I HAVE HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS WITH BUYERS SENDING CASH IN AN ENVELOPE ALONG WITH A  PIECE OF CARDBOARD 
OR ANY STIFF GREETING CARD TO AVOID DETECTION THAT THERE IS CASH INSIDE.
ANOTHER PLUS BY MAKING PAYMENT THIS WAY IS THAT YOU AVOID THE FEES THAT BANKS CHARGE FOR WIRING MONEY.

 
 From every book sold Jos Bex will donate $5.00 to the Scions.
 
Jos Bex
Lemoen 9
6852 DS Huissen
The Netherlands
Telephone: 0011-312-6325-4361
Cell:            0011-3165-163-4487
Jos Bex email is:  jomaresto@planet.nl
 
Editors Note:
   We thank Jos for his generosity in contributing a portion of the book price to the Scions. Jos has spent many months working on this project and we look forward to seeing the finished product. The translation of this book from the original German into English was very challenging.
In February Jos will be handing over  a copy of the English translation of the Luftlandung to Johan Nitrowski, the original author.
  It is with the exclusive permission of Johan Nitrowski that Jos was able to make the project happen for the 17th AB Scions in the first place. Jos will be taking pictures together with a write up for the February edition of the Thunder from Heaven.
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
 
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
 
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. 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!


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

17th Airborne Division, Volume 1

 
  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

Below are a few sample pages from this book

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.
 
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: Scionsofthe17thairborne.org

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.

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)

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)
Annual Ceremony at Greenham Common
to Honor Men of 194 / C

 
The photos below, sent by Keith Williams of the Royal British Legion show the annual ceremony held to honor the men of Co C, 194th Glider Infantry who were killed in a tragic glider crash on December 12, 1944. This beautiful monument was rebuilt and rededicated in September 2011. Many thanks to the Royal British Legion for their steadfast efforts to honor these troopers.
All Dear Friends,
 
Our Januar greetings with wishes for a  Healthy,  Happy,  and Prosperous    2014.
 
Music  and  Song  as  Memorial for all lost troopers in week  5-7 th  januar  1945.
 
Pierre Ackermans,
Senior member Margraten Memorial Group 17th Airborne Holland.
From Richard Polley
Do any veterans remember the wounding of CPL James (Jim) McHugo of Hartford, CT? He was a pathfinder in the 513th, wounded early in the Regiment's combat operations. He was my father in law - wounded in the left forearm. If anyone can add personal knowledge of the circumstances of his wounds or other information about his time in the 513th it would be appreciated. He spoke with me, an infantry combat veteran of later wars, of his time with the 513th but never about the circumstances of his getting shot.

Editors Note: Richard can be reached via. email at: 
rvpolley@gmail.com
Editors Note:
Steven Russelle contacted us with regard to this photo of an unknown 17th trooper.
He purchased it so that he could make an attempt to find the family or perhaps the trooper himself.
Sadly, we often find that when a trooper passes his prized uniform and items such as this end up on an auction block. Troopers and family members of troopers should make provisions so that the heritage of the 17th is not sold off for profit to those who do not appreciate it. We thank Steven for his very honorable work to return this photo to the family. If no family is found, Steven has indicated that he will send it to the Scions for our archives, which are growing all the time.


Ed, I found the picture at the Salvation Army Thrift Boutique in Tigard Oregon in March 2013. Tigard is just west of Portland. Two senior citizen housing developments are in that area; Summerfield and King City.
The picture was for sale as an individual item, and I searched the store for any other objects that might have been connected to him, with no luck.
The Boutique stores sell the better items culled from donations. The donation could have come in anywhere in the Portland area and the picture shunted off to the Boutique.
There are no markings on the picture.
From Scion Mike Clark:
My father, Cpl Morris L Clark, was assigned to the 513th PIR, 17th AB according to his discharge papers. I have discovered he was a POW in Stalag 12A and 9B. Looking for any information or anyone who knew him. Dad and Mom split when I was about 5 and Dad died in 1969. Incidentally, I am a 29 year veteran(101st AB, 11th ACR, and 100th Div(USAR)).

Editors Note: Anyone with information on Trooper Morris Clark can contact Mike at:
mr_cc53@yahoo.com
 
From Cyndi Gadd Gang, daughter of Curt Gadd, 513 / D

Hello All,
I am writing to all of you who played a part in dad’s life and memorial services since his passing. On Monday, January 27, 2014 we laid dad’s remains to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia alongside many of our nations other esteemed Military veterans. The weather in DC had been brutal for some time (by Florida standards) but we were blessed with a break in the weather misery with crisp, sunny weather for the 10am graveside service. We had a reception and eulogy at the Women in Military Service Museum on the grounds of ANC. Many of the tributes that you sent to us were read at the service by Ed Siergeij Jr. (17th Airborne Scions) Gregory DeCock (Dead Man’s Ridge Walk in Belgium) and Becky Swanson (Curt’s niece from Texas) so thank you all for your kind words and know that even though you were not with us in person, we felt your presence in spirit. Eulogies were delivered by Curt’s oldest son, Tom Gadd, Granddaughter Adrienne Gang and Col John Kormann, 17ABN, Ret. We had 2 video presentations of Curt’s life; one compiled by the WWII re-enactor group who came from Europe to say their final good-byes to Curt. At the conclusion of the eulogies, a rainbow appeared near the flower wreaths through the glass ceiling of the Museum; a fitting end to a heartfelt service.  
 
If any of you are able to visit, Curt’s grave is in section 55, plot #4252. He is right in the middle of the section and we think he will be shaded in the afternoon, once that puny tree grows a little more. When a spouse is interred with a veteran, they are placed in the same spot with the spouse’s gravestone inscription placed on the back of the veteran’s headstone. I am told that it will take up to 120 days before a permanent headstone is placed; right now it is a metal stick with a plastic tag that shows his name, so that’s what will be there for a few more months.
 
Mom is doing very well. Now that she is getting more exercise, mental stimulation, socialization and exercise, she has really rallied and most people are amazed at how much more animated she is. We are truly blessed to have her living with us and keeping us on our toes. She still is, after all, the mother!
This will continue to be her email address and our physical address is:
2202 Longmore Circle
Valrico, Florida 33596
 
Mom will have her 70th wedding anniversary without dad on April 7th, so please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We also look forward to celebrating her 90th birthday on June 7th. I have a feeling we will be celebrating many more of her birthdays in the coming years.
 
Thank you all again for the love you expressed for mom and for our family. We appreciate it more than you know.
Love,
Cyndi Gadd Gang

 
From Scion Ed Whitmarsh

Ed,
   I found a book published by the Army in 1946, on the 13th Airborne.
   I'm sure you know a lot of the men were assigned to the 13th after VE Day.
   They were to be shipped home, get a furlough and then on to the Pacific and Japan.
   Fortunately for our fathers, Japan surrendered and we didn't lose any more of them.
  
 Google: commons@bpl
                 * click on
                    Bangor Community College (dig coms)
                 * type 13th Airborne Division into search
 
   

Sick Call

 Mike Rock
An update on Mike, he was released from the hospital yesterday and will be staying at a rehab center for I believe 6 weeks for daily intravenous treatment for Sepsis.This is a relatively new facility and looks very nice and close to his home.Mike, as always, is upbeat and never complains.
The address is:Egg Harbor Care Center 6818 Delilah Road
Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 phone is
609-453-3200
.

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 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?
Harold S. Kraushar

(507 HQ3)


Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association


Harold Kraushar passed away Wednesday August 28, 2013 at Ocean Medical Center in New Jersey he was 91 years old. Funeral service will be 11:00AM Friday August 30, 2013 at Montefiore Cemetery Queens, New York 718-528-1700.
LTC Jackson Bosley

(507 E)


Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 
Jackson Worth Bosley, 92, veteran of three wars, passed away on August 16, 2013 in Austin, Texas. He is survived by his wife Sandra, son Dr. Jackson Tay Bosley (Emili) and daughter Julia Collins. He attended public schools in Indiana, graduated from Franklin College of Indiana, AB, and received an MA in Oriental Studies from Stanford University in 1949. During World War II he served with the 82nd, 101st, and 17th Airborne Divisions in various glider and parachute units in the U.S. and across Europe. Recalled to duty to the Korean Conflict as an Intelligence Officer, he remained in the Army, retiring as a Lt. Col. with over 20 years of active service. His personal decorations include the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster in lieu of a second award, the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal with palm, and service ribbons with thirteen campaign stars and Invasion Arrowhead. During his military career, he served as an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency as a specialist in Asian Affairs. Following service in Vietnam and military retirement, he was employed by the CIA. Col. Bosley's active life was dedicated to public service and lived with intellect and humor. He was an Eagle Scout, a life-long philatelist and Life Member of the American Philatelic Society, the Texas Philatelic Society, and the Austin Stamp Club. He was the national president of the Universal Ship Cancellation Society as a specialist in postal history of the U.S. Navy. Austin memberships included the Town and Gown Club, the English-Speaking Union, the International Hospitality Council, the Stanford Club, All Saints' Episcopal Church, and he was a former docent for the Austin Lyric Opera Society. Jackson's priorities included people, generosity, tolerance, and an interest in world affairs. He loved looking at beautiful things and was intrigued by life's possibilities. He was preceded in death by parents Leon and Margaret Bosley, sisters Bettie Murphy and Margaret Cross. Survivors also include granddaughter Metta Prieto (Marcos) and two great-grandchildren; nephews and nieces Steve Pattison (Diana), Mike Pattison, Sara Matthews, Leslie Rowntree; and godson Michael Shirk (Michele). A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 13, at 3:00 p.m., All Saints' Episcopal Church, 209 W. 27th Street, 78705 in Austin.
Eva Blanche Martinez

Wife of Adolph Martinez, 513th PIR
 
Eva Blanche Martinez, born in San Antonio Texas on October 23, 1929, passed away peacefully at AV Healthcare in Lancaster, CA on January 3, 2014. Blanche (as she was known) is survived by her husband (of 66 years) Adolph Larrue Martinez, Jr. (C-Company, 513th PIR, 17th AB Division), her six (6) children (and their spouses): "A" (Leslie), Bill, Mike (Gina), Greg (Joan), Diane (Jim) and Rick (Jennifer), twenty (20) grandchildren and thirteen (13) great grandchildren.
 
Friends, family, and loved ones, are invited to join a Celebration of the life of Eva Blanche Martinez on Saturday Feb,1st at 11:00am at New Hope Community Church (formally Sunland First Baptist) located at 10438 Oro Vista Ave, Sunland, CA 91040. Directions can be found at: www.newhopesunland.com
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in the name of Eva Blanche Martinez to:
 
The Sheep Fold (a shelter for battered women and children).
Donation by check can be mailed to:
The Sheep Fold
P.O.Box 4487
Orange, CA 92863
(714) 237-1444
 
Donation online can be made at:
Donation questions: Beverly (Wed & Thur) at: (714) 237-1444 bev@thesheepfold.org
 
More information regarding service activities can be obtained by contacting (Granddaughter) Crystal Stewart at: crystal.f.stewart.gjqj@statefarm.com or by phone: 818-543-4027-work, 661-917-7514-cell
 
Adolph can be contacted at:
2611 West Ave N
Palmdale CA 93551
(661) 713-6646
 
 
 
Audrey Baldinger

Wife of Bob Baldinger (194th)
 
We have just received the sad news that Audrey Baldinger, wife of Bob Baldinger, passed away January 31st, 2014.
Audrey and Bob and Ace Rancone ran the first 17th reunion in 1954.
   Cards may be sent to:
     Debbie Hunter
     166 Gulf St.
     Whitesburg, Tn. 37891
 
The obituary will be posted in the February Issue of Thunder From Heaven
Willard W Fiddler

194th Glider Infantry Reg.
 
Willard "Will" Fiddler, age 88, a resident of Westlake Woods Assisted Living, joined his wife and siblings and the Communion of Saints at a heavenly welcoming on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2013 after a long and well lived life.
 
Willard was born in Westville, Pa., March 7, 1925, the son of the late Elmer and Helene Martinson Fiddler.
 
Will left Strong Vincent High School in April of 1943 to enlist in the Army at the age of 18 during World War II.
 
He was a paratrooper with the 17th Airborne, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and made the final push to cross the Rhine into Germany and ultimately Berlin, where he joined the 82nd Airborne. Will was wounded in action March 24, 1945 in Germany crossing the Rhine in a glider, and is a Purple Heart recipient. Other decorations and citations are the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, and the EAME THR Service Medal with 3 Bronze stars, among others. Will was honorably discharged in January of 1946 and reenlisted during the Korean Conflict. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.
 
Will finished high school upon his return, and studied further at both Grove City College and the Indiana University of PA.
 
Will loved his family and attended as many of their activities as he could. Will was also very active in both church and community affairs. Will was a charter member and Past President of the Presque Isle Rotary, participated in Toastmasters, the Erie County Environmental Coalition, Millcreek Long Range Planning, volunteered at Asbury Woods Nature Center, the Community Country Day School, and was active in numerous political campaigns of those he supported. As a loyal, lifelong member of Lakewood United Methodist Church, Will served on many committees over the years including PPR, Membership, Lay Leader, Stewardship, CROP Walk, served as a Sunday School teacher and Youth Group leader.
 
Willard was in purchasing or sales his entire life, first "peddling newspapers" in Philipsburg, Pa., then selling household medicine door-to-door for McCrory's Five and Dime, where he earned two bicycles. He was called Doc Fiddler at that time. After the war, Will worked at Hayes Manufacturing where his sister Doris introduced him to "the best thing that ever happened to me", his future wife, Nelda Jones.
 
He and his family lived in Traverse City, Mich. for a few years in the early 50s where he was in purchasing and then returned to work at Swanson Erie for 18 years in sales management/purchasing agent. He left there to start his own independent Manufacturer's Representative business, Associated Companies. He was active with this business well into his 80s, and never wanted to retire.
 
Will loved life, his family, his church, country and community. He was noted for his letter writing, and many of his notes to his family contain phrases such as "my family and friends are most responsible for my happiness", "love and good health to all of us working together", "I have a great life and know that when I die I will be happy". Until the end, he was ever the jokester and gentleman, polite to all his nurses at UPMC Hamot, even saying thank you after a finger prick, and always responding when asked how he felt, "oh great, thank you."
 
Will was proud of his family, his good grades in school, and his military service. A very proud moment was when he was able to pin his 82nd Airborne wings onto his grandson, SPC David Garnon, at David's 82nd Airborne graduation at Ft. Benning, Ga., June of 2010.
 
Along with his parents, Will was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Nelda Jones Fiddler on January 13, 2011; his baby sister, Helen; sister, Doris Stratton Schultz; and brothers, George, Lee and Harold Fiddler; and nephews, Scott, David and Dennis.
 
Willard is survived and will be greatly missed by his son, Jim and his wife, Lisa of Bigfork, Mont.; and daughter, Jackie Garnon and her husband, Fred of Erie. He is further loved and survived by three grandsons, Bradley Wilson and his wife, Kristen, Jovan Fiddler and SPC David Garnon and his wife, Candice; three granddaughters, Kimberly Garnon and her husband, Stephone, Jennifer Kreshone and her husband, Thad, and Karen Konhaus and her husband, Skip; along with ten great-grandchildren, twins Andrew and Bennett, Charlotte, Elyse, Bryce, Liam, Aidan, Ciara, Tarynn and Amber. Will is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Emma and Kitty and many special nephews and nieces who loved him dearly, and a special friend and helper, Rose Flak.
 
When asked several years ago in an interview by grandson, Bradley, how he would like to be remembered, Will said, "one who tried to help everyone en route." In keeping with that philosophy, Will's last helping act was to donate his brain to research at Boston University, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.
 
Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th Street (at Powell Ave.) on Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and are invited to the funeral service on Saturday at Lakewood United Methodist Church, 3856 West 10th Street, at 11 a.m. with Reverend Robert Lewis and Pastor Brian Kiehl officiating.
 
The service will conclude with military honors with grandson, SPC David Garnon, great-nephew, Maj. Kraig Kiehl and his wife, Capt. Renae Kluk Kiehl, participating.
 
Memorials may be made to Lakewood United Methodist Church, 3856 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16505; the Erie United Methodist Alliance, 1033 East 26th Street, Erie, PA 16504; or the Erie Playhouse, 13 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16501.
- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/erietimesnews/obituary.aspx?n=Willard-Fiddler&pid=168858329#sthash.fYGmUaNm.dpuf
 
Willard "Will" Fiddler, age 88, a resident of Westlake Woods Assisted Living, joined his wife and siblings and the Communion of Saints at a heavenly welcoming on New Year's Eve, December 31, 2013 after a long and well lived life.
Willard was born in Westville, Pa., March 7, 1925, the son of the late Elmer and Helene Martinson Fiddler.
Will left Strong Vincent High School in April of 1943 to enlist in the
Army at the age of 18 during World War II.
He was a paratrooper with the 17th Airborne, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and made the final push to cross the Rhine into Germany and ultimately Berlin, where he joined the 82nd Airborne. Will was wounded in action March 24, 1945 in Germany crossing the Rhine in a glider, and is a
Purple Heart recipient. Other decorations and citations are the Good Conduct Medal, Victory Medal, and the EAME THR Service Medal with 3 Bronze stars, among others. Will was honorably discharged in January of 1946 and reenlisted during the Korean Conflict. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant.
Will finished high school upon his return, and studied further at both Grove City College and the Indiana University of PA.
Will loved his family and attended as many of their activities as he could. Will was also very active in both church and community affairs. Will was a charter member and Past President of the Presque Isle Rotary, participated in Toastmasters, the Erie County Environmental Coalition, Millcreek Long Range Planning, volunteered at Asbury Woods Nature Center, the Community Country Day School, and was active in numerous political campaigns of those he supported. As a loyal, lifelong member of Lakewood United Methodist Church, Will served on many committees over the years including PPR, Membership, Lay Leader, Stewardship, CROP Walk, served as a Sunday School teacher and Youth Group leader.
Willard was in purchasing or sales his entire life, first "peddling newspapers" in Philipsburg, Pa., then selling household medicine door-to-door for McCrory's Five and Dime, where he earned two bicycles. He was called Doc Fiddler at that time. After the war, Will worked at Hayes Manufacturing where his sister Doris introduced him to "the best thing that ever happened to me", his future wife, Nelda Jones.
He and his family lived in Traverse City, Mich. for a few years in the early 50s where he was in purchasing and then returned to work at Swanson Erie for 18 years in sales management/purchasing agent. He left there to start his own independent Manufacturer's Representative business, Associated Companies. He was active with this business well into his 80s, and never wanted to retire.
Will loved life, his family, his church, country and community. He was noted for his letter writing, and many of his notes to his family contain phrases such as "my family and friends are most responsible for my happiness", "love and good health to all of us working together", "I have a great life and know that when I die I will be happy". Until the end, he was ever the jokester and gentleman, polite to all his nurses at UPMC Hamot, even saying thank you after a finger prick, and always responding when asked how he felt, "oh great, thank you."
Will was proud of his family, his good grades in school, and his military service. A very proud moment was when he was able to pin his 82nd Airborne wings onto his grandson, SPC David Garnon, at David's 82nd Airborne graduation at Ft. Benning, Ga., June of 2010.
Along with his parents, Will was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Nelda Jones Fiddler on January 13, 2011; his baby sister, Helen; sister, Doris Stratton Schultz; and brothers, George, Lee and Harold Fiddler; and nephews, Scott, David and Dennis.
Willard is survived and will be greatly missed by his son, Jim and his wife, Lisa of Bigfork, Mont.; and daughter, Jackie Garnon and her husband, Fred of Erie. He is further loved and survived by three grandsons, Bradley Wilson and his wife, Kristen, Jovan Fiddler and SPC David Garnon and his wife, Candice; three granddaughters, Kimberly Garnon and her husband, Stephone, Jennifer Kreshone and her husband, Thad, and Karen Konhaus and her husband, Skip; along with ten great-grandchildren, twins Andrew and Bennett, Charlotte, Elyse, Bryce, Liam, Aidan, Ciara, Tarynn and Amber. Will is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Emma and Kitty and many special nephews and nieces who loved him dearly, and a special friend and helper, Rose Flak.
When asked several years ago in an interview by grandson, Bradley, how he would like to be remembered, Will said, "one who tried to help everyone en route." In keeping with that philosophy, Will's last helping act was to donate his brain to research at Boston University, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.
Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th Street (at Powell Ave.) on Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and are invited to the funeral service on Saturday at Lakewood United Methodist Church, 3856 West 10th Street, at 11 a.m. with Reverend Robert Lewis and Pastor Brian Kiehl officiating.
The service will conclude with military honors with grandson, SPC David Garnon, great-nephew, Maj. Kraig Kiehl and his wife, Capt. Renae Kluk Kiehl, participating.
Memorials may be made to Lakewood United Methodist Church, 3856 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16505; the Erie United Methodist Alliance, 1033 East 26th Street, Erie, PA 16504; or the Erie Playhouse, 13 West 10th Street, Erie, PA 16501.
Trooper Fiddler's daughter, Jackie Garnon also provided the following information regarding the funeral service.
"Taps will be played and the flag ceremony will be done by Will's grandson, 82nd Airborne Medic SPC David Garnon,  along with Will's great nephew and wife, Major Kraig Kiehl, and Captain Renae Kluk Kiehl"
Willie G. Stem, Jr

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 

Willie G. Stem, Jr, age 86, of Murfreesboro, died Sunday, January 1, 2012. He was a native of Rutherford County and the son of the late Willie G. Stem, Sr. and Anna Bell Bowling Stem.

Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Wednesday at Franklin Road Baptist Church. Pastor Mike Norris will officiate. Burial in Whitworth Cemetery with Military Honors.

He is survived by his wife, Elsie Mai Gannon Stem; sons, Alan R. (Cathy) Stem of Lascassas and Randall (Kathy) Stem of Murfreesboro; daughters, Gayle S. (George) Emery of Beech Grove and Kaye Weed of Murfreesboro; 12 grandchildren, Jacqueline, Alan Jr., Amber, Jeffrey, Dustin, Lexy, Lari, Amanda, Rachele, Ericka, Daniel and David; 20 great grandchildren.

Mr. Stem was a member of Franklin Road Baptist Church where he was a deacon for 42 years and taught Sunday school. He was a U.S.
Army paratrooper in the 507th parachute infantry division during the battle of the bulge in World War II where he received two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He was owner of Willie's Auto Sales and managed many body shops in Murfreesboro for 57 years. He was Chaplain of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Mr. Stem and his wife directed the Murfreesboro Veterans Day Program on the square for the last 15 years.

Visitation will be Tuesday from 4-8 p.m. at Franklin Road Baptist Church`
Calvin B Surrett
194 / G

Calvin Brenton Surrett, 88, of Augusta, Maine, passed away Tuesday. Mr. Surrett was born in Birmingham, AL and was a WWII Veteran. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Roy Surrett; his first wife, Dixie Ann Surrett; son, Bryan Surrett; and second wife, Maurine Alverson Surrett. 

Survivors include son, Robert E. Alverson (Mary) of August, ME; daughter, Sharon Keown (Gerald) of Moore, SC; grandchildren, Jim Alverson (Stacey) of Chattanooga, TN; Robyn Vicuna (Skip) and Jenna Riffe (Tony), all of Huntsville and Stephanie Keown and Allison Keown, both of Atlanta, GA; six great-grandchildren; and brother, Charles Stewart of Anniston. 

Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday at Laughlin Service Funeral Home. The funeral service will be at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home chapel with David Carter officiating. Burial will be in Huntsville Memory Gardens. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Leicester Stift

139th / A & C

Leicester Stift, 1925-2006, and Doloris Stift, 1926-2006
Published Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Leicester Stift, 81, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving wife and family on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006. After 63 years of inseparable togetherness, Doloris, 80, joined Leicester in peace on Sunday Dec. 31, 2006. Doloris was also at home surrounded by those she loved and who loved her. The angels have laid them away.
The Stifts, of Bellingham WA, formerly lived in Columbia, Missouri.
Leicester was born Jan. 15, 1925. Doloris was born on April 8, 1926.
There were four children born of their loving marriage: three sons, Gary, Tary and Christopher; and one daughter, Mary Ann, who all survive. They are also survived by six loving grandchildren, Diana, Laura, Emilie, Jeremiah, Margaret and Duncan, and one great-granddaughter, Arnica.
Leicester C. Stift was a WWII veteran.  Leicester was a replacement who joined the 139th Airborne Engineer Battalion of the 17th Airborne Division in very early 1945.  At first Leicester was assigned to Company A of the 139th and participated in Operation Varsity.  After the surrender of Germany he was re-assigned to Company C of the 139th.


Editors Note: The above obituary was provided by Scion Gary Stift, son of Leicester Stift

 
Willis Grice

513 / F


Died June 15, 2005
 
This article about Trooper Grice was sent to us by his daughter,
Scion Sherrie Binkley
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