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

We strive to accomplish these missions by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their families can gather, and by sharing their recollections.  We communicate with our membership using this "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, through our website, and on our Facebook page. Additionally, we collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
Issue # 97 - Wesel Memorial Appeal 
Carolyn Tuttle, Adam Coolong, Ed Siergiej Jr.- Editors

New Memorial to the 17th Airborne to be Dedicated in Wesel, Germany

The U.S. Army’s 17th Airborne Division was organized in 1943, fought as infantry during the Battle of the Bulge, made the largest single-day airborne assault in American military history as part of Operation Varsity, crossing the Rhine into Wesel, Germany on March 24, 1945.  The division moved eastward, capturing Haltern and Munster, then entered the Battle of the Ruhr Pocket, relieving the 79th Infantry Division.  The 17th crossed the Rhine-Herne Canal on April 6th and set up for the attack on Essen, which fell on April 10th.  The industrial cities of Mulheim and Duisburg were cleared in the continuing attack.  Active combat ceased April 18th, 1945 and occupation duties continued until June 15th, 1945 when the 17th returned to France for redeployment.  By the time World War II was over in Europe, the 17th Airborne had suffered 6,292 killed and wounded, almost double the daily combat average of any American Airborne division. It also had the most Medal of Honor recipients (four).

The Scions (descendants) of the 17th Airborne Division was founded in 2011 to continue the 17th Airborne Association's legacy.  The mission of the Scions of the 17th Airborne is to honor the service of all veterans of the 17th and to educate others about the history and sacrifices made by the troopers who served in this division during World War II.   

 The Scions recently announced our collaboration on a joint project with Andrew Biggio (veteran and author of the book, "The Rifle") for a new monument in Germany dedicated to the 17th Airborne’s participation in Operation Varsity.   The foundation for the monument is in place, fabrication is in the final stages and the monument dedication is scheduled for March 24th, 2022 – the 77th anniversary of Operation Varsity.  

The Scions solicited 17th Airborne veterans to travel to Belgium and Germany in March in order that the monument could be dedicated in their presence, and we were fortunate to have received multiple positive responses.  At this time, we have seven WWII veterans, including four from the 17th Airborne Division who will make the trip.  Each veteran will be accompanied by a family member.

  The monument and the trip are funded from proceeds of Andy’s book and through private donations. The March trip is on an “all expenses paid” basis for the veterans and their guardians.  
This will be the final opportunity to include WWII veterans in a trip to Europe organized by the Scions, and we are asking for your strong support.  To maximize your generous donation, direct contributions to the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division are requested.  

Here’s how you can help:

  1. Send an email to:  including your name and the amount of your pledge, and any attribution, if so desired “in honor of…..”.  

  2. Then, make your donation directly, either:

    • via PayPal to:  Scionsofthe17th


  • by sending your check payable to Scions of the 17th Airborne Division, addressed to:

Scions of the 17th Airborne Division

62A Forty Acre Mtn. Rd.

Danbury, CT  06811-3353

Please indicate your donation is for “March 2022 Trip”


Thank you for your support of this mission and these veterans!

Jeff Schumacher

Skip Greeby 
Vice President

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

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

Distinguished Honorary Members 
All veterans of the 17th are considered as "Distinguished Honorary Members" of the Scions.  We exist to honor you, our veterans.

We do not ask for dues from our honored veterans, as we exist to honor you!

Individual and Family Memberships in the "Scions of the 17th Airborne" are available to any descendant or family member of any trooper who served with the 17th during its existence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Committee Chairs

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

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

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

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