The  Official Electronic Newsletter of the Veterans and Descendants of the
U.S. 17th Airborne Division, WWII 
Issue # 14 - November 2013
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:
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.

Visit our website at:

Historical Accounts from the National Archives
First Hand stories from 17th Veterans
Online Store
and more!

In This Newsletter
-   Operation Varsity Gathering in Lancaster, PA

-   My trip to Belgium and Germany
    by Scion Adam Coolong 
-   Scions Gather to Honor the Men of the 17th at Arlington
     National Cemetery

-   Scions Memorial Fund

-   Chaplain's Corner
    by Isaac Epps, Scion Chaplain

-  Message from Michele Smith, Scions VP

-  Scions 2013 Gathering Schedule

- Translation of the book "Die Luftlanding" now available

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

- Letters From Home and Abroad

-  Sick Call

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.
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 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
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!!!
 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:

Scion Adam Coolong on LZ-S, site of the 680th's Varsity landings outside Blumenkamp.
My Trip to Belgium and Germany

by Adam Coolong

Sometimes the hardest part about writing up one’s experiences is the introduction.  I don’t really have one, so I’ll just jump right in!  This past month I took a trip to Europe to visit some of the sites that my grandfather experienced during his time with the 17th Airborne Division.  As I have written previously, my maternal grandfather “Lefty” Booth served with HQ Battery, 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion. 
Although he was my mom’s father, it was my dad who accompanied me on this trip.  He and I have always had a great interest in World War II history, so it was a natural thing for him to come with me.  What a great trip we had!

First, I have to put in a little “plug”…  If you haven’t already been to the operational areas from the 17th’s campaign in Europe, and if you are thinking of going, then I highly recommend the services of Dutchman Jos Bex.  His ETO Tours are incredible, his depth of knowledge is unsurpassed, and he’s a great guy to boot!  It was because of Jos’s hospitality that my dad and I were able to do this trip at all, and I definitely recommend you make ETO Tours your choice for an organized tour of the battlefields of Europe!
My dad and I met up in Amsterdam, as I was at the end of a tour of Ireland and Scotland with my band.  We took a train to Arnhem the following day and Jos met us at the station.  We got right into it, as he drove us around Arnhem, showing us some of the sites from Operation Market Garden, including the British glider landing zone at Wolfheze, and a really incredible collection of actual glider remnants that a man named Paul Hendricks had collected over the last 30 years.  He has Waco parts, Horsa parts and even a cockpit from a giant British Hamilcar glider!  It was incredible to see these artifacts, right in their “native” surroundings.  We also saw the famous Arnhem Bridge (“A Bridge Too Far”) and some great areas around Hartenstein, Oosterbeek and Westerbouing.  Although this wasn’t the 17th history quite yet, it was a great way to start our trip.  Both my dad and I are very into the history of Market Garden and the 82nd Airborne, so this was excellent!
The next day we visited the American cemetery at Margraten, Belgium, and then drove to the Ardennes forest area and the town of Bastogne.  Margraten was an incredible experience, and seeing some of the sites I had read about for years really started to sink in.  Driving into the Ardennes was the fulfillment of another lifelong dream, and Bastogne lived up to my expectations!  We traveled throughout the region, seeing Foy, Bizory, Rachamps and Mande-St. Etienne.  This was a real highlight, as I knew that the 680th was active in this area!  It was amazing thinking about how cold and lonely those poor troopers were in that frigid winter weather.  I hope my grandfather kept warm somehow! 
The following day we visited the 101st Airborne museum in Bastogne.   I have seen a LOT of war museums in my life, and I don’t say lightly that this was an absolutely INCREDIBLE collection.  It was simply bursting with artifacts, uniforms, weapons, maps, and more.  I spent probably four hours here, and took hundreds of pictures.  Really amazing.  We got a backstage tour and everything, courtesy of Jos’s friend Evan.  His father put the museum together, thanks to 30 years of digging in woods, barns and attics in and around Mande-St. Etienne.  They have a nice focus on the 17th, and Evan is particularly interested in the history of the 680th!  Needless to say I thought that part was pretty cool.
From the museum we went and visited Dead Man’s Ridge.  We got a nice history lesson from Jos and Evan, and I had a nice walk through the woods.  Foremost in my mind this entire time was the sacrifice of those brave 17th troopers, who must have been absolutely terrified as they underwent their baptism of fire in the cold foxholes that still dot the landscape.  I was amazed that there are still unexploded 60mm mortar rounds, bazooka rockets and Panzerfaust explosive material sitting in the woods!  Unreal.  That certainly added an unwelcome touch of reality. 
After our tour of Dead Man’s Ridge we visited the church in Houmont where the 17th Airborne Association stained glass window sits proudly in the front wall.  Unfortunately the church wasn’t open and we couldn’t find the lady with the key, but I guess that gives me a reason to return! 
From Houmont we traveled a short distance to Flamierge to see the 17th Memorial there, and the fields where the 680th was deployed.  Then we went to the beautiful village of Houffalize.  We saw the nice 17th Memorial there in town, and enjoyed a street festival that was going on!  Then it was back to Arnhem and Jos’s house, and an early night.  We needed our rest because Wesel and the Operation Varsity areas were on deck the following day! 
We saw SO MUCH in Wesel, in such a short time!  Highlights included the British landing zones (and the areas where the 513th was misdropped) around Hamminkeln.  We saw several farms where action took place, including Burp Gun Corner, the site of the 194th CP at the Hotel Duden, and the Ollie Molshoffen farm where Stuart Stryker’s actions earned him his Medal of Honor.  My favorite part was visiting the actual fields where the 680th landed that day, just east of the town of Blumenkamp.  It was an incredible feeling standing there where something that I have a familial connection to happened, almost 70 years ago.  I even scooped up some dirt and smuggled it back into the US.  Don’t tell Customs! 
There is just so much to tell and share about this incredible trip, and I’m afraid this short summary doesn’t really do it justice.  I absolutely recommend to all you Scions that if you ever have the chance, even if it is difficult to fit into your schedule, or might stretch your budget past your comfortable limits a bit, GO.  Do yourselves a favor and GO.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience, and I’m VERY glad I went.  You will be too, I promise! 
--Adam Coolong

I took many great photos of my trip, far too numerous to attach to this article.

To see a photo slideshow of my trip, just click on this sentence!
Scions Gather Honor the Men of the 17th
Annual Arlington Ceremonies  

by Ed Siergiej Jr.
 November 10th, 2013 marked the third annual gathering of the Scions at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the men of the 17th Airborne Division. This event, which is part of a larger ceremony sponsored by the 82nd Airborne Division Association is one of the cornerstones of our organizations activities. It provides an opportunity for us to gather together at the memorial to the 17th at Arlington, as well as to sit down as a group to review the business and projects of the Scions organization. 

 This year, continuing a project begun in 2012, a group of us arrived a few days early to do research at the US National Archives. The group this year was composed of Scions Melanie Sembrat, Patricia Bowers, Robert Smith, Kelly Richter and Ed Siergiej. Armed with laptops and scanners, hundreds of pages from the division records were scanned. Much of this material has already been posted on our website. The priority at this point is to get the written histories of the division as a whole, as well as those of the component units, (507th, 193rd, 194th, 513th...etc.) on the website, so that those who are not familiar with the history of the 17th can learn as much as possible. As time goes on, we will add additional information. We have made a decision not to post casualty lists, or any information that have individual names and ASN, on the website. Family members who are researching a particular trooper can contact us for additional information. We should note that no individual service records have been located at this time. These records were stored in another facility in St. Louis, and many were destroyed by fire a number of years ago. Veterans and their family members who have individual service records should provide for their safe storage. Often these records are dis guarded by family members at the time of a veterans death. They are often the only records in existence of the individual service of a particular veteran. The only individual stories that we have to this point, are those for individuals who were awarded specific awards, like the Silver Star. We will add these records in the future. At this point in time over 400 pages of documents have been posted on the website. Many thanks to our team of Scion researchers!

On November 10th our entire group gathered at Arlington for the memorial services and procession thru the cemetery to the individual memorials to various Airborne units, from WWII to today. At each stop an honor guard from the 82nd Airborne presented the colors and a bugler played TAPS. At the memorial to the 17th, a wreath was laid, and Col. John Kormann made appropriate remarks on the sacrifice of so many men of the 17th. A video of Col. Kormanns remarks is posted on our Facebook page.

Following the ceremonies at Arlington, we drove to the National WWII Memorial, where a wreath was laid at the Airborne panel, and again, Col. Kormann made some remarks to the crowd of Scions and other onlookers assembled.

When this ceremony was ended, we travelled to the hotel where many of the 82nd Airborne group were staying, to visit with them. Many thanks to these wonderful frineds for their help and hospitality in making this event possible.

In the evening, the Scions gathered at the home of Col. & Mrs. Kormann for a wonderful evening of dinner and fellowship. After the singing of the "Airborne Hymn" and a few "Night Drop" drinks prepared by Col. Kormann the group returned to our hotel to prepare for the trip back to our homes. 

Our group at this event seems to grow each year. We hope that next year we will see even greater attendance as the Scion organization grows.


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 with a number I can reach you and I will be happy to give you ideas on how our reunions are organized and run.
 Since the formation of the Scions in 2011 the Scions organization has grown in many ways. At this point in time we are actually running a small business. Every day we get requests for information, and membership. Once one gathering such as the recent one at Arlington, we begin to plan for the next event. Many of you have expressed an interest in getting involved and helping. At our business meeting in Arlington we discussed some areas where we need Scions to volunteer to chair and join a committee. The committees most needed  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, and on our evolving website with the help of Scion Danny Carter. However, we know that we need to actively reach out to others who may not know about the Scions. The Membership Committee will also follow up on the renewal of annual dues.

Archives Coordinator.
For several years now 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.

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 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 assist the Treasurer by act as another set of eyes on the finances, and to assist with any filings required
 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. Those wishing to run for office must be "Regular" paid members of the Scions, be willing to attend at least one of the Scion reunions in Lancaster, Ohio, or Arlington and to actively participate in the organization throughout 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.
 If you are interested in running for an office, or helping with one of our committees, please email your interest to us at: Please include a number you can be reached.
  We always welcome other suggestions or ideas from you to make our organization bigger and better.

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

                        NOW HEAR THIS! NOW HEAR THIS!    

  We are looking for updated information about 17th Airborne Veterans. If You are a 17th Airborne Veteran; and your address and/or phone number has changed since 2005; or if you are a Scion and know of changes in your Trooper's information; PLEASE LET US KNOW! Contact me at with this information.
  This input will serve in a number of ways:
--It will help Ed Siergiej, Sr.; the standing 17th Association Secretary/ Treasurer, to update his 17th records. He is still very actively trying to keep the membership in touch and informed as to where our Veterans are and as to the whereabouts of the 17th Association membership; and in his active involvement in the process of finding Veterans for the "Adopt A Veteran" project.

  --It will serve as an invaluable resource towards insuring the success of the Scions' "Adopt A Veteran" project; as we try to find Veterans who might appreciate a visit. The volunteers are working very hard to reach out to find these Veterans; and having current information will help them in that effort.
  Along those lines; as stated in last month's newsletter; the "Adopt A Veteran" effort has successfully launched.

  I am happy to share that two more Scions have stepped up to do their part for the effort.
  They are; Robert Blethrow from California; son of Harry Blethrow (155D); and Charles Jones, Jr. from Ohio; son of  Maj. Gen. Charles H. Jones (466HQ). Thanks to these members for getting involved. That brings the number of volunteers to six--there is still room for more. If anyone feels led to get involved in this urgent effort, please let us know.
  Another special thanks to Ed Siergiej, Sr. for his tireless work to find out where these Veterans are today. With the number of volunteers increasing who are looking for names for him to consider; he does not flinch--he gets it done!--AIRBORNE!

  On another topic--I was struck by a thought I wanted to share.
  There is an amazing bond among the Scions and with the 17th Veterans that deserves noting and promoting and that should be encouraged. As we get together to decide how we go forward and decide what routes to take and how to get "there"; we need to remember how strong that bond is and what an honor it is to be doing this. As we discuss and make decisions; let us keep that bond as a priority in mind and up front.

  I draw on a scene from any WWII war movie that we all have seen; where soldiers make eye contact and just nod--they just nod---no words needed.
  When the 17th Family and the Scions get together; the same sort of  acknowledgement of this bond is in place-- yet unspoken--no need to say anything but " Hello; how are you doing?"--we are family-we share the story-we know why we are there--we are drawn together, as Joe Quade said, by the "Airborne Mystique".

  Blood Family is one thing; but the family feeling that envelopes the room when the 17th Family gathers is as heart-felt as there is anywhere.

  I will take this to the next level and pitch the Lancaster and Ohio Reunions as opportunities to experience that 17th Family Feeling--Once you enter the room, you ARE family--look in this publication for details about these opportunities to gather for fellowship and to embrace the 17th Family feeling that you will always remember.
From 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, or if you would like to participate in this program.We also welcome your suggestions!
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.

April 24th through April 27, 2014 - St. Clairsville, OH

Nancy Lauria has hosted an "Operation Varsity" gathering in St. Clairsville, OH each year. As we get more information, we will post it here.
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


 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:
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.

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
These beautiful, high quality challenge coins were developed by Scion Jeff Schumacher and his wife Melinda as a tribute to the 17th Airborne. The coins have 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:
We also have a great Facebook page, where there are lots of great posts by friends of the 17th in the U.S. and in Europe. Check us out on Facebook at: 
17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants).

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

The website is located at:

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

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

Rose Friday, daughter of Edward Friday (194th)

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

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

Executive Committee:

Cindy Heigl - daughter of Tony Heigl (193rd)
Melanie Sembrat - daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Robert Smith - brother of Levert L. Smith (194th)
Isaac Epps - son of Ralph Epps (194th)
From Sandy Wallace, Grand daughter of Austin Steen Jr. (513/G)

While reminiscing with my Granddaddy who was part of Operation Varsity in March 1945, we stumbled across an article with a picture that looks very much like him but can't confirm that. The article was written by a Mr. Frank J. O'Rourke. Any help that anyone can offer is greatly appreciated! My granddaddy is Austin Steen Jr.

The following letter was received from David Muth. Davids father, Leroy C. Muth, served in the 507th PIR

Hi Ed,
Hope you had a great holiday.  Here is a picture of the tattoo I have.  The purpose of my tattoo was to honor my father for his contribution during WW 2.  My father was in operation Varsity.  According to him he was in the lead formation, lead plane.  He was a machine gunner and it was strapped to his leg therefore he could not walk.  Because of this he was at the door and when the light went Green he released the bundles and jumped.  He was the first man out and that is why I have that on the banner on the tattoo "First man out".  He also said that while standing at the door looking back, he was amazed at how many planes there were.  It was a daylight jump so he could see them.  He said he jumped at 400 feet and that the strap broke holding the machine gun and it fell to the ground.  He found it buried butt down after detaching from the chute.  They were under heavy fire and he carried the gun behind a dirt mound to check the condition of the gun only to find out the bolt was jammed.  He proceeded to work on it to free it because it was important that gun was in operation.  When he got it free he turned to get ammo and said he never seen so many boxes of ammo.  All the men were retrieving ammo boxes and dropping them off.  To this day he laughs about that.

My father would be proud to know this was printed in the newsletter.



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?
Dr. John Magill
466 HQ

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

John Foster Magill Jr., 90, of Millerstown, went to be with the lord Thursday, October 31, 2013 at his home. He was a 1948 graduate of Bloomsburg State College, and received his Master's, then PHD from Penn State University. A WWII Purple Heart veteran, he served three years in the United States Parachute Troops. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Varsity. He was awarded the Bronze Arrowhead and Presidential Unit Citation. He was employed as a teacher, coach and superintendent of schools at Blain Union, Black Creek Township, Fleetwood, and Bloomsburg School District. He served as Dean of Education at Girard College in Philadelphia. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa, the 17th Airborne Division Association, the Disabled America Veterans' Chapter 49, and was a lifelong member of the Order of Purple Heart. He received the Chapel of Four Chaplains Award in 2002. He was also a member of the Pfoutz Valley United Methodist Church. He was the son of the late John F. Magill Sr. and Anna Susan (Wolfe) Magill. Also preceded in death are brothers Robert and Andrew Dunbar, sister Anna Susan Elwood and daughter Anna Susan Reynolds. Surviving are wife of 68 years, Anna Margaret Martini Magill of Millerstown, sons John and Thomas Magill, both of Millerstown, daughters Kathryn Magill of Millerstown, and Rebecca Sturner of Trappe, PA. He was the proud grandfather to Jonette Zeigler and Steven Magill, Susan and Daniel Reynolds, Michael and Tec Magill and Mandey Ryan, Kate Robinson and David Magill, Jennifer and Steven Hellmann. He was the proud great grandfather to Daniel, Jonathan, Azlyn, Tyler, Aidan, Owen, Aaron, and Deacon. He had many loving nieces and nephews. Services with full military honors will be held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery at the convenience of the family. The family requests donations be made to DAV Chapter 49 P.O. Box 490 New Bloomfield PA 17068.

Family of Dr. John Magill
PO Box 382
Millerstown, Pa. 17062

Tony Marincola
194th Glider Infantry Regiment, Co. B

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association
Anthony Marincola passed away on November 8th, 2013, surrounded by family, at the age of 96. 

Anthony Marincola was born April 21st, 1917, to Nicolas and Asunta Marincola, in Watertown, New York. He grew up during The Great Depression. He graduated from Watertown High School in 1935.

In June of 1940, he married Genevieve Gingo, of Niagra Falls, New York. Tony enlisted in the United States Army during World War II. There he served as a Paratrooper in the 17th and 82nd Airborne Divisions. He fought in the infamous Battle of the Bulge,where he was wounded by shrapnel on January 19th, 1945, which earned him the prestigious Purple Heart Medal. He was discharged from the Army in February, 1946.

He and his wife Genevieve welcomed their first daugher, Suzanne, in November of 1946. Nearly 13 years later, they were joined by their second child, another girl, Donna, in June of 1959. 

Job opportunities would lead the family to California in late 1959. After living in several locations in Southern California, they settled into their home in what is now Canyon Country in 1965. There, Tony worked as a manager in retail for TG&Y, Pic-n-Save, and JJ Newberrys. He also ran the Tool Crib at Magic Mountain for several years prior to his retirement, in 1984.

Tony was a past Governor of the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge, a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and Honorary Mayor of Canyon Country in 1971. Tony was a member of the Veteran's Memorial Wall Committee, located at Eternal Valley. He also served as President of the 17th Airborne Association from 1961-1962.

Tony spent his retirement years enjoying his computers, Dodger games, and attending local events honoring military personnel and their families. 

He is preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Genevieve, in August of this year. Tony is survived by his daughters, Suzanne (Jim) Ward and Donna (Allan) Deans; 2 granddaughters, Terri Shelden and Lauren (Marc) Donatz; 2 grandsons, Gary Scott and Bradley Bergman; and 2 great grandsons, R.J. and Joshua Shelden.

A visitation will take place at Eternal Valley Memorial Park on Friday November 15th, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with a Rosary at 6:00. Funeral services will be at St. Clare's Catholic Parish in Canyon Country on Saturday, November 16th at 1:00 p.m. Interment and Military Salute will be at Eternal Valley following the services. 

Tony will be missed by his many friends and admirers, and by his family who are so very proud of their personal hero.
Scion Robert Blethrow sent this photo of the cemetery where Tony Marincola was buried. We thank Robert for representing the Scions at Tony's funeral.
Edward J. Shartle

193rd Glider Infantry Reg. Co E&F
194th Glider Infantry Reg. Co K

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Edward J. Shartle died on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at Chandler Hall Hospice in Newtown. He was 88.

Born in Steelton, PA, the son of the late Abe and Mary, Mr. Shartle was an original Fairless Hills homeowner and a founding member of Saint Frances Cabrini Parish.

He worked as a Chemical Analyst at Bethlehem Steel for 10 years and moved to the local area and worked at US Steel Fairless Works for 30 years. After retiring from the Steel Mill, Mr. Shartle became an X-ray Courier for Lower Bucks Hospital, which he truly enjoyed doing until his early 80's.

Mr. Shartle was a US Army PFC Paratrooper of Company K, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, and was very proud to have served his country during the Battle of the Bulge. He was a member of the American Legion Post #834 in Fallsington, VFW John Billington Post #6495 in Levittown and the Knights of Columbus, Saint Joseph the Worker Council #4215 in Levittown.

His family was his hobby and he also enjoyed golf and trips to the casinos.

Beloved husband of 65 years to Virginia (Nissley), Mr. Shartle was the loving father of Patricia A. Harris (Thomas) and Cindy S. Huf (Bill). He will also be sadly missed by numerous nieces and nephews to whom he was very close.

Mr. Shartle was predeceased by his daughter Nancy Louise Shartle and his three brothers, Frank, Charles and William.

Family and friends are invited to call on Monday, from 6:00 until 8:00 pm at the James J. Dougherty Funeral Home, Inc., 2200 Trenton Road, Levittown. Friends may also call again on Tuesday, from 8:30 until 9:30 am at Saint Frances Cabrini Church, 325 South Oxford Valley Road, Fairless Hills, where his funeral mass will be celebrated on Tuesday at 9:30 am. Rite of Committal will follow in Washington Crossing National Cemetery.

In lieu flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the above church or to the charity of the donor's choice.

The photo above, provided by Diane Clark showing Edward Shartle after the Varsity Jump. Bottom row at the right
Clara L (Lindenmuth) Gray

Gold Star Sister of Burton Lindenmuth (194C)
Burton was killed in glider crash in England.

Clara L. "Lou" (Lindenmuth) Gray, 80 years young, entered into rest on Saturday December 3, 2011, at 1:30 a.m. at her daughter's residence. She was the wife of Thomas E. Gray, who entered into rest on August 8, 1986. Born in Knapps Creek, N.Y., on July 25, 1931, she was the daughter of the late Earl I. and Clara G. ( Perrin) Lindenmuth. She worked in the Pennsylvania State Department of Revenue retiring on September 27, 1991 after 38 years of service. She was raised in upper Pa., and graduated from Mechanicsburg High School. Clara traveled around the world after graduation with her first husband, William Grogan, through the military before settling in Lower Paxton Twp with her second husband, Thomas Gray. She was very active with the 17th Airborne Division Association. Clara helped in obtaining recognition by our government, and military honors for the men who served in the glider division and lost their lives in the line of duty while serving in England. Clara is survived by three sons, Ron Gray and wife, Tooter of Halifax, Michael Grogan and wife, Sue of Duncannon, and Buddy Grogan of Los Angeles, Calif.; one daughter, Kathy Grogan and husband, Randy Carbaugh of Red Lion; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Kyara Grogan Carbaugh, who entered into rest on May 25, 2000; and three brothers, Everette, Perrin and Burton Lindenmuth. There will be a viewing Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. at Burg Funeral Home, Inc., 134 W. Broadway, Red Lion. The service will follow at 7 p.m. at the funeral home, with the Rev. Chester E. Carbaugh, United Church of Christ pastor, officiating. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens in Harrisburg. In lieu of flowers, Clara asks you to remember the veterans who gave us our freedom and offer contributions to York County Veterans Honor Guard - c/o John M. Vecero, Jr., 670 Hammond Road, York, PA 17406. To Clara her family came first. She loved traveling across country with her husband "Tommy", family reunions, grandchildren activities and assisting her niece Susie Condotta in tracing the Lindenmuth Family tree. She will be missed tremendously by all, along with her lengthy conversations and her thirst for travel. - See more at:
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62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
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