The official electronic newsletter of the veterans and descendants of the U.S. 17th Airborne Division, WWII 
The missions of the "Scions fo 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 World War II.

We strive to accomplish these missions, by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their familys can gather, and by sharing their recolections in this "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, on our website, and our Facebook page.
Issue # 4 - January 2013

Please send us your 17th related news items, questions etc. so that we can share them with the entire group. You may direct your mail to the Scions at:"".
Ed Siergiej Jr. - Editor
In This Newsletter
- Trooper Stories - Robert Kenneth Campbell, 155th AA/AT
  by Robert L. Smith, brother of Levert L. Smith Jr. (194th C)

- Welcome New Scion Members

- Oral History
   by Isaac Epps, Scion Chaplain and Historian

-  Isaac Epps Veterans Day Ritual
   by Michele Smith

- 17th Veteran returns to the ETO
   by Diane Clark, daughter of Melvin Lagoon, (193 E)

- Register Now for the Lancaster "Operation Varsity" Gathering
  by Michele Smith

- Airborne Living Historians to attend Lancaster Reunion

- Scions to Share Stories From Book About the 513th
  by Ed Siergiej Jr

- 17th Airborne Related Items

Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom

- Letters From Home and Abroad


 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:
by Scion Robert L. Smith
Robert Kenneth Campbell was born in Wolfe County, Kentucky on June 11, 1923.  He was the son of Prezell and Mahaley Dean Campbell and one of thirteen children in the farm family. 
When he was about eighteen months old, the family moved to Virginia and continued farming.  They lived at different times in Powhatan, Henrico, Hanover, and Northumberland Counties. 
Robert left Powhatan High School to work on the farm.  He later worked for about one year at The Phillip Morris Cigarette Manufacturing Plant in Richmond, Virginia before entering military service.  He married Marjorie Novak in 1942 and they had two daughters (Catherine Jean and Betty Jo) and two grand children. 
In April 1943 Robert was called into Service of The United States Army (drafted).  He was inducted at Fort Lee, Virginia and later transported by train to Camp Mackall, Hoffman, North Carolina for basic and advanced training.  He said that was the first time that he had slept away from home at night.  Camp Mackall was located in the “Sand Hills” west of Fayetteville and south of Pinehurst, NC.  It was the temporary training base for the famous “AIRBORNE” forces of WW II.
Campbell became a member of the newly activated 17th Airborne Division.  He was designated a Private in Battery B of the 155th AA/AT Battalion.  Some batteries of the 155th were equipped with heavy (50 cal.) machine guns for anti-aircraft use while others such a B Battery had small anti tank artillery pieces (“guns”).  The Airborne of WW II was made up of both paratroopers and glider troopers (“gliders riders”).  The 155th was a glider outfit. 
Being a member of any combat-in-training outfit in WW II was hard work but that was especially true of The Airborne.  They were expected to be “as good as the best and better than the rest,” and had to be on their toes all the time.  The Summer of 1943 in that part of NC would have been hot and humid. 
According to Campbell, in August of 1943 The 155th was marched 140 miles (over several days) from Camp Mackall to Fort Fisher, NC for target practice at towed targets over and on the ocean.  They marched at night and slept in the woods along the way in day time.  The 155th remained on temporary duty (TDY) away from Camp Mackall for about six weeks.  Due to many injuries/accidents on the march down, the unit was returned to camp Mackall by army trucks. 
After basic training was completed, while at whatever location (Mackall, Fisher, Forest, etc.) men who completed their duties satisfactorily, with-out infractions, could sometimes get week-end passes to visit near-by towns.  In the case of Mackall, they might even go as far a field as the city of Charlotte, NC.  For the troops, the week-end began at mid-day Saturday and ended at mid-night Sunday night (or whatever the pass specified). 
During the Fall of 1943, The 17th participated in maneuvers on Mackall and in the surrounding rural areas with the 13th Airborne Division acting as opposition.  Robert said that he was able to get a leave home sometime around Christmas 1943. 
Then during the winter months (early 1944??) The 17th Division moved to The Tennessee Training Area for the general maneuvers with The U.S. 2nd Army in the roll of conventional ground troops (not Airborne).  During these maneuvers the weather was cold and disagreeable with snow and rain.  The troops lived in tents (mostly pup tents).  This was probably good experience for what no one expected to happen - The Battle of The Bulge! 
After the maneuvers The Division moved into garrison at Camp Forest, TN.  While at Camp Forest, the glider troops were given the option of cross training to become qualified paratroopers and many did.  Whatever else happened, the training and conditioning continued!  Early in July 1944 the troops were restricted to base at Forest, passes were cancelled, officer’s wives were told to leave town, etc.. 
About two weeks later The 17th Airborne Division was on the trains to Camp Miles Standish, MA, not far from Boston.  The main body of The Division left the port of Boston on board The USS Wakefield (some were on The USS Mt. Vernon) and disembarked at the port of Liverpool, England on August 26, 1944. 
They then settled into their new encampment area, Camp Chisledon, England on August 30, 1944.  The 155th Battalion was billeted on farm land near the towns of Swindon and Purton.  No rest for the weary as the training continued:  night problems (exercises), small unit maneuvers, parades and reviews, etc. continued.  While in England, Campbell was also trained to be a qualified paratrooper.  It was during this period that the 37 mm anti tank guns used by The 155th were replace by the more powerful   57 mm guns. 
Still the men were able to get passes to visit the near by towns and perhaps have a pint in a pub and enjoy the company of the British girls!  [Most of the British boys were away and couldn’t get home!  How lucky can you get?]  Robert Campbell especially enjoyed visiting London several times and had fond memories of it years later.  Yet everyone from the officers to the enlisted men knew that they were subject to be committed to battle from this point on. 
The call came at and unexpected time - shortly before Christmas 1944!  The Germans had broken through in the Ardennes Forest with a surprise offensive.  The Battle Of The Bulge was on!  Eisenhower needed all of the reserves he could find, and The 17th Airborne Division was about to be committed as regular infantry.  The 17th was put on alert on December 19th and told to get ready to move out.  On the 20th they began moving to the marshalling areas to be flown to France and were then flown to areas near Reims, France. 
During the period December 25, 26, and 27 they were trucked to the Meuse River.  The different Batteries of The 155th were temporarily assigned to work with the various infantry units of The 17th (these assignments could be changed as need be).  Thus began their long and deadly involvement in The Battle of the Bulge in Belgium!  The Germans caused a great many causalities as did the extreme winter weather which was the worst in that area in a generation.  It was extremely cold, cloudy, foggy, snowy (sometimes heavy snow), the troops were not equipped for the conditions, and many frozen extremities was one result.  [Another deadly effect of the extreme weather was the fact that the wounded would freeze to death if they were not evacuated from the battlefield quickly.] 
Eventually The Germans were stopped, driven back, and the “Bulge” was eliminated.  Campbell remembers the capture of two German solders, a father and son, at the same time.  Some of the place names in Belgium that became all too well known to the men were:  Neufchateau, Morhet, “Dead Man’s Ridge,” Rechrival, Hubermont, Millomont, Flamierge, etc..  Campbell said that he never liked cold weather or snow after that experience! 
After January 26, 1945, The 17th Airborne was shifted to Luxembourg and The Battle of The Our River.  They cleared the Germans from the west side of The Our River and finally established a small bridge head east of The River which The Germans had heavily fortified with reinforced concrete pill boxes.  During this time The 155th  was stationed mainly along “Skyline Drive” a road just west of The Our River and on high ground above it.  On February 10th, The Division was relived by The 6th Armored Division and sent back to France because the “High Command” had other plans for them! 
The 17th ABD was moved to Chalons sur Marne, France where there was supposed to be a camp for them.  They just about had to build the camp for themselves after arrival.  Then they were ready to be completely re-outfitted with new uniforms, weapons, and all sorts of other supplies.  The Division was about 4,000 officers and men under staffed due to losses in the two previous battles.  The 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment was so decimated that it was eliminated and the remnants posted to the 194th .  In other words The 17th Division was reorganized at that time!  Some of the veterans of the previous battles were given a chance to take a leave in places like Paris, but Campbell was not one of them. 
Replacements started arriving and had to be oriented and trained.  This was to continue right up until time to began the next mission which would be the airborne crossing of The Rhine River behind enemy lines - Operation Varsity.  Varsity would involve two airborne divisions:  The 17th U.S. and The British 6th , and would be the largest one day airborne operation in history!  The British would be taking off from several bases in England and The Americans from several airfields in central France.  During an operation (battle) it was customary for the different batteries of The 155th AA/AT Battalion to be attached to various infantry units for the time being.  For this operation Battery B of The 155th would be temporarily attached to The 1st Battalion of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment and would fly in with them (and Company C).  They would be landing in their gliders on Landing Zone “S” which was in the middle of units of The German Army near the town of Wesel, Germany. 
Such an undertaking had to be orchestrated and choreographed very carefully, and so it was!  Operation Varsity was probably one of the best planed, executed, and most successful Airborne Operations of WW II, but no such endeavor can be flawless unless it be a work of fiction! 
Fenced in, secure marshalling areas were established near the airfields to be used by The 17th ABD, and the troops began to arrive to occupy them on March 21, 1945.  Pfc. Robert K. Campbell’s such compound (and corresponding airfield) was near Paris, France.  He has stated that in addition to being briefed on and getting prepared for the mission which was to take place on March 24th , the troops were allowed to occupy themselves by writing letters, listening to music, playing sports (baseball, football, etc.), etc..  [Troops with some units have said that they were given extensive briefings while others claimed to have received comparatively little in the way of briefing.  In regard to entertainment, some have said that they were even allowed to watch a movie, but the type of activities available seemed to have varied depending upon outfits and locations.]  He also observed that the mess hall for his unit was kept open continuously for the final 24/48 hours and told to prepare any food available for anyone at anytime upon request. 
Finally the “Day of Days” arrived, March 24, 1945, “Varsity Day!”  The troops were up early for a big breakfast (which some would lose due to air sickness) and final preparations!  Then it was on to the gliders (WACO CG - 4A) on the airfields.  In Campbell’s glider were a pilot and co-pilot and four other troopers in addition to Campbell plus the 57 mm gun and perhaps as much as twelve rounds of ammunition for the gun.  The vehicle to tow the gun and a trailer with additional ammo were in another glider (s) with which they were supposed to rendezvous on the landing field.  Campbell was the chief gunner for his gun! 
The column (“sky train”) of planes and gliders (some gliders were in double tow) was about two hours and twenty minutes long (some sources say two and a half) with the duration of the flight perhaps about two and a half hours!  [There is some disagreement about this which is understandable given the fact that so many different airfields were used and different types of units involved!]  The first unit to take off was The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, and they began jumping onto their Drop Zone about 10:00 am.  Then came The 513th PIR which was followed by The 194th GIR.  The last gliders of The 194th Glider Infantry Regiment were on the ground sometime between 12:00 and 12:30 pm.  In other words, all units (men) of The 17th ABD which were to be air lifted into battle that day were put on the ground between about 10:00 am and approximately 12:15 pm. 
The weather that Saturday was generally good being clear, bright, and warm with some air turbulence during the first part of the flight.  Ordinarily it would have been considered to be a nice early spring day!  As the planes and gliders approached and crossed The Rhine, some low lying ground haze and smoke partially obscured some of the land marks needed  to locate the LZ’s and DZ’s.  The smoke was coming from British smoke generators on the west bank of The Rhine intended to conceal the movement of British troops.  The greatest concern, however, was the very severe anti-aircraft fire from weapons of all sizes!  Planes and gliders were being hit with some on fire and some crashing! 
In due time the pilot of Campbell’s glider cut loose from the tow plane.  As the glider maneuvered in toward a landing it was hit by machine gun/small arms fire, but no one on board was apparently hit!  Then disaster struck!  Due to un-avoidable circumstances or pilot error the glider crashed into the bank of a “canal” and wreaked!  [The “canal” was probably the small, shallow, free flowing Issel River which ran through a part of Landing Zone “S.”   There was an Issel Canal, but it was on the other side of The Zone in the area of The 2nd Battalion, 194th.  There was confusion then as well as now about the difference between The Issel River and The Issel Canal.] 
To say that Robert Campbell was badly injured would be an understatement, and to say that he was fortunate to have survived would not be an exaggeration!  He was injured in several places but severely around his head and face.  He remembers being picked up the following morning about 4:00 am, placed on a stretcher on a jeep, and taken to The Division Field Hospital.  There the stretcher was placed on the ground until he could be worked into the treatment area.  For him the war was over, but peace was yet some time away! 
As the days passed he was moved back through the army medical system until he arrived at a major hospital in England where more significant treatment could be started.  Campbell would have to undergo eighteen reconstructive surgeries during the months to come.  When he had recovered sufficiently, he was placed onboard a hospital ship and transported back to The United States.  He received treatment at a hospital in New York before being transferred to The Newton D. Baker General Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  He was not interested in flying after that experience. 
Robert Campbell was hospitalized and under medical treatment  altogether for about a year.  He finally received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army as a Private First Class with a Purple Heart, a Good Conduct Metal, a European Campaign Medal with Two Stares, and a World War II Victory Medal!  He returned to work at Philip Morris for while, and then worked in construction for a time. 
After that Campbell began the longest career of his life when he went to work in the laboratories of The Agriculture Department of The State of Virginia in Richmond, VA.  He started working as a Technician in the sample preparation room during March of 1952.  As the years passed the name of the organization was changed several times, and when he ended his tenure it was The Department of General Services, Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services.  Robert also received promotions so that his last position was that of Analytical Chemist Assistant in The Stock Feed Laboratory.  He retired in June of 1983.  He has stated that he never had any problems with his managers and supervisors and seemed to be satisfied with that. 
On August 14, 1971 he and Barbara Thomasson were married.  Both before and after their retirement they enjoyed travel by car, bus, and train and eventually visited all 48 contiguous states.  He also enjoyed gardening, boating, and fishing, and was probably as close to being a professional fisherman as an amateur can be! 
In recent years Mr. Robert Kenneth Campbell has been in declining health, particularly since December 14, 2008 when he had a major stroke,  He is still alert and welcomes the opportunity to visit with family and friends!  Mr. and Mrs. Campbell live in Henrico County, Virginia. 
 [May 2011 - R. L. Smith and All.  (Revised November 2012)]

The story behind the Campbell story

The Campbell's and I have been friends for many years (probably about forty). From time to time I would hear him tell of some of his recollections, and I would ask questions. Over the years I have also been fortunate to meet and listen to many veterans of different units of the 17th Airborne Division and have learned a great deal from them. Most of this is good background information for any article concerning the activates of the 17th ABD. In addition I have researched some of the printed information on the subject.

Mrs. Barbara Campbell was aware of these facts, and she knew of my interest in the subject. A few years ago she told me that she had heard about parts of her husband's experiences but could not put it altogether in a meaningful way. She asked me to write a meaningful account for the benefit of her family. I was reluctant to do so but finally agreed to give it a try. I "interviewed" Mr. Campbell for that purpose, and we went through three revision before we reached the final one.

Since Mrs. Campbell had no background in the subject, I tried to write it an a way that she could connect the "dots." After she read the completed effort, she said that for the first time she could really get a complete picture of what he and others had been talking about. She shared the information with several members of their families and seemed to be satisfied.

R. L. Smith

Robert Campbell (with yellow dot) and Fellow Troopers
Welecome New Scion Members

The Scions of the 17th Airborne are proud to welcome the following new members, who have joined our organization in January. As our membership grows, we can take on additional projects to honor our veterans and educate about the history of the 17th Airborne.

Diane Clark
Daughter of Melvin M Lagoon
193rd GIR, Co E & 194th GIR

Paul D. Griffith
Son of Orville W Griffith
513th PIR

John R. Caskey II
Son of John R. Caskey
193GIR, Co. G
KIA 1/7/1945

Blaize Brown
Nephew of Alton M. Brown
513th PIR
KIA 4/1/45

Thanks for joining us to honor the men of the 17th Airborne! 
Oral History
By Isaac Epps – Scion Chaplain and Historian
Recently, I had something happen that reminded me of just how important it is to get the stories of WWII Veterans on record.
   I was called to the home of a 17th Veteran who suddenly had opened up about his combat experiences. I was able to record his experiences on video tape. His family was most appreciative to have this as part of their history.
   Whether written down, recorded on tape, or videotaped; these experiences are important to tell the story of what WWII was all about. Not only are the combat stories important; but so are the ones
about the everyday life as soldiers. These will offer future generations the total picture of the comradeship and sacrifices that WWII Veterans felt. Veterans, children and grandchildren are encouraged to get together and make this happen.
   There are also other opportunities to get this history on record. For years, Rose Friday has been encouraging Veterans to get signed up in the National WWII Memorial Registry and Remembrances. Here you can list service records and awards received, place a picture, describe experiences, and state anything else that you would like to be remembered about your WWII service.
   Go to this site online for information:
   Also, the Library of Congress has a wonderful effort called the
Veterans History Project. It offers an opportunity for Veterans to be
interviewed on videotape; and that record is placed in the National
   For information: call 202-252-4916; or go to
   Any and all of these efforts will give these important stories
their honored place in history; and also will continue to give the
heroics and sacrifices of the 17th Airborne their proper place in the
story of WWII.
 Isaac Epps Veterans Day Ritual



Dear Scions,
  As anyone who knows him will confirm, our Chaplain/Historian Isaac Epps, is not one to tout his own horn, so I'd like to do it for him and share his Veterans Day Ritual with our fellow Scion members. It's something they may also want to do in their own hometowns and would be great to get their children involved to help them as well. For the past 8 years on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, Isaac goes to the local cemetery and walks the entire area, locating any American Flag that has been placed at a Veterans grave.
  Many times after a storm or heavy wind the flags have been uprooted or blown over , so Isaac will upright or replant them.He carries a staple gun to repair the flags that need to be re attacthce and he also brings new flags to replace the ones that are too tattered. He does not only limit this to holidays, but also when there has been especially strong winds. When Isaac was relaying this story to me, he stated he believes this effort should not be limited to Veterans Day and Memorial Day only, which are the obvious days to do this. He feels that once a month or on whatever schedule this sort of priority can reveal, will allow the opportunity to bring honor to the Veterans who lie there below that Flag. Any day and every day is an opportunity to do this service.
  Thanks for the inspirational idea Isaac.
17th Veteran Returns to the ETO

by Diane Clark, daughter of Melvin Lagoon, 193 E

Back in September 2012 I was reading a posting on the Scions Facebook from the '101st Airborne Division Belgian Friendly' organization describing their upcoming 2013 commemorative walk being dedicated to the 17th Airborne. I found it interesting that this organization took such pride in our veterans especially since my Dad, Melvin Lagoon is a 17th Airborne veteran. More reading and they noted a desire to have someone from the 193rd GIR be their guest. Where Dad was in the E193rd GIR I began to wonder if there might be some interest. Since I was out of town, I thought I'd wait and visit when I got home.
  About this same time Cindy Heigl, daughter of Tony Heigl also E193rd, sent me a note to see if I'd seen the Scion Facebook. She thought of Dad instantly as well. I went to visit my parents and see what they thought about this Belgium trip. At 89 years of age, such a long flight is always of concern, but his health is quite good. In the last several years he had often expressed wishing he had gone back to visit some of the sights where he'd fought during WWII. Now was his chance and he was eager to go. He also had encouragement from John Schumacher, last years honored guest, and son Jeff Schumacher, as well as Ed Siergiej, Jr - all stating it will be a memorable experience.
  I sent off a note to Gregory De Cock, Secretary of the '101st Airborne Belgian Friendly' to discuss Dad's interest and eligibility. Greg's responses, '...I can't hide this pleasure because it becomes more and more difficult to obtain a positive answer to our annual invitations. All those gentleman veterans become older...' 'Melvin, you can't imagine what pride and happiness it is for me and my associates to definitely count you as honored guest next March 2013.' By October the ball was rolling and arrangements being finalized for the Remembrance Trip to Belgium. Greg has become a great friend and we are so much looking forward to meeting all the 'Belgium family'. The trip will include opportunities to see the Dead Man Ridge, landing site during Operation Varsity and a memorable day visiting the Luxembourg American Military Cemetery.
  I, Diane Clark, will accompany Dad on this trip from Idaho. Also to share in this experience will be his son, Donald Lagoon and other daughter, Darlene Marushack.

Editors Note: We hope that Diane and her family will send us all a followup report upon thier return from what we are sure will be a most memorable visit.

The following story, is by Diane"s father, Melvin Lagoon 


Second Lt Telesca from the 17th ABN 193rd troop photo

Lt. Leslie Telesca

as recalled by PFC Melvin Lagoon

17th Airborne 193 E


My memories of Lt. Leslie Telesca are all good. Lt. Telesca was with the 193rd during our earliest training days. He was a weapons training officer, primarily for the motor and machine gunners. As I was a 2nd gunner in the light motor division, we spent a lot of time together.


Lt. Telesca was aways a good officer. He was very friendly and fair to the troops. We were together since Camp Mackall, and on to training in England before we were shipped out to Europe.


I always remember that morning of January 7th, 1945. We had morning chow and mail call. In mail call, Lt. Telesca received a letter from home telling him he was now a father of a baby girl. He was so happy, as were we all to hear the good news. Then the day got hectic very quickly and it was one of our worst in fighting. Within an hour of going into combat Lt. Telesca had been killed in action. It was hard on all of us, such a tragedy after the good morning news - The baby to never know her Father.


I often wondered where that young girl was. It is always hard to know why one survives while others do not. At the 17th Airborne Reunion in Hampton, Virginia - 2007, the last official one to be held, I finally got the chance to meet this lovely girl. Ann is just a little older than my oldest child. When we met, it was touching to see her and I felt very close to her. Ann Luallenis now married and has children of her own. It will be very special honor to visit her father’s grave in Luxembourg when I visit Belgium in March.


Ann’s comments of Melvin when she was contacted about the upcoming planned visit by Melvin’s son Donald; she started off with, "Of course I remember you and your family, especially your father, Melvin". She went on to recount how moved she was when Dad went up to her, gently caressed her cheek and explained that he had been waiting fifty-some years to meet her. She said that she has shared that meeting many times since...


Later of the brief memories Melvin recalled above; “I was so pleased to hear from you again and to read your dad's memories of my dad. I really don't have words that adequately express how grateful I am to your dad for sharing his memories of that difficult time. I cherish every bit of information I can get of my dad. I will be thinking about what I want to say in the letter you will carry with you on your trip to Luxembourg. I am touched that your dad will read it for me. I forwarded your e-mail to my daughters so that they can learn more about their grandfather and be proud of him, too.



Charlie Thomas, Mel Lagoon, Glen Widdows, Rich Hill, Ann Luallen (Telesca) at the final reunion of the 17th Airborne Division Association in Hampton VA
Anne Luallen and Mel Lagoon at Hampton VA, Reunion
Please find in attachment the poster and the flyer announcing the 5th edition of the Dead Man's Ridge Walk. Once again, all benefits will entirely be used to contribute to the trip back to Europe of a WWII 17th Airborne Division Veteran.
In 2013 our honored guest will be Melvin M. Lagoon (E/193rd GIR and E/194th GIR).
Please feel free to share the documents (friends, servicemen/servicewomen, family, ...) you are all welcome again to this major event. Be a part of Melvin Lagoon's remembrance trip. In 2012, you all were more than 600 people, let's beat this number again.
See you in the footsteps of the 17th Airborne !
The Board of the "Dead Man's Ridge Walk".
Register Now for the Lancaster PA "Operation Varsity" Gathering

by Michele Smith, daughter of Bill Smith (466th HQ)
V.P. Scions of the 17th Airborne Division

Please register before Feb, 10th, to insure a room for our 2013 Operation Varsity gathering in Lancaster, PA. You won't regret it 
 Our annual Lancaster Reunion gives us a GREAT opportunity to spend time with our veterans and learn more about the 17th Airborne. Last year's reunion saw many new Scions in attendance, and we are hoping for an even larger turnout this year. Even if you are a first timer, you will feel like family the moment you walk in the door. We want you to have the same fun and camaraderie that we have experienced over the years. WE NEED YOU, SCIONS, TO GET INVOLVED TO CARRY ON THE LEGACY OF THE 17TH AIRBORNE. This gathering, and ones like it, give us the opportunity to get together to share ideas as to how we are going to accomplish this mission and at the same time have lots of fun. Most importantly, it also gives you a chance to interact with the Veterans and hear first hand their amazing stories of courage during WWII. Treat yourself to a few days of a special, worthwhile vacation and COME JOIN US. It's a memory you will cherish for a lifetime. If you can attend and also bring your 17th Trooper it would be an added blessing. 

Some of the special events that will be included at the reunion include:

- Candlelight Memorial Service - In the tradition of the Memorial Service held at every 17th Airborne reunion, the Scions memorial service recognises the losses suffered by each unit of the 17th as well as those troopers who have passed on in the previous year.

- Trooper Open Microphone - At various times during our gathering, troopers who wish to tell a story about their experience can have an opportunity to speak to the group

Displays of 17th Airborne memorabila and documents

-  Sing along with Isaac Epps

Plenty of time to talk with our 17th veterans and fellow Scions

-  Airborne Living Historians represent the 507th H
    (see details in this newsletter)

-  And of course......Military Bingo!!!

Please refer to the following for all of the details. Remember the area is a busy tourist attraction all year round so call and reserve your roomby Feb. 10th, 2013. A major credit card will hold your room - you will not be charged until the reunion is over and you always have 48 hours prior to the start date of the reunion to cancel if you have to. Make sure you mention you are a part of the 17th Airborne Group when reserving.
  Since March 24th falls over the Easter holiday in 2013, the dates of the Reunion will be Sunday March 10, 2013 to Thursday March 14th 2013. Once again, the Steamboat has offered us a FABULOUS package deal! The daily room rates are $98.78 for a single, $138.79 for a double, $178.80 for a Triple, and $218.81 for a Quad. This price INCLUDES your Room, Breakfast and Dinner in Huckleberry's Restaurant located on the main floor of the Inn, Taxes and Gratuities. All who have attended in the past know that the food, served family style, is delicious and plentiful! A private Hospitality Room is provided for us for our entire stay.  PLEASE MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BY CALLING DIRECT AT 1-717-299-9999 OR 1-800-922-2229. MAKE SURE YOU MENTION YOU ARE WITH THE 17TH AIRBORNE GROUP WHEN YOU CALL SO THAT YOU ARE GIVEN THE PACKAGE DEAL.
Airborne Living Historians Attend Lancaster, PA Reunion

A special treat for those attending the "Operation Varsity" gathering in Lancaster, PA will be a group of Living Historians, led by Matt Baldwin, grandson of Bob Baldwin. Matt represents Co. H of the 507th, his grandfathers unit. Matt describes his group as follows:

H – Company 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment

Located across Pennsylvania and the Mid Atlantic our mission is to accurately portray and honor the Men of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment Company H of the 82nd and 17th Airborne Divisions during WWII. We strive to share our passion for history and hope to share the experiences of these Soldiers to the public. We participate in various living history displays, educational programs, air shows and parades every year.In addition to the Troopers of the 507th we do this to remember and honor every single soldier who served, fought and died for our Freedom. We are also a member of the WW2 Airborne Historical Company. Feel free to check us out on Facebook by searching WW2 Airborne Historical Companyor going to Thanks and we look forward to meeting you!

We welcome Matt, and his fellow Living Historians to our gathering in Lancaster
Matt Baldwin sent this photo of his group of Living Historians
Scions to Share Stories From Book About the 513th PIR

by Ed Siergiej Jr

On a recent trip to visit my parents in Florida, I had a chance to browse through my fathers extensive library of 17th Airborne related materials. Over the many years when he served as the Seceratery / Treasurer of the 17th Airborne Division Association, dad has gathered quite a collection of material, which has been of great help in helping the Scions organization get started up.
  While snooping around, I spotted a small blue hard cover book, titled "Soldiers and Brothers Under the Canopy, Company A, 513th PIR, 17th Airborne Div." by Dr Ben F. Scherer. Many great firsthand stories are included in this book, which I knew would be appreciated by our membership.
  A quick call to Dr. Scherer's wife, Betty resulted in her permission to share the stories contained in her husbands book with all of you. With the help of our transcription volunteers, we will start to share these great stories with you.
  Many thanks to Mrs. Betty Scherer for her help!  I should also mention, that Betty continues to stay in touch with the troopers from Company A, 513th, and recently found a "lost" trooper from that unit.
17th Airborne Sales Items
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.
Operation Varsity Reports Now Available
This 57 page document was produced by the 17th Airborne staff at the end of the war. Included are maps of Drop and Landing Zones, Status of each glider load after landing, Pre arranged artillary coordinates, and much more. 8.5" x 14". Great reading. Currently available in hard copy for a donation of $22 to cover copying and shipping.  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.
We also have additional Scion patches identical to those included in the packages sent to new members. 
A $ 25.00 donation requested for each hat.
The Patches are 3.5" H x 3" W and are available for $2.00 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

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

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)"

Within the next few months , the Scions will have a website up and running. 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. Will be communicating the details of our website, when it is made active. 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) - President
Michele Smith, daughter of Bill Smith (466th) - Vice President
Ed Siergiej Jr, son of Edward J. Siergiej (194th) - Sec./Tres.

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)
Photo submitted by Christine Conte, daughter of Frank Mitchell Jr, showing Co E, 194th Glider Infantry Reg. taken during training in the U.S.
From Scion James V. Vitale, son of Joe M. Vitale (d) and nephew of Basillo (James) Vitale (d at Flemerge) 

Pasadena, CA Jan 1, 2013: Department of Defense float commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean war.
Float uses the statutes of GI's sculpted by Frank C. Gaylord of the 513th, Company "C". He used WWII sketches of Joe Vitale (d) of Company "C" as his universal model for the GI's. Frank is 88 this year and going strong. Declining vision has limited his ability to sculpt but he is enjoying his grandkids. If you didn't already know, those of you who served in both wars, a stamp was issued in 2002 with the Korean War memorial image.
Photo of Co G, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment

From Stan Burek

"Scanned this pic my dad had (Pvt. Stanley F Burek 513th PIR.)
four names on back--
Jack Bernstein - New York
John C Sherratt - Utah
Reyes M Pinon -Arizona
Sammuel Roberts - Pennsylvania
Photo was probably taken in England prior to th Bulge.
Many men have KIA written on photo.
My dad is 2nd from left (facing the photo) bottom row.

Editor's note: Thanks for sending this photo in, Stan. I am sure our members will enjoy. The indications of what happened to those in the photo is a grim reminder of the price payed by the 17th, that we must not forget.
I am looking for a picture of a paratrooper who died in WWII.
Peter F. Mathewson
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Service # O-1307561
513th Parachute Infantry Regt, 17th Airborne Division
Entered the Service from: Minnesota
Died: 8-Jan-45
Buried at: Plot F Row 15 Grave 39
Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery
Henri-Chapelle , Belgium
The short version: I am looking for a picture of Lieutenant Mathewson for the man in Europe who has adopted his grave at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Henri-Chapelle, Belgium.
The longer version:
Many Americans are not aware that Europeans are “adopting” the graves of fallen American servicemen. As you know, there are tens of thousands of our WWII causalities are buried overseas. Back then, there was not enough time, not enough money, and too many bodies to ship home. So there are large cemeteries of fallen American servicemen in several different countries on the other side of the ocean.
Europeans take this very seriously. When we say “they died for our freedom” it can sound poetic. To Europeans, it is a stark reality. Nazi occupation is not easily forgotten.
In several countries – France , Belgium , and the Netherlands – there are programs for individual citizens to adopt a grave of an individual American serviceman. They want to acknowledge each soldier as an individual human being, not just as part of the group.. They consider this to be an honor. They eagerly wait to hear the name of the soldier they are adopting.
Once they have that information, they take care of the gravesite. They place flowers on it during Memorial days or on the soldier’s birthday, if they know what it is. They go to the grave to pray or meditate. They see the graves as a tangible reminder of what their lives might have been if this stranger had not died to liberate their country from the Nazis.
We have been searching in vain for a member of Lieutenant Mathewson’s family so we could learn a little about him. I could tell you what we have found but, suffice it to say that his family unit fell apart before he entered the service.
Still, the adopter has hopes of seeing a picture so he knows what the man looked like. Right now, all he has a white cross.
Is there any chance at all that you have a photograph that is labeled Peter F. Mathewson?
I appreciate any help you can provide.
Thank you,
Margaret Giddo

Thanks for your email. The "Scions of the 17th Airborne" represents the remaining veterans and their families of the troopers of the 17th. Although we do not have a specific photo archive of individual soldiers, we do have a monthly newsletter that goes out to many 17th veterans. I will post your letter in our January issue.  I recently visited the Henri-Chapelle cemetery, as well as the Ardennes American Cemetery, and the Margraten Cemetery, and am well aware of the good work of the grave adoptors in Europe. Our review of the records of the 17th Airborne from the National Archives verify that he died during the Ardennes Campaign. Perhaps a veteran of the 513th will recognize the name, and be of some help.
Best regards,
Ed Siergiej Jr
Scions of the 17th Airborne

Editors Note: If anyone has information regarding Lt. Mathewson, please contact the editor at
Information on which Company Lt Mathewson served with may be of great help in locating information.
From Franklin Dentz, (194 C)

Two weeks ago the city of Sanibel hosted a thanks to veterans of the "Battle of the Bulge". It was very formal and I arrived late from a church meeting...No parking except a block away....There were eight old men and myself.... Then they were treated to a luncheon at a nice restaurant. We missed it as we had to go back in town for Dr. appointment...The fellow Dave from Captiva, owner of a marina on Captiva, who picked up the tab for the lunch on Sanibel has a fun type parade every January. He invited the Bulge Vets to the parade to again honor them....Last Saturday I was the only one he sent a taxi to pick us in the parade Arlyne and I rode in a flag decked yellow 1967 Cadillac convertible with "security" guards marching beside the car. They were in black suits, top hats and microphones calling into headquarters...[ two ladies]...all clear...It was the annual "Mullet" parade with a large wooden Mullet time with a little HS band and dress ups of all kinds...Then at the beach just before sunset we were introduced as a ":Bulge" vet and his wife of 62 years. Then before about two hundred people they played a recording of a song just written about the "Bulge" a local composer...
The parade of 2012 is on a video [web site] ...when the 2013 is available I will advise.
PS WE HAD A BLAST.....................
PSS Dave Jensen appreciates vets to the nth degree...

Sick Call

Joe Quade (PM)

Since I mentioned in my Christmas letter which I sent to many of my Airborne friends that I was going to have an operation in January I have received many messages asking how I was. The fact is that the operation has been postponed to March. Would it be possible to make a small mention to that effect in the next newsletter?

Joe Quade

Editors Note: Everyone in the 17th Airborne family wishes Joe our best wishes for a successful operation, and speedy recovery. Joe has also prepared his 17th Archives for transfer to the Scions, including a complete set of the hard copy "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter. We thank Joe for his generosity.

Charles Beckwith (466th / C)
Dear Family and Friends,
I thought it is about time for an update.
I had written in a previous message about my hospital visit in November due to Atrial Fibrillation. I have been on medications hoping it would go back in sync on its own but it hasn't; so on Monday, January 14, I am scheduled to go back to the hospital for an Electrical Cardioversion. I'm not happy about it but my primary care physician advised me to get it done so I can go off the medications which have serious side effects.
Charlie had to go back in the hospital 12/31 with pneumonia and various other issues. He was there until 1/4 when they transferred him back to the Rehab Facility, where they are continuing medications needed. The doctor is taking him off the medications he no longer needs; and will determine what he really needs from the ones he had been taking.
They are continuing with physical therapy where they left off when he returned to the hospital, but progress is slow.
He is eating better again... needs to put a few pounds back on.
Again for anyone who would like to send a card:
Room 232
9405 Highway 17 Bypass
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Bob Burns (513 F)

Dear Mr. Siergiej,
As promised I wanted to send you an update on my father, Bob Burns (513 PIR, F Co).
Again, thank you for including Dad in the last issue of our newsletter. Dad had his angiograms as scheduled last week on January 9. Everyone's prayers brought Dad safely through the procedure and back home again. The results of the angiograms were kind of a good news/bad news scenario. Much to everyone's surprise, the cardiologist did not find any significant blockage in the arteries in Dad's heart. So, no stents were needed. That is amazing considering it has been almost 25 years since Dad had his open heart surgery. Unfortunately, though, Dad's heart appears to be getting worse in terms of congestive heart failure. That is why he has no energy and tires very easily and gets short of breath.
My family thanks everyone for their prayers and asks for your continued prayer support. Blessings to all my fellow Scions and their families.
Karen Ann Burns Pfeifer


Raymond E Bechtoldt (507 HQ 1)

Bechtoldt, Raymond E. 90 Feb. 19, 1922 Nov. 19, 2012 Raymond E. Bechtoldt, age 90, passed away peacefully on Monday morning, Nov. 19, 2012, of natural causes. Raymond was born on Feb. 19, 1922 to Henry and Hilda (Cordie) Bechtoldt in the farming community of Belleville, Ill., as one of nine children. Raymond served in World War II as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne and participated in the Allied invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge and other European operations. He returned home safely and married his sweetheart and wife of 66 years, Lucille (Gansmann). Ray loved farming, and he and Lucille purchased a farm in Gresham in 1950, where they raised two sons and farmed continuously until 1995. Their roadside fruit stand on Powell, "Bechtoldt's Berry Farm," was a local landmark. In recent years, Raymond enjoyed reading, visiting with friends and family members, socializing with the elks and the occasional trips to casinos. He is survived by his wife, Lucille; his brother, Robert; his sisters, Rita, Catherine and Rosemary; his sons, Gary and Mark; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Services will be held at Gresham Memorial Chapel at 257 SE Roberts in Gresham, on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 at 11 a.m.

Published in The Oregonian on November 21, 2012
Dante Guzzo (507 C)
Life Member Dante Guzzo (507 C) died Dec. 31, 2012. The obituary and guest book are included below:

Dante Guzzo (Toneguzzo) loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather went home to be with the Lord on December 31, 2012. He was born to Maria and Enrico Toneguzzo on November 11, 1922. He was 90 years old. He is preceded in death by his wife Louise, and numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. He is survived by his children, Ron (Donna), Susan Edgar (Neal), Bob (Lisa), and daughter -in -law Becky. Grandchildren, Jenni, Tony, Christy (Tim), Scott (Stephanie), Sean and Jackson; great-granddaughter Ellery; and numerous nephews and nieces. He graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 1940. He retired from Del Col and Guzzo Construction Company and Complete General Construction Company. He is a lifetime member of The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Catholic War Veterans, Disabled Army Veterans, Purple Heart Association, and the 82nd and 17th Airborne Association. Veteran of WWII, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for Bravery in Action and the Purple Heart and Combat Infantry badges. Also a member of the SFI and St. Clair A. C., American Legion, and VFW Post 4153. The family would like to thank the staff at Crown Pointe Care Center for the loving care they provided. Dante was a member of St. Matthias Church, where he volunteered for numerous activities. Family and friends may call Thursday, January 3, 2013 from 4-8 p.m. with Prayer Service at 6:30 p.m. by Sister Marie, at the WEIR-AREND FUNERAL HOME, 4221 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43214, (3 blocks S. of Henderson Rd). Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, 10:30 am at St. Matthias Catholic Church 1582 Ferris Road, 43224. Procession will form at the church. Interment St. Joseph's Cemetery. Msgr. Anthony Missimi Celebrant. Please visit to sign the official online condolence book.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch from January 2 to January 3, 2013
James R. Jones (513th PIR / A)
       Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

 James R. Jones "Grandpa Jones" COLUMBIA, S.C. - Graveside services for Major James R. "Dick" Jones, USA-Ret. will be held at noon on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at Fort Jackson National Cemetery. The service will be officiated by Pastor Kris Litman -Koon and Pastor Paul Wollner. Visitation with the family will be held immediately following the service at the residence. Memorials may be made to the building fund of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 3909 Forest Drive, Columbia South Carolina, 29206 or a charity of choice. Born in Akron, Ohio on July 31, 1923, he was the son of the late Ruth Marion Jones Barton (nee Orr). Dick and his wife Louise adopted Columbia SC as their home in 1959. A veteran of World War II he served in both the Pacific and European theaters. During the winter of 1944, as a member of Company A, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division he fought in the Battle of the Bulge and participated in Operation Varsity The Airborne Assault on the Rhine. He continued a lifelong friendship and commitment to the men of Company A and their wives. A Master Parachutist, Dick's military decorations included the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge. He retired from the US Army in 1963 and joined SC Civil Defense which later became the SC Emergency Preparedness Division where he retired again in 1986. After his second retirement, he was an active member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and volunteered for a number of activities including Help Line, FEMA, Red-Cross, Camp Kemo, Salvation Army, Lutheran Brotherhood, and Forest Lake Elementary School. His over two decades as a mentor at Forest Lake Elementary, where he was known as "Grandpa Jones" to thousands of children, was recognized when he was named the SC Department of Education State Volunteer of the Year in 2003. He enjoyed he enjoyed playing golf at Fort Jackson Golf Club and was an original member of the Cockfield group. He is survived by his daughter Barbara DeChene (Michael) of Woodbridge, Virginia; sons James R. II (Carolina) of Columbia; and David Michael of Fort Smith, Arkansas; son-in-law Walter Shell Suber Jr; grandsons Shell Suber III (Jennifer), Whit Suber (Nancy), and Christopher DeChene (Jennifer); and seven great-grandchildren: Sarah, Lydia, Abby, Whit, Walt, Sophie, and Piper. He was predeceased by his wife Mary Louise, daughter Linda Jones Suber, sister Dorothy Hudkins, and brothers Frank and John. He was a family man, a leader, a mentor, a friend, a gentleman and the epitome of a Soldier. Please sign the online guest book at
 Published in The State on October 17, 2012
Read more here:
Thomas Miller
Thomas Miller (193rd HQ 2)
Life member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Thomas Miller, 88, of Harrisburg, passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, December 31, 2012.
He was born in Dubois, Pa, he was the son of the late Anthony and Violet Miller, and was preceded in death by his 2 sons, Thomas B. Miller and William D. Miller.
He was married for 65 years to his best friend and childhood sweetheart, Jean E. (Schroeder) Miller; his daughter, Patricia Bowers, her husband, Gregory, of Camp Hill; 2 granddaughters, Christina Wiebner, of Etters and Melissa Dougherty, her husband, Charles, of Harrisburg; his grandson, Jason C. Miller, of Mechanicsburg; and 2 great-grandchildren, Robert Lee Miller and Isabella Dougherty.
Tom served honorably in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in the 17th Airborne Division during the Battle of the Bulge in WW II, and was a recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He was a graduate of Central High School, Scranton, PA, Keystone Jr. College and the University of Scranton, with a degree in Business Administration. He worked for Time Life Inc. and Sports Illustrated in Philadelphia; and moved his family to Harrisburg in 1958 to work for Harrisburg Paper Co., from which he retired as Vice President of sales.
He was a member of Paxton Presbyterian Church, the former Colonial Country Club, and the Central Penn Fitness Center.
He felt his greatest accomplishment in his life was being a husband, father, and grandfather.
A viewing will be held 10:00 am and the Funeral Service at 11:00 am Friday, January 4, 2013 in the Paxton Presbyterian Church, 3500 Sharon St., Harrisburg. Burial will be in Shoop's Garden of Rest Cemetery. 


Ray Schelhase (680 / B)

Life member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Ray E. Schellhase, 87, passed away November 12, 2012 at Laurel Run. He was born February 16, 1925, in Richmond Furnace, to Casper and Cora Mae (Redcay) Schellhase and raised by stepfather James Welker. He was the Captain of the Chambersburg Basketball team in 1943. Ray also played pro baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics farm system. He proudly served his country during WWII and was part of the 17th Airborne Division. Ray was a rural mail carrier for the Fayetteville post office. He was a member of the American Legion Post 46, Chambersburg VFW Post 1599, Amvets Post 224, and of the Fayetteville St. Paul Lutheran Church. Ray is survived by his wife, Doris L. (Oyler) Schellhase, two sons: Thomas R. (husband of Denise) Schellhase, Fayetteville, and Michael L. (husband of Christine) Schellhase of Bluffton, South Carolina; four grandsons: Rusty, Darrell, Zachary, and Luke, three great-grandsons: Ryan, Reid, and Noah, and sister Janet Wise. He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather, son Ray Jr., seven brothers: Blaine, Guy, Raymond, Russell, Theodore, Marvin and Garnet, and two sisters: Viola and Hazel. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, November 16, 2012 at Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home, Ltd. The family will welcome friends from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, Ray wanted donations made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 44 E. Main St., Fayetteville, PA 17222. Kelso-Cornelius Funeral Home, 725 Norland Ave, Chambersburg, will be handling the arrangements.
  • Published in Public Opinion on November 14, 2012
Warren F. Hunt (155 B)

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Hunt, Warren F. Age 87, passed away April 21, 2011. Preceded in death by wife, Lois and sister, Beverly Lundquist. Survived by children, Chris (Sherrie) Hunt, Dave Hunt and Dana (Jon) Anderson; grandchildren, Laura and Jason (Amie) Hunt, Hunter and Jesse Anderson; and great- granddaughters, Ashlie and Emilie Hunt. Warren graduated from Minneapolis Central High School and the University of Minnesota. He married the love of his life, Lois, in 1950. Warren worked for Montgomery Wards for 37 years. He proudly served in the military during World War II, as a paratrooper in the 17th and 101st Airborne Divisions, participating in many battles including the Battle of the Bulge. Warren was a man who loved life and enjoyed time with his family. Memorial service Thursday, (Apr. 28), at 11 AM at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, 3400 Park Ave. S., Mpls. Visitation Wednesday from 5-8 PM at Morris Nilsen Chapel, 6527 Portland Ave. S., Richfield, and one hour prior to service at church. Private interment. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research or the Southdale YMCA. Morris Nilsen Chapel 612-869-3226
Published in Star Tribune on April 24, 2011

Condolence messages may be sent to his son:
Christopher Hunt
10060 Gristmill Rdg.
Eden Prairie, MN 55347
James A. Salvatico (155 F)

James A. Salvatico, 88, of Ocoee, FL, died Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in his home surrounded by loving family. He was born September 30, 1924 in Sagamore, PA to James Salvatico and Rose (Lorenzo) Salvatico. After retiring as an electronics technician in New Kensington, PA, he moved to Laughlin, NV. He also spent time visiting with his grandson, Aaron Salvatico and family in Highland, CA. James moved to Ocoee, FL in early December, 2012. A World War II Army Veteran, Mr. Salvatico was a Corporal and Anti Aircraft Gunner, and served in England, France, Germany, Luxemburg, and Belgium. He served in the 17th Airborne Division at the Battle of the Bulge, Rhine and Central Germany from 1943 to 1946.
Survivors include his sisters, Magdaline Waters of Ocoee, FL and Cecilia Bosso of Lancaster, PA (formerly of Lower Burrell); grandson, Aaron (Tisha) Salvatico of Highland, CA; granddaughter, Desiree (William) Birdseye of Greensburg, PA; 10 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Louise (Mohar) Salvatico; daughter, Lydia Springston; sons, James and Mark Salvatico; brother, Francis Salvatico; and sister, Catherine Salvatico. Mr. Salvatico was a former member of St. John the Baptist, Laughlin, NV. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at (Time) (Date) , St. Margaret Mary's Church, 3055 Leechburg Rd., Lower Burrell, PA. Arrangements are being handled by Rusiewicz Funeral Home, Lower Burrell, PA. Interment will be in Greenwood Memorial Cemetery, Lower Burrell, PA
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