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

We strive to accomplish these missions by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their families can gather, and by sharing their recollections.  We communicate with our membership using this "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, through our website and on our Facebook page. In addition we collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
Issue # 28 - February 2015
Please send us your 17th related news items, stories, questions etc., so that we can share them with the entire group. You may direct your mail to the Scions at:
Adam Coolong & Ed Siergiej Jr.- Editors
 
Visit our Facebook page at:

17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants)

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

-   Scions 2015 Gathering Schedule

-    Scions to Invade Europe in 2015
    by Jeff Schumacher

-   17th Veteran Lynn Aas Honored


-   Operation Varsity Article
     by Frank O'Rourke (194/C)


-   Scions Memorial Fund
     by Ed Siergiej Jr.

-   Welcome New Scion Members

-   Information on Membership and Dues

-   Chaplain's Corner
     by Isaac Epps, Scion Chaplain

-   Proposed Scions Bylaw Change
     by Ed Siergiej Jr - Secretary / Treasurer


 
Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom

- Letters From Home and Abroad

-  Sick Call

-  TAPS


-  17th Airborne Online Store


-   Become a Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne
 Trooper Stories
 
Each month "Thunder From Heaven" features a story about a 17th trooper in his own words, or as told to a family member or friend. We encourage those who would like to submit an article to send them in to us at:   

Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com

                     
 Do You Know of a Veteran Who Does Not Use Email?
 
Each month this newsletter, "Thunder From Heaven" goes out to almost 500 members of the 17th Airborne family.  We know that some of our veterans no longer use, or have never used email.  Scion Kerri Whitaker, granddaughter of Richard L. Wise (194/C), has volunteered to send hard copies of the newsletter to our veterans each month, and has been doing so for a number of months now. 

 If you know of a veteran who would like a copy of the newsletter, please let us know, and we will add them to the list.
Just send an email to: Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com.
Help the Scions to Provide This Newsletter to Our Veterans Who Do Not Use Email
 
Our list of veterans who are getting this newsletter in a hard copy format is growing as our organization grows. Up to this point the cost of printing copies of the newsletter and mailing it has been donated by one of our Scions. However as the list grows the organization will need to offset these costs. Please consider making a donation to support this effort.

 Donations can be sent to us at the address below. Please note that the gift is earmarked to support the newsletter.

Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811

 

 
Scions of the 17th Airborne Receives
Tax Exempt Status


By Ed Siergiej Jr., Secretary / Treasurer
 
The Scions of the 17th Airborne has received 501c3 tax exempt status, as a public charity,  from the IRS.

Bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts to the Scions are now deductible under Section 170 of the IRS code. 


 
 
The Latest on the Miley Postage Stamp

by Ed Siergiej Jr.
 
Col. John Kormann has been working to get a postage stamp issued to honor General Miley as the father of the U.S. Paratrooper for some time. We encourage our membership to write to the Postmaster General in support for this stamp.
Scion 2015 Gathering Schedule
 
In this section of the newsletter we will post information on both annual and regional gatherings, so we can reserve the time in our schedules. We will keep this schedule updated each month.

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

 

Lancaster Reunion 2015

 
Hello 17th Airborne Troopers, Trooperettes, Scions, Family and Friends!

As you know, we have rearranged our schedule this year to accommodate all those lucky enough to be attending the European trip in March. This year, our Reunion is scheduled for 
May 3-8 which is a beautiful time of the year to visit Lancaster Pa. We hope to have a huge turnout to celebrate the 70th anniversary.

Come be a part of this happy, fun filled, low cost celebration in the heart of the beautiful Amish countryside. Trooper Mike Rock has already made his reservation! He is the first to do so each year, talk about AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY SPIRIT! The proposed plan is to arrive on Sunday May 3 and depart Friday May 8 (we hope you can join us for all days, but even if only for a few days that's okay too, same package deal applies).

As we strongly urge each year, PLEASE CALL AND RESERVE YOUR ROOM NOW, DON'T WAIT. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, A MAJOR CREDIT CARD WILL HOLD YOUR ROOM ONLY - YOU CAN CANCEL UP TO 48 HOURS IN ADVANCE WITH NO PENALTY. THIS IS A VERY POPULAR HOTEL IN A YEAR ROUND RESORT AND ROOMS FILL UP FAST. WE DON'T WANT YOU TO BE LEFT OUT.

To reserve a room, please call (717) 299-9999. Make sure you tell them that you are with the 17th Airborne.

Rates are $133.05 for Single, $166.25 for Double, $210.55 Triple and $221.65 for Quad and prices are ALL INCLUSIVE of applicable taxes and service charges. Prices also include breakfast each day and dinner each night in the Huckleberry restaurant located on the main floor of the Inn. As those of us know who attend each year, the food portions are huge and delicious.

All guest rooms include refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffeemaker, a 32 inch flat screen TV, iron/ironing board, AM/FM clock radio, hairdryer, direct dial phone with voicemail, high speed wireless Internet and guest computer station. There is an indoor pool and fitness center, a 24 hour convenience store on premise and a great Hospitality room is provided for our use. In addition to the picturesque Amish Farmlands, the hotel is ideally located across from wonderful outlets galore - a virtual shoppers paradise! The Amish are known for their quality furniture making and you should see the beautiful pieces Scion Nan Lauria has found in the past! Trooper Mick Stinchcomb's daughters Marcy and Patty can also help you uncover treasures.

The hotel is also just 2 minutes from the Sight and Sound Theatre and American Music Theatre. Our objective for the reunion is to get everyone together to reminisce and have a good time but there is also lots to see and do to make this a great family vacation.

Visit their website at www.FultonSteamboatInn.com for a virtual tour, photos, directions and more. Other helpful information:

Fulton Steamboat Inn Rtes. 30 & 896. Lancaster Pa. phone (717) 299-9999, Fax (717)299-9992. Address for GPS : 1 Hartman Bridge Road Lancaster, Pa. 17602.

We really look forward to seeing you!  Again, PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE AND BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW.
If you have any questions or have any suggestions please email me at: micheleasmith@verizon.net or call me at 610-630-8807.

Thanks!  
Michele Smith
Wheeling West Virginia
Operation Varsity Gathering


Nancy Lauria has forwarded the details for this years Operation Varsity Gathering in Wheeling, WV.

April 16 - 19, 2015
Hampton Inn, Wheeling, WV
1-304-233-0440
Room rate: $133.88, includes all taxes
When making reservations, please let them know you are with the 17th Airborne
Scions to Invade Europe in 2015!
 
March 18 - 29, 2015 

December 2014 Update:

Scions Trip 2015 

 Jeff Schumacher, who is coordinating this trip reports that the trip is full and that a waiting list has been developed, in case anyone has to cancel.
 
Jeff recently returned from Belgium where he reviewed the details for the trip. This event is creating a lot of excitement for those planning to attend. We will be sure to post lots of photos from participants when they return!

 

 
17th Veteran Lynn Aas (193/D) to be Honored at this Years
                              "Dead Mans Ridge Walk"
17th Veteran Lynn Aas to be Guest at
State of the Union Address
By ELOISE OGDEN - Associated Press - Saturday, December 27, 2014
 
MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Lynn W. Aas of Minot has the honor of being the official representative of the 17th Airborne Division at the 70th annual reenactment of the Battle of the Bulge in the town of Bastogne, Belgium, early next year.
 
The historic World War II battle, known as one of the costliest battles American forces faced during the war, began Dec. 16, 1944. It was a key turning point in World War II and Hitler’s last offensive movement in the war. The battle raged for three weeks, resulting in a massive loss of American and civilian life.
 
Aas and sons Dave of Minot, Dan of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Joe and Joe’s wife, Nancy Morris, of Fargo will be accompanying him to Belgium. Another son, Paul, of Madison, Wisconsin, and Dave’s wife, Kathy, are unable to attend.
 
While in Bastogne March 22-26, Aas and family members will attend several commemoration ceremonies and other activities, the Minot Daily News reported.
 
Aas received an invitation to the event from the Belgium Reenactors. He and his late wife, Beverly, and their sons attended 17th Airborne Division Association meetings in the United States where the Belgian Reenactors and other reenactors were present. In 1999, Aas, accompanied by his family, made his first trip back to specific war sites since he left there in 1945.
 
Aas, who turned 93 in June, is originally from Benedict. He entered the U.S. Army on March 22, 1943, and fought in the European Theatre with the 17th Airborne Division of the 193rd Airborne Infantry. He separated from the service Nov. 1, 1945. Aas had been a student at the University of North Dakota before he enlisted in the military. After the war he earned a bachelor’s and also a law degree at UND. Moving to Minot in 1960, he was a medical group administrator. He was a member of the North Dakota Legislature for four sessions: 1967, 1969, 1987 and 1989.
 
Aas had his first combat experience in the Battle of the Bulge, beginning Dec. 26, 1944. He was a rifleman in Company D, 193rd Airborne Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. Aas wrote an account of his participation in the Battle of the Bulge, originally published in The Minot Daily News Dec. 11, 1994, for the 50th anniversary of the battle. His account follows:
 
On Dec. 24, 1944, my division and unit were flown from Camp Chisledon near Swinden, England, to an airstrip near Charleville, France. We were transported by trucks to Bastogne, where we replaced troopers of the 101st Airborne Division in their perimeter position on the combat lines. We held these positions until Jan. 4, 1945, when the 194th Glider Regiment and other units of the 17th Airborne began moving forward in efforts to close off the light German Panzer Tank Divisions that had extended their positions too far to the south toward the French border.
 
The Germans, desperate in their attempts to prevent a closure of the Pintzer movement, amassed all of the firepower of their tanks and 8mm artillery to ward off the attacking 17th Airborne Infantry men who had very little artillery and because of the inclement weather no air support.
 
The 193rd Airborne Regiment began its advance on Jan. 7, 1945, in a severe snowstorm and directly into the face of heavy artillery fire and German resistance. We continued our assault from before dawn to dusk, at which time we were compelled to retreat because of failure to accomplish our assigned mission. During this period of withdrawal, I remained behind to cover the retreat of Company D and other units of the 193 Glider Infantry Regiment: I was fired upon repeatedly by machine guns for what appeared to last the better part of an hour. I was pinned to the ground with a trooper lying dead from machine gun fire within 10 yards to my front and a mortally wounded friend to my rear.
 
I watched machine gun tracer bullets light up to the dusk within six inches of my shoulder but unable to reach me in my position. I was unable to move for several hours while an unusually heavy snowfall was covering the area. After darkness and time elapsed, I was able to crawl away from knowledge of the enemy position and got back to the lines of the 101st Airborne Division about 3 a.m. the next morning.
 
Our unit was shattered with many casualties on this first day of combat. My platoon lieutenant, platoon sergeant, squad leader and platoon runner were all severely wounded and did not return to combat. My assistant squad leader had frozen feet and never returned. Three riflemen in my squad were killed and two others required medical evacuation.
 
Our regiment continued in the Battle of the Bulge moving forward to the famous Siegfried Line on the German border by about Feb. 25. On March 1, 1945, we were moved from the front lines to return to France to reorganize for an airborne crossing of the Rhine River near Wessel, Germany, on March 24, 1945.
 
My platoon entered combat on Jan. 7 with 55 troopers. When we left the front lines on March 1 there were only five of us to walk away as survivors. All of the others were gone because of death, combat wounds, illness or frozen limbs. Ironically, of the five who walked away from the Battle of the Bulge and crossed the Rhine, only one survived without wounds or death. I received combat wounds in March 25, 1945, and did not return to my unit. This began my trek through numerous hospitals back to the United States and a discharge on Nov. 1, 1945, at Hot Springs, Arkansas.
 
I was awarded the Purple Heart for combat wounds and the Bronze Star for heroic and meritorious action.
 
Fighting a ground war against a strong and intelligent enemy force was trying enough but the severity of the winter weather conditions in 1945 made this a test of physical and mental endurance almost beyond comprehension. Only those with a strong will and in good physical condition were able to survive. It is by the grace of God and good fortune that I can write of this today. I can only hope and pray that we can keep a sense of justice and peace in this world to avoid others having the same experience.
 

 

Operation Varsity: 17th Member Frank J. O'Rourke (194/C) Remembers the Assault


The following article was forwarded to the editors by Scion Kerri Whitaker (granddaughter of Richard L. Wise, C/194).  It was originally published by World War II Magazine and was published online on June 12, 2006 on www.historynet.com. Enjoy!
 

On Christmas morning 1944, I was a member of the 17th Airborne Division when it was loaded onto Douglas C-47s at an airport in England and flown to France. A week later, on New Year's Day, we were trucked up to Belgium to a position outside of Bastogne, where the 101st Airborne was surrounded. Some 40 days later, we were pulled out of the Bulge and settled in at a camp outside Châlons-sur-Marne, France, to be reorganized and refitted.

As a result of the casualties the division had suffered, the 193rd and 194th Glider Infantry regiments were combined into one regiment, while the 507th and 513th Parachute Infantry regiments received hundreds of replacements from the States to fill out their depleted ranks. During the time the division was in the Ardennes, 1,839 were killed or wounded, about 45 casualties per day.

When March came to northern France the sun was bright, and for me and my comrades in Company C, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, life at Châlons-sur-Marne became pleasant — no artillery, no mortars, no machine gun fire, no foxholes, no frostbite, no casualties.

But it did not last.

On March 20, we boarded trucks and were taken to a camp outside an airfield near Paris. The camp was surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by MPs. No one got in without permission. No one got out.

There we were briefed. The 17th Airborne Division and the British 6th Airborne Division were to launch an operation, code-named 'Varsity,' over the Rhine River at Wesel, Germany, to pave the way for Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery's attack through the Reich. The briefing was thorough and included photos so detailed that we could pick out German foxholes.

The last glider that would land was identified not by a number, as all the rest of the gliders were, but by the code name 'Phantom.' This glider would carry two American officers who spoke fluent German. Dressed in Wehrmacht uniforms, they were to drive an enemy jeep up and down the nearby autobahn and spread false rumors among the Germans troops. I thought these two guys must be out of their minds. If the Germans didn't capture them and shoot them, then we might. Their glider, however, was hit in the air by flak, and the jeep was disabled, so their mission ended abruptly. I always wondered if they were disappointed.

Going into Germany by glider was not a prospect any of us welcomed. On December 12, 1944, while we were still in England, my company had been taken to an airfield for an orientation ride in the Airspeed Horsa, a British glider. Much larger than the American Waco CG-4A gliders, these were capable of carrying 32 passengers as well as the pilot and co-pilot.

There were six gliders sitting in a row on the tarmac when we arrived. Because there were enough of us for seven loads — and I was in the seventh group — I didn't get to fly. Annoyed because it meant I would have to stay over and fly the next day, I went back with the others to the tents and waited.

In time the guys from the company who had flown that morning began to come in and told us that one of the gliders had gone down when its tail had come off. All on board had been killed. They weren't wearing parachutes. No one ever wore a parachute in a glider.

The company commander called us out and read the names of the guys in the glider. We lost one mortar squad, one machine gun squad, one rifle squad and some from company and battalion headquarters. Together for more than a year, we knew each other as intimately as we knew members of our own families. That night we stripped the beds of the men from the machine gun squad in our barracks and packed up their personal possessions.

A few days later we went by bus to a cemetery outside Oxford to bury those men. Their graves had been dug by German prisoners, who stared at us as we passed. They seemed, as fellow soldiers, to share our sadness.

On March 24 our glider was scheduled to land five miles beyond the Rhine River at Landing Zone (LZ) S. Operation Varsity had many firsts, which apparently thrilled the generals. It was to be the largest single airborne assault of the war and the first time the glider regiments would land without the LZ being secured first by paratroopers. It was also the first time that the gliders would go into combat on a double tow.

At 0530 hours on the 24th, the first sergeant called us out: 'Okay, off and on. Chow in 10 minutes. Fall out, column of twos.'

As I awoke, I thought at first that we were still in the States, and I was being called out for another day in the field, another day of running around the pinewoods of North Carolina, digging foxholes, playing at being soldier. But when the cold morning air swept over my face and I saw the first sergeant's silhouette in the tent opening, I knew this was no dream.

At the airfield C-47s were in a long line, with two CG-4A gliders parked behind each. A Waco glider consisted of a metal frame wrapped in canvas with a plywood floor and plywood benches for the troops to sit on. It could carry 13 soldiers, a pilot and co-pilot. Ours also had cloverleafs of mortar shells tied down on the floor.

As we waited at the airfield, Sergeant Milton Anderson's 60mm mortar squad — the squad I was assigned to — sat under its glider's wing, smoked cigarettes and waited for the order to load. The pilot looked like a typical glider pilot. Wearing a wool knit cap, an old flight jacket and dress shoes, he was not outfitted for combat. His appearance was so casual that it gave me a sense of security to be in his hands.

The co-pilot, however, did not look as nonchalant. A C-47 pilot, he had been pressed into service because of the shortage of glider pilots. He looked nervous; he should have been.

The C-47s began to rev up their engines, and the word came down the line for the troops to load up. The platoon leader, Lieutenant Herman Clausen, sat up front behind the co-pilot. As the section sergeant of the mortars, I sat by the door. If the pilot and co-pilot got hit, Clausen was to land the glider. Given that he had no training in how to fly the fragile craft, all he could have done was to try and get down without crashing and killing us all. We liked Clausen, but we weren't too confident in his ability to learn to fly a glider with two dead pilots at the controls.

Through the front of the glider's Plexiglas nose, over the shoulders of the two pilots, I could see the fat, gray, whalelike tail of the C-47 tow ship with a nylon rope hanging loosely from it like an umbilical cord. A corporal from the ground crew climbed up on the front of our glider, attached the towline to it and gave a thumbs-up signal to the pilot before dropping to the ground and moving off to the right and front of the C-47.

He began to signal with his extended arm in a twirling motion to the C-47 pilot to begin moving his plane forward. When the towrope snapped straight out, the corporal twirled like a ballet dancer and, pointing his right arm at the end of the runway, signaled the C-47 pilot to rev his engines to full power. The towrope stretched taut, and our glider jerked forward, first up on its nose, then flopping back down again on its tail, until it began to roll along the runway behind its mother ship. The glider pilot pulled back on the stick, and the Waco lifted into the air after the C-47. We were airborne.

It was too noisy in the glider to talk, so we sat hunched forward in out seats, resting on our rifles, smoking cigarettes, looking out the small porthole windows where, when we passed over villages, we could see people standing in the yards outside their houses waving up at us as the gliders swept over them. For two hours the glider pitched and yawed behind the tow plane as the pilot fought to maintain control, always conscious of the towrope, which could wrap around a wing, tear it off, and we would plunge to earth. He also had to keep careful watch on the other glider attached to the towrope. With the slightest loss of control, that glider could have swung over and crashed into us — or we could have crashed into it. As we neared the Rhine River, the pilot turned and shouted over his shoulder, 'Five minutes!'

Soon after, puffs of flak appeared ahead and to the right of the C-47. They looked like small, black clouds as they drifted past.

The pilot raised his right hand and rested it on the tow release. 'Get ready!' he shouted. Throughout the glider, we began bracing ourselves, locking our rifles tight against our bodies and the edge of our helmets. The pilot hit the tow release, and the nose of the glider lifted sharply. The tow plane pulled away to begin its run back to the Allied lines.

The glider banked to the left, hanging momentarily as if in a stall with its left wing almost perpendicular to the earth. Then it straightened out and rushed toward the ground at a speed of about 60 miles per hour.

I could see the earth through a small Plexiglas window in the rear floor of the glider. When we were 10 or so feet off the ground, I pulled the release on the door beside me so it wouldn't jam when we hit and trap us inside.

The landing was routine. The glider went up on its nose as it slowed, then came down again and stopped. I unsnapped my seat belt and went out the door.

In front of me was the bank of the Issel Canal. It gave me cover from the front, so I ran toward it. Slightly to my left was glider 113, which had been on the short tow with us. As I rounded its tail, a burst of bullets kicked up dirt in front of me. I wheeled left toward the source and saw a glider pilot sweeping the field with an automatic rifle. He stopped when he recognized me, and I ran to the ditch where Gene Tinnan's machine gun squad was huddled and firing at a flak gun emplacement in the corner of the field.

Without a tripod for his machine gun, Frank Paskowski had propped it up on a hedge and had pinned the Germans down until Bob Waterloo's rifle squad came along the top of the canal and threw a grenade at the entrance to the emplacement. The Germans came pouring out with their hands up in the air.

Normally we sent prisoners back to the rear, but since we were five miles from the Rhine and had no rear to speak of, we herded the Germans into the center of the pasture. The glider pilots guarded them until someone came along to collect them.

We followed the canal we had landed beside, then passed a woods on our left where we drew fire. A rifle squad from the company went in and cleared the woods. As I watched them, I thought about how much we had matured from our first days in combat during the Battle of the Bulge — we had become professional soldiers.

When we reached our objective along the canal, we dug foxholes and prepared to defend the position. A couple of hundred yards or so farther down in the corner of the pasture that fronted us was a German bunker. We set up Sergeant Bill Wolford's mortar and gave Rich Wise, the gunner, a rough estimate of the distance to the target. The mortar round arced through the air and landed on top of the German bunker — a direct hit. Enemy soldiers came pouring out and began running to the woods behind them. We were so surprised that we just stared at each other and at the running Germans.

An artillery observer with us called coordinates to his guns across the Rhine to lay a barrage on the woods where we saw the Germans taking cover. We heard the shells coming, but instead of passing over us to their target in the woods, they began exploding on our side of the canal.

The artillery observer was hit by shrapnel, and we were just as glad to see him go. He had given the guns the wrong coordinates. We didn't need his kind of help.

In the afternoon a Consolidated B-24 came over on a resupply mission. It had been hit by flak, and as it passed over we could see smoke pouring from its engines. It was down to only a few hundred feet when two of the crew jumped; their chutes opened just as they disappeared into the woods.

For the rest of the day we lay on the bank of the canal and kept watch on the distant woods for some sign of the Germans. We didn't know it, but the enemy was not that far away. In the afternoon, some 20 yards across the canal, a small white piece of cloth began to wave from a foxhole. We stared at the flag. We stared at each other. Finally we yelled, 'Kommen Sie hier.' Two Germans got out of the foxhole and with their hands in the air came over and surrendered. One was an old man who was genuinely happy to be taken prisoner. The other was a young SS man who acted arrogant. We were not impressed. The whole scene was comical. How could these two Germans have been 20 or so yards away all this time and gone undetected? We sent them back to join the prisoners we had in the pasture.

Our night passed in relative quiet. The next day we searched through a British glider that had landed in the pasture and crashed across the canal. There was no sign of the pilots.

Also in the distance across the pasture we could see glider 122 from C Company. It had come down outside the company's landing zone and sat alone in the pasture by the edge of the woods. The men who had traveled in it had not been as lucky as we had been.

Sergeant James Gregory's rifle squad and the platoon leader, Lieutenant Hymie Glasser, had come down in that glider. As Glasser tried to figure out where they were, the members of Gregory's squad thought it was all too quiet. There were no other gliders in the pasture; they were all alone. There were no signs or sounds of war. Perhaps they thought they had landed on the other side of the Rhine.

But the quiet didn't last long; they soon started to receive rifle and machine gun fire. When they returned fire, one by one they were picked off.

First killed was Sergeant Gregory, next the BAR man Rich Mowrey, and then a replacement who had joined the company only a few weeks before the Varsity operation. He had lasted just one day in combat; none of the survivors knew his name.

Lieutenant Glasser received a head wound, and Bill Whalen, the platoon runner, thought he was dead. Glasser's eyes were open, but he did not seem able to talk. Whalen poured sulfa powder on the wound and then gave him a shot of the morphine all airborne troopers carried.

With the platoon leader wounded and the squad leader dead, Whalen took charge. A German lieutenant called to them in very good English that they should surrender. They looked about them. They had three dead comrades and a lieutenant with a serious head wound. There was not much sense in continuing to fight, so the Americans laid down their weapons, stood up and surrendered.

They were taken into a bunker where a German noncom, who had been wounded in the leg during the exchange of fire, kept threatening to shoot them. The German lieutenant stopped the man from menacing them, explaining to the captured Americans that the sergeant's leg wound was very bad, and that he had lost a brother in Africa. According to the German lieutenant, the anger was understandable.

Lieutenant Glasser, although not able to talk, was still alive, so the remaining squad members made a makeshift litter and carried him as they were moved back through the German lines. In one town they came upon a hospital, and their German guards told them it would be best if they left the lieutenant there. They reassured the Americans that he would get the necessary medical treatment. He did and went on to survive the war.

On the third day after landing across the Rhine, we were scheduled to be replaced by a company from the 513th Regiment. As the time approached, I sent the mortars back and had begun to follow them when the Germans attacked. Bullets flew over our heads as we crouched behind the canal bank.

Frank Paskowski had his machine gun dug in at the canal and fired at the Germans trying to cross. A German bullet slammed into his right hand, and he wheeled back from the gun. He had lost two fingers. Another member of the machine gun squad took his place and continued firing down the canal.

The Germans stopped trying to take our positions at about the same time the company from the 513th arrived. As I moved back and passed the line of troopers from the 513th, I recognized one of them from my hometown. I said something like, 'You're going the wrong way,' but he didn't see the humor in it.

By now we had hooked up with the ground troops coming across the Rhine, and we settled down for the night in a relatively secure area. First Platoon Sergeant Morris Patty took a patrol out to check the perimeter of our position. He was killed by a sniper on his way back.

The next day, along with the British 6th Airborne, we pushed off in the lead of Montgomery's army in a sweep that would encircle the Ruhr Valley. We met only scattered resistance until we came upon Munster. It was a fairly large city with a population of probably more than 100,000. We attacked about 4 in the afternoon across pastures that surrounded the town. Supporting us were British tanks from the 6th Guards Armoured Brigade. As I stopped behind a hedge, one of the tanks came up beside me and a sergeant, sitting up in the turret, leaned over and shouted to me, 'It's a bloody good show, Yank!' I just stared at him. It sounded like a line from a movie. The 'bloke' was obviously enjoying himself. But he was right. The 17th crossed the open pastures surrounding the city, and as I followed along I had to agree it was a 'bloody good show.' When we reached the city, I met the company commander, Captain Ray Strang. 'Lieutenant Clausen got it,' he said. That was all we ever said when someone was killed. 'He got it' was our euphemism for death. It didn't sound so bad. It sounded as though he had received a present. Lucky him. But Clausen was well liked and regardless of how we masked our emotions, it still hurt.

After Munster, we continued to march on through the German countryside until we reached Duisburg in the Ruhr Valley. For us the war was now over. The last one of us who got it was Lieutenant Clausen.

Years after the war, I read the after-action report the Army had prepared on Operation Varsity. The report listed each glider in the operation and described what had happened to it. Glider 122 was listed as being missing when it came down outside the LZ. My glider, 114, was one of the few that had not been hit in the air by small-arms fire or flak. Too many were listed as having aborted their flight because they had been hit in the air and exploded.

I have a picture of C Company taken before we went overseas. The officers of the company are in the center of the first row. There were five of them. Three were killed. The only one to remain with us was Captain Strang, the company commander. There were other officers who had joined the company at various times. One was Lieutenant Robert Brown, who was the Weapons Platoon leader. He was killed only weeks before the end of the war. Moving down a road through a woods, we came under sniper fire. Most of us hit the ground in ditches parallel to the road, but not Brown. He stood up and said, 'I'll get the bastard.' He didn't. The bastard got him. The Army gave Brown a Silver Star.

Brown was one of the few people I knew who wanted to be in combat. The rest of us just accepted the job that had to be done. Some did it better than others, but no one was running around trying to be a hero. When we first landed in France and were waiting for trucks to take us to Belgium, I was sitting next to a fire with Lieutenant Brown and he showed me a World War I trench knife he carried. 'I'm gonna kill some Germans with this,' he said and then added as though it was an afterthought, 'And they're gonna kill me.' He did, and they did.

Then there was Lieutenant Guerett Loomis. He was tall, very tall. He was transferred to battalion headquarters and went in by glider with Major Leland Huntley, the assistant battalion commander. Their glider landed directly in front of a German 88mm artillery piece. The Germans fired and put a shell through the front of the glider, killing all on board.

When we had first arrived at the Bulge, one of the mortar squad leaders, Don Swanell, and I dug a foxhole behind a low line of hedge. In front of us was the body of a dead GI. He was from the 28th Division and had been hit by a piece of shrapnel that had cut a slice across his stomach. He lay on his back, and the flesh on his abdomen had curled back as it froze.

Brown and Loomis came up to our foxhole and wanted to know what we were going to do with the dead GI. We shrugged. We had no idea what we were supposed to do with dead guys. So Brown and Loomis each grabbed one of the GI's legs and dragged him back to the village of Houmont, where they were collecting the dead. When both of them were killed later on, someone else dragged them back to where the dead were being collected.

When I got home, I put a white dot on the picture of everyone in the company who had been killed. There were a lot of white dots, but there could have been more. The men underneath the white dots were replaced. Some of those replacements also would have been white dots.

 
Scions Memorial Fund
by Scion Secretary / Treasurer Ed Siergiej Jr.

The "Scions of the 17th Airborne Memorial Fund"  has been set up as a seperate account with the specific purpose of supporting activities that honor the memory of our veterans who have passed on. Some examples of how these funds will be used are as follows:
  • Providing wreaths for our annual ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Providing wreaths for the four Medal of Honor recipients on Memorial Day.
  • Funding for the cards sent to the families of veterans who have passed on.

Contributions in memory of a 17th Veteran, or any group of 17th Veterans
(Such as Co F, 513th, for example)  may be made to this fund by so designating.

Contributions can be made to:

Scions of the 17th Airborne Memorial Fund
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811


The Scions have recieved a generous donation in memory of Bill Smith, by
 John McCauley


A generous donation in memory of the men of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment, has been made by Diane Clark, daughter of Melvin Lagoon (193E/194E)

A generous donation in memory of Dr. Ben F. Scherer (513/A) has been made
by Betty M. Scherer


 
Welcome New Members


Steven Vogel 
Son of Myron Louis Vogel (507th)
Eagan, MN

Jerry Evan
Nephew of Andrew Evan (194th) 
Erie, PA

David Aas
Son of Lynn Aas (193/D)
Minot, ND


Vicki Gambino
Daughter of Victor Mittleman (194th)
Indianapolis, IN

Arlan A. Hudson
Son of Araln A. Hudson (507/HQ) KIA 
Greensboro, NC

Information on Membership and Dues

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

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

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

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

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

  
 

Chaplains Corner
by Isaac Epps

 
 
The following is the Tribute for a departed Airborne Trooper that is put forward by the 82nd Airborne Division. It is used from Chapter to Chapter at funeral services and is invoked as the Family requests--I feel it applies to all Airborne. 
 
 In 2010, Scions President Rose Friday brought this forward as we had a most meaningful ceremony to honor the passing of 17th Airborne Association President Col. Del Townsend there at that Lancaster reunion; and I was honored to read it at that time.
 The Prayer

The Chairman of the Chapter or his representative will say:

Friends, as Veterans of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, America's Guard of Honor; we have come to pay our respects to a departed Trooper, to whom we are bound by blood and sweat and tears. We honor him in life as we honor him in death because he was unafraid to take on the most fearful assignment in war--an Airborne landing in the midst of the enemy. As a champion of Liberty, he demonstrated the kind of courage which will always be an example to the people of our land. We are certain that his deeds will receive their reward in the world to come; and we pray that he will now rest in peace confident that the ideals for which he fought will live on forever.
 
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father; who is above us and beneath us, within us and around us, who drove from our mind any fear of the space in which thou are ever present; surround the soul of our departed comrade with thy Heavenly presence. O God, in whose Hands are the living and the dead, we give Thee thanks for the good example of this Thy Servant who was willing to offer his life in the service of our country. Grant him Thy merciful protection that the good work which Thou hast begun in him may be perfected in the world to come. 
 
Bless and comfort the bereaved that they may ever remain loyally steadfast to the ideals for which others have fought and died; all of which we ask in the name of Him; who died and rose again from the dead; Jesus Christ Our Lord,

Amen
 
I will add again; may God's Healing Hand be on all those Veterans who are struggling with health issues and are suffering now--whether we know their names or not--special prayers for the families who have lost a Veteran for whatever reason.
Proposed Change to Scion Bylaws
by Ed Siergiej Jr
Secretary / Treasurer 

 
The Scion organization has grown considerably since our founding in 2011. As we have grown, we have been able to spread out the work of operating the organization, which also helps us to better serve the needs of the organization. Some of the changes made in the last year are:

Scion Paul Madden, son of Hal Madden (680th A Battery) has offered to take on the role of Historian

Scion Adam Coolong, grandson of Charles E. Booth (680th HQ) has agreed to take the point on the Newsletter and also the Coordinator of the material mined from the National Archives

Scion Chuck Katz, son of John Katz (194th GIR) has offered to serve as a legal adviser to the organization. 

With these important roles established, it has been suggested that we make two changes to the Bylaws.

1. Increase the number of members on the Executive Committee from 8 to 15 Scions.
   
The existing 8 seats on the Executive Committee are filled by:

President - Currently - Rose Friday
Vice President - Currently - Michele Smith
Seceratary / Treasurer - Currently - Ed Siergiej Jr.
Chaplain - Currently - Isaac Epps
Melanie Sembrat
Cindy Heigl
Robert Smith
Vacant position - 
Scion Jeff Schumacher was elected to fill this vacancy on the Board of Directors.

The proposed change is to "Add 7 seats on the Executive Committee to make a total of 15, providing seats for:

Newsletter Editor - Currently - Adam Coolong
Historian - Currently - Paul Madden
Legal Adviser - Currently - Chuck Katz
Membership Committee Chair
Recording Secretary
(3) At Large positions"

This motion was tabled until our next meeting, in Lancaster, PA, in May 2015

2. "Change the name of the "Executive Committee" to "Board of Directors"

As required by our existing Bylaws, we are communicating these proposed changes in our newsletter from April to November 2014. 
We are accepting comment on the proposed changes. Those who would like to comment on these changes can contact us by email at: Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com, or by mail at:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811

This motion was approved 
at our meeting in Arlington, VA on November 10, 2014



Ed Siergiej Jr
Seceratary / Treasurer
April 30, 2014
Minutes of the Annual Meeting Held in Lancaster, PA

by Ed Siergiej Jr. & Melanie Sembrt



Attached are links to the Minutes of our Annual Meeting, as well as Secretary's and Treasurer's Reports. Many thanks to Scion Melanie Sembrat for acting as recording secretary.

Click here to read the Minutes from the meeting.

Click here to read the Secretary's Report from the meeting.

Click here to read the Treasurer's Report from the meeting. 

 
From Peggy Martinez, daughter of Lyle Buscher 680/A:

The vmail is dated 1-9-45 Belgium written by Cpl. Lyle Buscher. "Outside of being somewhat crumby with my long hair and brittle socks I seem to be doing ok." And let the relatives know that "it is difficult for me to write under the circumstances..."

I don't know the names of the other men in the photo, my dad Lyle Buscher is on the far right.
This was sent by my dad Lyle Buscher 680th Btry A when he first arrived at Camp Mackall to his parents.
From Scion VP, Michele Smith

Hi Ed, As you know, I had a great visit with Trooper Mike Rock 680th Battery B GFA last Monday 1/9/2015. After all Mike has been through with hospitalizations, 40+ days of rehab and Hospice, his spirit is as strong and positive as ever! He has an active schedule. A nurse visits 2 times and the PT 3 times a week. If he is asked to do an exercise 10 times, Mike takes it upon himself to do 5 more of each! He works out at the sink doing squats and leg lifts, marches in place, and with pulleys does arm exercises. His daughter Diane who he lives with bought him a beautiful Golden Cloud zero gravity chair with 6 different controls. A perfect spot to watch the football games he enjoys and the upcoming Super Bowl! Mike attends local VFW meetings one time a month and his buddies from VFW Post 220 as well as Atlantic City Veteran Service Office helped him obtain his wheelchair and transport chair as well as installation of a fold up 10 ft. ramp into their home. His other daughter Andrea and son Mike Jr. like to take him out to the casinos, where he told me he is trying to win a million! He told me one day while he was there a couple came up to him and the lady handed him a $20 and thanked him for his service. While I was there visiting with Mike, our Chaplain Isaac Epps called, and we also spoke to Tom Gogal (whose Uncle was KIA and a boyhood friend of Mike's), so it was like a mini reunion in Mays Landing. In Mike's own words, he's getting stronger every day, he is using his walker more and more, and wants to get back in fighting form to attend the Lancaster Reunion May 3-8. And guess what 17th and Scions??? Mike has already reserved his room at the Steamboat in Lancaster. Every year he is the first one to reserve. It was so nice to see Mike looking so well and always with his signature big, bright smile. Talk about AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY SPIRIT! No wonder we won the war, they don't make 'em any tougher than the 17th! Mike (who is a leap year baby) has a birthday coming up at the end of February so I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing him a happy, healthy birthday year!   

WANT ADS AND REQUESTS
FOR INFORMATION


Have a request to make for information, or for research help?  Send us an email and we will post it in a future edition of the Thunder From Heaven newsletter, in this section!
From Gregory De Cock:

As every year, the board of the “Dead Man’s Ridge Walk” organizes a fund raising to support Veteran Lynn  Aas’ trip to Europe, March 2015. Lynn will be our honored guest at the occasion of the 7th edition of the DMRWalk on March 22, 2015.

 
Every contribution, even a small one, will be entirely used to finance Lynn’s trip to the place where he fought 70 years ago.
 
The board thanks you in advance for your support.
 
Feel free to share this fund raising to your email contacts and on the social networks.
Donations made from a country of the UE can be withdrawn on the walk’s account, this to avoid transaction fees. More information can be found here.
 
 

Sick Call

 
Mike Rock (680B) has just returned home after a long time in the hospital, and is recovering steadily, with the able help of his family and especially his daughter Diane.

Mike could use our support now, and he appreciates hearing from the 17th Family.
 
 
 Mike Rock
70 Gasko Road
Mays Landing, NJ 08330

TAPS

 
IN MEMORY OF THE FALLEN SOLDIER
by Isaac Epps

 
   The ones who went
   Were truly sent
   To do a Noble Deed;
   When evil showed
   They took the load
   In Justice, they believed.
   They heard the call
   And gave their All
   And some did not not come back.
   They knew the chance

   But took the stance
   When Liberty was attacked.
   It Speaks of Duty, Faith; and Love;
   It speaks of a respect
   for Country; For Others,
   For the Right of Man;
   To forget would be neglect.
   On this Their Day

   We stop to pray
   Their Memory shall live;
   The sacrifice they made was Life.
   What more can someone Give?
Standing Guard

Submitted by Dominic Biello
Howard E. Oyler

194/HQ
Howard E. Oyler, 91, of Independence, Mo., passed away Saturday, September 13, 2014. Howard was born Dec. 14, 1922, in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Edgar E. and Pearl (Gentry) Oyler. He honorably served his country in the United States Army as a paratrooper and was assigned to the 17th and 82nd Airborne. He was a member of the Calvary Presbyterian Church. Howard was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Sarah. In addition to his wife, Sarah, he is preceded in death by two brothers, Charles and Keith. Survivors include son, Larry Oyler; daughter, Joyce Banta; sister, Wilma Shockley (Boyd); three grandchildren, Lori Campbell (Damon), Mark Oyler (Lisa) and Sharilyn Winkler (Cody); six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until service time at 12 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Floral Hills Funeral Home. The family suggest memorial contributions be made to the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Independence. Condolences may be left at www.floralhillsfuneralhome.com Arr.: D.W. Newcomer's Sons Floral Hills Funeral Home, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd., KCMO, (816) 353-1218. D. W. Newcomer's Sons Funeral Homes, Cemeteries, Crematories 816-353-1218 www.floralhillsfuneralhome.com
 
 
Published in Kansas City Star on Sept. 16, 2014- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kansascity/obituary.aspx?pid=172473041#sthash.QE06aElT.dpuf

Read more here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/kansascity/obituary.aspx?pid=172473041#storylink=cpy
Gloria Quegan
Wife of Robert Quegan (513/H)
Gloria A. (Gifford) Quegan, age 88, of Brockton, formerly of West Dennis, died January 24, 2015, at South Shore Rehabilitation following a period of failing health. Gloria was the wife of Robert F. Quegan. Born and raised in Brockton, she was the daughter of the late Ernest E. and Elvira (DAntuono) Gifford. Gloria was a graduate of Brockton High School and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Bridgewater State College in 1949. She was a physical education teacher at St. Edward School in Brockton. She was a member of the PM Womens Club, past president at both local and state levels, and a member of the Brockton Historical Society, Wampanoag Canoe Club, Cape Cod Curling Club and the 17th Airborne Paratroopers Assn. She was very creative and enjoyed crafts, gardening, birding and was a world traveler. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children, Edward L. Quegan of San Antonio, Texas, Kristen M. Lavoie of Halifax, Andrea R. White of Charlotte, N.C., and Michele E. Fitzgerald and her husband Bill of Plymouth; three grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a sister, Jacqueline Barrett of Harwichport. She was the sister of the late Kenneth Gifford. Visitation will be held in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont Street (Rte. 123), Brockton, Thursday 9:30-11 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial will be at a later date in Melrose Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Glorias name may be made to Beacon Hospice Christian Foundation, 32 Resnick Rd., Ste. 3, Plymouth, MA 02360. For condolences and directions, visit www.conleyfuneralhome.com or on Facebook at Conley Funeral & Cremation Service.

Michael J. Villarreal

466th PFA


Mike was born to John and Priscilla Villarreal on May 12, 1923 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

He passed away at home in Bakersfield, California on January 22, 2015 and was greeted by The Lord, his beloved wife Glenda, parents, family, friends, and siblings Floyd, Jess, Robert, and Amelia. He is survived by his brother, Joe, and sister, Mary and many nieces and nephews.

Mike's family is his son, Tom Svare and his wife, Janet. With his amazing stories and sense of humor, he enriched the lives of his four grandchildren, Tim Landis and wife Margie; Janine Costa; Alan Henry; Melanie Bautista and husband, Leo; Daniel Blount; 12 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great grandchildren who will miss him dearly.

On May 12, 1923 Mike was born, a few years after his parents had immigrated from Mexico. Speaking only Spanish, he was determined to overcome the language barrier, and graduated from Clinton High School in 1943.

Circumstances (WWII) found Mike in the Army, where he volunteered for the U.S. Paratroops and was with the 17th Airborne Division "Thunder From Heaven" from 1943-1945. His European tour thrust him into several battles including the "Battle of the Bulge" ordered by General Patton who led the Allied forces. As grueling as it was, Mike was proud to serve and treasured the camaraderie. He was awarded the European Campaign Medal with 3 Bronze Service Stars, 1 Bronze Arrowhead; American Campaign Medal; Good Conduct Medal; WWII Victory Medal; Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.

He returned home and attended three semesters of college before he moved to Wyoming where he married Glenda, his sweetheart. Working 12 years in the industry, he became inspired and developed an interest in education while involved in church youth programs. By 1960, at 37, he returned to college and earned a B.A. from Valparaiso University. They moved to Northern California and Mike was offered a teaching position with the Belmont School District. A dedicated teacher for 20 years, during his tenure there, he received an M.A. from Stanford University.

A widower, Mike retired moving north of Placerville to build a home near family and old friends in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He volunteered for the Mosquito Fire Department and made lifetime friends. The home became a family retreat for his son, Tom's family. Special holidays were spent there, making memories, fishing, eating, playing Scrabble, and even adding improvements to the house. Mike loved to read, and wrote "The Civil War 1861-1865 a Chronicle of Facts-Bios-Trivia", and in 2004 wrote ED and ME", Our Exploits With the 17th Airborne In Europe During WWII.

Mike's move to Bakersfield with his dog, "Babe" was welcomed by his family. his grandson, Tim took him to church on Sundays. He loved the lake, went on walks with "Babe", enjoyed barbecues, car shows with Tom, skydiving on his 80th Birthday, and sharing their mutual interests of history and boxing.

We raise a glass of Red Wine to Mike's favorites: Scrabble, Mr. Goodbar Candy, Fried Chicken, Butter Pecan ice cream, Chili Verde, Family celebrations at Rosemary's Creamery, Crossword Puzzles, Pecan Pie, Buffalo Meatloaf, Ambrosia salad and Raider games at the Coliseum.

Family and friends are invited to attend services on Friday, February 6th, at 10:00am at the Bakersfield National Cemetery.

 
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
English Translation of "Die Luftlanding" Book

 
This book, a translation of "Die Luftlanding" by Jonan Nitrowski, was compiled byJos Bex. Mr Nitrowski gave permission for Jos to translate the book from the original German, into English, so that our veterans could read it. This book is a detailed account of Operation Varsity.
The initial order of books that Jos sent us has been sold out for some time, and with quite a few new Scion members added to our rolls recently we have made arrangements with Mr. Bex to ship us another 8 copies. 
 At this time, we are asking anyone who is interested in a copy of this book, to send us an email to "
Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com". We will sign people up for the book on a first come, first served basis. The cost will be $80 each, which includes shipping within the US. If we have a strong responce to this offering, we will develop a waiting list, and try to make arrangements for additional books to be shipped.
 When the books arrive, we will contact you so that you can send the payment to us. 
Those persons who are going on the trip to Europe in March, will be able to purchase the book at that time, should they desire. The cost will be a bit lower, as the book will not have to be shipped from Europe. 
 

 
17th Airborne Car Flags

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

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

Scions of the 17th Airborne Pins

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


$10 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.

Scion Coffee Mugs
 
Your beverage is guaranteed to taste better
in this Scions mug than in a canteen cup!


$16 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
 
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 Available
 
This 57 page document was produced by the 17th Airborne staff at the end of the war. Included are maps of Drop and Landing Zones, Status of each glider load after landing, pre- arranged artillery coordinates, and much more.
8.5" x 14". Great reading.

Available in hard copy for a donation of $22 each
or on a CD for $12 each. Includes S&H in the U.S. 

 
Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
17th Airborne Challenge Coins
 
Challenge coins have been created by military organizations for many years. 
This beautiful, high quality challenge coin was developed by Scion Jeff Schumacher and his wife Melinda as a tribute to the 17th Airborne. The coin has the 17th Airborne insignia on one side, and the Scions logo on the reverse side. 
These coins are another great way to foster, promote, and honor the story of the 17th. On both sides around the perimeter of the coin there is a "rope" boundary symbolizing shroud lines of a parachute and tow ropes of the gliders (on two sides because they did double tow in Varsity).The black color symbolizes "SURPRISE" and the gold is the golden opportunity to seize by surprise. Also some blue on the Airborne side of the coin representing the blue skies on 3/24/45.
 
Available for $15 each, two for $25. Any additional coins above the quantity of two would be $10 each. Includes S&H.

Consider donating additional funds so that we can send these to as many of our veterans as possible, or buy two and give one to your special 17th veteran!
At the recent funeral of one of our veterans, the family actually included one of these coins with the veterans remains.


Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
Scion Hats and Patches
Show your pride to be a Scion of the 17th Airborne Division
 
The sample hats that we had made up for the Lancaster, PA Operation Varsity gathering sold out very quickly, so we had some more made up. Available in Blue, 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

"Thunderbolt" Commemorative Book

 
  This 118 page book, published by the 17th before deployment to Europe, has many photo of individual units, as well as photos of the training.
  Two sample pages are shown below. Perhaps you can find your father, or grandfathers photo !
  Thanks to our membership, we have the funds to put this package together!

The CD is available for $20 each. Includes S&H in the USA

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353

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

Regular membership in the "Scions of the 17th Airborne" is open to any descendant or family member of any trooper who served with the 17th during its existence.

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

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

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

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

Our brand-new website contains a wealth of information on the 17th Airborne and its history, and our Members Section (open exclusively to dues-paying Scions) contains hundreds of pages of documents obtained from the National Archives!  Check it out at www.17thscions.org!
 
We also have a great Facebook page, where there are lots of great posts by friends of the 17th in the U.S. and in Europe. Check us out on Facebook at: 
17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants).

Please consider passing this on to your children and grandchildren, if they are not already members. As our membership grows, we can take on new projects of value.
 
President
Rose Friday, daughter of Edward Friday (194th)

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

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

Cindy Heigl - daughter of Tony Heigl (193rd)
Melanie Sembrat - daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Robert Smith - brother of Levert L. Smith (194th)
Isaac Epps - son of Ralph Epps (194th)
Jeff Schumacher - son of John Schumacher (194th)
Scion Facebook Page
Scion Facebook Page
Scions Website
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