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 # 21 - June 2014
Please send us your 17th related news items, stories, questions etc., so that we can share them with the entire group. You may direct your mail to the Scions at:
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
-   Trooper Stories - Discovering Fluren's DZ W
     by Rives Carroll, daughter of Paschal Fowlkes (507th)

-  Historic C-47 Aircraft Returns to Europe

-    Rose Friday's visit to Fort Benning

-   Scions 2013 Gathering Schedule

-   Plan now for the Veterans Day Ceremony at Arlington National

    Scions to Invade Europe in 2015
    by Jeff Schumacher

-   Scions Memorial Fund
     by Ed Siergiej Jr.

-   Welcome New Scion Members

-   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


-  17th Airborne Online Store

-   Become a Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne
 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, grand daughter 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:
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 effort.

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


 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:

Discovering Fluren’s DZ W with Jos Bex:
The Last Step in Unraveling My Story

by Rives Carroll
As a young child I knew my father had been an Army Chaplain and a paratrooper. In fact, his jump wings, given to me at an early age, are lost somewhere in the ground below our porch railing in Richmond where I was climbing. He was killed, I heard, as soon as he landed.  Later I learned he had jumped across a river, The Rhine. I don’t remember asking many questions.
Not until I was older, did I know that it was near Wesel, Germany where my father, Paschal Dupuy Fowlkes, known as “Pat”, was shot by machine gun fire from a German farmhouse. And only years later, as a young adult, did I realize his death on March 24, 1945 was six weeks shy of the end of the war in Europe.
I could never remember the names and numbers of his units. He changed units to become a paratrooper during his two and a half years of service. The titles of his groups, regiments and their affiliations were confusing and meant little to me. Starting with the 314th Troop Carrier Group in North Africa in May 1942, he joined the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment in England in September 1944. The 507th,, , formerly attached to the 82nd Airborne, was part of the 17th Airborne Division.
Through information researched by my brother more than thirty years ago, I first heard that Operation Varsity, history’s largest one-day air assault, was the name of our father’s last mission. I learned that he landed somewhere two miles northwest of Wesel at 10am.
At a 507th reunion in 2010, I met four men who knew my father, Gwinn Unger, Frank Naughton, Johnny Marr, and Willie Stem.  Willie had sought out our family a few years earlier, so through conversations with him, I had a better understanding of my father’s last day and the 507th ‘s lead role. Their stories peaked my interest. My father’s life in the war was becoming more real which made the general location of his Drop Zone too vague for me.
Six months ago I became curious about this specific location. Was it a parking lot, a shopping mall, or an industrial complex?  I wanted to know and I wanted to see it for myself.
Thanks to information readily available on the Internet, I discovered that the site is still a field----the same field that was Flurenfeld 70 years ago. Military maps show the designated landing area for the 507th’, Drop Zone W (DZ W). I confirmed this with Gwinn Unger who jumped from the same plane as my father. This egg-shaped spot, nestled just south of Diersfordt Forest, became etched in my brain. Current aerial photographs show this same forest and extensive farmland on its southern edge. I had to see this field.
My discoveries continued. Up popped an ad on my computer for ETO-Tours led by a Dutch man, Jos Bex. I didn’t even know what ETO meant. But I contacted Jos. He agreed to meet my husband, Dickson, and me for a day in May to tell us what he knew about the March 24, 1945 activity around Fluren and Diersfordt. Being a 17th Airborne Division enthusiast and having translated from German the chapter about the 17th ABD during Operation Varsity from “Die Luftlandung”, Jos is a well-informed booster of the 17th ABD. His English translation includes moving stories from 1945 told by the local German residents.
After sharing maps and memorabilia on a beautiful sunny May morning, the three of us climbed in Jos’ car for a full day of exploring and to continue Jos’ on-going search for residents who might have more stories. In Fluren, Jos hit the jackpot on the first try.  When he rang the doorbell of a modest red-brick row house, the woman in her 70’s who answered the door was the very woman Jos had hoped to meet. He mentions her in his translation. She was born in the basement of a house that borders DZ W, the house her family never left during the war and where her older brother in his 80’s lives today. The one disappointment of the day was that, even though he had agreed to talk with us, her brother didn’t appear to be home when we stopped by.
In front of his house stretched the expansive field, full of waving grain. We walked the field, dotted with farmhouses and farm buildings and divided by simple fences and country roads. The field’s western edge was rimmed by houses with well-kept flower gardens, and the northern border was lined with towering trees from Diersfordt Forest. This bucolic scene was disconcertingly peaceful. How could so many have suffered such horrific destruction and devastating pain and loss on this gentle field? Jos was patient as I silently absorbed the landscape.
Tireless throughout the day, Jos was willing to honor my need to see one more corner, one more road, and one more building. I didn’t want to miss a thing. We didn’t even stop for lunch.
From the field at Fluren we drove to Diersfordt to see the reconstructed castle, which was the German communications headquarters until 3pm on March 24, 1945 when the 507th 3rd Battalion raised the US flag on what remained of the roof. One surprise, near-by, was the garden-like setting of a German cemetery, full of tall brilliantly colorful flowering rhododendrons. At least one road was lined with large stately trees indicating a lovely allée that had survived the months of bombing. And the Constanz Restaurant, visible on Jos’ 1945 maps, is still tucked in a welcoming grove of trees and still serving the local people.
Time has moved on. Reconciling the past in the present is not easy. But having Jos with us to answer question after question, with his font of knowledge and passion for the subject, was both informative and comforting. He knows this area well, and his quest for more facts and stories continues. He’s eager to research a particular area of interest for an individual. For me, that day at that field in Fluren was a rewarding culmination, ending years of wondering.
Post Script:
Thanks to Jos, also, I had the privilege of laying the wreath for the 17th Airborne Division at the annual Memorial Day ceremony at Margraten Cemetery where my father is buried.  On a picture perfect day, I was not only with my husband and my new friend Jos, but old Dutch friends who drove from Amsterdam, and the caring couple from Heerlen who inherited the adoption of my father’s grave.  They lay flowers there several times a year. We all felt like old friends.

Historic C-47 Aircraft Returns to Europe for D-day Celebrations

 A C-47 aircraft, operated by the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, NY flew back to Europe to participate in the 70th Anniversary ceremonies to honor the D-day landings. This aircraft, known as "Whiskey 7", was the lead ship of the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron dropping elements of the 82nd Airborne near St. Mere Eglise on the morning of June 6, 1944.
 Whiskey 7 also participated in Operation Varsity. 
 Scion Melanie Sembrat, daughter of Trooper Harry Sembrat (513/HQ) attended both the takeoff of the aircraft for Europe, and the landing back in NY. Melanie made special arrangements for our 17th Airborne Division Flag to be carried onboard the aircraft during its trip. 
 During the celebration, the aircraft dropped members of the Liberty Jump Team over the original D-day Drop Zones
Photo from a jumper of the Liberty Jump Team as he exited the C-47
(Photo from the "Return to Normandy" Facebook page)
Rose Friday's trip to Fort Benning
Scion President Rose Friday recently made a visit to Fort Benning, and submitted these photos
Scion President Rose Friday had the opportunity to visit Fort Benning recently, and sent in these great photos.
Scion 2013 - 2014 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.

Arlington VA Gathering

November 2014

Each year, the Scions gather in Arlington, VA. for ceremonies at the memorial to the 17th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremonies are held on Veterans Day week, usually on November 10th. Our ceremony is a part of a wonderful program organized by the Ruben Tucker chapter of the 82nd Airborne Div. Assoc. After these ceremonies are over, the Scions travel over to the National World War II Memorial, and lay another wreath at the "Airborne Relief" at the Memorial. 

 As details on this gathering are finalized, we will communicate them here.
Scions to Invade Europe in 2015!
March 18 - 29, 2015 

Greetings fellow Scions and honored Veterans.  Early interest in a 2015 trip to the WWII European Theater of Operations (ETO) has been encouraging - and excitement is building, even this far in advance!

We’ve already received interest from about 20 Scions and family members representing the 193rd, 194th, 513th and 680th, which is helping to establish the “canvas” on which the trip can be painted, including The Bulge: the Belgian Ardennes, Bastogne, Flamierge, Dead Man’s Ridge and the surrounding area, and of course Operation Varsity, including the Drop and Landing Zones around Wesel, and various points in between in the European Theater of Operations.  Are you interested in making the trek, seeing where the 17th served, on foot and from the skies, and walking in their footsteps?  Give it some serious thought - there will only be One 70th Anniversary for BOTB and Operation Varsity - and we plan to be there!  

Based on the response thus far, it already promises to be a great trip with much to see, learn and do.  We’ve also been contacted by representatives of the National WWII Glider Pilots Association, and it sounds as though there will be representation from this group in the ETO to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Operation Varsity.  There also promises to be a variety of “70th” events - dedications, remembrances and ceremonies - already in the making across the region, the schedules for which will coincide with Operation Varsity time frame.  

As the interest builds and the trip starts to take shape, the number of things to plan and coordinate becomes more evident.  Early ‘Thanks’ to the folks that have offered to help - including Joe Quade (who could probably do this in his sleep).  These folks’ offers are welcome, and your assistance will be appreciated as well.  

So, fellow Scions - give it some consideration!  In addition to experiencing the chance to travel together as a group - representing the 17th - to see where our vets served, you would also experience the hospitality of the residents of a region freed from the grips of oppression, and the sentiment that is still evident as they remember and honor returning veterans (and their families).

Let me know if you are interested and include "the usual” information (names, contact info), your 17th vet connection (i.e. son/daughter, etc. of a veteran?), please indicate the unit(s) in which “your vet” served, qne tell us who/how many people could prospectively travel in your party, and their approximate ages.  Along with some basic contact information, mailing address and telephone numbers are welcome.  No commitments needed yet, but we do need to start getting a ‘ballpark’ idea of how many travelers we could have in order to engage travel planners and start identifying accommodations that can meet our needs (Volkswagen Bus or Tour Bus...).

Here’s how to get in touch regarding interest in the trip:

Drop an email to  

OR, call or write to:

Jeff Schumacher
1331 SW Wintergreen Lane
Blue Springs, MO  64015
Home phone:  (816) 224-3779

See you in Lancaster...
Airborne...All the Way!

Editors Note:
The Executive Committee wishes to thank Jeff for taking the lead on this exciting project. Those who know Jeff, have great confidance that the trip will be well planned, well communicated, and well done!
Jeff sent this update on the trip status:

Greetings fellow Scions and honored Veterans.  Interest in a 2015 trip to the WWII European Theater of Operations (ETO) continues to build as we head into summer, and - finally - warm weather.  

We’ve heard from nearly 50 Scions and family members representing the 193rd, 194th, 513th and 680th, interested in visiting The Bulge: the Belgian Ardennes, Bastogne, Flamierge, Dead Man’s Ridge and the surrounding area, and of course Operation Varsity, including the Drop and Landing Zones around Wesel, and various points in between in the European Theater of Operations.  Are you interested in making the trek, seeing where the 17th served, on foot and from the skies, and walking in their footsteps?  Give it some serious thought - there will only be One 70th Anniversary for BOTB and Operation Varsity - and we plan to be there!  

Interest was bolstered at the Lancaster reunion with folks representing the National WWII Glider Pilots Association and friends thereof - and we look forward to representation from this group in the ETO to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Operation Varsity.  

Dates:  The Trip schedule is slated for March 18-29, 2015.  That will coincide with events planned in the Bulge as well as the 70th Anniversary of Varsity, with a trip to the Wesel and surrounding area.  We continue to have interested and dedicated folks volunteer their assistance to make the trip special.  We have trip planning taking place in June and expect to provide an update of expectations in the July TFH.

For those of you that are interested but have not yet made contact - please drop me a line or call.  (email is best - see the address below).

So, fellow Scions - consider the experience of traveling to the ETO together as a group - representing the 17th - to see where our vets served and experience the hospitality of the region. 

Let me know if you are interested and include basic contact information (names, where you live, how to contact you - email or otherwise), your 17th vet connection (i.e. son/daughter, etc. of a veteran?), please indicate the unit(s) in which “your vet” served, and tell us who/how many people could prospectively travel in your party, and their approximate ages.  Along with some basic contact information, mailing address and telephone numbers are welcome.   Put the dates into your 2015 calendar - no commitments needed today, but by mid-summer we will have more details on which you can base your decision.  

Here’s how to get in touch regarding interest in the trip:

Drop an email to  

OR, call or write to:

Jeff Schumacher
1331 SW Wintergreen Lane
Blue Springs, MO  64015
Home phone:  (816) 224-3779
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

Welcome New Scion Members

The Scions of the 17th Airborne are proud to welcome the following new members, who have joined our organization this month. As our membership grows, we can take on additional projects to honor our veterans and educate about the history of the 17th Airborne.
Mary H. Herheim 
Niece of George S. Works (194/C) KIA
Brooklyn Park, MN

Chaplains Corner
by Isaac Epps

  As a musician and a music lover, I have experienced being moved my many forms and styles of music. Of all the sounds I have ingested over the years, I have to say that there is nothing that gives me a bigger and more profound chill than the sounding of Taps. The simple beauty of the notes along with the meaning of the occasion never fails to get to me.
  There are many stories and versions about the origins of Taps; but many cannot be verified. The most accepted account follows:
  This bugle call was written during the Peninsula Campaign of the Civil War in the year 1862 after a battle near Richmond, Va., which saw a large number of Union casualties. It is said that the tune came to then Brigade Commander Col. Daniel Butterfield, while reflecting sadly on the losses.
  According to the story Butterfield, unable to write music, hummed it to his aide, who wrote it down in musical notation. It was performed that evening by his bugler, Oliver W. Norton in honor of fallen comrades.
  In 1874, it became officially recognized by the US Army as an alternative to "Lights Out"; and since has been used not only to signal that day was done, but also as a means of saying good-bye to a fallen comrade. It is customarily played at military funerals and Memorial Services across the land. Its composer is buried in the Post Cemetery at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, although he was not a graduate of the Academy.
  The first use of Taps in the context of a military funeral involved John C. Tidball, a Union artillery Captain. It occurred during the same campaign that saw Col. Butterfield compose the piece. Due to the close proximity to the enemy, he decided that it would not be safe to fire the customary 3 volleys over the grave; and decided that sounding Taps would be a most appropriate substitute.
  There are several versions of the lyrics for Taps; but the most accepted verse was written by Horace Lorenzo Trim:
    Day is done...Gone the sun
    From the lake...From the hills...From the sky.
    All is well...Safely rest...God is nigh.
    Fading light...Dims the sight
    And a star...Gems the sky...Gleaming bright.
    From afar...Drawing nigh...Falls the night.
    Then good night...Peaceful might
    Till the light of the dawn shineth bright.
    God is near, do not fear...Friend, good night.
    On a personal note---Anyone who has attended the Bill Smith Lancaster reunion and has attended the Memorial Service will remember that after the presentation of the candles, there is a recording played of Taps. That recording was made in 2006 in San Antonio at the 17th Airborne Association Reunion Memorial Service. 
  It is especially meaningful to me, because that was the last reunion my father, Rev. Ralph I. Epps was able to attend.
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

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

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:, or by mail at:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811

The changes will be discussed and voted on at our next meeting in Arlington, VA in November.

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 Judy Young, daughter of Jeff Saylor (194th)

"My father, Jeff Saylor, will be 90 years old on 7/13/2014. We are so excited to have found your website. He has just started to talk to us about the 17th Airborne." 

Editors Note: Judy we wish your father a most happy birthday, and are happy that you have found the Scions!

From Alan Hartley,  son of Cpl. Kenneth Hartley
My Dad is on the left.  We were wondering if anyone recognizes who he was with in this picture?

I also wanted to thank you for the update on the 17th memorial.  My mother who is 89 was very pleased to see that the memorial was completed.  My father met my mother in Swindon and they married after the war.  To that union there are now 44 decendents.


From Scion Patty Bowers, daughter of Thomas Miller, (193 HQ2)

This is what I did in memory of my Father for Father's day.  I planted a tree last year and while I was at the Ace True Value store, believe it or not, there was a concrete bronze statuette of the Purple Heart.  My Mother likes to go to the cemetery as  she says it comforts her, but this way she said she can remember him from the yard  or her bedroom window!

It may seem a bit much to some, but it is worth it just so see my Mother smile!

From Scion Patricia Overman, daughter of Glider Pilot E. Lee Whitmire
George Cholewczynski posted this on his facebook 
This is a long video but if you get to the timer of 11:45 or there abouts they sing a song about glider riders.  Its cute.
From Scion Diane Clark, daughter of Mel Lagoon (193E/194)

Things are well here in Idaho.   Scott and I are enjoying summer, retirement and traveling.   In between all that we have fun with Mom and Dad.   Dad is slowing down, but still much enjoys communications and visits from friends.   Last month I took the folks to Wyoming to see my sister.   She and her husband live in Singapore but have a US home in Wyoming.  She was in the country for a few weeks so I took them to spend time with her.   They also got a welcome visit from my younger brothers daughter and her 5 kids.   The folks MUCH enjoyed a few days of visit from the great-grand children.   Overall they traveled pretty well and we celebrated by great-nieces and dad’s birthdays while there. He is now 91.
From Olaf Van Hoften:

Dear veterans, family of veterans  and friends. 
My brother is in Normandy right now, I stayed at home.
 Today in the nearby town of Zaltbommel was  a Dutch veterans day on purpose held on D-day.
The modern army had a few vehicles their as wel as 2 army vehicles from the 50's.
When I read in the newspaper this would be held I rang their townhall and offered to take our Dodge to that event.
The reaction was very positive so our Mum, a female friend and me went there.
The mayor was so pleased he even mentioned our participation and own initiative in his speech to old and young Dutch veterans.


 Later the Mayor spoke to us personally and thanked us a few times, I thanked him for letting us participate. I also had my photo taken with him, a very friendly and down to earth man. (See photo).
So in our own way we paid our respects on this historic day.

Thanks for our freedom.

Sick Call

Mike Rock (680B) is back in the hospital, as reported by Michele Smith. Mike always has a positive attitude, but his recent bout with sepsis has left him really weak (even so, he spent last Memorial Day weekend sitting in his wheel chair selling poppies)

I'm sure it would really cheer him up to get some get well cards from all of us - sent to his home address is best as his daughter Diane visits daily.Thanks.
Mike's address is;
 Mike Rock
70 Gasko Road
Mays Landing, NJ 08330


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
Richard Kloos


Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Richard "Dick" Kloos, age 89, passed away on May 19, 2014. Dick was born November 24, 1924 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to George & Leora Kloos. He was raised and attended schools there and later enlisted in the U.S. Army serving in the 17th Airborne Division as a paratrooper. He received a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts during his service in WWII. A graduate of LaSalle University in Pennsylvania, Dick met and married Lois Stout in 1953. They lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, Massachussets and Batavia, NY, before retiring to Wickenburg. Dick made his career in purchasing in the Heavy Equipment manufacturing industry and was a plant manager with Eaton Corporation when he retired. Dick served his community in many ways, attended Mass daily and was an active member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and with St. Vicent de Paul Society. Dick was an avid gardener, enjoyed bird watching and was often seen with his binoculars. He was preceded in death by sisters Dorothy and Marion. He is survived by his loving wife Lois of Wickenburg and children, Janet Kloos of Bothell, Washington, Barbara (Robert) Griffin of Lynden, Washington and David Kloos of New York, Grandchildren: Erin (Miguel) Zavala, Dane (Michelle) Griffin and Zach Kloos and great-grandchildren: Estevan Soto, Angel, Javier, Cruz Zavala, Aviv, Berlin, Carys Griffin, a niece Lois and nephews. Funeral Mass and military honors will be said on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church with Rosary just prior at 9:30 AM at the Church. The Family suggests memorial contributions in Dick's name can be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation Greater Phoenix Chapter at 1028 E. McDowell Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85006 or
Jack B. Hawkins

464th / HQ

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Jack B. Hawkins was born November 23, 1921, in Ball Ground, Georgia, and passed away June 6, 2014. His parents were John Webb and Minnie White Hawkins. He attended Ball Ground Jr. High and Canton High School, graduating in 1941. After graduating from high school he attended the NTA (National Youth Administration) first in Marietta and later in Madison, Georgia. He entered World War II along with four brothers in 1943, and after specialized training served as a ranger in the 17th Airborne Division. Along with several hundred other paratroopers, he was dropped behind enemy lines near Wessel and Hanover, Germany in what was known as the Rhine invasion, one of the last major offensives of the war. After the war, he returned to Atlanta and was employed by the federal government as a messenger with the Veterans Administration. Later, he transferred to the Federal Housing Authority where he retired in 1978 after a career spanning over 32 years. On June 15, 1946 he was married to Dorothy Vann, daughter of James and Thelma Hobgood Vann. They were married for over sixty years, until Dorothy died in November, 2006. He was an original member of the Georgia National Guard when a company was established at Canton in 1946, and continued to serve until 1981 when he retired with the rank of Master Sergeant. Jack taught the senior adult Sunday school class at Shady Grove Baptist Church in Marietta, where he and Dot were also in charge of the youth group over twenty years. After retirement they enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping with their friends in the North Georgia Mountains. Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 am Tuesday, June 10, 2014 from the Sosebee Memorial Chapel with Rev. Tom Cocklereece officiating. Interment will follow in the Georgia National Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Monday from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the funeral home. He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Betty Eubanks of Canton, and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Pickens County DAV Chapter 47, In care of Michael Orer, 575 Philadelphia Rd. Jasper, Ga. 30143. Sosebee Funeral Home, Canton, GA, is honored to serve the family. 770-479-2131.


Robert I. Olson


Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Olson, Robert I. Age 89 of New Hope, formerly St. Louis Park, passed away June 2, 2014. Preceded in death by wife Jean A. & daughter Suzanne. Retired Sales Rep for Northern Package. Avid Golfer. Member of American Legion and VFW World War II Veteran Paratrooper. Survived by longtime companion Janice Ehlers, daughter; Robin Pagnac; grand- daughters; Tawnya and Leeza Olson and many great-grandchildren. Funeral Services June 8, 2014 at 10 am at Cremation Society of MN, 4343 Nicollet Ave S., Mpls. Private Interment at Ft Snelling.

Edger Meacham


Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association
April 27, 1925 - June 11, 2014 NORMAN Edgar Morris Meacham passed from this life June 11, 2014, in Norman, OK. Ed was born April 27, 1925, to Florence (Haynes) and Bob Meacham in Clinton, OK. He attended school there before graduating from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, OK. He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper in WWII in the ETO, specifically in the Battle of the Bulge and other areas of combat. After the war, he attended and graduated Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University), where he met and married Alice Gene Stratton. They were married 66 years before his passing. Ed taught Vocational Agriculture (FFA) at Balko, OK and Jet, OK before establishing the FFA chapter in Miami, OK. He enjoyed working with the young men and maintained friendships with them for many years. After working with a livestock newspaper, he moved to Kansas City to join the staff of the American Polled Hereford Association as Director of the Western United States Field Staff. In 1973, he formed his own company of Meacham and Associates and traveled the United States and Canada working with registered cattle breeders. After retiring in 1994, he remained involved in many reunions with members of the 17th Airborne Division. He served on the Board of Directors of the Division's Operation Varsity Reunions. He was a member of the Overland Park Church of Christ for 39 years before moving to Norman, where he was a member of the Alameda Church of Christ. In 2011, the American Hereford Association inducted him into their Hall of Merit. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Dwayne and Bob Meacham; and a granddaughter, Sandy Allen. He is survived by his wife, of the home; his grandson, Kris Weidling, wife Jennifer, great-granddaughters, Madison and Brooklyn, of Apex, NC; his daughters: Cathey Snell, of Eudora, KS; and Christi Weidling, of San Francisco; his brother, Jim Watt (Marilyn), of Topeka, KS; sister, Judy (Ron) Chupik, of Cypress, TX; sister-in-law, Barbara Meacham, of Friendswood, TX; special relatives: Press Meacham (Billi Kaye), of Oklahoma City; Michael Meacham and Connie, and Pete Doughty, of Norman, OK; grandsons, Jimmy and Jesse Murphy; and many other relatives and friends. His passing has left a vacuum that will be hard to fill by all who knew him. He loved having friends and relatives drop by for a cup of coffee to reminisce about past shared experiences. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Oklahoma FFA Foundation, 1500 W Seventh Ave, Stillwater, OK 74074. Services will be 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21 at the Alameda Church of Christ with burial at Clinton Cemetery in Clinton, OK. Services have been entrusted to the care of Primrose Funeral Service. Visit for messages and condolences. 
Francis C. Miles

513 / HQ2

Francis C. Miles of Augusta, died on Friday, April 21, 2006 at his residence. He was born in Chateaugay, New York, on January 24, 1921, the son of Jane K. and Frank Miles of that community. He had resided in the Augusta area since 1963. He was a retired soldier/educator and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He is predeceased by two wives; Elva P. Salvione of Amsterdam, NY, and Jean E. Clapper of Malone, NY. Survivors include three daughters, Lorriane D. May of North Augusta, SC, Mary K. Worsham of Evans, GA and Grace I. Hartwick of Bacliff, TX; two sons, Francis C. Miles, Jr. of Augusta, GA and Joseph F. Miles of Lone Tree, CO; six grandchildren, four great grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law, Robert W. and Betty Miles of Chateaugay Lake, NY The rosary will be Monday, April 24, 2006, at 7:00 P.M. and the family will receive friends until 9:00 P.M. at Thomas Poteet & Son. Burial will be in the Eastside Cemetery, Chateaugay, NY. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to; St. Mary's Home, 2170 East Victory Dr. Savannah, GA 31414. Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd. Augusta, GA 30907
17th Airborne Online Store
Sales of the items below help to support the missions of the "Scions of the 17th Airborne", to honor the veterans of the 17th, and to keep the history of the Division alive.

Send your check to:

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

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

$16 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
Scions Tee Shirts

We had a sample Tee shirt made up to display at the 2012 Lancaster Reunion, and got a great response from those who attended. As a result, we can offer this 100% Cotten Tee Shirt with the Scion logo, and the motto "Thunder From Heaven" on the front and the back. Available in sizes S, M, L, & XL for $22 each, size XL for $25 each.
Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353

Operation Varsity Reports 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

17th Airborne Division, Volume 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The website is located at:

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

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

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

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

Cindy Heigl - daughter of Tony Heigl (193rd)
Melanie Sembrat - daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Robert Smith - brother of Levert L. Smith (194th)
Isaac Epps - son of Ralph Epps (194th)
Scion Facebook Page
Scion Facebook Page
Scions Website
Scions Website
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Our mailing address is:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
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