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

We strive to accomplish these missions by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their families can gather, and by sharing their recollections.  We communicate with our membership using this "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, through our website, and on our Facebook page. Additionally, we collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
Issue # 99 May - July 2022 
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:
Carolyn Tuttle, 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
- Message from President Skip Greeby

- Scions attend funeral for Col. Jack Ancker at Arlington

- Save The Date - Scions to dedicate new memorial to Gen. Miley

- Scions participate at Reading, PA WWII weekend

- Trooper Lou Zoghby honored with Luxembourg Order of Merit

- Saving our History - by David Shortt

- Veterans Outreach Committee

- 17th Veterans Needing Your Calls 

- Membership Renewal Information - by Secretary Ed Siergiej

- Welcome New Members

- Donations to Memorial & General Funds

Thunder Mail Call in memory of Editor Trooper Bill Tom
- Letters From Home and Abroad

- New book about the 17th Airborne Division

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


- 17th Airborne Online Store

Message From Our President, Skip Greeby
Greetings, fellow Scions!

While Memorial Day on May 30th has come and gone, we Scions are reminded that everyday is a day to remember our 17th Airborne troopers. True to our mission “…to honor the veterans, remember their sacrifices, preserve the Division history, and educate our members and the public about the contributions made by these airborne troopers during and after World War II,” your Board and Committee Chairs have been busy advancing all of these ideals. Among numerous others, I’d like you to be aware of the following key initiatives that we’re currently pursuing:

1. The creation of new Scion committees to better address our growth and focus upon mission: History & Archives, Marketing, and Meetings & Events. Joining the existing Membership, Memorial, Finance, and Veteran Outreach committees, we are now better organized to move forward. As is true with any organization, volunteerism is key. If you have both the interest and/or expertise and would like to join one of these committees, let me know ( Your donation of a minimal amount of time will be a huge help in promoting the 17th Airborne Division.

2. The dedication of the MG Miley plaque at Fort Bragg on October 7, 2022. More to follow on this memorial event.

3. The National Museum of the United States Army has opened at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. State-of-the-art technology integrated into stunning architecture, this is a showcase facility not to be missed. Unit tributes line the Path of Remembrance leading up to the museum. All Army units, past or present, qualify for this honor. Each unit Tribute Plaque is 12” x 18” engraved in polished black granite, with unit insignia or shoulder sleeve patch included. If we are to recognize the 17th Airborne Division and its accomplishments in perpetuity, we’ll need to raise $5,000 for this plaque’s fabrication and installation. Individual and corporate donations will be solicited toward this end.

4. A key service to be provided our members is the ability to access specific 17th Airborne regiment/battalion/company unit information, photographs, and names of included veterans. We currently have many records and much information in our files, but no way to organize it in a meaningful way to share with our members. That said, we are investigating museum grade software that is capable of creating a cloud-based platform that will be password protected and allow us to share our collections with our membership. A most anticipated, but labor intensive initiative.

As I have mentioned, many more activities are currently being pursued or underway to advance our Scion mission. It will be my intent to update you all on many more of these in future newsletter editions.

Skip Greeby
Save the Date:
Friday, October 7, 2022

Scions to Dedicate New Memorial to
General William Miley

Although there are a number of monuments that honor the service of General William "Bud" Miley, most are on active military bases and not accessible to the general public. 

Several years ago, the Scions initiated a project to honor General Miley, who commanded the 17th Airborne Division from its activation until the end of WWII. A memorial paver was designed and reviewed by General Mileys son, Jack, and the memorial was installed at the entrance to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC. in 2020. 

The dedication ceremony was delayed due to the Covid pandemic, but we are now able to announce that the ceremony will be held at the museum on Friday, October 7, 2022 at 10:00 AM.
We are working with the 82nd Airborne Division, based at nearby Fort Bragg, to support this ceremony, and are hopeful that some members of General Mileys family may be able to attend as well.

For those who are unfamiliar with General Mileys military career, here are some highlights.

Major General William M Miley
1897 - 1997
Graduated from West Point - Class of 1918
Organized and Commanded the following Airborne Units
501st Parachute Infantry Battalion
503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment
Assistant Division Commander - 82nd Airborne Division
Commanded the 17th Airborne Division
Commanded the 11th Airborne Division

General Miley is considered the "Father of the US Paratrooper" 

After the ceremony, there will be plenty of time to have lunch and to visit the museum.
The museum features a C-47 Aircraft, a CG-4A glider, and many displays that honor our Airborne heritage. We will communicate additional details in the next newsletter, and on our Facebook page.
Scions Attend Funeral for Col. Jack Ancker
The Scions were honored to attend the funeral of Col. Jack Ancker (680th Glider Field Artillery Bn) at Arlington National Cemetery. Scions Patricia Bowers, Marcie Schuerholz, Jerry and Pat O'Brien attended the impressive ceremony. We provided our replica of the division colors for the ceremony, which was carried by various members of Col. Ancker's family.
Reading, PA WWII Weekend
June 3,4,5, 2022

This year, we again participated in the Reading, PA World War II weekend.
Scions Patty Bowers and Melanie Sembrat set up a table and shared the history of the 17th Airborne Division with hundreds of people who attended the event.

Trooper Louis Zoghby Awarded Luxembourg Order of Merit

At a Veterans Day ceremony in Boulder, Colorado, Ambassador Nicole Bintner-Bakshian bestowed, on behalf of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke Henri, the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to WWII veteran Louis Zoghby, for his participation in the Battle of the Bulge.

Mr. Zoghby served as Private First Class in the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division, which fought in the European Theater. He spent four months in England, until December 27, 1944, when the 17th Airborne was sent to the front as part of General Patton’s 3rd US Army, taking the lead in relieving beleaguered American troops at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, which remains among the most important battles of the war. It marked the last major offensive attempted by the Axis Powers on the Western front. It was also the largest and bloodiest single battle fought by the United States in World War II. Although the offensive was effectively broken by December 27, the battle continued for another month before the front line was effectively restored to its position prior to the attack.

On February 11, 1945, the 17th Airborne was reassigned to operation Varsity, which was 17th Airborne Division’s first combat air assault and the last major airborne operation of World War II on the European Theater. It was also arguably the war’s most successful combat parachute drop.

Later, Mr Zoghby joined the 82nd Airborne (325th Glider Infantry Regiment), and after serving for five months in Berlin, he returned home in January 1946.

The Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was instituted on January 23, 1961 by Grand Duchess Charlotte. It is intended to reward outstanding professional achievement in both the civil and military field.

 Pennsylvania WWII Roundtable to Present Talk on the History of the 17th Airborne Division
by Patricia Bowers

Please join us on Thursday, October 6th, 2022 to hear guest speaker Scion David Shortt, as he presents his Powerpoint and video lecture on the history of the 17th Airborne Division. David will also have a display of 17th Airborne artifacts. 

You can attend in person at: Grace United Methodist Church, 433 E Main St, Hummelstown, PA 17036, at 7PM, or via our link: 

The Central Pennsylvania WWII Roundtable is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for WWII veterans, authors, historians, and interested citizens to educate, discuss, study, and share their knowledge and experiences related to this global conflict. Our monthly meetings, which are free of charge, feature speakers, mostly WWII veterans and authors, on topics relevant to WWII. Attendance at our meetings ranges from 175-400 participants. Meetings are open to all; no membership is required.
Saving our History #38

Hello, Troopers and Scions! This month we will talk about a member of the Medical Corps who served in the 17th. John Edmonds of Ohio, served in the Medical Detachment of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment in the "Battle of the Bulge," and after the 193rd deactivation in March 1945, was assigned to the Medical Detachment 194th Glider Infantry Regiment for Operation "Varsity." 

Each Parachute and Glider Infantry Regiment in the 17th Airborne Division maintained a Medical Detachment with Surgeons, a Dentist, Surgical Technicians and Medical Specialists. The Medical Detachment was responsible for training and administration of all the Medical personnel of the Regiment, including the assignment of Medics to the individual Companies. Generally, each separate Infantry Platoon had one Medic or Aide Man assigned for operations. The 17th, like all American formations, was blessed to have a strong Medical presence in the Division. Aside from Detachments at the Regimental and Battalion Formations, the 17th also had the 224th Medical Company, which the subordinate units wounded were cycled through for the next level of care. Edmonds died in 1994. 

Edmond's personal effects are currently on display at the Veterans Memorial Museum Foundation, including his personal medical suture kit and his insignia. Edmonds was both Glider and Parachute qualified and his Parachute Badge proudly displays the Star for the Wesel airborne assault. Of particular interest are the miniature Glider Pilot Wings, which were worn by the Glider qualified troops, until the introduction of the Glider Badge in August, 1944 (look at photos of 17th Troops prior to). Edmond's Glider cap insignia displays the early maroon border of the medical branch colors.

Please direct all comments or questions to:
CWO, US Army Retired

Veterans Memorial Museum Foundation
123 S. Main St.
Germantown, OH 45327
Please Help Us to Keep Tabs on Our Veterans
Time is taking its toll on our 17th Airborne veterans. Each month, we send a hard copy of this newsletter to over fifty 17th veterans, but every month we get some back notifying us that the address is no longer current. Sometimes they have relocated to be closer to family, or to a nursing facility. We do our best to track them down, but it can be challenging and time-consuming.

We are asking for your help. If you are aware of one of our veterans who has moved, please let us know by emailing us at

If you become aware that one of our veterans has passed away, we would ask you to notify us immediately at Our Veterans Outreach Team will work to arrange to ship our replica  of the Division Flag to the Memorial Service, and also to arrange for one of our members to attend if at all possible. The sooner that we know of a veterans passing the better. Thank you for your help in honoring our honored Troopers.
Please take some time to reach out to these
17th Airborne Veterans

By Ed Siergiej Jr, Secretary
Our Veterans outreach team has been sending cards to the forty six 17th Airborne veterans for whom we have contact information, as well as to some of the widows of our troopers. Covid-19 has had a tough impact on many of our veterans, who in some cases are not allowed to leave their homes, or even rooms. As tough as it is for all of us, it is much harder for our veterans. The following veterans have specifically reached out to ask us to share their contact information.
A call from you would make a great difference in their lives right now.

Additionally, we would like to find volunteers to stay in contact with our remaining veterans on a regular basis. In some cases they have moved, or are having health issues, and we are not notified in time to be of some comfort. If you are willing to be a part of this effort, please contact us at and we will pass on a few of their names to you. Remember how much we owe them!

Leo (Marty) Schlocker 513 Co D
118 47th Street
Newport Beach, CA. 92663-2506

Paul A Wilson  193rd / 194th
Norman Veterans Center
1776 E Robinson Street Room D207
Norman, OK 73071

Sidney Levit
3675 N Country Club Drive Apt 2602
Aventora, FL 33180
Membership Renewal
 By Ed Siergiej

Our membership year runs from March 1 to February 29th of each year. Renewal notices were mailed out in February, and many of you have already renewed your membership. 

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to send in your renewal, so that we can continue to fulfill our missions. 

This newsletter, and all the activities of our Scions organization are supported by your membership. We mail hard copies of this newsletter to all of our 17th veterans, at no cost to them. 

If you are unsure of your dues status, please email us at

Yearly Membership is $35 per person or $50 for a family.

Our mailing address is: 
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811-3353

If you use Paypal, you can pay your dues that way. Please use the Paypal Calculator to add the Paypal fee:

If you would like to make an additional contribution to support our General Fund, Memorial Fund, or the Dead Mans Ridge Walk Fund, it would be most appreciated. All donations will be acknowledged for tax purposes.

We thank you for your support of our missions; to honor the men of the 17th, and to keep its history alive.
Welcome New Members

Susan Barrett
Daughter of William A Barrett
193/F & CO of 194th 2nd Bn

Wayne P. Brotherton Sr.
Nephew of George F. Bowman II
(466 / C Battery)

Scions Memorial Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.

The "Scions of the 17th Airborne Memorial Fund" is an 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.
  • Shipping our Division Flag to funerals for 17th veterans.
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

Generous Donations to our Memorial Fund have been made by:

None this month

Donations to Scions General Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.

Xavier Van Daele

Thunder Mail Call

For many years, Trooper Bill Tom (194/C) was a major contributor to the original hard copy newsletter of the 17th Airborne Division Association, "Thunder From Heaven." After the dissolution of the Association in 2007, Bill began an email version of the newsletter, and continued that publication, "Thunder Mail Call" until the formation of the Scions Organization in 2011. With Bill's help, we integrated his newsletter into this publication. We were saddened to hear of Bills passing on September 10, 2019. We dedicate this portion of our newsletter to Bill.


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!
In a recent email, Trooper Lou Zoghby recalled a memory from the 17th Airborne attack on Munster, Germany. Lou states that "One of the memories was the 17th's approach on Muenster. It was Easter Sunday, April 1, the ground was soft. The Germans sent a barrage of mortars and as one was coming close, I hit the ground and I heard a thud. I waited but nothing happened. I lifted my helmet and saw a 75mm mortar stuck in the ground about 8 inches from my nose."
Happy Birthday to Trooper Paul Baker (194th GIR) May 18th!

If you want to see your troopers' name in the newsletter for a birthday, anniversary or special event send and email to (Patty Bowers)
Photos Needed for Troopers at
Cambridge American Cemetery

The Cambridge American Cemetery in the UK is the resting place for a number of 17th Airborne Troopers who died while the division was in the final stages of training. Three of the troopers listed below were killed in the crash of a Horsa Glider at Greenham Common airfield on December 12, 1944.

There is an effort to obtain photographs of the following Troopers so that every grave will have a photograph associated with it. This project is similar to the "Faces of Margraten" project at Margraten Cemetery in the Netherlands. If anyone has a photo of the following troopers, please forward it to us at and we will get the photo to those who are coordinating the project.

Thanks for your help in honoring these brave Troopers:

Bejcek, Norman C. Pfc 35058415 12 December 1944 194th
Emory, James L. Pvt 33631942 12 December 1944 194th
Houghtaling, Alwin L. Pfc 33436118 25 October 1944 193rd
Kurka, John Jr. Cpl 33107985 3 October 1944 466th
Mullins, Robert L. Pfc 35657252 12 December 1944 194th

Trooper Lou Zoghby (194/F) with author Andy Biggio. Lous story will be featured in the 2d edition of Andys book "The Rifle". The first edition of the book featured two other 17th Airborne veterans, Charles Davis (517 Signal Company) and Bob White (507/HQ)
                                   New Book                   
17th Airborne Division at War
Photographs from the National Archive
by Edward R. Siergiej

This new book is the result of research at the US National Archives. It includes over 160 photographs from a collection of the US Army Signal Corp taken in Belgium and Germany.

 photograph has the original caption by the Signal Corp photographer. Context to the photographs is provided with excerpts from the Division Diary.
$25 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A. Mail your check to:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811
Pay with PayPal to
Diary of a WWII Gliderman 263 pages indexed with numerous pictures. Jack and Betty Ogden letters (1940-1945) from 17th AB 194th HQ,  Camp Mackall, Camp Forrest, Battle of the Bulge, Operation Varsity, plus letters from family and friends in other theaters of operation.

Limited copies $40.00, checks only: John Ogden, 102 Adams Avenue, Woodsfield, OH 4379

For orders outside of the USA, contact John for postage.

Editors note: This book gives a great insight into what was going through the mind of one trooper in the 17th during training, combat, and after the end of the fighting in the ETO. Information from the division historical record gives context to the bigger picture that was unknown to the men in the front lines. A great book for anyone who wants to know more about what it was like to be "Airborne" in 1944 - 45. Thanks to Scion John Ogden for making this limited edition book available.  (Ed Siergiej Jr.)

Robbie Rijnmond is interested in locating a photo of Trooper Eugene Ferry (194/K) who was KIA March 27, 1945. Anyone with information can send it to us at
Great Article From a New Member
Scion Burke Morton, son of Trooper Frederick Morton (194/B) provided a link to an article about his father which was published in VFW magazine in 1948. Click  on the link below to read this great story.



by Isaac Epps (RIP)

   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?
17th Airborne Memorial
Fort Benning, Georgia
Standing Guard

Submitted by Dominic Biello
If you become aware of the passing of one of our 17th Airborne veterans, please notify us immediately. We will make every effort to locate a member of the organization to attend the funeral and support the family in any way possible. Often, by the time an obituary is posted, little time remains to make these arrangements. Send an email to
Our Veteran Outreach Team will also contact the family. 
Jack Ancker

Jack P. Ancker (Colonel U.S. Army Retired)

LAS CRUCES - Jack P. Ancker died on October 3, 2019 at the age of 98 in Las Cruces, where he lived for the past 47 years.

Jack was born on June 1, 1921 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Clinton Ancker, an Army officer, and Fern Ancker (née LaLan), a school teacher. As a young boy, he moved around the country and the world, as his father was transferred from one assignment to another by the U.S. Army. It was a way of life that would continue for Jack throughout his own career, until he and Casey and their family moved to Las Cruces in 1972.
While Jack was in elementary school, he had his first experience outside the U.S. when his father was twice stationed at Fort McKinley in the Philippines. Decades later, Jack told many stories of those formative years of living in a tar paper shack, riding mules, and eating mangoes!

He attended Purdue University, earning a degree in mechanical engineering and a letter on the varsity swimming team. His true interest, however, was always and only becoming a soldier. In December 1942, he and his ROTC classmates were graduated a semester early so they could receive their Army commissions and join the war effort as young second lieutenants.

His first assignment, and one that would remain definitive for him as a soldier and a human being, was joining the 680th Glider Field Artillery Battalion of the 17th Airborne Division, and participating in the European Theater of World War II. The 680th made a nighttime assault by gliders across the Rhine River in Germany on March 24, 1945 and faced “the heaviest concentration of antiaircraft fire yet experienced in an airborne operation” according to the Distinguished Unit Citation they later received.

When Jack was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, his sister Betsy in¬troduced him to Frances “Casey” Jones. After only four dates, Jack and Casey were married on May 28, 1950. Their first home together was at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Jack was lucky, because Casey, born and raised in rural southern Indiana, quickly adapted to life in the military. During his Army career, the Ancker family lived in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, California, Virginia, Ohio, Germany, Arizona, New Jersey and New Mexico. In between, Jack also served in Korea in 1959-60 and Vietnam in 1971-72.

His final Army assignment was as Professor of Military Science at the Army ROTC Department at New Mexico State University. After his retirement from the Army, Jack taught for ten years in the Management Department in the NMSU College of Business as an adjunct professor. He remained active in the community, serving on the Vestry of St Andrew’s and St James churches, the Board of American Red Cross, and in other organizations in Las Cruces.

Jack is survived by his daughter Mary and her husband Mike Murphy of Las Cruces; son John and his wife Beth Newstat of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; son Bill of Albuquerque; grandson Phil Sakala, his wife Michelle and their daughter Kennedy of Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and grandson John Sakala of Morehead, Kentucky. His wife of 68 years, Casey, passed on August 23, 2018.

A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, October 26 at 11:00 am at St James Episcopal Church in Mesilla Park. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations be made to Gospel Rescue Mission or another local organization that serves those in need in our community. Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home, corner of Solano and Bowman Ave. To sign our local online guestbook, please log onto To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jack P. Ancker, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
John Ericson

John Ericson, 97, of Rexford passed peacefully on February 9, 2022. Born in Queens, New York to the late John Ericson and Carla Pedersen.

After high school, he joined the United States Army, proudly serving from 1943 to 1945 and was assigned to the 17th Airborne Infantry at Camp Forrest in Tennessee. He was one of more than a half a million Americans fighting back Germany’s last big attack of World War II at the Battle of the Bulge, where he was injured and received the Purple Heart. 

John later earned his Bachelor’s Degree from RPI. John worked at General Electric for 10 years and then transferred to Knolls Atomic Power Lab as an Engineer, where he focused on prototype nuclear reactor manufacturing and retired after 28 years in 1986.

In 1947, he met the love of his life, the former Gloria Brown on a blind date set up by mutual friends from RPI. The couple were married on June 19, 1948, then moved into their first home in Alplaus, they lived there for 13 years before their forever home of 54 years nearby in Rexford.

John enjoyed woodworking, playing pool, and drinking scotch.

Predeceased by his wife Gloria Ericson. John is survived by his niece, Karen Schleif.

Private services were held at St. George Episcopal, where John and Gloria’s ashes were committed in the church columbarium. Loved ones of the Ericson family found peace in knowing that John and Gloria are reunited again.

Online condolences 


Dennis E. Falcsik
194/D & G

Dennis E. Falcsik, 97, of Irwin, Rolling Hills, died Tuesday, June 14, 2022, surrounded by his family. He was born Feb. 10, 1925, in Swissvale, a son of the late Andrew and Rosalia (Pongracz) Falcsik. Dennis was a proud veteran of World War II, having served in the 17th Airborne, 194th GIR. Over the years, he and his wife enjoyed attending the "Thunder From Heaven" 17th Airborne Division reunions. He was a member of the VFW Post 781 in Irwin. He attended St. Edward Roman Catholic Church in Herminie and was a member of the Altar Rosary Society. He loved to volunteer at the annual church picnic, often running the chuck-a-luck wheel. Prior to his retirement, he was a meat department manager for 37 years at A&P, and later worked at Shop N Save in Jeannette. Golf was one of his passions. He played for many years with the St. Edward Golf League, and later with the Valley Green Senior Men's League, astounding his partners by shooting one over par at the age of 90. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia R. Seybert (2003); eight brothers, Frank, Tony, Andy, Albert, Steve, John, Ernest and Elmer Falcsik; and two sisters, Marion Onaida and Margaret Veres. Dennis is survived by his son, James (Tammy) Falcsik, of Irwin; two daughters, Cindy (Randy) Zomar, of Massachusetts, and Evelyn Denise (Chris) Gerlach, of Tennessee; eight wonderful grandchildren, Julie, Dennis, Lauren, Lindsay, Leah, Hannah, Ryan and Hayley, and six great-grandchildren, Aurora, Macy, Zackery, Peyton, Jhana and Quinn; one brother, George Falcsik, of West Virginia; and numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. The family would like to thank Penn Hospice for their kindness and the compassionate care given to their father. Dennis will be dearly missed by his family, friends and neighbors. Friends will be received from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the JOSEPH W. NICKELS FUNERAL HOME INC., Herminie, 724-446-7251. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Edward Roman Catholic Church, Herminie, and interment with full military honors will follow in Madison Union Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Alzheimer's Association or St. Jude's Children's Hospital in memory of Dennis. To send online condolences, please visit
Martin Krimsky
507th PIR

Martin Krimsky was the youngest of 4 children born in the Bronx, New York in 1925, to William and Anna Krimsky, immigrants who had fled czarist Russia to build a decent life in the promised land: America.

Graduating from high school in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and became a radioman/paratrooper in the 17th Airborne Division in the European theater. He was on a troopship bound for the invasion of mainland Japan in August 1945 when the news came that the Emperor had surrendered.

Back in NY, Martin entered the City College of New York where he studied psychology. Martin would be the first in the family to graduate college.

While a student in New York, he met a vivacious beauty every bit his equal in intelligence and ambition, Arline, who would be the love of his life. They married in January 1950, and remained together until her passing in Norman in 2017.

The pursuit of further education brought the family, now including son Ron to Norman and the University of Oklahoma where Martin received a PhD in psychology in 1960. He then began work as director of the Child Guidance Clinic in Ardmore.

Martin helped hundreds of Oklahomans in his career and retired following the death of his beloved Arline.

He was a devout lover of classical music from the age of 3 and that never left him. He appreciated art, architecture, science, poetry and great literature: all the amazing creativity that humans are capable of.

He was an honest man, a good compassionate man, beloved by friends and family including nieces and nephews and his like will not soon be seen again.

Martin is survived by son Ron, daughters Karen, Lauren and Ellen, sons-in-law Hank Orofino, Carl Bailey, and Steve Yabek, 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. His youngest daughter, Julie and daughter-in-law Leanne preceeded him in death.
Published on June 3, 2022
Harold A Merrill
Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Harold Arthur Merrill passed away Wednesday, June 1, 2022 on his 101st birthday. He was born in Tulsa, OK to Susan Margaret Smith and Walter Delno Merrill, but spent his early years in Rogers, AR. Harold served in WWII in Company C of the 518th Parachute Infantry. He fought in the Rhineland, The Battle of Ardennes and in central Europe. He received the Purple Heart. He was discharged in 1945 and went to Georgia Tech and OU to complete his degree in geology.

While working for Sinclair Oil he met the love of his life, Lila Lee Milam.

They married in 1950 and moved often in the oil business. Their first daughter, Claudia, was born in Midland, TX. Two years later, Karen was born in Roswell, NM. They eventually settled in Tulsa. After working for Atlantic Richfield and BP Energy, he retired in 1981.

Harold was preceded in death by his mother, father, and son-in-law, Harry Whetstone. He is survived by his wife of almost 72 years, Lila; his children, Claudia Whetstone, Karen Barron and husband, Dick; grandchildren, Patty, Charles, Kevin, Tracy Nickell and husband, Aaron, Diane Thompson and husband, Derek, and Matthew; great-grandchildren, Aiden, Elli Rose, Ruby, and Foster.

Harold was an extremely bright, but private person. He often shared his corny sense of humor with his family. A private service for immediate family was held Tuesday, June 7th, at Memorial Park. He was our hero and he will be greatly missed. Moore's Southlawn 918-663-2233 share memories at
John D. Miley
Son of Maj. Gen. William M Miley

The Scions are sad to report the passing of John D. Miley, son of Major General William Miley. John attended West Point, graduating in 1946 and served with several Airborne units, including the 11th Airborne Division. Jack was company commander of G Company and made two combat jumps in Korea. He was severely wounded, and returned to the US for months of surgury and rehabilitation. 
John entered civilian life in 1954 and worked for Continental Can Co for 31 years. John and his wfie Joanne met while John was at West Point, and were married in 1946.  Following is the obituary which was provided by the family.

"John David Miley was born on Sept. 9, 1924 into an Army family boasting four consecutive generations of graduates from the United States Military Academy. The presumption that Jack would fill the 5th slot was accepted by him without question; West Point was destined to be. After two years at Auburn University, Jack obtained an appointment from MS Senator Wall Doxey and reported for admission in June 1943. West Point's rigid plebe year was accepted with a sense of humor which helped him endure the physical demands often referred to as "character building". Duty Honor and Country was the glue holding the mix of academics and military during his cadet days. Equally important during these years was his bonding with Joanne Durfee Graham, who was also influenced by West Point through her family. Jack and Joanne were married at West Point in December of 1946, six months after graduation. Then to Ft. Benning, GA for Basic Infantry and Parachute Training entering his obvious branch of service following his father, William M. Miley (June 1918) who had earned the title "Father of the US Army Parachutist” a title derived from his organizing and commanding the Army's first Parachute Infantry Battalion, its first Parachute Infantry Regiment, and its first Parachute Infantry Brigade; leading to his commanding the 17th Airborne Division during WW II. Jack's next station was an overseas assignment to Sendai, Japan with the 188th Parachute Infantry Regiment followed after 1 year with a transfer to its parent, the 11th Abn. Div. on Hokkaido, Japan assigned to G-3 Section. A year later he made the decision to remain in Japan when the Div. returned to the States, joining the replacement 7th Infantry Division as a Company Commander in the 31st Regiment. A year later, Jack and Joanne completed their full overseas tour and returned to the US in Dec. 1949. Assigned again to the 11th Abn. Div, this time to the 187th Inf. Regt. at Fort Campbell, KY, Jack entered an intensive training period developing the 187th into a full Regimental Combat Team ready to counter North Korea's sneak attack over the 38th Parallel. In Sept., 1950, the 187th RCT air-landed at Kimpo Airfield, Korea in support of the 7th Div/1st Marine Div.'s Inchon landing. This was the start of 6 months as Platoon Leader and two months as Company Commander of G Co. spanning two combat jumps, the North Korean retreat, and the Chinese entry. He was awarded the Silver Star for performnace under fire On March 24th, 1950, after his second combat jump, Jack was severely wounded during an assault on a Chinese defense at Munson-ni leaving him with a collapsed lung and temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. After emergency surgery in Taegu he was tranferred to Walter Reed Hospital whare Dr.s removed the mortar fragment from his spine and ,5 months later, he walked out of the hospital to rehabilitation. Finally recuperated, Jack and Joanne were transferred to West Point where he was assigned as a Tactical Officer overseeing a company of cadets. These were three totally rewarding years. Many friendships were renewed and their first two daughters were born. Finally however, a decision had to be made on Jack's medical disabilities and the West Point Hospital staff as well as the Walter Reed staff decreed that he would be retired physically for his wounds. So, in November of 1954, the Miley family crossed the bridge to civilian life.
In civilian life, Continental Can Co (CCC) became Jack's employer for the next thirty-one years. Starting with the Fibre Drum Division in Van Wert, OH, to Reading, PA, to New York City, Philadelphia, PA (another daughter and their son were born here) and Chicago, IL CCC was bought out in 1985.and the Fibre Drum Division was sold to Sunoco Products of Hartford, SC., and after 2 years with Sunoco, Jack decided to retire under a "poison pill" arrangement with Peter Keiwitt/Warren Buffet, the buy-out specialists, and in Nov '85 he ended his civilian career as Regional Sales Manager. From there he settled into retirement which proved equally as active as his past “careers”. Retirement also provided a new endeavor in the field of taxation. In the early 60's, CCC had subsidized his enrollment at the Univ. of Chicago for a Masters Degree in Business Administration. In June 1965, George Schultz, later esteemed public servant and Secretary of State, handed Jack his diploma. With the interest gained in accounting and finance, Jack later enrolled in DePaul Univ’s program for Masters in Taxation, which he dropped at retirement for the faster and less expensive H&R Block route. From there he reviewed his DePaul training, studied for IRS Enrolled Agent status, fulfilled its requirements, and set up his own Jax Tax Service. In the meantime, Joanne had entered the field of Interior Design, graduating from both Ray-Vogue and the Harrington Institute in Chicago and, having established her own firm, developed a fine clientele and was elected to the ASID, a coveted membership. In the early 90's, their thoughts turned to true retirement with one last caveat…to build from the ground up their dream house. A waterfront property north of Charlotte, NC was purchased so as to accomadte Jack’s sailboat and, in 1993, they sold their house in Northbrook, IL and moved to their Lake Norman property. Eight years later they turned their attention to Virginia where a CCRC for service connected retired officers was being formed. The Army Post atmosphere of Patriots Colony, a caring community in Williamsburg, convinced the Mileys to make their final move and they enjoyed 22 years there until his passing on June 10th. They always felt that thier life choices had been good ones and they celebrated their 75 anniversary on Dec 23, 2021."

John will be laid to rest at the USMA at West Point on September 14th, 2022. 
Arthur Piet
507th PIR
Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Arthur J. Piet, 96, of Zion, IL passed away peacefully at home on March 19, 2021. Art was born January 22, 1925 in North Chicago, IL to Peter and Frances Pietkiewicz. Art served in the United States Army 17th Airborne Division and jumped into combat in 1944 during Operation Varsity; he was honorably discharged after the war in 1946. Art married the love of his life, Florence Remes, on February 25, 1950 in North Chicago, IL. They were married for 67 years and made their home in Zion IL where they raised a son. Art worked at US Steel for 30 years and retired in 1978 to play golf and spend the next 40+ years enjoying life. Art attended Our Lady of Humility Church in Beach Park where he had come to know several friends that were very dear to him. Art is survived by his son, Dale (Cindy) Piet; grandchildren, Sabrina (Ben) Childers, Amanda Piet, and Jessica (Ryan) Denomme; four great-grandchildren, Emma, Sophia, Benjamin, and Micah; and numerous nieces and nephews. Art was preceded in death by his wife, Florence; his parents; and his sister Alice Woods. In accordance with his wishes there will be no services.
Nadia Sembrat

Wife of Trooper Harry Sembrat (513 HQ1) 
and Mother of Scion Past President Melanie Sembrat

Sembrat, Nadia K. VOORHEESVILLE Nadia K. (Makarowsky) Sembrat passed from this life on July 24, 2022, at the age of 100. Born in Amsterdam, Nadia was the daughter of Anastasia (Kwas) and John Makarowsky. She was raised and educated with her three brothers in Amsterdam and would later further her education in Poughkeepsie and obtain a certificate in nursing. Nadia and her brothers all served our country during World War II. Her brothers, Joseph, William, and Michael served in the U.S. Army; Nadia served as a nurse in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and was honorably discharged with the rank of first lieutenant. Early in her life, she was employed as an operating room supervisor in the former Amsterdam City Hospital and also worked as a nurse in a dental office. Nadia met her husband, Harry Sembrat, at a church softball game and they were married on July 29, 1950, in Amsterdam. They later welcomed the arrival of their daughter, Melanie, and Nadia devoted much of her time to caring for her home and family. Harry's work with the New York Central Railroad required that they reside in Syracuse, and while there she was a parishioner of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church. In 1969, they moved to Voorheesville and Nadia became a devoted parishioner of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Watervliet. There, she helped to establish, and was a life member of the Our Mother of Perpetual Help Society and was a member of the church choir, SOYUZ-UKRAINOK and volunteered much time to church fundraisers and activities. With Melanie grown and a little more free time on her hands, Nadia took employment and most recently was employed by Cambridge Filters as an office manager from where she retired. She was a member of the Town of New Scotland Seniors and supported the Bethlehem Tomboys Softball League. Nadia enjoyed traveling and accompanying her husband to his annual 17th Airborne Division Association reunions. Proud of her Ukrainian heritage, she will be lovingly remembered as a devoted wife and mother and for the enjoyment she received from singing in the church choir, cooking, and growing flowers and vegetables in her gardens. She is survived by her loving daughter, Melanie as well as several nieces and nephews. Melanie would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those who assisted in providing care to Nadia in recent years. Her funeral will be held on Monday, August 1, at 9:30 a.m. in St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, 2410 4th Avenue, Watervliet, NY, 12189. Interment will follow in St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, Syracuse. Friends are invited to attend and may also visit at the Parker Bros. Memorial, 2013 Broadway, Watervliet on Sunday, July 31, from 3 until 6 p.m. during which time the Panahyda service will be held at 5 p.m. Contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church (address above) in memory of Nadia K. Sembrat. Please visit to leave an expression of sympathy.
Billie L. Taylor

194AT, 193 SR & 193 HQ2

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Billie Lee "Bill" Taylor, 93, passed away on Wednesday, April 30, 2015, in Brownsville, Texas.
Bill was born in West Lafayette. He was a graduate of Monticello High School in 1941, from Purdue University in 1952, and of Indiana State Teachers College in 1956. Bill was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and an early member of Bethany Presbyterian Church.
After serving in the Airborne Unit Anti-Tank Co 194th Glider Infantry 17th Airborne Division, he married his childhood sweetheart, Frances "Babe" Bowman, on Sept. 12, 1945.
A lifelong educator, he spent his career first as a teacher at Tippecanoe Elementary from 1952 - 1962 then as a school principal at Edgelea Elementary from 1962 - 1985.
Bill was an accomplished trumpet player and a Lifetime Member of The American Federation of Musicians. He played with the Lafayette Citizens Band from 1952 - 2012.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Frances, and by his parents, Alvin and Ruby Taylor.
He is survived by his brother, Charles "Chuck" Taylor; his son, John (Anna) Taylor; his daughter, Susan (Jeffrey) Rankert; his granddaughters, Erica (Enrique) Guevara, Stephanie Taylor, Elane (Hector) Flores; four great-granddaughters and a great-grandson.
He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, educator, and friend.
Toshio Tokunaga


Toshio Tokunaga, 97, passed away peacefully on July 17, 2022. He was born in Selleck, WA on January 2, 1925 to Tane and Taketa Tokunaga. He attended Selleck Elementary School, Enumclaw High School and Garfield High School after his family moved to Seattle in 1940. His family was evacuated to Camp Harmony at the Puyallup Fair Grounds during World War II. They were subsequently interned at Minidoka Concentration Camp in Hunt, Idaho. Tosh was one of the youngest volunteers to get the camp ready before the families arrived. While interned in Minidoka, Tosh graduated from Hunt High School in 1943.

Tosh joined the army and participated in basic training with the 442nd Infantry Regiment at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He later was among the first Japanese Americans to volunteer to become a paratrooper where he received airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Tosh was a member of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) which was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. The 82nd Airborne took part in Operation Varsity in 1945, which was the largest single day, one location airborne operation in history. After the war he was assigned to the 508th PIR in Frankfort, Germany, the Honor Guard for General Eisenhower's United States Forces European Theater Headquarters.

After completing his military service Tosh started a gardening business and was an active member of the Seattle Japanese Gardener Association until he retired 50 years later. Tosh met Dolly Hiroo at a Buddhist Church Halloween party and married the love of his life on February 28, 1960. They were happily married for almost 62 years until Dolly's passing earlier this year. They raised three children Linda, Wayne and Julia.

Tosh was an active lifetime member of the Nisei Veterans Committee where he served as commander in 1983. He loved playing golf at Jefferson Park Golf Course using his favorite putter. He enjoyed going to his PIR reunions well into his 80's and catching up with fellow paratroopers. He took great pleasure in traveling, going on cruises, attending dances with Dolly and taking long walks into his 90's. He was very humble, had a great sense of humor and always had a smile on his face.

Tosh was preceded in death by his beloved wife Dolly Tokunaga, parents Tane and Taketa Tokunaga and brother Mitsuo Tokunaga. He is survived by his children Linda Tokunaga, Wayne Tokunaga, Julia Tokunaga-King and son-in-law Tom King, brother-in-laws Mickey Hiroo and Robert Hiroo (Connie), nieces Patty Hiroo Mastrude (Jon), Lisa Kunihiro (Pat) and grandniece Alysse Mastrude.

The family extends their deepest gratitude to his caregiver Dona and the staff at Nikkei Manor for their compassionate care and kindness.
Following Tosh's wishes there will not be a memorial service. A private family burial service will be held.

Remembrances may be made to the Nisei Veterans Committee 1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98144, Densho 1416 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98144, Nikkei Manor Employee Fund 700 6th Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104, or the Japanese Baptist Church, 160 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122.
Published on July 31, 2022
17th Airborne Division "Online Store"
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Below are some of the items in our "Online Store"

All items include S&H in the USA. Mail your check to:

Scions of the 17th Airborne
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Danbury, CT 06811

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Below are some of the items in our "Online Store"

All items include S&H in the USA. Mail your check to:

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

Or use Paypal by sending your funds to us at
This 280 page collection of stories from Troopers of Company A of the 513th PIR is reformatted for easier reading. Includes many photos, maps and diagrams from the troopers of Co A.

$35 Includes S&H in the USA. Mail your check to:

Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd.
Danbury, CT 06811
 Show your 17th Airborne pride with this new cap made only for the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division.
Made in the USA !!!

$25 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.
 These new 22 oz. stainless steel water bottles are made in the U.S.A, and feature the 17th Talon on one side, and the Scions logo on the other.

$17 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.

Scion Coffee Mugs
These new 15 oz. mugs are made in the U.S.A., and feature the 17th Talon on one side, and the Scions logo on the other.

$20 each, includes S&H in the U.S.A.

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Scions of the 17th Airborne!

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

Distinguished Honorary Members 
All veterans of the 17th are considered as "Distinguished Honorary Members" of the Scions.  We exist to honor you, our veterans.
We do not ask for dues from our honored veterans, as we exist to honor you!

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.

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:

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

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

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

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

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

 Committee Chairs

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

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

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

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