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 # 102 October - November 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

- Save the Date for our Annual Operation Varsity Gathering    Gettysburg, PA - March 23, 24, 25 2023

- Veterans needed for ETO trip - by Jeff Schumacher

- Review of our Annual Gathering at Arlington National Cemetery

- Save our Histroy - by David Shortt

- 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


- A Salute to Past President Rose Friday

- New book about the 17th Airborne Division

- 17th Airborne Online Store
Save the Date!!!!!
Scions Annual Operation Varsity Gathering

Gettysburg, PA
March 23,24 and 25, 2023

This is slated to be our best reunion yet! Come experience a fully immersive 3 days of military history in historic Gettysburg. From the Civil War to WWII, there will be many interactive activities for you to explore.
While we are still in the planning stages for all the activities, but, we will have our annual candlelight memorial service for our fallen troopers, our annual meeting, and the informative powerpoint presentation on the 17th Airborne Division by Scion David Shortt.

You can even earn a certifiate (after you are jump qualified in the hospitality room) and become an honorary paratrooper! We will be staying at the Historic Gettysburg Hotel Est 1797 and is located in the heart of historic Gettysburg and is within walking distance of the battlefield, historic area attractions and many local shops and restaurants.

The address for the hotel is: Gettysburg Hotel One Lincoln Square Gettysburg, PA 17325 The room rate is $149 per night with a small fee to park in the municipal garage. Check in is at 4-check out 11


Get your room early. Cut off Date is February 21, 2023
Here are both ways of making hotel reservations.
Attendees can call the hotel directly at 717-337-2000 and ask to make reservations in the room block for the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division or by following the steps below for booking online.

Online Reservations Visit Click on Reservations Tab at top of screen Choose Date of Stay Tab Click on Add Code at bottom of screen and choose Group Attendee Group Code: SCIO032323 Click Add and follow prompts to complete reservation More information to come!!! Bring the entire family. This is a once in a lifetime education experience for children. History meets living legends! Any questions contact Patty Bowers at or
Ed Siergiej at 
Attention 17th Airborne Veterans!

2023 Veteran Remembrance Trip to the ETO

by Past President Jeff Schumacher
Once again, our friends in Europe are offering to sponsor a 17 th Airborne Veteran and accompanying family member guardian for a remembrance trip to the ETO in March of 2023.

Since 2010, the Scions have collaborated with our “Belgian Friendlies” to make possible the return of a 17th Airborne trooper veteran to the ETO. 

As with prior trips, this is an all-expense-paid ‘once in a lifetime’ adventure including air fare, lodging, meals and ground transportation for the veteran and a traveling companion/guardian.  

The March 2023 trip is anticipated to be approximately 10 days in duration with touring, events and activities focused on the 17 thAirborne's primary areas of engagement in WWII: Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.   

Our trusted friends in Europe will take charge of the veteran and companion throughout their travels in Europe.

The 2023 trip will be limited to one (1) 17th Airborne trooper veteran who is ready, willing and able to make the trip in March of 2023, along with their traveling companion.  

Interested candidates should contact Jeff Schumacher as soon as possible by phone or email:

Mobile: 612-275-9399 - if you get voice mail please leave a message!

Email:  - please include “2023 Veteran Trip to the ETO” in the Subject. 

Thank you, and Airborne…
Scions gather at

Arlington National Cemetery

for Veterans Day ceremony

Our annual Veterans Day gathering at Arlington National Cemetery was a great success thanks to our event coordinators Pat and Jerry O'Brien and those who attended.

We began the visit by attending the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, followed by the memorial to the 17th Airborne Division.

We then moved as a group to the Battle of the Bulge memorial and also to the nurses memorial, where we remembered Nadia Sembrat, wife of Harry Sembrat and mother of Past President Melanie Sembrat, who recently passed. Nadia served as an Army Nurse during WWII, and attended many 17th Airborne Division Association gatherings.

Next we split into three teams and visited the 51 graves of 17th Troopers who lie at rest at Arlington, laying flowers at each grave.

After lunch we visited the Airborne Panel at the National WWII Memorial, before returning to our hotel. In the evening, we gathered at a local restaurant for a great dinner. Many thanks to Pat and Jerry O'Brien who organized the event. 
Scions gather at the memorial marker dedicated to the 17th at Arlington.
This monument, which was originally funded by 17th Airborne veterans in 1993, will be completely restored by our Scions organization. in addition to restoration of the bronze marker, the granite base will be replaced with a higher base to protect it from damage.
Funding for the restoration is provided by your donations to our Memorial Fund. 
The impressive changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a fitting start to our day
We stopped at each grave to say a few words about each of the troopers,
and to share a moment of silence
During the Battle of the Bulge these four 17th troopers from the 139th Airborne Engineer Bn. died in the explosion of a truck full of land mines.
Gold Star son and  Scion Vice President Jerry O'Brien
at the niche for Trooper Morris Turner. 
Thanks to event coordinators Pat and Jerry O'Brien, we enjoyed a great dinner at a local establishment before heading home. 


Hello Troopers and SCIONS! This month we will be detailing the uniforms of LYNN AAS, a proud Trooper and lifelong member of the 17th Airborne Association. LYNN was born and raised in North Dakota, of tough Norwegian Immigrant stock. When WWII broke out, LYNN was attending University of North Dakota and ended up in the Army's "Army Specialized Training Program" (ASTP), at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where like thousands of other academic oriented kids, he was being trained in Engineering, to fulfill the needs of the Army. In late 1944, the US Army was short of Infantrymen, and the ASTP personnel from all over the US were transferred into the Infantry Replacement System.

The 17th Airborne Division received a large allotment of these young men and they performed with great valor and endurance. LYNN served as a Glider qualified Rifleman with D Company, 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment, during the terrible fighting winter fighting of January, 1945 in Belgium and Luxembourg.
He was decorated with a Bronze Star Medal for Valor; after being cut off from his unit, he gathered intelligence on the German forces and returned to his unit to report on German actions. In early March, 1945, after the disbandment of the 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment, LYNN was reassigned to A Company, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment for Operation "Varsity". On 24 March, 1945 LYNN and his comrades landed during glider assault in the fields of Lackhausen, north of Wesel, Germany. Their objectives were to take and secure the bridges along the Issel Canal, to allow for the subsequent break out of Allied armored forces and to prevent the Germans from counter attacking the landing areas. On the evening of 25 March, 1945, while in a defensive position holding the bridges, LYNN was hit by artillery shrapnel in his left arm, which required immediate evacuation. After being transferred to various hospitals in the ETO and the USA to allow for the healing of his wound, LYNN was placed on detached duty with the 8th Service Command in the southwest US until his discharge late in 1945.

After WWII LYNN re-attended University and eventually obtained Juris Doctor and Commerce degrees. He worked a number of employment ventures and served in the North Dakota Legislature for four terms. LYNN had married, raised a family and represented the epitome of  "a life well lived" before his passing in 2021 at the age of 100.

Illustrated in the photo are LYNN's: -

-US Army issued four pocket service tunic, with 17th and 1st Allied Airborne Army shoulder sleeve insignia, "Ruptured Duck" discharge insignia, ribbons and Glider wings.
-M-1943 Field Jacket with purported shrapnel strikes located on left sleeve (25 March, 1945). LYNN sewed his 17th Airborne shoulder sleeve insignia and "Ruptured Duck" on the jacket to wear to post-war reunions and gatherings. (The Army authorized Veterans who were discharged to wear their uniforms up to ninety days from Service separation, due to a shortage of textiles.)

*Thank you to DAN AAS for the donation of his Father's uniforms to the Veterans Memorial Mermorial Museum Foundation (VMMF).
LYNN's uniform and personal effects are on public display at the VMMF in Germantown, Ohio.

Questions and comments?

CWO, US Army Retired

Veterans Memorial Museum
123 S. Main St.
Germantown, Oh 45327

937 855 4763
Why not give a membership to
The Scions of the 17th Airborne Division?

A membership is only $35 per year single, $50 per family, and it benefits your family as well as our 17th Troopers.

What better way to teach your children and grandchildren about the heroism of their family members and that freedom is never free.

Benefits include our monthly newsletter, reunions, and much more. Check out our Merchandise and display it proudly.

Members receive a certificate of membership, membership card, a beautiful photograph of the 17th Airborne Division Memorial at Fort Benning, and a Scion patch. 


Donations are always welcome, whether in memory of deceased 17th Troopers, in recognition of particular units of the 17th , or simply to support continuing the mission.
As a 501(c) (3) Non-Profit organization, donations to our General Fund, Memorial Fund are tax deductible. Click the link below for an application, or contact us directly at
17th Airborne Wall Calendars
We have produced a number of special calendars produced as gifts to our 17th Airborne Veterans, and have a limited number remaining.

The calendars are filled with photos from our archives. Wartime photos, reunion photos, Scion event photos. 

They are available on a first come, first served basis for $10 each, including shipping in the US.

If you want to purchase a calendar, please send us an email to and we will put you on the list. We will contact you for payment (check or Paypal)  
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 only possible with the support of our 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

Nancy Miley Murray
Grandaughter of William M. Miley - Division Commander

Paul B. Paddock
Son of John W. Paddock (155th  AAA Bn,  HQ & HQ Co)

Donations to Scions Memorial Fund
by Scion Secretary Ed Siergiej Jr.
Family of Trooper Lynn Aas (193/D)

Veterans Memorial Museum Foundation

Tony Parks

Trooper Gilbert Herrera (194/B)

Michael Gerner

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

None this month

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.
A Day in the life of Rose Friday
by Patricia Bowers

For those of you who have never met Rose, she is the heart and soul of our organization. Rose attended the reunions with her father Edward, Mother Florence, as a very young girl, and has never looked back. Rose was a founding member of the Scions as well as its first President.
Rose has devoted her life to taking care of our 17th Heroes. She is in constant contact with our Veterans, wives and families. She sends them cards, photos, and reading materials and has become a lifeline to many who are in need of cheer. While Rose will say she is getting much more out of this than the veterans, they beg to differ. When I contact veterans they tell me how important Rose is in their lives, and without her mailings, they would have nothing to look forward to. When I make calls to grieving families, over and over again they tell me how much their loved ones were encouraged and felt loved in their last days knowing that Rose cared for them. It takes deep commitment and love to do what Rose does. She spends her days looking for materials, jokes, photos, etc for our veterans mailings, then off to the library to make hundreds of photocopies to collate and mail out on a weekly basis. Her office is a whirlwind of cards, envelopes, stickers, photos, you name it, she’s got it for any holiday or occasion. She personalizes each mailing to each veteran. I wish I were a any other name however, It would not be a sweet!
Thank you Rose, from the bottom of our hearts!

Submitted by Patty Bowers
                                              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.)



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. 
Dale Chapman

Dale Leslie Chapman, 98, of Eureka, IL, formerly of Washington, IL, passed away at 12:50 am on Friday, November 11, 2022, at the Apostolic Christian Home of Eureka.
He was born on August 10, 1924, in Elgin, NE, to Charles and Erma (Graves) Chapman. He married Janet R. Bills on November 11, 1951, in Indiana. She passed away on November 19, 1991. He was also preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Rex Chapman.
Surviving are three children, Charles (Carol) Chapman of Port Charlotte, FL, Evelyn (Dennis) Riehl of Washington, IL, and Leonard Chapman of Madisonville, KY; four grandchildren, Erik Chapman, Ryan (Rachael) Chapman, Nathaniel (Kristina) Riehl, and William (Cassie) Chapman; and eight great-grandchildren.
Dale was a was part of the U.S. Army 17th Infantry Airborne and was honorably discharged on December 11, 1945. He had worked as a machinist for Caterpillar Tractor Company retiring in 1986. Dale was a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Washington.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Washington with Pastor Mike Gallagher and Pastor Jack Wilcox officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30 am until 10:45 am at the church. Burial will follow his service at Glendale Cemetery in Washington with military honors. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Salvation Army or the 
Disabled American Veterans. Mason-White Funeral Home in Washington is assisting the family with arrangements. To share a memory or to leave a condolence for his family, please visit
Gilbert Herrera


Herrera, Gilbert J., 98, of Golden, CO passed away peacefully on Thursday, November 17, 2022 surrounded by his family. He was a loving husband, father of four, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He was preceded in death by 9 siblings; his wife of 72 years, Dolores; and sons Thomas and Randolph. He is survived by his son, Robert, daughter Cynthia, 10 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Gilbert was born in Augilar, CO on October 31, 1924. He came to Denver area in 1945 and was married on June 15, 1947. He worked in the Public Works Dept. of the City & County of Denver for 42 years. As a decorated WWII 17th Airborne Division veteran, the characteristic that he most identified with was that of a veteran and a patriot. The War was the defining period in his life—the time that clearly shaped the man he became. He instilled in his children the importance of God, family, charity and country. He served in his church often and was an active church member all his life. He was a Fourth Degree Knight, the highest and most prestigious within the Knights of Columbus. He stayed involved by serving on The All Veterans Honor Guard for many years. He was an avid fisherman who got pleasure from the simple things of nature and the mountains. He had a simple life and enjoyed sitting on the bank of one of his favorite lakes near the family cabin in the Granby area, patiently waiting for the trout to bite.

He was a true hero who will not be forgotten and he will be missed by all who loved him.

“One crowded hour of glorious life,

Is worth an age without a name.”

~ T. P. Mordaunt from “Verses Written During War”

Services for Gilbert will be held on Friday, December 9, 2022 at ASpen Memorial Chapel, in Lakewood, CO. Viewing will begin at 10:00 am , Celebration of Life Service will be at 11:00am. Interment will follow services at Fort Logan National Cemetery, 1:00 pm. Staging Area A.

17th Airborne Division "Online Store"
Click here to be directed to the store
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
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.

Become a Member of the
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.

Skip Greeby, Scion of William Smith ( 466HQ)
Vice President
Gerald O'Brien, Gold Star son of John L. O'Brien (466th) KIA
Ed Siergiej Jr., son of Edward J. Siergiej (194/C)

Dan Aas, Son of Lynn Aas (193/D)
Past Presidents
Jeff Schumacher, Son of John Schumacher (194/D & HQ)
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 - Jeff Schumacher, Son of John Schumacher (194/D & HQ)
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
History & Archive Coordinators - Adam Coolong and David Shortt
Thunder From Heaven Newsletter - Ed Siergiej and Carolyn Tuttle

Scion Facebook Page
Scion Facebook Page
Scions Website
Scions Website
Copyright © *|2013|* *|Scions of the 17th Airborne, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Scions of the 17th Airborne
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd
Danbury, CT 06811
unsubscribe from this list   update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp