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 # 93 - October - November 2021
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
- Scions Annual Meeting - Lancaster PA - April 8 - 10, 2022

- Veterans Day Gathering at Arlington National Cemetery

- Scions trip to the ETO - Jeff Schumacher 

- 17th Veterans Needing Your Calls 

- Membership Renewal Information - by Secretary Ed Siergiej

- Welcome New Members

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

- 17th Airborne Online Store

- Become a Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne
Scions Annual Meeting and Gathering

Lancaster, PA

April 8 - 10, 2022
The Annual Meeting and gathering of the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division will be held at the Fulton Steamboat Inn, Lancaster, PA from Friday, April 8, until Sunday, April 10, 2022. We will have additional details available in the next newsletter and on our Facebook page (17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants)) 

Veterans Day Gathering
at Arlington National Cemetery

November 9th and 10th, 2021

by Scion Jerry O'Brien

Our excursion to Arlington Cemetery and the World War II Memorial was very successful. On Tuesday, November 9, 13 of our group of 14 arrived at the Hilton Garden Inn in Arlington and socialized for a while in the function room that we had for two days. The group then went to Tupelo Honey restaurant for dinner. We then returned to the function room where we made our plans for the next day.

At 8:00 a.m. on November 10, after breakfast in the hotel, we formed a three-car caravan and proceeded to the cemetery. We first stopped at the 17th Airborne Memorial where we placed a wreath and Patty Bowers had the honor of speaking about the division and leading us in prayer. 

We next proceeded to the Battle of the Bulge Monument and then the Nurses’ Monument, placing flowers at each. At that point, the entire group went to the common grave for four of the engineers who were killed in the explosion of a truck filled with mines. We spent a few moments there to remember and honor these engineers.  

The three teams then went their separate ways to place flowers on approximately 16 graves each. The O’Brien group was able to place flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Coincidentally, this year was the 100th anniversary of the Tomb and the cemetery had several events to commemorate the anniversary, including allowing individuals to place flowers virtually next to the Tomb itself.

We got back at about 2:30 pm and lunch was waiting for the group in the function room. After lunch, groups in two cars drove to the World War II Memorial where another wreath was placed at the Airborne Panel.

Most of the group went to dinner at Ireland’s Four Courts restaurant, which was also within walking distance.

Virtually everyone checked out Thursday morning, November 11.

Scions gather at the monument to the 17th Airborne at Arlington National Cemetery
A wreath was laid at the Airborne panel at the National WWII Memorial
Our Group paid respects at the grave of three Troopers from the 139th Airborne Engineer Bn who were killed in the explosion of a truck filled with mines, as well as at the monument to the Battle of the Bulge.
Our group also visited each of the individual graves of 17th Troopers who are interred at Arlington. In total we know of 49 Troopers who rest here.
Scions 2021 Trip to the Europe - Part 1

by Jeff Schumacher



October 25 - November 6, 2021

After multiple re-schedules’and 19 months of delays, the 2020 trip to the ETO finally came to fruition! The 17th Airborne veterans who returned to the ETO to be honored were Gilbert Herrera (B Company, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment), and Richard Weaver (Division HQ).  

Gilbert was accompanied by his daughter Cindy, 3 granddaughters and 1 great-granddaughter (Gil’s Girls). Richard was accompanied by his daughter Eileen and her husband Dennis. The Scions party also included twenty (20) additional travelers; daughters, sons, granddaughters, grandsons, nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws (no outlaws) – a great group!

What follows is a summation of the activities and events that comprised this fabulous 2-week experience.  


On Saturday, October 23rd, 17th Airborne Veterans Gilbert Herrera and Richard Weaver along with their families were welcomed on their arrival at Dulles International Airport in the Washington D.C. area.  United Airlines and the USO rolled out the red carpet, taking personal care of the VIP party as they made their way through the airport, check-in, TSA and to the Polaris Lounge for some relaxation prior to departure.  At the departure gate, a mass of humanity gathered to welcome – with flags waving and everyone cheering – to recognize the vets and family members as they embarked on their journey.  Representatives from ‘United 4 Veterans’ had a strong showing to thank Gilbert and Richard, getting them pre-boarded early to settle into their seats for the trip across the pond. The pilots and flight attendants visit with the veterans & families, and later announced – to all passengers and more applause – that Herrera and Weaver were aboard and making their return trip to the ETO after 76 years to retrace their footsteps from 1945.  

Departure air traffic was fairly heavy, with our flight 9th in line for take-off.  The flight crew conveyed to the control tower that there were VIP WWII veterans on board, and within minutes, the FAA controllers – with their thanks to our heroes –  pushed United flight 950 to the front of the line.      

After the overnight flight, we arrived at Brussels International Airport about 7:00 a.m. on Sunday.  Richard and Gilbert’s wheelchair attendants decided to provide them with a ‘scenic route’ of the arrivals area of the airport, but after a few tense moments they rejoined family & friends (sigh of relief…).  A quick pass through Border Control, claiming of many, many bags and a breeze through Customs, we were met in the arrivals hall by Greg De Cock.  Thus began a series of recurring challenges – “Covid Testing”  whether to, how to, when to, where to…oh, what fun.  But soon we were on the shuttle to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for an early check-in and time to have breakfast, relax, sleep or whatever.  Sunday was a day of rest.      

The official trip itinerary started Monday the 25th, with the remainder of the Scions traveling party arriving at BRU on their overnight flights. We mustered at the Crowne Plaza, and once everyone was accounted for, we loaded up on our comfortable motor coach and rolled down the highway…destination: Bastogne. We checked into our home for the next week – the Melba Hotel in Bastogne. The Melba is just steps away from McAuliffe Square in the center of town.

Our team of "Belgian Friendlies" provided a warm "Welcome to Bastogne" with introductions, an overview of the trip schedule and Q&A. After our evening meal of tasty Ardennaise cuisine (soup of the day with croutons, roast of pork, sauce with mushrooms, French beans, gratin dauphinois and apple pastry with vanilla ice cream) we retired to recharge batteries for our first day in Bastogne.

Tuesday morning included an “Introduction to the Battle of the Bulge” briefing which also included some history of the 17 Airborne Division and their role in the Ardennes. At lunch time, we took the opportunity to explore options for a bite to eat on our own. After lunch, Scions could visit the “Battle of the Bulge Museum”– just a 3 minute walk from the hotel – or just enjoy a walking tour or the shops. The veterans and their families were invited to the Bastogne City Hall for a special reception in their honor where they met with local city officials. Supper at the Melba included Cesar salad (salad with kip), Meatballs with tomato sauce, veggies, Belgian fries and Tiramisu.

After dinner we enjoyed some hospitality time. Wednesday was a full day of battlefield touring of 17th ABD engagements around Bastogne: Morhet, Houmont, Renuamont, Hill 510, Mande-Saint-Etienne, Flamierge, Bertogne, Compogne, Mabompre, and Houffalize (including a great photo op by the 17th Airborne Division plaque) and a visit at a local church for a few moments of remembrance.
We had a catered lunch on the run at noon, and after Houffalize made our way back to the Melba for a warm meal: Salad with hot goat cheese & honey, Grilled chicken with vegetable ratatouille and tagliatelles and vanilla ice cream with fresh fruit.

We departed Hotel Melba at 0900 Thursday morning for another full day of touring via coach, starting with our visit and honors at the Luxembourg American Cemetery in Hamm, Luxembourg (visitor center briefing, ceremony at the chapel, meeting with members of the US Veterans Friends Luxembourg, and placement of flowers on all 17 th Airborne graves, plus the final resting place of General George S. Patton.

After a catered lunch on the coach, we continued battlefield touring of 17th Airborne engagements along the Our River in Luxembourg and Germany – Hosingen, Untereisenbach, Obereisenbach and Affler bunkers.

We had a special mission near Affler, Germany; to visit the site where First Lieutenant John W. Leary was killed in action on February 8th , 1945. First Lieutenant Leary was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal for “gallantry in action against the enemy near Affler.” Flowers were placed at the spot where Lt. Leary fell, his citation of awards was recited and taps was sounded.
A quiet ride back to Bastogne for our evening meal: salad & quot; Ardennaise & quot; (salad dressed with hot sauce and bacon), ham shank with mustard sauce and rostis and chocolate mousse.

Friday morning started with what has become a perennial favorite of veterans and Scions – the visit to St. Joseph Institute in Belgium. This included hot coffee and cookies/snacks, followed by a Q&A session between the students (4th /5th graders) and the veterans.
After Q&A, the group moved to the playground where the students – apparently all of them – gathered, sung the Star Spangled Banner (quite well!), and generally mobbed the veterans, rendering many mini-salutes and “thank you’s.”

It is a spectacle to behold – watching these young Belgian kids get to see and thank a US WWII veteran in person. In school, they are taught about what happened to their country and its citizens, and the major role played by the US in restoring their liberty (Sounds like good learning material to me).
Following the St. Joseph visit, we wound our way through Bastogne traffic and up the hill to the site of the Mardasson Memorial and Bastogne War Museum. This included lunch for all, with veterans and families as special honored guests, followed by more Q&A; this time with high school students.
Thereafter, everyone was invited to tour the museum exhibit and displays. At 1730, the veterans and families enjoyed a special pictorial surprise and a toast at the Café Le Carré in the McAuliffe Square of Bastogne.

Back down the hill we enjoyed our last evening meal at the Hotel Melba: Mushrooms toats with a small salad, stewed beef in special beer, gratin dauphinois AND…hot chocolate cake.
(Is your mouth watering?)
The many events of Saturday the 30 th began with a ceremony in Houmont followed by lunch and the start of the Dead Mans Ridge Walk (DMRW) which continued throughout the afternoon.
During this time, the veterans were the local “rock stars” fielding hundreds of requests for a signature, picture or just an opportunity to say "Thank You" in person.

It was rumored that Gilbert was seen along the Walk route, touring the soggy battlefield areas via Jeep enjoying coffee with "The men of the 17th." Meanwhile, Richard was taking his shift and getting writer’s cramp signing autographs and mugging for the cameras. These guys...they are something else.
A little break in the afternoon for some needed rest, then back to Houmont for a "slam bang finale" to the day in what I’ll call “Supper and a Swing Band." There was food and beverage, laughter, music, dancing (yes, they danced), cheers and a chorus of Happy Birthday in honor of Gilbert’s 97th birthday (on Sunday). It was the place to be, and everybody was there!

Sunday, October 31st: our final day in Bastogne. It was a chilly/rainy start to the morning, with activities beginning with a short coach ride to the 17th Airborne monument in Flamierge.
The ceremony went off as planned and afterwards, the VIP’s (veterans and families) joined in the town hall for a cocktail reception with Flamierge and Bertogne officials.

When the bubbly was gone, all gave their thanks and farewells. We loaded up for a short hop to Tillet, for this is where a plaque honoring the 761st Tank Battalion; the Black Panthers, was dedicated in 2020. The 761st was among those units providing support and protection of our 17 th troopers in the Ardennes. The following is from Joe Wilson, Jr. whose father was a 761st tanker:

Here at Tillet, the Germans staged a brilliant defense aided by angry low hanging clouds, subzero temperatures, and mobility limited to the roads only. Look up at the hilltops above Tillet and notice the clumps of evergreens. This is where the enemy positioned forward-observers.

Several hills back, on reverse slopes sprawled well-concealed artillery units that had the roads zeroed in. It was a blood bath for the combatants here, especially the exposed infantry, as German and American tanks battled it out. Finally, on the evening of January 9th, the Germans could no longer continue its resistance and withdrew with elements of the 761st Tank Battalion and 87th Infantry Division in pursuit.

Together they set up barricades along the Marche-Bastogne road and choked off the vital supply artery to the German operations in the Bulge.

Joe also provided the following poem which was penned by Phil Latimer – another 761st tanker – and read at the ceremony:
Once again we observed silence for remembrance and sounded taps. It’s hard to find a dry eye in these circumstances, yet we think about that the world would be without them, and we remember these heroes with fondness, respect and gratitude. Special Thanks to Joe Wilson, Jr. and Frederic Dehon for making this monument a reality.

Another short hop back to Houmont Community Hall for lunch and a warm-up, then on to the Peace Woods for a special surprise for the veterans.
The 4,000 trees making up the Peace Woods – Bois de la Paix – were planted for the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge. They were dedicated to the American veterans who fought in the Ardennes, Belgian combatants and all the civilians and military who died in the winter of 1944/45.

Since then, each returning veteran of the 17th Airborne has had a plaque; emblazoned with their name and "17th Airborne Division," unveiled in their honor. Floral arrangements were placed by Gilbert, Richard and their families. Families of veterans who had since returned to the Peace Woods laid flowers by their trees as well.

Here again, emotions tended to overflow a bit. How can they not when encountering the peace in these woods today, in contrast to the unimaginable roar and terror of war - now 77 years passed – endured by our heroes in uniform? Sometimes you just need to stop and give thanks.

A little walk back to the coach (VIP shuttle service for Richard and Gil!), then All Aboard! for the quick trip back to Bastogne.
Note: Our final stop of the day – Covid testing (a.k.a. swabbing for brains) – was not photographically preserved for posterity (Another reason to be grateful).

Back to the Hotel Melba for some rest, then "dinner on our own" on our last night in Bastogne.

This concludes the Part I summary of our trip covering the first week. Stay tuned for Part II – “Lookout Germany – the 17th veterans are back” in the next edition of Thunder from Heaven.

In the mean time, all of us wish you a blessed, meaningful Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season.
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 seventy-three 17th Airborne veterans for whom we have contact information, as well as to some of the widows of our troopers. The current health crisis 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

Peter Piergiovanni
Canfield Place 
2300 Canfield Road 
Youngstown, Ohio 44505

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 Newly Found Veterans

Toshio Tokunaga

Edward J. Pawlowski
Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Welcome New Members

R. Kent Kershenstein - Associate Member
Glider Pilot History Interpreter

Dennis & Eileen Neal
Scions of Richard Weaver (Div HQ)

Richard Cotman
Son of Frank Cotman (680/ A Battery)

Melanie Yates
Scion of Herman W. Alford (Div. HQ)

Pascal Botte
Associate Member

Real Desmarets
Associate Member

Jeremy Watson
Great Nephew of Elwyn M Eason

Danielle Jones
Grand Daughter of Gilbert Herrera (194/B)

Kurt Hunter
Nephew of William R. Hunter (194/HQ)

Bronwyn Willett
Grand Daughter of Edward W. Tribbes (155/F)

Jodi Larson
Grand Daughter of Gilbert J. Herrera (194/B)

Heather Robertson
Grand Daughter of Frank Evagelatos (513/SR) 


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!
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.)

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. 
Lynn Aas


Lynn William Aas, 100, passed away on October 28, 2021, at his home at The View in Minot.

A longtime Minot community leader, Lynn was born June 4, 1921, on a homestead in rural McLean County, south of Benedict. His parents were George Hjalmer Aas and Anna Emelia (Olson) Aas. He graduated from Velva High School in 1940 and enrolled in the University of North Dakota. In 1942 he, along with many of the young men at the University, enlisted in the United States Army, entering the service at Ft. Snelling. He served in the Army Specialized Training Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology before his assignment to the 17th Airborne Division. Aas was a combat Infantry soldier and saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. His unit was reformulated and was towed into combat in a glider in Operation Varsity in March of 1945. Receiving wounds in Varsity, he was sent back to the US and eventually discharged. During his service, Lynn received the Purple Heart for his war injuries, and the Bronze Star for bravery behind enemy lines.

Returning to the University in Grand Forks, he completed his education by earning a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce. Lynn was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and served his Fraternity as President. Out of college, he found employment with the Internal Revenue Service in Minneapolis, where he met the love of his life, Beverly Stockstad from Sioux Falls. They were married in 1952. In 1960 Lynn was transferred by the IRS to Fargo where Beverly and Lynn started their family. In 1960 Lynn moved the family to Minot where he was hired by his college fraternity brother Lloyd Giltner to manage the small but growing Medical Arts Clinic. Lynn managed Medical Arts until his retirement in 1985. After retirement, Lynn and Beverly purchased lake property on Otter Tail Lake in Minnesota and spent many summers there, welcoming their children and grandchildren, along with making many new neighbors and friends.

Keeping with Lynn’s keen interest in building up the Minot community, he and many of his peers formed a coffee club that was quickly named by their spouses as the “Know-It-Alls.” Not satisfied with merely talking and complaining about current events in the community, this coffee club acted on many issues of local concern behind the scenes. They even actively recruited “volunteers” to step up and run for public office. Lynn and Art Ekblad were chairs of the committee to pass the Minot Public Schools bonding issue in 1969 to build the Magic City Campus, and Governor Sinner appointed Lynn to chair a local group to attract a Job Corps Center to Minot, both of which were successful.

From his initial arrival in Minot, Lynn became active in the business community. He served four sessions in the North Dakota Legislature. One of his proudest accomplishments was serving as a delegate from Minot to the North Dakota Constitutional Convention in 1970. He was a 60-year member of the Minot Kiwanis Club, and a lifelong member of the Minot Chamber of Commerce, Elks Club, Minot Country Club, American Legion and First Lutheran Church. He was a life member of the Minot Gun Club and the Disabled American Veterans. He served terms as President of the Minot Chamber of Commerce and the United Way. Lynn was also a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota and the North Dakota Medical Group Management Association.

Lynn was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of First Western Bank & Trust. He was a director of the Monarch Products Company and Dakco Distributers, Inc. and was a Trustee of the Investors Real Estate Trust. He served as a Director of the First Lutheran Foundation, and  was one of the founding members of that Foundation.. He also was a member of the Board of Directors for ND Holdings, Inc. and the Minot Housing Authority.

During his lifetime, Lynn received many awards, including the C. P. Lura award from Minot State University for his contributions to higher education. He served as a member of the Minot State University Board of Regents. Lynn assisted Dr. Gordon Olson at Minot State in its journey to university status in the 1970s and was instrumental with Dr. Olson in launching the Nursing program at Minot State. In his later years, Lynn was delighted to be recognized by the Government of France with the  “Legion of Honor Award” for his assistance in the defense of France in World War II. Lynn was a member of the 17th Airborne Division Association and encouraged his sons to accompany him on two trips to revisit the sites where he experienced combat in World War II.

Beverly passed away in 2003. Together they raised four sons: David (Kathy) of Minot, Paul (Melodie) of Madison Wisconsin, Daniel (Terry) of Eden Prairie MN, and Joe (Nancy Morris) of Fargo. Lynn is survived by eight grandchildren: Brian Aas, Amanda Voss, Andrew Aas, Kristen Jones, Julia Aas, Nicholas Aas,  Ellen Renkor and Grace Aas. He is also survived by five great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Henry Aas, sisters Gladys Miller, Clarice Eslinger, Helen Arntzen, and infant brother Carl. He was also preceded in death by daughter Sally Aas and his dear sister-in-law, Sally (Stockstad) Graff.

Celebration of the Life of Lynn Aas: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, November 4, 2021 at First Lutheran Church, Minot.  A livestream of the service was available at
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the First Lutheran Church Foundation, Minot State University Development Foundation Aas Scholarship Fund, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.


Christopher Dobson
507/ HQ & HQ Co.

Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

Christopher Edouard Dobson passed away peacefully in his home on May 13, 2021 at the fabulous age of 97. Chris was an adventurer who came from a family of adventurers. He was born in Baker, Oregon in 1923. His mother was born in Figeac, France and his father, a copper mining engineer, was born in Sioux City, Iowa. His parents first met while his father was stationed in France during World War I. Her father was a highly decorated French General and his family had emigrated from England.

Chris, the middle of three children, spent much of his youth in the Pacific Northwest as his family moved between mining towns. When he was just one year old his pregnant mother took him and his sister across Canada to the East Coast, boarded a steamer, sailed across the Atlantic to visit her family in France, deliver her third child then retrace their steps back to British Columbia.

Chris was a teenager when World War II broke out. He spent time as a civilian building air bases in Alaska before enlisting in the Army. Chris volunteered for demolitions and paratrooper training and then deployed to the European Theater, serving with the 507th Paratroop Infantry Regiment and the 17th Airborne Division. He worked to disarm land mines and booby traps ahead of eastward advancing armored and infantry divisions. Chris was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic service and later a Purple Heart for his actions during a covert, nighttime raid behind enemy lines to destroy a German 88mm gun installation. Four weeks later he parachuted across the Rhine River in Operation Varsity.

After returning to civilian life Chris received a Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and subsequently took a one year teaching scholarship at Bucknell University. Upon graduation he was he was hired by Dupont Chemical Company in Wilmington, DE. It was here that he met, fell in love with and married LaVonne, his wife and best friend for 69 years.

Chris and LaVonne raised a family together, made multiple moves over his working career together and travelled the world together, visiting 6 continents. Chris loved his church, his country and his family of whom he was most proud. Family and friends would know his as strong, determined and rarely missed a chance to tell a story.

Chris was extremely proud of his wife LaVonne who earned two college degrees and a diploma from the St. Nicholas Montessori School of London, England. When Chris ultimately retired in 1984 LaVonne was able to devote even more time to her passion for educating preschool children. Chris was always so proud of her Montessori School. He saw her as a most gifted and wonderful educator of preschool children.

Chris is survived by his wife, LaVonne, who has been by his side for 69 years; his twin daughters, Neva Yearwood and her husband, Kip, of Sanger, TX and Yvonne Currie of St. Charles, MO and his son, Chris Dobson and his wife, Rebecca, of Orlando, FL.

He is also survived by four grandchildren, Russell, Rachel, Brittany and Garrett, and six great-grandchildren, Jolie, Emilia, Lilette, Martha, Oliver and Emma.

He is further survived by his two sisters, Yvette Gunther of Highlands Ranch, CO and Jacqueline Placak and her husband, Jim, of Oakland, CA.

The family gives special thanks to the doctors and nurses of St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Texas Home Health Hospice and the wonderful caregivers of Synergy Home Care for their kindness and care of Chris during his end days.

Mr. Dobson's memorial service will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, July 17, 2021, at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 680 Calder Avenue, Beaumont. A gathering of family and friends will follow in the Cloister Room.

His cremation arrangements were handled through Broussard's Crematorium under the direction of Broussard's, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests with gratitude, that any memorial contributions be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 680 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77701.
Michael Haupt
Life Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

HAUPT, Michael C. Age 96, of Centerville, Ohio went home to his Savior on September 9, 2020. Mike was born June 2, 1924, in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived most of his life in that area, moving to Centerville 14 years ago in 2006. He is survived by his daughter, Linda Forsythe (Larry) and son Gary Haupt (Barbara); his four grandchildren, Matthew Forsythe (Gretchen), Michelle Forsythe, Julianna Piovesan (Dennis) and Kristen Haupt (Nathan Kemp); by his great-granddaughters, Karis and Lucy Forsythe and several nephews and nieces. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Natalie Haupt; his wife of 66 years, Evelyn; his three brothers, Arthur, Harold and Richard Haupt; and his grandson, Ryan Haupt. A lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion, Mike served on a mortar crew in the 193rd and 194th Glider Infantry Regiments of the 17th Airborne Division during World War II. He saw action in the Battle of the Bulge and the Operation Varsity Rhine River Crossing and is a Purple Heart recipient. Some of his greatest memories included attending the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC with his whole family and later returning with an Honor Flight from Dayton. Mike retired from the Cleveland Twist Drill Company in 1982 and spent his remaining years caring for his sick brothers and entertaining his grand and great grandchildren. Mike was a member of St. Marks Lutheran Church in Cleveland and attended Patterson Park Church in Beavercreek, where he soon became Papa to a whole gathering of "adopted" grandchildren. A private service for family will be held at Tobias Funeral Home with burial at the Dayton National Veterans Cemetery. A Celebration of Papa's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National World War II Museum.
George Isaacs
464th PFAB

No obituary is available at this time.
Casimer Kotowski
Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association

The Scions have been informed of the passing of Trooper Kotowski on January 5, 2010

CASIMIR B. KOTOWSKI, age 86. Beloved husband of Anne (nee Hatala); loving father of Laura Barwacz (Ron); dear grandfather of Allison and Eric; brother of Eleanore Mollica and the following deceased: Frank, Cecelia and Mary Halik; dear uncle and great-uncle. Friends may call at VODRAZKA FUNERAL HOME OF INDEPENDENCE, 6505 BRECKSVILLE RD. (RT. 21 SO. OF ROCKSIDE) FRIDAY 2-4 AND 7-9 P.M. Prayer Services at the funeral home Saturday, Jan. 9 at 9 a.m. followed by Mass of Christian Burial at St. Michael Church, Brecksville Rd. at 9:30 a.m. Interment All Saints Cemetery.
Johan J. Nitrowski
Author of "Die Luftlanding"

The Scions are sad to report the passing of Johann J. Nitrowski on December 3, 2021. Herr Nitrowski was the author of Die Luftlanding, an excellent book on Operation Varsity.

Scion Jos Bex will represent the 17th Airborne Family at the funeral.

The Scions of the 17th Airborne Division were honored to have met Herr Nitrowski at the Hotel Haus Duden in Germany during our trip in 2015.

The verse at the top of the attached reads:

Lord stay with us
because evening is about to come,
and the day has come to a close
There will always be traces of your life somewhere and we will remember you with joy, gratitude and love.

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
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.

.Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.comTo 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

Michele Smith , Sandy Remes, and  Patricia Bowers - Veteran Outreach / Family Liaison Coordinators
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)

Membership Committee  - David Shortt & Tom Chipego
Memorial Committee - Jerry and Pat O'Brien

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