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

We strive to accomplish these missions by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their families can gather, and by sharing their recollections.  We communicate with our membership using this "Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, through our website and on our Facebook page. In addition we collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
Issue # 17 - February 2014
Please send us your 17th related news items, stories, questions etc., so that we can share them with the entire group. You may direct your mail to the Scions at:
Ed Siergiej Jr. & Adam Coolong - Editors
Visit our Facebook page at:

17th Airborne Division Scions (Descendants)

Post your 17th related photos, stories and questions.
In This Newsletter
-   Trooper Stories - Compassionate Warrior
     by Ozzie Gorbitz

-   Scions 2013 Gathering Schedule

-   Operation Varsity Reunions in 2014
   by Michele Smith & Nancy Lauria

    Scions to Invade Europe in 2015
    by Jeff Schumacher

    Calling all Scions
     by Michele Smith

   Welcome New Scion Members

-   Scions Memorial Fund
     by Ed Siergiej Jr.

-   Chaplain's Corner
     by Isaac Epps, Scion Chaplain

-  Adopt a Veteran Project
   by Michele Smith

-  Airborne Awards Festival Invitation

-  Dead Mans Ridge Walk 2014
  by Gregory DeCock

  Translation of the book "Die Luftlanding" now available

  Become a Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne

-  17th Airborne Online Store
Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom

- Letters From Home and Abroad

-  Sick Call

 Do You Know of a Veteran Who Does Not Use Email?
Each month this newsletter, "Thunder From Heaven" goes out to almost 500 members of the 17th Airborne family.  We know that some of our veterans no longer use, or have never used email.  Scion Kerri Whitaker, grand daughter of Richard L. Wise (194/C), has volunteered to send hard copies of the newsletter to our veterans each month, and has been doing so for a number of months now. 
 If you know of a veteran who would like a copy of the newsletter, please let us know, and we will add them to the list.
Just send us an email to: "
 Trooper Stories
Each month "Thunder From Heaven" features a story about a 17th trooper in his own words, or as told to a family member or friend. We encourage those who would like to submit an article to send them in to us at:

  The author, (Associate Member of the Scions of the 17th Airborne) Col. Ozzie Gorbitz, USAFR (Ret.), has written a book on the exploits of the 139th Airborne Engineer Battalion. The book, “Blood on the Talon”, covers the history of the battalion from its activation at Camp Mackall, NC on 15 April 1945 and follows the action through the Ardennes and into Germany. The book also contains details of the 17th Airborne Division and Camp Mackall. The book is 285 pages and is filled with recollections of veterans, numerous unpublished black and white as well as color photographs, and has numerous detailed battle maps. It can be purchased through the author’s publishing company for $44.95. It is also available on

Compassionate Warrior
On the early morning of 4 January, 1945, B Company, 139th Airborne Engineer Battalion (AEB) crouched at the line of departure while the Division Artillery (DIVARTY) sent numerous salvos of hot steel overhead towards the German lines. As part of an assault force consisting of the 550th Airborne Infantry Battalion (AIB) and the 2nd Battalion of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment (GIR), the men of Baker Company were about to join the solemn ranks of American men who had for nearly 200 years placed their personal interests beneath those of their brothers-in-arms, their unit and their nation.
At 0815, not more than 15 minutes prior to a sunrise that was veiled by cloudy skies peppered with snow showers, captain Cornell Pope, The commander of Baker Company, motioned for the men to begin forward. The temperature of 26 degrees was noticeably less bitter than the 18 and 19 degree mornings with blowing snow that welcomed the men in the past few days, but that was of little comfort. They waded forward through snow that was hip-deep in many places, and wondered how effective the 10-minute pounding delivered by the artillerymen of the division had been. When the faint grey light of the early morning peered between the clouded sky and fog draped hills just west of Bastogne, the men saw images of the harsh fighting that accompanied a meeting engagement between the 11th Armored Division and the Fuehrer Begleit Brigade. The landscape was pocked with impact craters from artillery and here and there, burnt out hulls of American and German armored vehicles announced the ferocity of the battles of the past 6 days. This was the first day of an engagement that would be known as the Battle of Dead Man’s Ridge.
For the next six days, the 17th Airborne Division traded blows with elements of the Fuehrer Begleit Brigade, the 3rd and 15th Panzer Grenadier Division, and the 26th Volks Grenadier Division. Over the course of several weeks the division moved the lines forward, through Houffalize, into Luxembourg and up to the Our River. The 139th AEB fought shoulder to shoulder with their infantry brothers, they cleared numerous mine fields, defused countless booby traps, cleared obstacles along routes of advance and conducted daily reconnaissance patrols within earshot of the German lines. The combat engineers endured enemy small arms fire, countered tank attacks with grenades and bazooka fire, repelled infantry assaults and performed their deadly engineer missions with great determination. The men experienced the pain of frostbite, watched their friends blood stain the driven snow and they felt the unbearable grief of the death of their brothers. Despite the overwhelming trauma of casualties and the miserable conditions of forty-seven continuous days of combat the engineers held together. The many months of training side-by-side since April 1943 developed an unbroken bond of brotherhood that allowed them to weather the chaotic storm of war. Within their midst they had exceptional leaders in their officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. These men tended to their welfare, made sound tactical decisions that saved lives, and most important, they led from the front.
There was another factor that helped the men to endure these hardships, and that was the medics who accompanied them on every mission. These compassionate warriors, these brave men provided another layer of trust and assurance that even if wounded, the paratroopers would be cared for. This sense of comfort bolstered the morale and determination of the engineers. One of these medics was Corporal Warren R. Skenadore from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Cpl. Skenadore was always present, regardless of the mission. He accompanied the men on their attacks, he went with them on reconnaissance patrols, and he tended to the injuries caused by mine clearing duty. Cpl. Skenadore was awarded the Silver Star for his actions in Belgium. His citation reads:
“…for gallant action against the enemy during the period 19 January 1945 to 30 January 1945 in Belgium. As the only aid man in the platoon during the period cited, Corporal Skenadore worked double duty as his unit, working in shifts, cleared roads ahead of the infantry in the heavily mined areas of the Ardennes. He voluntarily accompanied every mission as his unit worked ceaselessly to clear mine fields and roads. His quick thinking and cool headedness saved the lives of several dazed and wounded men. His gallant conduct under the most arduous campaign conditions is worthy of high praise and was in accordance with the highest standards of military conduct.”
Corporal Skenadore provided his recollections to the author during an interview a few years ago. The author was attempting to uncover the events that led to the injury of Lt. Robert C. Reed, who had stepped on a German “Bouncing-Betty” anti-personnel mine and was severely injured. Cpl. Skenadore clearly remembered the incident and it exemplifies the quiet manner in which he tended to his responsibilities as a medic.
“Ah, the Battle of Bastogne, a long time ago, (laughs), I recall the day, middle of the night, pitch black in the woods, black.  I went down that road and called, ‘Lieutenant, Lieutenant!’ I could hear small arms fire in the distance, you know, and I kept going. I kept calling and finally I came to a fork in the road, and there was three roads leading from the road I was on... I guess by chance I took a road and chose the right one. I went down farther and kept hollering and the farther I went the closer I came to the enemy and small arms fire and I thought, ‘Well, if I don’t get a response I’m getting out of here.’  Finally I got up there and I called, ‘Lieutenant Reed!’ He hollered. I hollered again, ‘Lieutenant!’ He said, ‘I’m in a mine field, and the whole place is loaded with mines!’ So, anyway, I got up there and I put a tourniquet on his leg and gave him some other medication and I said, ‘Come on, we got to get outta here.’ He said, ‘The small arms fire is getting closer and closer, and I can’t walk.’ I said, ‘That’s no problem.’ I picked him up and carried him on my shoulder and went down through the minefield. It was quite an experience. It was cold and the snow was deep. Anyway, we got him back to his unit.”
With examples such as Warren Skenadore, the men of the 139th were more confident and were able to focus on their combat tasks with less concern for how they would be cared for should they be injured. The immense benefit that this provided to the engineers was a definite combat multiplier. Cpl Skenadore accompanied the engineers of Baker Company throughout the entire course of the war. He mended their wounds in the Ardennes, he rode in a glider with them as they crash landed east of the Rhine River during operation VARSITY on 24 March 1945, and he was with them on every mile of advance into the industrial heart of Germany. When combat ended for the 17th Airborne Division on 21 April 1945, Cpl Skenadore was at their side. No one can say for sure how many engineers owe their lives to this compassionate warrior, but for us, he remains an example of the bond that exists between men during harsh times and an example of how the inner strength of man prevails.
Scion Melanie Sembrat, daughter of Harry Sembrat (513/HQ) sent us this article about Trooper Gandara (507 / D)

President Obama is set to award the Medal of Honor, the military's highest combat award, to 24 Army veterans, including 19 Hispanic, Jewish and African Americans who were overlooked previously because of their backgrounds, the White House is expected to announce Friday.

Private Joe Gandara
will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his courageous actions while serving with Company D, 2d Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division during combat operations against an armed enemy in Amfreville, France on June 9, 1944.
Scion 2013 - 2014 Gathering Schedule
In this section of the newsletter we will post information on both annual and regional gatherings, so we can reserve the time in our schedules. We will keep this schedule updated each month.

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

March 23rd - 27th, 2014 - Lancaster, PA
Bill Smith's annual "Operation Varsity" gathering in Lancaster, PA. This event grows in popularity each year. A great time to relax and spend time with our veterans. Often some of our friends from Europe attend as well. (See below for details).
April 24th through April 27, 2014 - Wheeling, WV
Nancy Lauria has hosted an "Operation Varsity" gathering for a number of years. In 2014, the location has changed to Wheeling, WV. (See below for details) As we get more information, we will post it here.
Plan now to attend the Lancaster, PA, "Operation Varsity' Gathering of the Scions

by Michele Smith


Hello 17th Airborne Troopers, Trooperettes, Scions, Family and Friends! It's time to start planning to attend our 2014 Reunion in March. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE THE WONDERFUL CAMARADERIE OF THE 17TH AIRBORNE FAMILY. DON'T MISS OUT.Let's make this our largest "Operation Friendly Invasion" ever. Trooper Mike Rock, 680th Battery B already has his room reserved.Let's emulate his spirit and take over the entire hotel!


Anyone who has ever attended will tell you the experience of mingling with "our 17th heroes" is priceless. The staff of the Fulton Steamboat Inn of Lancaster Pennsylvania treat us like gold and always look forward to our return. That being said, it is an extremely popular hotel in a year round resort and it fills up quickly, so we want to make sure you do not miss out on reserving a room.


Reunion Date and rates: Sunday March 23, 2014 to Thursday March 27, 2014.
Single Rate : $105.42, Double Rate $146.52, Triple Rate $187.62, Quad Rate $228.72
These prices INCLUDE your room, Breakfast and Dinner in Huckleberry's restaurant located on the main floor of the Inn, all taxes and gratuities, our private Hospitality Room, and as the Steamboat Staff like to say "The Run of the Place"!
All guest rooms include a refrigerator, microwave, in-room coffeemaker, a 32" flat screen TV, iron/ironing board,AM/FM clock radio, hairdryer, direct dial phone with voicemail, high speed wireless internet and guest computer station is also available.There is an indoor pool and fitness center and a 24 hour convenience store on premise (Arlene runs the gift store and always gives the 17th a nice discount).In addition to the picturesque Amish farmlands, the Steamboat Inn is ideally located across from outlets galore.The Hotel is also just up the road from the American Music Theatre and the Sight and Sound Theatre.

You can visit their website at for a virtual tour, photos, directions etc.The Fulton Steamboat Inn is located at the corner of Rtes 30 and 896 Lancaster Pa. THE ADDRESS TO USE FOR MAP QUEST AND GPS IS 1 HARTMAN BRIDGE ROAD LANCASTER PA 17602. Also, please notify me, Michele Smith, that you plan to attend or if you have any questions, by calling me at (610) 630-8807 or by email

Why not extend your vacation and visit historic Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington DC.  In any event, we hope to see you!!!
Schedule for the Lancaster Operation Varsity Reunion
Hi Troopers, Trooperettes, Scions and Friends, We are anxiously awaiting the 2014 Lancaster Reunion starting Sunday March 23 to Thursday March 27! Here is a tentative schedule of events. Since so much goes on in a few days, we may have some last minute rescheduling but wanted you to have an idea of daily activities. 

Sunday is check-in day. Matt Baldwin and his reenactor buddies will have a wonderful display of WWII artifacts for your viewing pleasure.
 After our welcome dinner we will gather in the Hospitality Suite for catching up.
 This year, we are honored to have some special guests joining us. The family of 
Sgt. Sindey A. Dickason, Sr., a veteran of the 761st Tank Battalion, will be wih us. Daughter Rhonda Stevenson, son Sydney A. Dickason, Jr, and grandson Dwayne Stevenson will speak about Sgt. Dickason. As many of you may know, the 761st tank battalion supported the 17th in the Bulge. Doubtless, many of us would not be here if it were not for these brave tankers.

Monday will be our meet and greet, we'll bring you up to date on Scion activities from President Rose Friday and Secretary/ Treasurer Ed Siergiej, and in between more socializing we'll have some presentations from fellow Scions. There will be time to fit in some shopping at the terrific outlet stores that Lancaster is noted for, or a trip through the beautiful Amish countryside if you are so inclined. 

Tuesday we will have our interview with the Vets, where we hear first hand what it was like to be a 17th Airborne paratrooper and their experience in the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Varsity. ( I was out the other night when the winds were howling and it was 11 degrees running to my car and in those brief seconds thought to myself, how in the world did these guys survive lying out in foxholes with weather more brutal than that??? The only answer that came to me was, because they're our 17th Airborne heroes, that's why!). We expect the TV news crew to arrive on Tuesday, along with a special surprise. This year we are lucky to have joining us George Thris, a glider pilot who flew in Operation Varsity. He will be speaking about his experiences and showing us some never seen before pictures, which I'm sure will be riveting!

Tuesday night we will have our Scions meeting. This was originally scheduled for Sunday night, but because we want a full quorum we rescheduled it. We have a lot to cover so that will begin promptly at 7:30. 

Wednesday is our beautiful Memorial Service. Our Chaplain Isaac Epps will be officiating with an extra tribute to the 17th Families who have been called home to Heaven. Wednesday night will be Military Bingo and sing-a-long. Interspersed between all of this are large, family style breakfasts and dinners, wonderful conversation and fellowship.

We will have our "Scions Store" open for business throughout the reunion. Everything that we have listed in the online store (below) will be available. 

Those members who wish to renew their membership may do so at anytime during the reunion. 

If I've left anything out, well, you just have to be there to see it! Whether you can come for 5 days or one day, we hope to see you there!

22nd Annual Reunion
Wheeling, WV

by Scion Nancy Lauria

When: April 24 – April 27, 2014
WHERE: Hampton Inn
                795 National Rd.
                WHEELING WEST VIRGINIA 26003
                Phone:  1-304-233-0440
Rate:  $138.88 Includes all taxes (queen beds)
                     free hot & cold breakfast in lobby.
When reserving your room, let them know you are with The 17th Airborne to get the rate of $138.88. Please reserve your room early. RESERVATION MUST BE MADE BY APRIL 17TH, 2014.
Hospitality room opens everyday at 9:00 A.M. and closes when the last person leaves.  We will provide ice, pop, liquor, paper products, snacks, coffee and tea.  We ask beer drinkers to bring their own beer. 

There will be a complimentary Friday night dinner in the hotel.  Saturday night we will also eat dinner in the hotel.  Bob Hitchman, the owner of the hotel has offered to cook dinner for us on Friday and Saturday.  Saturdays  menu will be chicken tenders ( 2 dipping sauces) pork chops and accompanying sides.   The cost  will be $20.00 - $25.00 per person.
Please let us know if you are attending The Varsity Reunion.  If you are unable to attend, we would appreciate a note from you to read to your friends.

Airborne All The Way
(Jim) & Nancy Lauria                                                    Betty Rea
1888 Micaela Ct.                                                            1117 Main St.
Lakeview, N.Y. 14085                                                    Follansbee, WV. 26037
716- 627 -5077                                                                304-527-0567
Scions to Invade Europe in 2015!
Scions Trip 2015 - February Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drop an email to  

OR, call or write to:

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

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

Editors Note:
The Executive Committee wishes to thank Jeff for taking the lead on this exciting project. Those who know Jeff, have great confidance that the trip will be well planned, well communicated, and well done!
Jeff reports that we have a growing list of those who are interested in this trip.

by Scion VP Michele Smith

Everyone has a talent they can share and as we grow as an organization, the Scions of the 17th Airborne will benefit from your time and talent.This should be fun and personally rewarding and should not interfere with your normal employment and everyday duties. I came across an old letter my Dad, Bill Smith 466th, wrote in the TMC when he was Chairman of one of his 17th Reunions entitled "Future Reunions" and realized much of his advice then, still applies to us today, so I will paraphrase his remarks with some of my own as it relates to the Scions.
The Future belongs to those who prepare for it! Preparation should start now in order to perpetuate our organization. As we continue to grow, it's more important than ever to have a team effort to accomplish our objectives. First, consider attending the mini Reunions held in Lancaster and Ohio and also the Veteran's Day ceremonies at Arlington. Anyone who has ever attended has always enjoyed the camaraderie of interacting with our Veterans and fellow Scions. Patricia Bowers, who attended Lancaster for the first time last March and again in Arlington told me she feels like she has a second family in the Scions. I guarantee you will feel that way too! Consider also organizing your own mini reunion. It is relatively easy to do and we are here to help you get started. To successfully run your reunion it's important to have a team effort if you are chairing the reunion with a committee of 3-5 scions working closely with you. We can possibly help you locate Troopers in your area who would like to attend if they are able. We have had Troopers and Scions attend from all over the country as well as our European friends. Other Troopers have expressed interest in attending, but because of the distance or physical restriction that prevents them from driving or traveling alone, have not been able to attend.
Wouldn't it be nice if a reunion was held near them and they could buddy up with someone so they could attend. If you think you would like to host a future reunion email me at with a number I can reach you and I will be happy to give you ideas on how our reunions are organized and run.
Many of you have expressed an interest in getting involved and helping. When we had our business meeting in Arlington we discussed some areas where we need volunteers to chair and join a committee, and they are as follows: 
Membership Chair and committee:
Currently we have 150 Members, 56 Honorary Members, 23 Distinguished Honorary Members and 2 Associate Members. Our numbers grow monthly thanks to Facebook and the great job Ed Siergiej Jr has done with  the help of fellow Scion Adam Coolong on our evolving website with the help of Scion Danny Carter. We have many more names who can be contacted, who may still not be aware of our organization and need to be brought into the fold. Membership committee also follows up on annual dues.

Archives Coordinator.
Each year a team has gone to the National Archives prior to attending the Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington. To this point close to 1000 pages of documents have been scanned. Our goal is to organize this information in such a way that we can provide information to Scions researching their 17th veteran, as well as selecting which of these files will be included on our website. When we have a research request, this would also be directed to the Archives Coordinator. Ideally, the coordinator would also plan future trips to the Archives and prevent duplication of effort.
Scion Adam Coolong has volunteered to help coordinate this project. Adam has already been of great help with the publication of this newsletter and has great technical computer skills. Thanks Adam, for stepping up!

Arlington Coordinator:
Our annual gathering for the ceremonies at Arlington is attracting more Scions each year. This position would involve coordinating with the 82nd Airborne group who plans the event,  selecting a hotel, hopefully with a package rate plan for the weekend, and making everyone aware of the events, time etc.
Scion Directory.
This is a project that Scion Isaac Epps has been pushing for, for quite some time. A Scion directory will be extremely beneficial for a number of reasons, including finding local volunteers to represent Scions at funerals
 , to promote the "Adopt a Veteran Program", for visits to hospitals, nursing homes or hospice facilities, for coordination of mini reunions, and contacting other Scions whose Dads, Uncles, Brothers were in the same unit. Participation in the directory is strictly voluntary by permission only.

Bookkeeper: to assist the Secretary /Treasurer
As the organization grows we feel it seems prudent to make sure that the finances remain in good control. It is anticipated that in 2014, the Scion will get approval from the Federal Government on our application for Non-Profit status. This will require an annual filing. With these issues in mind, we are seeking a Scion with Accounting, or Bookkeeping experience to act as another set of eyes on the finances, and to assist with any filings required.
Scion Jeff Schumacher has volunteered to help support us in this regard.
Thanks, Jeff for your help!

Elections will be held at the Lancaster gathering in March 2014 for President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. We will also have a discussion on increasing the number on our Board of Directors and perhaps including a Parliamentarian. The one stipulation for running for office is that you will attend at least one of the Scion reunions in Lancaster, Ohio, or Arlington and be willing to actively participate in the organization throuought the year. If you would like to run, please submit a short description of yourself and your qualifications and which office you would like to run for or be a part of.

Please email your interest in volunteering for any of the above to Ed Siergiej at: Please make sure that you indicate which committee you would like to Chair or join or Office and a number you can be reached.

Finally, these were areas we discussed where help is needed now. We always welcome other suggestions or ideas from you to make our organization bigger and better.
Scions Memorial Fund
by Scion Secretary / Treasurer Ed Siergiej Jr.

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

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

Contributions can be made to:

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

This month we have recieved generous donations to the Memorial Fund from:

Robert Readinger 
son of Robert Readinger, 194th, Co D

Diane Clark 
Daughter of Mel Lagoon, 193E / 194 
Welcome New Scion Members

The Scions of the 17th Airborne are proud to welcome the following new members, who have joined our organization this month. As our membership grows, we can take on additional projects to honor our veterans and educate about the history of the 17th Airborne.
Wilson Pingrey (Associate Member)
Cadet - U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Nick Curran
Nephew of Maj. James R. (Dick) Jones, (513th PIR)
Ashburn, VA

Paul DeMiglio
Son of Peter P. DeMiglio (194th AT Co.)
Penn Hills, PA

Janie Booth Coolong
Daughter of Charles E. Booth, 680th HQ Battery
Minnetonka, MN

Frank Coolong
Scion of Charles E. Booth, 680th HQ Battery
Minnetonka, MN

Tom Booth
Son of Charles E. Booth, 680th HQ Battery
Sparta, NJ

Carol Booth Dimond
Daughter of Charles E. Booth, 680th HQ Battery
Pittsburgh, PA

Thanks for joining us to honor the men of the 17th Airborne! 
Chaplains Corner
by Isaac Epps

As many know, my father; Rev. Ralph Epps (194AT) was a Minister and served as a Chaplain wherever his Ministry took him. In his later years, I got to see up close and personal how much that Ministry meant. His time visiting and keeping in touch with those in the hospital; or those confined at home; or those who were grieving brought smiles and hugs and the most wonderful "Thank Yous" that could ever be said.
  I encourage everyone to spend some time doing this--find a VA Hospital; or find someone in your church who is a shut-in; or just go to a nursing home and say hello--you will be amazed at how much that will mean to the person who is there day after day with no one to talk to; and to your own spirit.
  As I have stated before; there are Veterans and Veterans' family who are struggling right now with health issues and who are grieving. We cannot know all the names; but we lift them up as we can.
  As Scions Chaplain, I have been busy reaching out to some of the families who recently have lost a 17th Veteran who we all may know more about than others; and I want to share the thanks they have expressed to me with everyone for the thoughts and prayers they have received.
  Ana Magill; for Dr. John Magill
  Sharon Beckwith; for Charlie Beckwith
  Shirley Wolf; for Bernard Wolf
  Marcy and Patti; for their dad Mick Stinchcomb
  Melanie and Nadia Sembrat; for Harry Sembrat
  The Gadd Family; for Curt Gadd
  June Ariola; for Jack Ariola
  The Marincola Family; for Gen and Tony Marincola
  Audrey Baldinger's family, wife of Bob Baldinger
  John Schumacher and his family for the loss of John's son Ken
  God Bless our Veterans and their Families
  Thanks again for our volunteers who have made themselves available for the "Adopt a Veteran" project; which is running at it's own pace right now--see you all at Lancaster--lots of good work to do in this most incredible effort called the Scions of the 17th Airborne---everybody grab an oar and let's get this boat up to speed!!
Airborne Awards Festival
Fellow Troopers and Chapters,
Attached is your invitation to the 2014 Airborne Awards Festival to be held 2-5 April 2014 at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia.  Our theme for this years event will be the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion at Normandy.  Please feel free to forward this invitation to any and all members of your organization or paratroopers, past and present, that you may know!  We also ask that you share this letter on your organizations website.
As you will see in the letter, we are excited to have Lieutenant General (Retired) John LeMoyne as our Guest of Honor and Guest Speaker at the Awards Banquet.  General LeMoyne is a Paratrooper, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, and decorated Viet Nam Veteran.  He also commanded the Brigade that led the "Hail Mary" behind the Iraqi Army in Kuwait during the first Gulf War that contributed to the quick end to hostilities.  He is a SUPER person, both professionally and personally.  We are honored to have him as our Guest of Honor.
Based on survey results after last years Festival, we have also added several new things to this years Festival.  First, we have added a Friday bus trip to Camp Merrill (Ranger Training Camp in Dahlonega) & Camp Toccoa (Band of Brothers training site), both in the mountains of Georgia.  This will be in addition to the Benning trip that we take every year.  Both the Benning trip and Merrill/Toccoa trip will be Friday the 4th.
We also have the 18-member Sentimental Journey Orchestra, a modern big band instrumental group, lined-up to entertain you during and after the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.  They also have arrangements that feature a male and female vocalist.  We will have a dance floor in place, so practice your "moves"!
We would ask that you forward this e-mail and attachment to your organization's members and any troopers that you may know anywhere in the world to maximize our reach ensuring everyone has the opportunity to attend this year's festival.  This one promises to be one of the best ever!
Please remember that this is for ALL Airborne Troopers and their families past and present, Rangers, Special Forces, Special Operations, Navy Seals, etc.  All we ask is that you are or were Airborne Qualified or a family or friend.
If you have any questions, comments, or input, please contact Mr. Tommy Tillman, email:  Tommy is our Marketing Committee Chairman, and is ready for your contact!
We look forward to having you in Atlanta this coming April!
Troy E. "Gil" Gilleland
Colonel (Retired), Senior Executive Service (Retired)

Donald D. Lassen Atlanta All Airborne Chapter

Dead Mans Ridge Walk
Hello dear participants to the "Dead Man's Ridge Walk",

Here is our second newsletter about the DMRW 2014.

Please find in attachment the documents and information related to the 6th edition that will take place on Sunday March 23rd, 2014 from and back to Houmont, commune of Sainte-Ode, 5 miles West of Bastogne, Belgium.

As each year, two trails are combinable, in the morning, in the afternoon or the whole day.

Registration stays at 5€ per person older than 12, including insurance, a free drink and a certificate.

The board of the DMRW has the pleasure to announce that, this year too, all the benefits will entirely be used for the trip back to Europe of a WWII US 17th Airborne Veteran that fought in January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge.

Staff Sergeant John Leather will be present with his family on the day of the walk. He served in Fox Company, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, fought at Houmont and the surrounding hamlets.

You too can help John's remembrance trip to Europe by visiting this website. Every donation will be entirely used for his trip. You can also scan the QR code in the attachment.

Our blog is still operational, as is our Facebook page "Dead Man's Ridge Walk".

We are waiting for you, join us.

Best regards.

Gregory DE COCK
Secretary DMRW.

English Translation of "Die Luftlanding" Book

by Jos Bex
This afternoon, the 27th of February 2014, Johann Nitrowski was presented the German to English translation of his book "Die Luftlandung" by Jos Bex.

Along with the translation Joe Quade sent him a thank you by means of a letter.
Mr. Nitrowski was very pleased with the attention from the US and the fact his book is finally translated into English.  He wishes all veterans and Scions a wonderful meeting in Lancaster!
Jos Bex
Jos Bex and Johan Nitrowski
17th Airborne Online Store
Sales of the items below help to support the missions of the "Scions of the 17th Airborne", to honor the veterans of the 17th, and to keep the history of the Division alive.

Send your check to:

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

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

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

We had a sample Tee shirt made up to display at the 2012 Lancaster Reunion, and got a great response from those who attended. As a result, we can offer this 100% Cotten Tee Shirt with the Scion logo, and the motto "Thunder From Heaven" on the front and the back. Available in sizes S, M, L, & XL for $22 each, size XL for $25 each.

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

Operation Varsity Reports Available
This 57 page document was produced by the 17th Airborne staff at the end of the war. Included are maps of Drop and Landing Zones, Status of each glider load after landing, pre- arranged artillery coordinates, and much more.
8.5" x 14". Great reading.

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

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
17th Airborne Challenge Coins
These beautiful, high quality challenge coins were developed by Scion Jeff Schumacher and his wife Melinda as a tribute to the 17th Airborne. The coins have the 17th Airborne insignia on one side, and the Scions logo on the reverse side. Available for $15 each, two for $25. Any additional coins above the quantity of two would be $10 each. Includes S&H.

Consider donating additional funds so that we can send these to as many of our veterans as possible, or buy two and give one to your special 17th veteran!

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
Scion Hats and Patches
Show your pride to be a Scion of the 17th Airborne Division
The sample hats that we had made up for the Lancaster, PA Operation Varsity gathering sold out very quickly, so we had some more made up. Available in Blue, Black, or Red, these hats have our Scion patch sewn on.
A $25.00 donation is requested for each hat.

We also have additional Scion patches identical to those included in the packages sent to new members.he Patches are 3.5"H x 3"W and are available for $3.00 each.
Includes S&H in the U.S.

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

Proceeds from the sale of these items help to support the mission of the Scions, to honor our veterans, and to tell the story of the 17th Airborne Division
17th Airborne Decals

Scion Gary Stift had these great decals made up, and donated a quantity to us for sale to our members. Thanks Gary!!

Decals are available for $8.00 each, includes S&H in the USA.

Please indicate if you want the Talon Decal, or the Scion logo Decal, and the quantity requested.

Checks may be made out to "Scions of the 17th Airborne",
62A Forty Acre Mt. Rd., Danbury, CT 06811-3353
Talon Newspapers on CD
  During WWII, the 17th published a number of magazines, or newspapers under the title of "Talon". The two most well known are "Talon in Ardennes" and "Talon Crosses the Rhine". In addition we have located 14 additional issues. We have scanned these issues, and combined them on one CD, so that they can be made available to our membership. Thanks to those who have donated  these materials.
Thanks to our membership, we have the funds to put this package together!

The CD is available for $10 each. Includes S&H in the USA

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

17th Airborne Division, Volume 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The website is located at:

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

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

Rose Friday, daughter of Edward Friday (194th)

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

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

Executive Committee:

Cindy Heigl - daughter of Tony Heigl (193rd)
Melanie Sembrat - daughter of Harry Sembrat (513th)
Robert Smith - brother of Levert L. Smith (194th)
Isaac Epps - son of Ralph Epps (194th)
I am Gen. Coutts son-in-law. He was 513 PIR Commander in August 1944.
My family attended the 50th Airborne Reunion in Washington in 1990 as guests of Gen. Coutts, my father-in-law.
Note the inscription on page 2, the back of the attached PDF (picture) file. I believe the presentation date of (1991) may be in error, although the presentation may have taken place in St. Louis.
We were not aware of this presentation of the painting, nor do we have any idea of the whereabouts of the painting.
Can you provide any information/location about the painting?
I believe Gen. Coutts may have been a member of the  Airborne Test Platoon, in the earliest days of Airborne.
Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated!
Joseph Murphy
LTC  USA Retired

Editors Note: Since we recieved this email, Joseph has learned that the painting is in the collection of the Infantry Musuem at Ft. Benning. We thought that everyone would enjoy the letter anyway.
From Scion Stacy Nyikos:
Hi, I'm the granddaughter of Lt. H Clay Schreck of the 194th. H died in 1999 in Houston, Tx. I'm working to piece his story back together for a book I'm writing. I'm a children's writer branching into adult nonfiction. I'd be grateful for any information, stories, or memories that anyone might have about H. 
What my family knows: H Clay, from Huntington, IN, enlisted on April 7, 1943. He was assigned to the 194th GIR. He started as a private but received a battlefield promotion to Lieutenant. We think this happened some time in England before the 194th deployed to the Ardennes. H's platoon was, at some point during the early days of the 17th's fighting in the Bulge, surrounded. When the men tried to surrender, they were shot. H managed to escape and spent many days trying to rejoin Allied Forces. By the time he did, he'd lost 40 lbs. If you know anything about H, anything at all, I'd really appreciate hearing your stories. You can email me at: or call 918.409.4063. Thanks very very much. Stacy Nyikos

Brett Hickle has informed us that Trooper William Mackzo (above) who is turning 90 soon, will be the recipient of a surprise party thrown by his granddaughter. Brett is hopefull  that we can send some birthday cards his way. Brett's message is as follows:

Bill is currently in the process of moving to an apartment. His granddaughter, who is throwing the surprise, is Shannon Spade.

Her address is:

William Mackzo

C/O Shannon Spade

267 Rowes Run Road

Grindstone, PA. 15442

I have attached a service photo of Bill.

Again thank you


Brett Hickle

Editors Note:
Steven Russelle contacted us with regard to this photo of an unknown 17th trooper.
He purchased it so that he could make an attempt to find the family or perhaps the trooper himself.
Sadly, we often find that when a trooper passes his prized uniform and items such as this end up on an auction block. Troopers and family members of troopers should make provisions so that the heritage of the 17th is not sold off for profit to those who do not appreciate it. We thank Steven for his very honorable work to return this photo to the family. If no family is found, Steven has indicated that he will send it to the Scions for our archives, which are growing all the time.

Ed, I found the picture at the Salvation Army Thrift Boutique in Tigard Oregon in March 2013. Tigard is just west of Portland. Two senior citizen housing developments are in that area; Summerfield and King City.

The picture was for sale as an individual item, and I searched the store for any other objects that might have been connected to him, with no luck.

The Boutique stores sell the better items culled from donations. The donation could have come in anywhere in the Portland area and the picture shunted off to the Boutique.

There are no markings on the picture.
From Scion Patricia Overman:
C-47 Restoration

Hans den Brok, author / researcher from the Netherlands (Holland) is trying to obtain information about those men who were dropped from a C-47 that is being restored in the Netherlands.  The tail number was 42-23936.

Although a lot is known about the plane after the war and up to present day, little is known about this aircraft during it's war years.  One fact that has been uncovered is that it was flown in the Varsity Operation and at that time was assigned to the 89th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 438th Troop Carrier Group. 

Hans is now beginning the arduous task of uncovering information regarding the plane during WWII. 
He would like to talk to any of the men, or family members of the men, who are on the jump list, see Jump List.   Putting stories, photos, and men together with this C-47 AC will add so much to educate about this plane, but most importantly, this honors and keeps the memory of those men who served in the 17th Airborne.  

If you have information about this plane or about anyone listed on the jump list please contact Hans at

My husband, Bruce, and I will be attending the reunion at Lancaster. If by chance you have documents and or photos and are attending the reunion, I would be happy to scan these items and send the digitized copies on to Hans in your name.

On behalf of Hans, Thank you Scions of the 17th Airborne for your help.  
Patricia Overman
National WWII Glider Pilots Assoc. Inc.
Wing 1 Commander/Web Administrator
Daughter of Maj. E. Lee Whitmire
USAF (Ret. 1943-1965)
WWII: 438th TCG, 88th TCS
435th TCG, 78th TCS and the 
435th Provisional Glider Pilots Infantry Company

Editors Note: The troopers on the roster below are from the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Co F


by Isaac Epps

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

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

   We stop to pray
   Their Memory shall live;
   The sacrifice they made was Life.
   What more can someone Give?
Judge James R. Lawton

The following obituary was forwarded to us by Susan Foster, daughter of Donald Phinney, (513/D)
The extensive obituary has been shortened for this publication.

March 20, 2007
Judge James R. Lawton (Ret.) 81 years.
Loving husband for 58 years of Jeanne G. (Cashman) Lawton. Proud father of Judge Mark E. Lawton and his wife, Patricia, of Bridgewater; Atty. Thomas D. Lawton of Bridgewater; Atty. Richard J. Lawton and his wife, Michelle, of Easton; Captain Robert S. Lawton of the Plymouth County Sheriff Dept. & his wife Jeanne, of Brockton; and, Atty. Paul M. Lawton, of Brockton.



In 1969, Judge James R. Lawton of, Brockton, was elected as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the New England School of Law in Boston. For the next thirty-seven years, Judge Lawton, as Chairman of the Board, participated in and directed the law school’s commencement exercises, the last such exercise being held on May 26, 2006 at Boston’s Wang Center. On that date, he handed his oldest grandchild, Patrick O’Leary Lawton, his Juris Doctor degree, just as he had done previously for four of his five sons. That was the last commencement exercise he attended. Judge Lawton died on March 20, 2007. He fell at his Brockton home on February 3, 2007, fracturing his hip. He never recovered.

Judge Lawton, known to many as Jimmy, was born on October 20, 1925, the fourth of seven children of Irish immigrant parents. His father, WW1 Army veteran Fred Lawton, was a shoe worker, who died tragically on February 15, 1931 at age 38, when run over and killed by a hit and run driver. His son, Jim, was five at the time. The killer was never apprehended. Under the leadership of Fred Lawton’s best friend, City Councilor John J. O’Donnell, $5,000.00 was raised from Brockton’s shoe workers and military veterans to purchase a farmhouse for Mrs. Lawton and her seven children. The home was located on Summer Street on Brockton’s East Side.

The older Lawton children had to work to help support their mother and the younger children. The young Jimmy Lawton found work in the entertainment industry. Even as a young boy, Lawton was paid to do his impersonations of well known people of the day such as Massachusetts Governor Christian Herter, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, W.C. Field, Ethel Barrymore and Eleanor Roosevelt among others. His favorite was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

As a teenager, Jim Lawton was a regular at the Brockton Fair. He was a member of the popular ‘Youth on Parade’, which was a collection of talented youth from around the country who entertained on stage and on the radio. Every minstrel show had a spot for the talented Jimmy Lawton.
Jim Lawton left Brockton High School after his junior year to enlist in the United States Army. His military unit, the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 17th Airborne Division, participated in the final airborne invasion of Europe, called “Operation Varsity”. At age 19, he parachuted into Wessel Germany. He was seriously wounded in action in Munster, Germany, on March 30, 1945. Lawton spent a year and a half in Army hospitals until his final discharge in November of 1946. He received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart Medals, the Combat Infantry Badge, a Presidential Unit Citation, as well as other decorations.

He took great pride in his military service and even greater pride in the military careers of his grandchildren, including that of his grandson, Army Ranger Captain Timothy Lawton, a West Point graduate now serving his third combat tour of duty in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 1947, Jim Lawton ran for a seat on the Brockton City Council. He was elected at age 22, becoming the youngest councilor ever elected in Brockton’s history. In 1952, Lawton was elected to his first of five terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, becoming at that time one of the youngest ever elected to that body. He was also one of only a few Democrats from Plymouth County to serve on Beacon Hill at that time. In the House, Lawton served on the Committee on Ways & Means, Chaired the Committee on Bills in Third Reading and served as House Chairman on the Commission to Redistrict Legislative, Council & Congressional seats.

It was the same legislative district that Jim Lawton represented for ten years that elected his oldest son, Mark Lawton, in 1974. His son, Mark was also elected to five House terms. He presently serves as an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court, having been appointed by Governor Edward J. King.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Lawton was an active force in legislative reforms in the areas of adoption, foster care and child support, changes that have improved the lives of children throughout the Commonwealth. He was also one of the founders of the Massachusetts Judge’s Conference. Judge Lawton served in the Massachusetts Trial Court for thirty-one years, retiring in October of 1995, at the mandatory retirement age of seventy.

After retiring from the bench, Judge Lawton remained active as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the New England School of Law. During his thirty-seven year tenure, the law school moved from Beacon Hill to Newbury Street and finally to its present location at 154 Stuart Street in Boston’s theatre district.

Judge Jim Lawton brought many judicial luminaries to law school functions over the years. United States Supreme Court Justices, Harry Blackman, Sandra Day O’Connor, Clarence Thomas, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia all accepted Judge Lawton’s invitations to come to Boston. In 1983, Judge Lawton, with assistance from fellow Board member and United States Secret Service Director, John Simpson, who grew up in Boston’s Dorchester section, secured Vice President George Bush’s presence at the school’s 75th anniversary celebration in Boston. Judge Lawton had recently invited President George W. Bush to appear at the school’s 100th birthday celebration to be held some time over the next twelve months, a celebration that Judge Jimmy Lawton will miss. Dean of the New England School of Law, John O’Brien, stated yesterday, “Judge Jim Lawton will be missed more than you’ll ever know. There’ll never be anyone quite like him – ever. Judge Lawton was my boss, but he was also the best friend I ever had.” Judge Lawton’s son, Atty. Richard James Lawton, a 2006 gubernatorial appointee to the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees, said yesterday, “My dad’s passing reminds me of a great quote, ‘The worst misfortune that can happen to an ordinary man is to have an extraordinary father’, and our dad was extraordinary.”

Judge Lawton leaves his wife of almost fifty-nine years, Jeanne Gloria (Cashman) Lawton. They were married in Brockton, on October 16, 1948. He also leaves five sons, Judge Mark Edward Lawton and his wife, Patricia, of Bridgewater; Atty. Thomas David Lawton of Bridgewater; Atty. Richard James Lawton and his wife, Michelle, of Easton; Captain Robert Sean Lawton & his wife Jeanne, of Brockton; and, Atty. Paul Matthew Lawton, of Brockton. He is also survived by seven grandchildren: Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Patrick O’Leary Lawton, Army Ranger Captain Timothy Clifford Lawton, Molly Burke Lawton, Daniel James Lawton, Elizabeth Jeanne Lawton, McKenzie Ann Lawton and Ryan David Lawton.
Audrey Baldinger

Widow of Robert Baldinger (193 / B)

Audrey Louise Baldinger, age 84 of Russellville, passed away on Friday, January 31, 2014 at Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System. She was a member of the VFW Ladies Auxillary. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Baldinger.

Survivors include her sons, Jim (Beverly) Baldinger and Jeff (Karen) Baldinger; daughters, Kim (John) Abbondandolo and Debra (Jeff) Hunter; grandchildren, Carrie Hansberry, Corrie Burroughs, Jessica Morgan, Mark Baldinger, Tiffany Hunter, Julie Hunter, and Ashley Abbondandolo; great-grandchildren, Owen Burroughs and Landon Morgan; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be held in the Hamblen Memory Gardens Chapel of Memories Mausoleum on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11 a.m. with Rev. Greg Cartwright officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Monday evening from 6 – 8:00 p.m.

Stubblefield Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Editors Note:
Audrey and Bob and Ace Rancone ran the first 17th reunion in 1954.

   Cards may be sent to:
     Debbie Hunter
     166 Gulf St.
     Whitesburg, TN 37891
Joseph R. Maleckar

680 / A
Word has been received from Frank Cotman (680A) that Life Member Joseph Maleckar (680A) died in October of 2011. The obituary is as follows.

JOSEPH R. MALECKAR age 91. A proud Veteran of W.W. II, went home to be with his Lord on October 3, 2011. Joe was preceded in death by Marilyn his wife of 63 years. He leaves behind his loving daughters Micki (Michael J. Sr.) Hamski, Jackie (John A.II) Barton, Jill Turrington. He was also cherished grandfather of Kimberly (Mike) Koch, John A. (Christine) Barton III, Michael J. (Kelly) Hamski Jr., Douglas Turrington. Precious great grandpa of Alex Barton, Drew Hamski, Chloe Barton, Nathan Hamski. Dear brother of Ed Kochevar, preceded in death by his sister Mary Maleckar. Dearest friend of Bob Zelis. Joe worked for General Motors, Chevy division for 30 years. He enjoyed working on cars both inside and out, and he loved being the handyman for his daughters and their families. The family will receive friends at the TOMON & SONS FUNERAL HOME, 7327 PEARL RD., MIDDLEBURG HTS. ON SUNDAY FROM 2-5 P.M. A service to celebrate Joe's life will be held at the funeral home on Monday October 10, 2011 at 10:30 a.m., followed by interment at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman, OH. All who would like to share a meal with the family are invited back to Stancato's Celebratta Room at State Rd and Pleasant Valley Rd. following the interment. Family suggests contributions to the Cleveland Food Bank. 1 Peter 1:4-5

Joe's daughter may be reached at the address below.

Jill Turrington
10007 Munich Dr.
 Parma, OH 44130
Francis R. Morgan

(193 / HQ2)

Member of the 17th Airborne Division Association
The passing of Trooper Morgan was reported to us by his grandson, Joshua Youngman.

Mendon: February 13, 2014. Predeceased by his wife, Mary and daughter, Pattie Kowalski. Loving father and devoted grandfather, he is survived by his daughters, Phyllis Miller, Janice Youngman, Joan (Bob) Wallance, Becky Navarro; son, Robert (Ann) Morgan; grandchildren, Joshua, Jon and Haley Youngman; Holly (Chris) Ridall; Jordan and Johanna Wallance, Joey Navarro, Beth and Chris Morgan; great-grandchildren, Morgan and Mason Ridall; nieces and nephews.

Frank was a graduate of LeRoy High School and Bowling Green University; he served in the US 17 Army Airborne during WWII and worked as an accountant and comptroller at various local manufacturing companies. He was a member of the Genesee Woodcarver Society and the Genesee Orchid Society. Frank and Mary enjoyed travels in the US and Europe following his retirement.

A Funeral Mass will be held Saturday, February 22nd, 10 AM at St. Catherine of Sienna Church, 26 Mendon-Ionia Rd., Mendon, 14506, a reception following at the Monsignor Schnacky Community Center. Spring interment at Mendon Cemetery. Memorial donations may be directed to St. Catherine of Sienna Church. To share a memory of Frank or send a condolence to the family visit

Francis R. Morgan
H Clay Schreck 

194 / G

H Clay Schreck, age 78, died September 5, 1999, in Porter, Texas. H was born in Marion, Ohio in 1921, and grew up in Huntington, Indiana, where his father worked as an attorney. H loved to fish and hunt. In fact, he’d rather have done that than just about anything else. Shortly after graduating Huntington High School, H canoed from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico with a friend, Dick Beitelshees. They completed the 1606 mile journey in just under two months. Their adventures were chronicled by newspapers from Indiana to Louisiana. H married his childhood sweetheart, Angeline, in 1941. He enlisted in 1943 and served proudly with the men of the 17thAirborne, 194th Glider Infantry Regiment. H and Angie eventually moved their family to Houston, Texas, where H opened his own cabinetry shop that he ran until retiring in the 1990s to spend more time fishing and hunting. H is survived by his wife, Angeline Schreck, four children, nine grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

Editors Note: This obituary was prepared by Scion Stacy Nyikos for this publication of TFH. Stacy is currently writing a book about her grandfather's life. Those wishing to contact Stacy may do so at:
Stacy Nyikos
6819 E. 116th St. 
Bixby, OK  74008
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