Welcome to our new electronic newsletter! With this issue, we have combined Bill Tom's "Thunder Mail Call" and "Scion News".
This change was made with Bill's support, as well as the advice of 17th veteran Joe Quade who was the editor of the hard copy newsletter of the 17th Airborne Division Association "Thunder From Heaven". We have decided to return to the original title of the newsletter, and to include a section for letters and information under the subheading "Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom". Bill continues to recover from open heart surgury, and will contribute to this section as he is able. We hope that you enjoy the new format which will serve the needs of both the veterans of the 17th, their descendants, and our many friends.
Please send us your 17th related news items, questions etc. so that we can share them with the entire group. You may direct your mail to the Scions at:"
Ed Siergiej Jr. - Editor
In This Newsletter
- Register for our 2nd Annual Convention in Arlington, VA
- Scions Represent 17th During European Trip - by Ed Siergiej Jr.
- Trooper Stories from Bart Hagerman
- Scions Begin to Dig into the National Archives for 17th Records
- Scion Hats Now Available
- Die Luftlanding Book Available
- Chaplains / Historians Report - by Isaac Epps
- Arlington National Cemetery Electronic Database
- Thunder Mail Call by Bill Tom
- Sick Call
Scions to Hold 2nd Annual Convention at Arlington, VA.
The Scions of the 17th Airborne wil hold its 2nd annual convention and memorial ceremony in Arlington Virginia, from Nov 8 thru Nov. 11th, 2012. The highlight of the convention will be the ceremony at the memorial to the 17th Airborne Division in Arlington National Cemetery, on Nov. 10th. This ceremony is part of a larger gathering which is run by the Reuben Tucker Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association. When the 17th Airborne Division Association disbanded in 2007, they provided funds to place a wreath at the memorial to the 17th each year, as part of the larger ceremony. Begining last year, with the founding of the Scions of the 17th Airborne, we have participated in the ceremony. Col. John Kormann, 17th veteran, will speak at the wreath laying ceremony. Following the ceremony at Arlington, we will gather at the WWII memorial for another wreath laying ceremony at the Airborne panel of the memorial. Specific details of the schedule are as follows. We hope that you will join us
Thursday November 8th
(Early arrival for those copying records at the National Archives)
Plan to meet at the Archives at 12:30 PM. We will need to get special ID’s prior to using the archives. This process takes about 45 min.
We have made arrangements to request the files that we want to look at earlier in the day, so that they will be available Thursday afternoon and Friday.
The Archives are open untill 9:00 PM. We plan to work as late as possible to maximize the number of records we can copy. The Scions plan to purchase a portable scanner to assist in this effort.
(If you plan to help us with this project, please send us an email at "Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com", so that we can communicate to you the specific details)
Friday November 9th
(Arrival and check in)
Research at the National Archives
If you are going to go to the National archives, we will leave from the hotel at 7:45 AM to be at the Archives by 9:00.
If you are NOT going to the National Archives:
The Scions will set up a Hospitality area at the Days Inn, to give us a place to relax, share information and be hospitable! This will be open in the morning, as well as the evening
We have a lunch at the Officers Club at Fort Myers, arranged by 17th
veteran Col. John Kormann. This is a great opportunity to visit with others in our group.
There are several local restaurants within walking distance of the Days Inn where we can gather for Dinner.
Saturday November 10th
Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery – 9:15 AM
We will gather in the morning in the hotel lobby, and carpool to Arlington National Cemetery to arrive by 9:15 AM. The ceremony is sponsored by the Rueben Tucker Post of the 82nd
Airborne Division Association. Following the opening ceremony at the Woman's memorial, we will walk to the various Airborne Monuments in Arlington. At the memorial to the 17th
, we will have a special ceremony, and place a wreath. After this ceremony, you can continue with the larger group, or tour Arlington until we leave for the next activity, the National WWII Memorial
National WWII Memorial - 12:00 Noon
We will gather at the Airborne “Relief” at the National WWII Memorial for a ceremony and wreath laying. Time will be allowed to tour this impressive memorial.
Visit with the 82nd Airborne Div. Assoc. Reuben Tucker Chapter at their Hospitality Room, Hampton Inn, VA - 3:00 PM
Reception at the home of Col. and Mrs. John Kormann - 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Those who attended our 1st
annual meeting last year remember the wonderful time that we had visiting with Col. and Mrs. Kormann at their beautiful home in Chevy Chase.
Sunday November 11
Business Meeting – 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM – At the Days Inn Conference Room
The business meeting will include the election of officers for 2012-2013, Financial Report, and other business pertaining to the operation of the Scions of the 17th
Those who can stay until Monday November 12th
can visit and/or tour the historic Washington D.C. Area after the business meeting.
Monday November 12
Farewells and Depart for home
To book your hotel for our 2nd Annual Reunion:
Days Inn, Arlington, VA
2201 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
Call between 8:30AM to 5:00 PM (eastern time) Mon-Fri.
Ask for Abib to get the $79.99/ night rate for the 17th Airborne
Complementary breakfast is included
Scions Represent 17th During European Trip
by Ed Siergiej Jr.
View of the Henri - Chapelle Cemetery in Belgium
Last month, I related our experiences representing the 17th at the re dedication of the memorial to the troopers killed in the Horsa Glider Crash, on December 12th, 1944. It was an impressive and moving experience and my family and I were honored to represent the 17th.
Following the ceremony, on September 21st, we traveled to London for a few days of "playing tourist". We took the advice of one of Princess Anne's "Ladies in Waiting" and avoided using the underground, subway, or "tube", and spent a lot of time walking around the city. On Sunday, we decided to attend a service at St. Paul's Cathedral. Arriving early, we wandered around the cathedral soaking in a lot of history. I happened to read that there is an "American Chapel" inside the cathedral dedicated to those U.S. servicemen who died while in England. Although no tours were normally given on Sundays, when we mentioned that we had just attended a ceremony, presided over by Princess Anne, a special guide immediately took us to the chapel which is directly behind the main alter. This area of the cathedral had been damaged by a German bomb during the Blitz. After the war, it was decided to build the "American Chapel" in this area. There is a large book with all the names of those men who died while in England. Each day, a page is turned over.
On the 24th, which happened to be my birthday, we traveled from London to Brussels on the train. The ride took just over 2 hours, and before we knew it, we were at the station and ready for the next phase of our trip. No sooner had we lugged all our baggage off of the train, then we were met by our friend Frederic Dehon who had generously offered to drive us around Belgium during our stay. Fred leads the "Golden Talon Belgium Association" which honors the service of the 17th Airborne in many ways.
From the station, we traveled to the "Grand Place" in Brussels. I remembered this amazing square from my visit on a 17th Airborne ETO trip in 1981, and knew that my family would enjoy seeing it. We were able to celebrate my birthday here at, of all places a "Hard Rock Cafe". We were joined by Laurent Olivier and Gregory De Cock from the 101st Airborne Belgian Friendly Association. That evening Fred drove us to a wonderful hotel in Tihange, which was in a good location for the next days activities.
On the morning of the 25th, we left the hotel and traveled to the first of three American Military Cemeteries where soldiers of the 17th Airborne rest. The first cemetery was the Ardennes American Cemetery. This cemetery is located at Neuville-en-Condroz, 12 miles southwest of Liège, Belgium. After meeting with the superintendent, we layed a wreath on behalf of the Scions and toured the cemetery, which contains the graves of over 5,000 American soldiers.
Following our visit to the Ardennes Cemetery, we drove to the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery, located near the village of Henri-Chapelle, Belgium where 7,992 American soldiers rest. We were led to an area of the memorial where we again place a wreath. The staff arranged to play "Taps" for our group as the wreath was layed.
Our final visit of the day was to the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten. We were met by Joe and Flory Somers, Jos Bex, and members of the Margraten Memorial Group (MMG), Pierre Ackermans, Joe Bisscheroux, John Smeets, Erwin Flohr, and Luc Horck. Before going out to the cemetery, we gathered in the chapel and again layed a wreath on behalf of the Scions. The MMG presented us with some wonderful gifts, including a very interesting book about the people who have honored our fallen soldiers by adopting their graves. (More about that later) Our daughter, Regina sang "My Buddy" in the chapel for the assembled group. For many years, at the annual reunions of the 17th, my mother sang this song at the candlelight ceremony at the Saturday Night Banquet. In later years, when my parents could not attend, Regina filled in for her, including at the final banquet at Hampton, VA. We felt that this "reprise" was fitting as we gathered in the Margraten chapel.
Following our visit to Margraten we all gathered at a local restaurant for a great luncheon. The hospitality of everyone we met was wonderful and much appreciated. We will be posting videos of Henri-Chapelle, and Margraten of the Scions Facebook page.
In closing this report, would like to add a few words about the grave adopters. Since even before the war ended, civilians living in Belgium and the Netherlands have honored the Americans who gave their lives for their freedom by adopting their graves. On Memorial Day, and at certain other times, these wonderful people travel to the cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of the individual soldier(s) that they have adopted. In many cases, the adopters have researched the soldiers history, and endeavored to contact their families in the U.S. Due to privacy rules, the cemetery administrators are not allowed to give contact information to the adopters, so they use the Internet and what ever other tools they can find, to locate the families of "their Soldier". The grave adoption program would be a good subject for an article in "Thunder From Heaven". If anyone would like to write something, the Scions can give you some great sources for information. If you are interested, send me an email to: Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com.
Next month, I will continue to relate the last phase of our epic trip. We spent several days in the Bastogne area, visiting the areas where the 17th fought.
I could not close without again mentioning the many friends who took time out of their schedules to welcome us and make our trip so memorable. Many of you we knew by reputation, but had not had the privilege of meeting in person. There are many groups and individuals who honor the 17th Airborne in different ways. Some as grave adopters. Some as tour guides for our veterans and their families. Some as re-en actors. It is heart warming to know that the sacrifices made by the troopers of the 17th are not forgotten.
Editor: We recieved this letter from Luc Horck of the (MMG) Margraten Memorial Group, just as this newsletter was completed.
Some of you may already know us, some of you may not. That is why we would like to introduce ourselves (again).
The Margraten Memorial Group 17-th Airborne (MMG 17-th Airborne) was started some years ago initiated by mr. Pierre Ackermans & mr. Joseph Bisscheroux. They already knew mr. Joep Somers & mrs. Flory Somers and later they got to know mr. John Smeets and mr. Luc Horck. We got together and started organizing a group. Our goal was and still is to keep alive the memory of the soldiers of the 17-th Airborne Division, their actions to restore our freedom and the price they have paid while doing this. In doing so we, of course, also honor you: their families and relatives.
We would like to remember and honor all those involved with the 17-th Airborne Division with as many people as possible. Most if not all of our group have adopted a grave of a 17-th Airborne trooper at Margraten. Adoption means that several times a year flowers will be placed at the adopted grave. Also we hold a ceremony each year on the Sunday closest to March 24-th to remember the start of operation Varsity. Other activities include attending Memorial Day, organizing Battlefield Tours and attending activities from our Belgian 17-th Airborne friends.
At this moment "official" functions (without forgetting everyone who has adopted a grave) are held by the following people:
- chairman: mr. John Smeets
- secretary-treasurer: mr. Luc Horck
- senior advisors / members: mrs. Flory Somers, mr. Joep Somers, mr. Joseph Bisscheroux and mr. Pierre Ackermans
- Battlefield Tour expert: mr. Jos Bex
- junior advisors / members: mr. Wesley Haex, mr. Tom Verheyden, mr. Ralph Peeters, mr. Erwin Flohr
We are very proud to be involved with the 17-th Airborne and will keep on doing our share, however small, to keep alive their memory.
MMG 17-th Airborne
PS: you might also want to take a look at our Facebook page Margraten Memorial Group
My family and I with our friends at the Margraten Cemetery, Sept. 25th, 2012
Pierre Ackermans, Joanne Siergiej, Maryjo Siergiej, Erwin Flohr, Flory Somers, Jos Bex, Regina Siergiej, Julia Siergiej,
Ed Siergiej, Joseph Bisscheroux, Luc Horck, and John Smeets
(Not shown are Joe Somers and Fred Dehon)
A Miracle On That Unforgettable Day
The airborne assault of Operation Varsity began on Saturday morning, 24 March 1945. We boarded a C-47 for the Rhine Crossing. After parachuting into a field near. Wesel, Germany, I unfastened my harness, uncased my machine gun, and ran for the woods. Our sergeant assembled a group of us, and we formed a line and headed deeper into the wooded area. We met opposition near a small hill where we were ordered to halt out advancement and maintain our position. I was looking for my assistant gunner who was carrying the tripod for the machine gun, but he never showed up. After a while, I spotted a German soldier behind a tree, and right at that moment, I saw stars. I was shot in the head through my helmet.
by Charles V. Zemek (507D)
I was told that after the resistance was silenced, my sergeant and later a medic came looking for survivors. Upon seeing my wounded, lifeless body, each thought I was dead. A fellow trooper, who was a good friend, received a shoulder injury during his jump and was put on a detail to pick up the wounded and dead. When he came across me lying there, he also thought I was dead. Later, when he returned for my body, he noticed I had moved and took me to the aid station for help. From there I was taken to a hospital in Paris to await my return to the Unites States where I underwent surgery and six months of hospitalization with therapy in an attempt to regain the use of my right arm.
I am forever grateful to God for watching over me and to my good buddy, George Workman, who miraculously noticed I had moved. 24 March 1945 was a momentous day--never to be forgotten.
Tanks In Flamierge
It may not qualify as a heroic or even as a stressful feat but it is unforgettable to those involved. I was with the 513HQ3 when we took the town of Flamierge after a tough battle that lasted six or seven hours. Several of us, including Captain Wing, our company commander, ended up in a slightly damaged house by the side of the road at one end of town. As we relaxed a bit and started feeling cold since most of us had shed our overcoats during the battle, someone announced that he could hear what sounded like a tank coming up the road. It was a medium size tank and it stopped smack in front of the house where we could could see it through a window and not more than 30 feet away. To our surprise, instead of the white star we expected to see on its side, we saw a black cross with white trim. A German soldier wearing a cap, stuck the upper part of his body out of the turret and looked down the road through field glasses. Another GI and I started to raise our M1s but Captain Wing motioned to us not to shoot and said, almost in a whisper, "Let Duncan shoot it with the bazooka." I helped Duncan load the bazooka with the only remaining round we had, and he fired point blank hitting the tank squarely on its side. It must not have damaged the tank much, since in a split second, the observer went back into the turret and the tank took off in reverse in top speed. Captain Wing grabbed a German rifle and rushed out the door followed by two or three of us. We all took several shots at the speeding tank but rifle fire was to no avail and it was soon out of sight.In retrospect, although I still wish so much that we had been able to knock out the tank, I thank perhaps we were lucky that the bazooka did not cause enough damage to render it unable to run. I dread to think what might have happened had they been able to turn the turret toward us and fire.
by Hector Harrera (513HQ3)
Scions Begin to Dig Into National Archives
As reported in the itinerary for our 2nd National Convention above, on Nov. 8th and 9th we will begin to dig into the records at the National Archives for records related to the 17th Airborne.
Scion Peter Schleck, has done some preliminary work at the Archives, and reports that there are quite a few boxes of records. At this time our team consists of Peter, Cindy Heigl, Rose Friday, and myself. We have purchased a flat bed scanner, and will begin to scan the records in an orderly way. We do not believe that we will be able to scan all the records, but should be able to make a good start. In the future, we will know what has been scanned, and where to pick up. Our ultimate objective is to make this information available to our members. When our website is up and running many of these documents can be posted there.
The purchase of the equipment needed to scan and store the documents is possible due to the support of our membership, via. their dues. Thanks to everyone who has signed up to be a member of the Scions.
Scion Hats and Patches Available
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.
We also have additional Scion patches identical to those included in the packages sent to new members. Makes a great holiday gift!
A $ 25.00 donation requested for each hat.
The Patches are 3.5" H x 3" W and are available for $2.00.
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
Die Luftlanding Book Available
Rare Book About Operation Varsity
Originally published in Germany, Die Luftlanding is a detailed account of Operation Varsity, by author Johan Nitrowski. The book covers both the U.S. and British roles in the operation. The U.S. section is over 100 pages long and has many photos not seen elsewhere. The book was reprinted some years ago, but is difficult to find. Recently 13 copies of the book were located in Germany by one of our Honorary Scions, Jos Bex. Before making the investment in this purchase, we wanted to ascertain how many would be interested in the book, and we did a query on our Facebook page. This resulted in 9 immediate affirmative responses.
Based on that response, the Scions have purchased these books, so that we can make them available to our members on a "First come, First Served" basis at our cost plus shipping. The books have now arrived, and we will be contacting those who have expressed interest. We still have 3 copies available. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please send us an email to "Sconsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com" and we will put you on the list. The cost, including shipping and insurance will be $120 each. If more books are located, we will endeavor to purchase them as well. It should be noted that the book is in German. Jos Bex is beginning to work on a translation, but this will be a tedious and difficult task. We will keep you posted as that develops.
Chaplains / Historians Report
by Isaac Epps
In October, I attended to my normal duties as Chaplain and as historian--especially in terms of our dear friend Sid Laufer.
I have been in conversation about strategies for the Charlie Jones MOH effort with Col. Kormann; who has been in the spotlight and in demand lately as regards the situation in Benghazi; given his experiences there on June 5th, 1967.
In my role with the Don Lassen Atlanta All American 82nd Chapter; former Static Line editor Annette Purcell has offered to sell the Scions all the remaining 17th Christmas ornaments, golf balls, and Christmas cards at cost---more information on that soon; as she supplies her inventory numbers and the cost---probably not ready for this Christmas; but ready, if we choose, for Lancaster sales.
I have been supplying 17th archives to the editors of "Veritas" magazine out of Fort Bragg; who are putting together a book about Camp Mackall.
I have been trying to reach our friend Meredith Jorgensen, reporter for WGAL TV; who was there for 3 years at the Lancaster reunion to give that gathering TV coverage. As you may remember, she could not attend last March, due to health issues. I finally convinced the WGAL operator to fill me in.:" Meredith is not yet back at work--her chemo treatment is over; and she is getting better; and her hair is growing back---she comes in now and then to work on a story; and is looking forward to getting back full-time." Brace yourself; then google her name; and see the wonderful; inspirational you tube videos she has posted about battling cancer--a fighter, for sure. I will speak with her asap; and will report from her personally--incoming prayers, please--she loves "her Veterans".
I have had good conversations with the following; who report healing from health issues and are doing OK: Charlie and Sharon Beckwith---Ed and June Morgenstern---Jack Macauley---Verna Greenwald---Audrey Baldinger---John Schumacher---Mike Rock---Dr. John MaGill---Rev. William Keeler---Bill Tom (elated that the SF Giants won the Series---his spirits up for that)---and Tony Marincola. I also had a great conversation with Nadia Sembrat and she and Harry are doing well.
Arlington National Cemetery Electronic Database
WASHINGTON (AP) — Arlington National Cemetery on Monday made available to the public a massive electronic database detailing the gravesites of the roughly 400,000 people buried there.
Cemetery officials built the database over the last two years to verify the accuracy of their records brought into question by reports of misidentified graves. Prior to 2010, the cemetery used paper records and maps to track who is buried where.
On Monday at the Association of the United States Army convention in Washington, the cemetery debuted an interactive map available through its website and through a free smartphone app. It uses geospatial technology to hone in on specific graves and can also be searched by name.
It can be accessed through the cemetery's website www.arlingtoncemetery.mil
When a name is called up, a viewer can see when the person was buried and the dates of their birth and death. Photos of the front and back of the headstone can also be viewed. Monuments and memorials that commemorate the service of specific military units are also included in the database.
The application also highlights some of the notable graves throughout the cemetery that are popular with the roughly 4 million visitors annually that the cemetery draws.
"This is a great day for veterans and our families," said Kathryn Condon, executive director of the Army National Military Cemeteries, which includes Arlington.
Officials say the new app makes it easier for people walking the cemetery to locate a loved one's burial place. The app can be downloaded at the cemetery's visitor center.
The database has been the subject of a painstaking review and even now is not 100 percent complete. Katharine Kelley, the cemetery's director of accountability, said that about 99.4 percent of the nearly 260,000 gravesites, niches and markers have been verified.
The remaining few deal largely with some of the cemetery's oldest graves and records, which date to the Civil War. In many cases, it may be an effort to verify the spelling of the first name of a spouse buried at the cemetery among disparate handwritten records.
Condon said she could not say how much it cost to develop the website and mobile app, largely because the work to develop the technology was conducted in house.
The geospatial technology used to power the smartphone is the same that the cemetery uses to coordinate the 25 to 30 burials conducted there every day. Care is taken to ensure, for example, that maintenance work at the cemetery is not conducted at the same time and place as a burial service.
Arlington officials say the cemetery is one of the most technically advanced in the nation.
From Scion Robert Blethrow via Facebook
The following article was submitted by Scion Peter Schleck.
HONOLULU (AP) — A World War II veteran who inspired many with his determination to vote even though he had end-stage liver cancer died Wednesday.
Frank Tanabe's daughter Barbara Tanabe said he died at her Honolulu home, where he has spent the past few weeks in hospice. He was 93.
Barbara Tanabe said she put the American flag up outside the home to mark the day for him and their family.
"He really liked it when I put out the flag," she said.
Hundreds of thousands of people saw a photo of Frank Tanabe filling out his absentee ballot with the help of his daughter last week, after his grandson posted the picture on the social media site Reddit.
The photo struck a chord, prompting many to thank Frank Tanabe for his service and praise his patriotism. The story spread further when The Associated Press and other media organizations wrote about the photo and the response it generated online.
Tanabe served in a mostly Japanese-American unit of the Military Intelligence Service during the war, interrogating Japanese prisoners in India and China.
He volunteered for the Army from an internment camp where the U.S. government sent him as part of a policy to detain and isolate 110,000 Japanese-Americans after the start of the war with Japan. He spent time in both the Tule Lake camp in California and the Minidoka camp in Idaho.
Decades later, Tanabe explained how he felt in an interview for a documentary tribute to Japanese-American veterans.
"I wanted to do my part to prove that I was not an enemy alien, or that none of us were — that we were true Americans. And if we ever got the chance, we would do our best to serve our country. And we did," he said.
Barbara Tanabe said she told her father about all the news coverage his vote was getting, including stories that appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on the front page of the Idaho Statesman.
"I was thinking these are the two big newspapers in Idaho and California, where he went to camp," Barbara said. "It's just a nice way to look back at history and say that things do turn out OK."
Honolulu elections officials say Frank Tanabe's vote will be counted unless they receive his death certificate before the Nov. 6 election. Even if they do receive the certificate, it most likely won't be practical for elections officials to pick out his ballot from the thousands of absentee ballots mailed in.
His family knows which candidates he chose, but they've decided to keep that information private.
Barbara Tanabe said it's not important who her father voted for — it's the voting itself that makes a difference.
Editor: We recieved this today from Scion Robert Blethrow
"For those of you who know Jacob Salisbury, you know that he is in Basic Training. There is no doubt his Scout training is helping him through. Jacob informed me that at mail call, for each letter, after the first one, they have to do 10 pushups.
I know that he would like to hear from some of you. The family usually gets one letter a day off. So if you send him a letter, he will most likely have to do 10 pushups for them. I remember how the physical fitness Merit Badge challenged Jacob in a couple of areas. Getting in shape in Scouts is paying off big dividends now. If he had to do Scouts over, I bet he would have gone on every hiking campout available. He is going on a lot of them now.
If you want to write him I know that he will like to receive letters, even if he has to do the pushups for them.
PV 2 Salisbury, Jacob
Bldg 5960 Rothwell St.
Fox Btry 1/79 FA
Ft. Sill, OK 73503
A person who enlists in the Army starts at as PV 1. Jacob is PV 2 because he ios an Eagle Scout. That is a few hundred extra dollars each payday for being an Eagle Scout."
Bud Salisbury, 101st AB Vietnam (Purple Heart) and Grandfather of Jacob.
Scion ROBERT SMITH reports that:
Recently I attended a military show and sale in Williamsburg, VA. I encountered an old friend of the 17th ABD, John Andrews. John and I first met at a 17th reunion in PA many years ago. He authored three books on the Airborne of WW II, and I have copies of two of them. John knew of the dissolution of the Association but did not know about the Scions. I gave him the necessary contact information, and he seemed to be interested.
|From John Robert Caskey via the Scions Facebook page
Any information on 2nd Lt. John Robert Caskey, KIA Dead Man's Ridge, on January 7th, 1945 would be appreciated. I believe he was a replacement officer, arriving in England August of '44. He was with Company B of the 193rd.
Editors Note: Anyone with information regarding John's question can contact him via. Facebook, or respond to the Scions at "Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com" and we will forward.
Submit Your Article
The Scions welcome articles or information for our newsletter. Did you make a trip to Europe to visit the areas where the 17th served, or read a book with information about the 17th that you would like to share with others? Send us an email to "Scionsofthe17thairborne@gmail.com". We will do our best to include your material in a future newsletter.
Charles M. Beckwith Jr. (466 C)
Charlie has suffered several falls and is resting at home, as reported by his wife, Sharon. Get well messages may be sent to him at:
714 3rd Ave. N., Surfside Beach, SC 29575-3906
Col. William C. Trigg (513A)
Died Oct. 3, 2012 as reported by Curtis Gadd. Full obituary and Guest Book information is available in the following link:
TRIGG , Colonel William G. USA (Ret.) 88, died Oct. 3, 2012. As a career military man he participated in campaigns in France, Belgium, Germany, Korea and Vietnam. Bill grew up in St. Petersburg, the son of the Rev. and Mrs. Philip B. Trigg, and brother to the late Virginia Westwood. He attended local schools and graduated from the Florida Military Academy, and attended SPJC until he volunteered at age 18 for the paratroopers. He saw action in WWII in the European Theater of Operations, notably the Battle of the Bulge and Operation Varsity. After the war he earned a BS degree in pre-med from Duke University, but forfeited a medical career to serve his country as an officer in the regular army. Among the assignments of which he was most proud were the 4 years he served as Provost Marshall at the U.S.M.A., West Point ,NY. He was also instrumental in the inmate integration of the penal system at Ft. Leavenworth, KA. where he served as Warden. After retiring, Bill worked for the state of Florida and in various local non-profit agencies. He served as lector for many years at Blessed Trinity Parish in St. Petersburg. William is survived by his wife, Anne, and eight of his 10 children; a daughter, Elizabeth Clark, Pleasanton CA , and seven sons, William, Jr. Tucson, AZ, Jonathan, St. Petersburg, Thomas, Grand Junction, CO, Laurence, Enterprise, AL, Marcus, Hernando, MS, Steven, Denver, CO, Antony, St. Petersburg, and 17 grandchildren. He is predeceased by son, David, and daughter, Rebecca. A memorial mass will be celebrated Dec. 27, 10 am at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church where the Triggs were married in 1947. Full military honors will follow at Bay Pines. On line memorial & guestbook at www.brettfuneralhome.net
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on October 9, 2012
Roger Feese (680th HQ)
Life Member Roger Feese (680 HQ) died Oct. 4, 2012 as reported by Mick Stinchcomb (680 HQ)). The obituary and guest book are listed in the link below:
KEARNEY, Nebraska - Roger Neal Feese, 89, of Kearney died Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, at St. John's Good Samaritan Center in Kearney.
Memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at First Christian Church in Alma with the Rev. Larry Doubet officiating. Burial of cremains will be at Alma Cemetery with military honors by a military honors funeral team and Alma veterans organizations. There will be no visitation. The body was cremated. Banta-Torrey Funeral Home in Alma is in charge of arrangements.
He was born Feb. 15, 1923, in Alma to Cornelius A. and Pearl (Beyer) Feese.
Survivors include his close friend and companion, Charlotte Bunn of Alma; several nieces and nephews; several grandnieces and grandnephews; other relatives; and many friends. He was the second child of two children in his family.
Roger was baptized at First Christian Church in Alma at age 12. He attended schools in Alma and graduated from high school with the class of 1940. He then attended one year at the University of Nebraska Agriculture College at Lincoln and one year of Agriculture College at Colorado State University at Fort Collins.
On April 16, 1943, he entered the U.S. Army at Fort Crook. He served with the 456th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion in the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. He received the Good Conduct Medal, the Bronze Star Medal and the Bronze Arrowhead. He was honorably discharged on Jan. 8, 1946, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
Roger drove a semitrailer gasoline transport truck for 18 years. He started farming in 1963 and farmed until he retired in 1988. With the exception of the time spent in college and the military, he resided in Alma until he entered St. John's Good Samaritan Center in Kearney on March 13, 2008.
Roger was a member of First Christian Church in Alma, Jachin Masonic Lodge 146 A.F. and A.M. at Holdrege and formerly Harlan Lodge 116 A.F. and A.M. at Alma and Melrose Lodge 60 A.F. and A.M. at Orleans before they demitted. He also was a member of American Legion Post 118 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5584, both of Alma, the 17th Airborne Association and the 82nd Airborne Association.
Roger loved his hometown community of which he was very kind to and supported. He gave donations to all the local churches, the local Boy Scouts, for a new wing at Colonial Villa, for playground equipment at the city park and to the Alma City pool, Special Olympics and the local Caring Cupboard. Most of his giving was done anonymously. His desire was to provide for the future of Alma's children and its residents.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1973; his mother in 1958; and brother, George Feese on July 13, 2002, and his wife, June, in 1998.
Published in Kearney Hub on October 8, 2012
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. All veterans of the 17th are considered as "Distinguished Honorary Members" of the Scions. We exist to honor you, the veterans.
Contact the Scions at Scionsofthe17thAirborne@gmail.com.
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)"
Within the next few months , the Scions will have a website up and running. 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. Will be communicating the details of our website, when it is made active. Many thanks go out to Scion Danny Carter, who is assisting us in setting up the website!
The Scions will hold our 2nd annual meeting this November in Arlington VA, in conjunction with the ceremony at the monument to the 17th in Arlington National Cemetery.
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) - President
Michele Smith, daughter of Bill Smith (466th) - Vice President
Ed Siergiej Jr, son of Edward J. Siergiej (194th) - Sec./Tres.
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)