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Last Updated on Sunday, 12 January 2014 21:20
news 2013 Print E-mail

Friday, the 28th of June 2013

 We were part of a re-enacting event named "Liberation 1945" near the town of Trebic the last weekend. Thanks to the heavy armor which was present was the event a big success and we all enjoyed also a short trip on the Sherman tank.




Thursday, the 27th of June 2013

Between 11.5.-19.5.2013 we were together with our friends from the Tank Destroyers driving thru the south of Bohemia. The tour with the name "Ruckmarsch 2013" had also a German side and we were fighting each other on the way. The spirit was perfect, the vehicles worked properly and in the end the weather turned very good, so we will keep only good memories.



Tuesday, the 4th of June 2013

Another sad news, our dear friend and member of the 513th PIR HQ Harry Sembrat passed away on June 2nd 2013. Thanks to his daughter Melanie we can remember his life in the following article in a short way . We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends. Rest in peace Harry, we will never forget you !



The following words cannot begin to do my father justice, but for those whonever met him, they are a start.


He was deeply touched by so many people remembering him, and very grateful - "thank you, thank you, thank you" he would say at the end of each letter
or email or text I read to him. He was proud of his family - "Pops" Andrew and Mom Julia, his wife Nadia (Makarowsky) Sembrat, and me - and proud of his Ukrainian heritage.

He enjoyed family, enjoyed all the Sundays after church in Syracuse when we would go visit family, and enjoyed his work on the railroad as well. He spent his time in WWII trying to catch up with his brother Mike, who was a Paratrooper in the 509th PIR, Company C. Harry served with the 17th Airborne Division - sometimes called "The Forgotten Division" - and never did catch up to Mike. Thankfully, all three brothers (Mike, John, and Harry) made it home safely. He met Nadia while playing in a church softball game (Syracuse vs. Amsterdam), and they were married on July 29th, 1949 in Amsterdam, NY. Harry worked for the New York Central Railroad in East Syracuse and Dewitt; when I was six, he got transferred to Selkirk, NY. He retired with 46 years of service on the railroad and settled down to an (active) retirement with Nadia. They traveled a bit with church groups, senior groups, and of course to the 17th Airborne Division Association Reunions. He continued to travel to the mini-reunions in Lancaster, PA every March, where he enjoyed everyone's company and enjoyed talking with his fellow 17th Airborne Paratroopers after a 28 year member of the 17th Airborne Division Association;

and all of us who have started the Scions of the 17th Airborne..


He remained a loving and devoted husband and father up until the end, and went to be with God on June 2nd, 2013.


Monday, the 6th of May 2013

The past weekend we were part of the Freedom celebrations 2013 in the town of Pilsen.We had a big camp exhibition and also were the organizing part of the Convoy of Liberty. The weather was excellent all weekend long, we had expected and unexpected meetings with various number of veterans and the result of the whole weekend was a big success. Not only in our opinion as far our informations report.

We hereby would like to thank all the people responsible for the whole organisation of the Freedom celebrations 2013 and you can find some pictures in our new gallery soon.




Tuesday, the 16th of April 2013

Last weekend, our group attended the Tank day in Milovice, near Prague.There was a lot of vehicles to see, interesting battles and camps as well. Some of the pictures you can find in our gallery.



Thursday, the 4th of April 2013

Thanks to Marty Cavanah, we have the chance to see another great set of pictures. The first new gallery is about Howard Oyler (194th GIR).

Howard Oyler was a jeep driver for Col Petersen in the 194th. Howard lives in Independence, Missouri which is the hometown of President Harry Truman. Howard and Kenny Cavanah became friends after the war. They were both from Independence when drafted but did not know each other until years later. They became very close friends and attended many reunions together over the years with their wives. Both have lost their wives in the past 10 years. After the war ended Howard Oyler was able to go back and examine the gliders to see how much damage was done to them in the landings and was able to get some interesting photos as you can see in the gallery.



Saturday, the 23th of March 2013

68 years ago, the final preparations for Operation Varsity, the largest Airborne operation in history, took place. Over 16.000 troopers went on their way across the Rhine on the 24th of March 1945. Even through emense losses the German army was defeated and another route to the end of the war was created. The british 6th Airborne division and the american 17th Airborne division have lost about 2000 men during the drop and the following fights, but took 3000 prisoners and killed an even bigger amount of enemy soldiers.

We would like to honor the fallen this way and pay tribute to them who were fighting for the freedom of all of us.

We will never forget !



Saturday, the 23th of March 2013

Marty Cavanah, the son of the veteran of the 17th Airborne Division Kenny Cavanah (194th GIR) shared with us some great pictures from his dad. We would like to share these pictures also and you can find them together with Marty´s comments in the new gallery.



Wednesday, the 20th of February 2013



Another sad news received our group today, from the Scions organisation, which we are proud members of. Charles M. Beckwith, 466th PFAB, Battery C passed away yesterday on the 19th of February. Another great man we could meet, spend some time with and have great memories on him. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family, his wife Sharon and all friends. Rest in peace dear friend, we will never forget.


Saturday, the 9th of February 2013



We received a sad message yesterday, from Pam Steadman. Our dear friend and the member of the 507th PIR, Co. C Howard R. Huebner passed away in the night of February 8th. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends, we will never forget, rest in peace dear friend.


Sunday, the 20st of January 2013

During the past weekend, we took part on the big re-enacting event called "Straight to hell", near the town of Milovice. The storyline was situated to the heavy fights in the Ardennes in January 1945. Our memories and respect goes to all the veterans, who were forced to go thru a hell like that. We will never forget !

Pictures can be seen in the gallery.




Last Updated on Sunday, 12 January 2014 21:10
News 2012 Print E-mail













Monday, the 24th of September 2012 will be forever remembered as the day of loosing our beloved friend, mentor and a wonderful man Sidney "Sid" Laufer (513th P.I.R.), Company F. We will miss you buddy and we will never forget you !



Wednesday, the 29th of August 2012

The past weekend, we went to the Air show in Pilsen-Line. A big number of interesting aircrafts could be seen there, their interesting show in the air also. We have represented the 17th Airborne Division not only in the military camp, but also in the simulated battle, which was very welcomed by the visitors. All the weekend we had a beautifull weather, so the event was in all ways a succes. Some pictures again on our Facebook page.


Wednesday, the 29th of August 2012

The first weekend of august, our group went to a planned Training Camp in a well known area. All members, command included, were forced to pass the physical tests, tactical exercises and teoretical preparation during all weekend. Everybody did just well and the commanding officers were very pleased with the results and the efforts. We would like to continue in this way and try to improve the skills and knowledge of our members in the future. Some pictures can be seen on our Facebook page.


Tuesday, the 15th of May 2012

During the first weekend of May, we attended the Freedom Celebrations in the town of Pilsen again, as we did last year. The atmosphere was just great, people were excited and we spend a very good time together with our re-enactor friends. And the name of the 17th Airborne Division was reminded again, as our group was in the front of the liberating convoy.

Airborne, all the way !

Pictures in the gallery.


Monday, the 14th of May 2012

From the 10th of March until the 27th of March 2012, we were visiting the United states of America again. Our journey brought us to places like Camp Mackall, Fort Benning, Fort Bragg, Special Ops and Airborne Museum in Fayetteville and the Gen. Lee Museum. We really enjoyed these places a lot but the main focus was on the 17th Airborne Division reunion held in Lancaster, PA. We have met our friends again, spend a wonderfull time together and for the new guys it was like Christmas. We appreciate the efforts of Michele Smith, Isaac, Rose and all the others, so we all could have this wonderfull time together.

Pictures can be seen in the gallery.


Saturday, the 4th of February 2012

Last weekend, our group went thru an amazing event once again. The bitter cold weather and the strenght of the enemy was verry hard to overcome, but we all managed both of these conditions and forced the enemy to give up at the end. We would like to thank everybody involved on both sides.

The gallery can be seen HERE



Wednesday, the 1st of February 2012

Thanks to Judy´s Imre letter from the 14th of January 2012, we received the sad news about the passing away of Robert C. Hultman. He was with the F Company, 513th PIR, 17th Airborne Division. We were honored to meet him in person and we would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family and his friends.

May he rest in peace.



Thursday, the 10th of November 2011

Tomorrow, on the 11th of November 2011, all veterans worldvide are celebrating their day, the Veterans day. We would like to thank all of them, no matter which unit, conflict or nationality, for their efforts and sacrifice for the good of all of us.

Thank you all, we will never forget !


Friday, the 28th of October 2011


On the 24.10.2011 our dear friend and a veteran of the 17th Airborne Division, 513th PIR, Company D Curtis Gadd was celebrating his 90th Birthday.

We would like to wish him all the best, a good health and many great moments for the upcoming years.


Tuesday, the 30th of august 2011

Unfortunately, we received very sad news in the past couple of days. Our dear friends and veterans of the 17th Airborne Division Thomas E. Connolly (513th PIR Company F) and James S. Lauria (681st GFAB Battery A) passed away on the 22nd and 23rd of august 2011.

We would like to express our deepest sympathy to their families and friends. We will never forget !


Thomas E. Connolly - 513th PIR Company F James S. Lauria - 681st GFAB Battery A


Monday, the 29th of august 2011

PILSEN KIT + Air Show in Líně

In the days 26-28.8.2011 our group was attending the traditional event Pilsen KIT and on sunday we moved to the Airfield in Pilsen-Líně, where we did participate on an imaginary battle for the spectators. There was also a lot of airplanes to see, pictures can be seen HERE.



Tuesday, the 16th of august 2011

Margraten + Ursel 2011

This year we were attending the Ursel (Belgium) "Wings & Wheels" event again. The first weekend of August, 7 men from our unit were attending this very popular and attractive event. You could find a lot of vehicles, camps, demonstrations from WWI until the modern era of all army outfits and of course a large amount of selling stands in Ursel. The weather was not always the best, but all of us enjoyed this trip again very much.

On our way back, we made a stop in Margraten (Holand) to honor the fallen troopers of the 17th Airborne Division again. We´ve visited the graves of Jack Cook, Chin Tom and of course the adopted grave of Gerald C. Reed. The moments on the cemetary are always very strong and they keep you thinking about what all this men have suffered for us all. We will never forget them ! Some pictures can be seen over HERE.



Tuesday, the 16th of August 2011

"Dirty five"

Our unit went three weeks ago to a planned Training camp to military ground near the town of Pilsen. Thanks to the surprise of the enemy activity in the area, the heavy rain we had all the weekend and the cold, was this traing camp one of the hardest tests for our unit. Pictures can be seen HERE.



Monday, the 18th of July 2011

Airborne, all the way !

To this motto, we tried to get closer again on the 9th of July 2011. Eight of our members were trained near the town of Pilsen on an Airfield, where they also made their first jump on the next day, on an Army parachute from the altitude of 600 m (cca 2000 ft.). All of them survived and you can really soon find some pictures HERE and the complete story over HERE.


Wednesday, the 18th of May 2011

On the 19th of May, our dear friend and a WWII veteran Howard R. Huebner, will celebrate his 88th birthday. He was a member of the 507th PIR. We would like to wish him all the best for the upcoming years and a happy birthday !



Wednesday, the 11th of May 2011

To celebrate the end of the war in Europe, we were attending the celebrations in the town of Pilsen, together with our friends from the re-enacting group of the 2nd ID Pilsen. The event took place from the 6th of May until the 8th of May 2011. It was a successfull event in our mind and there was a lot of positive feedback from the audience also. The pictures can be seen in our gallery.



Monday, the 25th of April 2011

During our visit at the Lancaster reunion of the 17th Airborne Division veterans, we were honored with the Honorary membership in the 17th Airborne Division. This was not only a great honor for all of our members, but also a sign for us, that the work we are trying to do has made some impression at the veterans and the relatives and families as well. We will of course continue in our efforts to keep the memory of the 17th Airborne Division alive.


Saturday, the 23rd of April 2011

Our re-enacting group was organizing a public event which was named Assault - April 1945 and was held on the 16th of April 2011. The main event was focused on the allied advance at the end of the war and there were two demonstrations during Saturday, with a german assault on an allied convoy.


The presence of audience was very high and the feedback from all participants was also very good. Again, the name of the 17th Airborne Division was brought to the daylight even more. You can find some pictures in our gallery.



Sunday, the 3rd of April 2011

We had the chance to meet not only our known friends at the reunion, but also some new veterans, we only knew from emails, letters or phone calls until this day. We would like to mention John J. Schumacher (194th GIR, Co D) and Jack Ariola (194th GIR, Co B). They both were helping us a lot even before we have met them, with informations, stories, documents or pictures for our website. On the first picture from left are John J. Schumacher and John W. Leather (194th GIR, Co F). On the second picture is Jack Ariola.




Saturday, the 2nd of April 2011

We have just arrived from another 17th Airborne Division which was held again in Lancaster, PA in the days between the 20. - 25. March 2011. There was about 28 veterans attending the reunion from all regiments of the division, many family members and relatives or friends. The reunion was also covered by the local newspaper and a local TV channel (video). A new organisation was founded, on behalf of John Kormann´s wish, with the name "The Charter of the Order of the Scions of the 17th Airborne". All members of this charter should continue in perpetuating of the memory of the 17th Airborne Division and all soldiers of this division. The main focus is to take care of the living veterans, organizing of meetings and contacting all possible family members and veterans, who can no longer attend the meetings or are not aware of them.



Tuesday, the 18th of January 2011


With a heavy heart, we received the sad news from his family and Veronica Smith, that our dear friend and a veteran of the 17th Airborne Division, Raymond P. Leuthy (139th Engineer Batallion) passed away in the early hours this morning. Ray would be celebrating his 88th birthday on February 11th. We would like to express our deepest sympathy to his family and friends. We will never forget you Ray, rest in peace.



Sunday, the 3rd of January 2011

A story and informations about our dear friend Col. John G. Kormann you can find after cklicking HERE or in the section 17th AB Men Stories.



Sunday, the 31st of October 2010



Elwood Wesley

Born January 11, 1925 in Hogue , Kentucky . Died June 16, 2009 in Columbus, Indiana . He was inducted into the US Army on April 7, 1943 and served until January 7, 1946.


He was a qualified paratrooper and a mortar gunner with Company C of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, 17th Airborne Division. He served his country courageously during the Ardennes ( Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland and Central European campaigns. He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action as well as the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, and the Combat Infantry Badge.


He was wounded on March 25, 1945 in Wesel, Germany near the Issel canal during Operation Varsity. He was initially treated by a German doctor who lived near the canal. He was then taken to an aid station. There was some delay in removing the bullet from his leg and so infection set in. They could not remove the bullet until the infection was under control. Because of this delay, the war was over when he was finally able to rejoin his unit in Berlin .

Thanks to Tim Wesley for photos and information about his father.


Monday, the 18th of October 2010



Ludie L. Smyth, 513th P.I.R. Co H, was born on the 1. April of 1919 in Titus County in the eastern Texas.

He joined the Army in 1940. He was transfered to Fort Mears, Alaska in 1941. He joined the fights of the Islands in 1942 after attacking by Japan.

He was then transfered to Fort Benning and assigned to the 513th PIR, Company H.

He was attending in the Operation Varsity during March 1945.

Ludie L. Smyth was KIA on the 3.April 1945 in the Town of Wesel, only two days after his 26. birthday.

We appreciate the support of Karen Hyatt, thanks for the picture and infos of her uncle.



Wednesday, the 15th of September 2010

We are glad to present a great effort of our dear friend Jos Bex from Holland. His E.T.O. tours should be attractive for each one of you. The link follows in the graphic, just click on it.



Tuesday, the 6th of July 2010

Thanks to Mrs. Roy Carroll, we can present you another short story of a former 513th PIR trooper Veto C. Fuller (513th PIR, Company I). The article can be found HERE



Sunday, the 30th of May 2010

Pamela Steadman, daughter of Howard Huebner (507th PIR) asked us for the presentation of the new movie, which will have the world premiere in Normandy, during the June D-Day celebrations. Howard as we are told, will not be able to be there unfortunately. We are happy to help with the presentation and all of you can see the movie-poster here.


Monday, the 24th of May 2010

Col. John Kormann (517th SG) is always ready to answer our questions and he is writing to us very often. The last time he was telling us some very important words which we would like to share :

"Dear Cenda & Pavel,
Your activities provide such a useful service in reminding everyone of what took place in those fateful years from 1939-1945. The world would be a different place today, if many had not given their lives to assure that the rest of us could live in peace and freedom.
My wife, Elsa, and I are well and busy. We often tell our friends about your reenacting and are proud to have you representing and perpetuating the memory the 17th Airborne Division. Stay healthy and keep up the good work !"




Wednesday, the 19th of May 2010

Today, our dear friend and veteran of the 507th P.I.R., 17th Airborne Division, Howard R. Huebner is celebrating his 87th birthday. We wish him a happy birthday, all the best and the best of health for the upcoming years.




Tuesday, the 23rd of March 2010

We have been attending (07. March - 12. March) at the Bill Smith´s Mini Reunion in Lancaster, PA. It was a very beautiful event with many great people and we did enjoy every minute. Special thanks to Bill and Michelle Smith, Rose Friday, Isaac Epps and Peter Schleck. Pictures are located in the gallery HERE, the report is located HERE.



Wednesday, the 27th of January 2010



With a heavy heart and big sorrow, we have received a message from Bill Tom :

"Our beloved Colonel Del Townsend, President of the 17th Airborne Association, passed away today at 4:58 PM Eastern Time, 26 January 2010. He was in his 89th year.
Peter Schleck and Rose Friday were present at his departure, Colonel Kormann and Isaac Epps were enroute to the hospital.
Del was recouperating in peace at the hospital, and he shall now remain at peace for all his Eternity.
Dear God, We, the 17th Airborne society, grieves for our great loss."

Our prayers are with his family, we will never forget you Del !

Del´s Bio : here













Last Updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 11:51

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