Welcome to the home of the Scions of the 17th Airborne Division.
The official website of the veterans and descendants of the 17th Airborne Division.
The Scions of the 17th Airborne was founded in 2011 by an official mandate of the 17th Airborne troopers themselves, as a challenge made by the 17th Airborne Division Association to continue the Association's legacy. We were incorporated as "The Scions of the 17th Airborne, Inc." in 2012. Full membership is open to all veterans, family members and descendants of veterans of the 17th Airborne Division, with other membership levels available to those with no direct ties but with an interest in the history of the 17th Airborne Division.
The mission of the Scions of the 17th Airborne is to honor the service of all veterans of the 17th and to educate others about the history and sacrifices made by the troopers who served in this division during
World War II.
We strive to accomplish these missions by holding regional gatherings where troopers and their families can gather and share their recollections. We communicate with our membership using our
"Thunder From Heaven" newsletter, through this website, and on our Facebook page. We also collect documents related to the history of the 17th and make them available to our membership.
The 17th Airborne Division was an airborne unit in the United States Army during World War II, commanded by Major General William M. Miley. It was officially activated as an airborne division in April 1943, but was not immediately shipped out to a combat theater, remaining in the United States to complete its training. During this training process, the division took part in several training exercises such as the Knollwood Maneuvers, in which it played a vital part in ensuring that the airborne division remained as a military formation in the United States Army after the poor performance of American airborne forces in Sicily. As such it did not take part in the first two large-scale airborne operations conducted by the Allies: Operation Husky and Operation Neptune. The division transferred to Britain after the end of Operation Overlord.
When the division arrived in Britain, it came under the command of XVIII Airborne Corps, part of the First Allied Airborne Army. The division was not chosen to participate in Operation Market Garden (the airborne landings in the Netherlands) as Allied planners believed it had arrived too late and could not be "trained up" in time. However, after the end of Operation Market Garden, the division was shipped to France and then Belgium to fight in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge. A 17th trooper earned the Medal of Honor during the fighting in the Ardennes (the first of four that members of the division would earn), and the division was then withdrawn to France to prepare for an assault over the River Rhine. In March 1945, the division participated in its first, and only, airborne operation, dropping alongside the British 6th Airborne Division as a part of Operation Varsity, where its troopers earned three more Medals of Honor. The division then advanced through Northern Germany until the end of World War II, when it briefly undertook occupation duties in Germany before shipping back to the United States. There, it was officially inactivated in September 1945, although it was briefly reactivated as a training division between 1948 and 1949.