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T. Moffatt Burriss Funeral, 13 Jan 2019 (Photo credit Ted Podewil)

Gavin Memorial and State Historical Marker in their new Location in Mount Carmel. 
The plan is to create a corner park at the site.  The large building in the background will depict an historical mural.  The theme of the park and mural will be ''freedom''.  The concept is being developed.
The new location of the Gavin Memorial

President’s Update December 30th, 2018

I first would like to wish all of you a happy and prosperous new year ahead. As we reflect on all that has happened in 2018 let our focus be on looking forward to the new year ahead and the activites and events that mark the 75th Anniversary of World War Two.  2019 will be a banner year to honor and remember the courage and sacrifice of our world war two combat paratroopers and gliderman of the famed 82nd ”All American” Division.

As our planned reunions were not able to take place as anticipated, 2018 was marked by events coordinated and sponsored by our club including the outstanding work accomplished by Ted Podewil, then vice-president and now treasurer of our club, as he spearheaded the 75th Anniversary Commemoration event in Camden, South Carolina on 29 March 2018 in honor of the first US Army mass parachute drop of 29 March 1943 by the 82nd Airborne Division’s 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. This event was well attended by the active division and veteran organizations. A project that was delayed for years took place in the Belgium Ardennes at Grufflingen (Burg Reuland), Belgium on 24 September 2018 with C-47 Club sponsorship and involvement of 106th Infantry Division Association’s through Doug Mitchell.  This partnership resulted in a well planned ceremony and dedication of a beautiful monument to MOH recepient Corporal Horace ”Bud” Thorne of the 9th Division and his unit.  Our Club secretary Bobby Wingate was instrumental in assisting Thorne family members who made the trip over for the event.  As mentioned in my last update the CCB, 9th Armored Division was attached to the 82nd during the Battle of the Bulge.  The completion of this project reflects the involvement of our club in promoting historical projects. This was a project that I personally was involved with the planning since 2014-  mission accomplished!

As I have said in previous updates to you the accomplishments we make as club, as chapters and as individuals ”move our organization forward in common pledge and purpose.” On the 4th thru 6th of January 2019 our C-47 Club Ardennes-Salm River Chapter will sponsor the 3rd Goya Remembrance Walk to take place on the 5th of January in remembrance of the 551 Parachute Infantry Battalion.  This weekend event will also include a visit to the 551 PIB Ardennes battlefields on the 4th of January and a special ceremony in tribute of our founding president William H. Tucker. The chapter will welcome family members Sandy and Karen Tucker, daughters of William H. Tucker, Cheryl and Michelle Dillard, daughters of Colonel Dillard, Ginni Field, daughter of Richard ‘Dick’ Field and Frank Gahagen, nephew of Jack McAtee, KIA on Jan 07, 1945 in Rochelinval.  If your wanting to know the WW2 battlefield history, I highly recommend you read William H. Tucker’s book titled:  ”Rendezvous at Rochelinval 1944-1945”  Our Normandy Chapter is ready to support the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in June 2019 as it gracefully has done over the many years.  C-47 Club director and Normandy Chapter secretariat Francine Duchemin Noyon along with the Normandy Chapter leadership has a plan of activities and events for club members who are interested in joining them. Francine can be contacted for more information at email:  francinenoyon@hotmail.com  On another note of interest, as your president I will ask the C-47 Club to approve an historical plaque to be installed in Neuville Au Plain in remembrance of the 746th Tank Battalion and their actions in assisting the 82nd  and thwarting the German advance into Ste Mere Eglise during D-Day . This project was discussed back in 2015.  We should look forward to making this a goal.  I intend to work with the Normandy Chapter for their approval and support for the plaque.  Our Holland Chapter in The Netherlands can be contacted  if your wanting to experience the 75th Annversary of Market-Garden in Sptember 2019.  The point of contact is Marco Cillessen at email:  FAM.CILLESSEN@T-MOBILETHUIS.NL. Our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter can be contacted for information on the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge activities for December 2019/January 2020.  If your wanting to pay a visit to the United Kingdom our C-47 Club UK representative to be contacted is Robert L. Burrow at email:  roblburrow@hotmail.co.uk In the past years our UK representatives have acted as a reception party for the 82nd Airborne Division and past anniversary tours and visits by the C-47 Club to Leicester, the American Military Cemetery at Madingley were 33 82nd troopers are buried, as well as 82nd memorial sites such as the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment’s memorial at Quorn.  There is always time to have a pint at the village pub named the White Horse where the 82nd paratroopers and glidermen spend time when away from 1944 Base Camp Quorn.

Do keep in mind  for the 75th Anniversary we will not host a return to Europe tour as we have done in the past as a Club. I encourage you to reach out to our chapter POCs here in Europe to coordinate your visit with them.

Some of you may have heard that the General James M. Gavin monument and state historical marker have been moved to a new site in Gavin’s boyhood hometown of Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, as American Legion Post 91 was closed.  This was at a cost paid for by two organizations:  The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2110 Mount Carmel and the 82nd Airborne Division Association Central Pennsylvnia Chapter.  As a life member of both organizations I have assumed the chairmanship with Post 2110 commander as co-chairman of the Gavin rededication committee to have a rededication ceremony at the new site of the memorial and state marker in downtown Mount Carmel.  The rededication date is planned for August 17, 2019 in concert with ”All Airborne Day”.  If interested in supporting the rededication, please contact me at ed.82101@t-online.de for more information.  Besides the rededication of the monument and marker there is further planning to make the corner property into a park and add a mural to the side of a large building facing the proposed park.  This is why support and funding are needed in everyway as we go forward with this endeavor.

In every message that I send out to you I restate the purpose of our club and that is to ”protect and promote our historical and unique history and heritage based on the 82nd’s hard fought World War 2 campaigns and battles”.  During my years as C-47 Club president this has always been and remains my focus. We are unable to effectively carryout the purpose of our club without you, the membership and leadership, and your active participation and involvement to get things done. I ask you to bring others on board (refer to our C-47 Club website ”Membership”) and to support our quartermaster sales.  We have some items in stock and will now plan to order new items in anticiption of the 75th Anniversary of World War Two. As these items become available they will be posted on our website at www.c-47club.org. Also, refer to our facebook page at www.facebook.com/c-47-club-inc for information and coverage.

Regarding membership, I was informed by Richard Becker, President of the 82nd Airborne Division Association and Advisory Committee member of our club that the 82nd Airborne Division Association has opened membership to our club membership who are not airborne qualified but have an interest in joining the Association.  This matter will be further discussed with President Becker and brought to the attention of our club’s executive officers and board of directors for a decision on how we should be involved with this opportunity presented to our club by the 82nd Airborne Division Association.  I would like add a comment made by President Becker in his message to me that he is ”very pleased this has come to fruition- it has been a very long time in the works”. Again, more on this opportunity for our organization and membership in my next update.

I am once again happy to report that our Club remains in good financial standing.  Any questions that you may have concerning our club finances can be directed to our treasurer Ted Podewil at redwings18@windstream.net  Your donations are both needed and welcomed in suppport of our club’s projects and activities.  Ted will assist you with your intentions.

I wish to thank the executive officers, board members, Chapters and membership-at-large for your steadfast contributions to our cause,  and for your loyalty, trust and involvement in all that we do.  I am honored to serve as your club president.

As we must always be reminded I ask that if you hear of a member’s death or sickness do pass this information on to a member of our Health and Welfare Committee-  Bobby Wingate, Ted Podewil or Susan I. Federinko.  At this time I ask you to remember in your thoughts and prayers the following who have passed away:

William F. Knapp, First Lieutenant, United States Army World War 11, Company B, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment ”Red Devil” 82nd Airborne Division.  A Charter member of the 82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club. Recepient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for action and wounds sustained during the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and Battle Stars for action in Normandy, D-Day, France and Operation Market Garden, Nijmegen, Holland.  Bill was awarded two stars to his airborne wings for jumps into Normandy and Holland and received the Good Conduct Medal for his service. Bill was awarded The French Legion of Honor on September 20. 2015.  Many of us remember Bill’s return to Holland in 2015 and Normandy in 2016 for the first time since the war.  At Neuville Au Plain he was presented with a C-47 Club gold medal charter member card.  William wore his uniform proudly.  His service over the years was one of dedication and commitment. Bill passed away on November 27, 2018 in Las Vegas, his place of residence.  RIP Bill.

In honor and remembrance special thoughts go out to the past leadership of our esteemed and historic club:

–  C-47 Club Founding President and Past President of the 82nd Airborne Division Association William H. Tucker.  He had drive and vision until the very end. His devotion and loyalty to the C-47 Club and his comrades epitomized his personality and character.

–  C-47 Club Past President Ray Fary.  Ray devoted years to keeping the airborne spirit alive.  He had character and humility … he was always out front and got involved … he made things happen to remember his comrades and initiate many of the memorial plaques found on 82nd European battlefields.

–   Colonel Douglas C. Dillard who past away A Charter member of the C-47 Club and ”Director Emeritus” of the C-47 Club.  His years of leadership, contributions, participation and support of the club’s objectives were immeasurable and profound.

–   C-47 Club Past President and Past President Joseph P. Schwan. His tested and proven leadership, leadership, leadership has made an extraordinary impact on our club and our members. ”The greatest casualty is being forgotten”  

Very respectfully … Airborne!

Edward B. Lapotsky


 

News article Gavin Marker 18 Nov 18

 


Burial of Colonel Doug Dillard (551st PIB/82nd AB) at Arlington Cemetery

(Photos by Isabel Rubio, Associate Member, C-47 Club)

President’s Update Winter 2017

Airborne greetings to all of you! As Veterans Day weekend is upon us, I would like to take this time to say it is your weekend to congratulate yourself and your familyand other veterans and families for serving our country and the cause of freedom. Let us remember our fellow veterans who have gone before us and gave us the meaning of brotherhood and comradeship that is the foundation of our club. Let us remember our past veterans who rest in Arlington National Cemetery and elsewhere. Let us also keep focus on the courage and sacrifice of our presenAfbeeldingsresultaat voor airborne wintert military veterans and their families who carry the burden of service today in defense of our freedom. As veterans past, present and future we have a common cause and history. Happy Veterans Day!

As a club we are unable to meet this year and ask you to look forward to 2018 and the plan for a reunion and commemoration in the Belgium Ardennes. On another note, I have received the news that our Treasurer Dr. Gordon Sumner will step down at the end of this year after a decade of supporting our Club in this position. He has done a magnificent job as treasurer. If anyone would like to step up as treasurer, he will work with you in every way to ensure a smooth transition. I will be reaching out to the leadership on this matter. Dr. Sumner in his last message to me and Secretary Bobby Wingate called for a concerted effort to encourage our members to renew their 2018 membership now and for our life members to consider a donation to our club account. Do get your 2018 renewals in to Dr. Sumner as soon as possible. Your support is welcomed.

Our club remains financially sound with a positive account balance as reported by our treasurer. As with membership, please send any donation or gift to the C-47 Club Treasurer. Any questions that you may have concerning our C-47 account can be directed to Dr. Sumner.

I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year holiday ahead, and thank you for your dedication, participation and support of our Club.

Airborne!

Edward B. Lapotsky

President, 82nd Abn Div C-47 Club

”Guardians of the WW2 history of the 82nd Airborne Division”


President’s Update Fall 2017 

Late last night and early this morning, I received the news that Colonel (ArmyRet) Douglas C. Dillard passed away in his sleep. His family was at his bedside. For you who knew him he was ”All-Airborne” in everyway.  As much as I will, I am certain that all of you will miss his good guidance and involvement as well as his infectious smile and quit demeanor.  Colonel Dillard served our Club in many capacities and was selected as Director Emeritus of our Club.  He was a permanent member of our Club’s Advisory Committee. His advise was sought many times on issues that involved our Club.

His passing was a great personal shock to me as I was in recent personal contact with him as he was planning a return to Europe with the Greatest Generation Foundation.  Let us know that Colonel Dillard was one of our heartbeats and his loss of presence diminishes us greatly.  His passing is a great loss to our Club, our Airborne Community and our Nation and I ask all of you to pray for his eternal peace and happiness.  Our deepest sympathy goes out to Doug’s family in this time of sorrow and loss.

We now will look forward to a fitting and proper tribute to Colonel Dillard in the time ahead.  This will include a tribute on our website and facebook page. Your expressions and input are to be sent to our C-47 Club Website Coordinator Patrick Brion, e-mail: patrickbrion@hotmail.com.

This month marks the 73rd Anniversary of Operation Market Garden.  Our historic club is always well represented at the Market Garden Remembrance observances by our Holland Chapter (Groesbeek Airborne Vrienden). September 17th, the day the operation began back in 1944, is the start date of observances in remembrance of this epic airborne and ground operation by American, British and Polish forces and the Dutch people. Let us remember the sacrifice and courage of it all. Unfortunately, I will be unable to be present to honor the 82nd’s fight and sacrifice there. With this said, we should be reminded of the major role the C-47 Club played in the establishment of the National Liberation Museum in Groesbeek with our Dutch airborne friends during the period of 1979-82 as well as the other projects that honor the 82nd Airborne Division’s WW2 history there. These projects among others include the General Gavin Monument, Lt. Billy Connelly Monument, Capt Stefanich Monument, Thompson Bridge Grave, Lt. Foley Monument Beek Ubbergen and Waal Crossing Monument. This is the history of the C-47 Club in Holland and the work and dedication of many over the past decades. As I send this update, today marks Patriot Day so let us remember the cost of freedom and what these events should mean to us.  It is proper that we do so.

As fall fast approaches, we need to give some thought about our reunion gathering in the Belgium Ardennes.  As I still wait for the planned date of the dedication of the Cpl. Thorne Monument, our reunion remains in check until a date for this dedication is confirmed. Once I know the date, the reunion details will follow. We have some stateside members who are planing to make the reunion trip and as always we will have a memorable time.  Looking back on our esteemed history, we can be proud of our reunion gatherings.  Events as such don’t just happen but involve lots of planning, hard work, service and commitment on the part of our leadership and members of our Club and Chapters.

I would like to again turn to membership. We have had some new members sign up.  I would like to sound-off the concern of Dr. Gordon Sumner, our esteemed treasurer, to send your renewals in to him.  You support is encouraged and needed.

As we continue to move forward as a club let’s not lose sight of our successes and accomplishments over the many years..  Our organization of Club and Chapters is there and committed to continue to carry out events and programs in support of our purpose. We know what we have accomplished in the past and what we can do now and in the future. Even with one or a few representatives on the ground we still have representation as this is the case in the United Kingdom. Our Club’s mission statement to our European Chapters and/or representatives as revised in 2009 by our then Board of Directors remains the same:

to work in partnership with and in support of the C-47 Club Inc. 82nd Airborne Division’s mission to guard and preserve the legacy of the 82nd WW2 paratrooper and gliderman, their unique battlefield history of WW2 and the special programs that endure here and in Europe.”

Last but not least, I ask you to refer to our C-47 Club website for updates.  As a Club, we are  committed to a return to European 82nd Airborne Division sites and battlefields in commemoration of the 75th D-Day Anniversary.

Our club should look forward to this epic return to remember the 82nd’s (our) historic and unique history. Your involvement in it will be the measure of our success.  To every member, I send my personal salute and best wishes.

AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!

Edward B. Lapotsky President, 82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club


82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club President’s 73rd Anniversary D-Day Message

On the occasion of the 73rd Anniversary of D-Day, I extend my best wishes to the officers and members of the 82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club Normandy Chapter and all who have joined the Normandy Chapter to honor this year’s events. Your continued dedication and devotion as a chapter and as members and associates of our club is testimony of your commitment and remembrance to the memory of the 82nd paratroopers and glidermen who courageously committed themselves to liberation and freedom 73 years ago and to those among them who founded our club.

The 82nd Division WW2 paratroopers and glidermen may not be physically with you today- a remaining few may have made the trip back to Normandy to be with you- but all of them are certainly there in spirit among you. With this thought please give them a moment of silence and then a round of applause in recognition of their courage and sacrifice, what they accomplished, in memory of comrades left behind, and to the freedom they passed on to us.

I ask you to also reflect upon our deeply rooted French-American friendship founded on hundreds of years of common and shared history and values. This common history of shared values is highlighted by what happened 73 years ago on Normandy soil and is embodied in the 33 days of continuous combat in Normandy by the 82nd Airborne Division. Ste Mere Eglise, La Fiere, Chef du Pont, Picauville, Gourbesville, Fresville, St Sauveur le Vicomte, Neuville au Plain among other places are forever reminders to us of uncommon bravery and extraordinary courage but also reflect our deeply-rooted history and the values we share. These places are also a reminder of the resistance and sacrifice of the French people who fought hard and gave their all in the name of regaining their liberty and dignity again.

As guardians of this history, we are charged with keeping such bravery and sacrifice alive knowing the shattering reality of D-Day is to be truly understood by what came out of it- liberte, egalite, fraternite. With this said let us continue our cause so others too will remember the longest day and long days that followed it.

In closing this D-Day 73rd Anniversary address, I graciously in absence pass on to all of you my best airborne regards and wishes on behalf of the 82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club, 82nd Airborne Division.

Airborne All the Way! Freedom!

Edward B. Lapotsky

President C-47 Club, 82nd Airborne Division


82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club Inc.

TO. 82nd Airborne Division C-47 Club Inc. Executive Directors, Board Directors and Membership-at-Large

FROM: Edward B. Lapotsky, 82nd C-47 Club President

SUBJECT: President’s Update May 16, 2017

TODAY IS May 16, 2017 and I send my best airborne greetings to our membership and affiliates of our esteemed and historic club. I also want to express the important events that are upon us this month by mentioning ”82nd Airborne Division’s All-American Week” that will be happening at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Memorial Day. Both honor the role the 82nd plays in the defense of our freedom and the courage and bravery of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

As I have said in a previous update to you the accomplishments we make as Club, as Chapters and as individuals ”move our our organization forward in common pledge and purpose.” Here in Europe our Chapters continue to honor and remember the 82nd Airborne Division’s WW2 history. This will happened in Normandy this June and in The Netherlands in September. Our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter held a memorable historic commemoration program and remembrance walk in January 2017 in the Belgium Ardennes honoring the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion and their fight during the Battle of the Bulge. Our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter was joined by Colonel (Retired Douglas C. Dillard, WW2 551st PIB veteran and C-47 Club Director Emeritus along with members of the Dick Field family. Dick Field who recently passed away was a member of the 551st PIB during WW11. He was honored during the march and his ashes spread on a field where he fought in a ceremony, now the site of a new memorial.

Do keep in mind that our club reunion this year will be held in the Belgium Ardennes hosted by our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter and in conjunction with a commemoration event honoring MOH recepient Corporal Horace ‘Bud’ Thorne of the 9th Armor Division. Corporal Thorne died on December 21, 1944, at Grufflingen, Burg Reuland, Belgium. The commemoration event will be held at the site of a memorial honoring him and his unit. Note: CC B, 9th Armored Division was attached to the 82nd during the Bulge Battle and to have our reunion gathering in concert with this event will bring many to Grufflingen. As a further reminder in 2018 we are looking at our reunion to be at Fort Bragg or in Holland. For the 75th Anniversary we will host a return to Europe tour as we have done in the past as a Club.

In every message that I send out to you I restate the purpose of our Club and that is to ”protect and promote our historical and unique history and heritage based on the 82nd’s hard fought World War Two campaigns and battles”. During my years as C-47 Club President this has always been and remains my focus.

I congratulate our Vice President Ted Podewil for his planning and execution of the Camden, South Carolina, memorial event honoring the 82nd’s first regimental parachute jump. He along with others have made this into a yearly event and plans are for a big remembrance event in 2019.

We look forward to seeing more new members join our ranks and I ask you the leadership and membership to sign others up. Membership is the key for us in getting things done. As with membership, our quartermaster sales bring in revenue that allow us to do great things. Based on feedback and demand, our focus will be on quartermaster sales and the addition of new items. As these items become available, they will be posted on our website.

I will ask our Club Secretary Bobby L. Wingate to send to our officers and board of directors a list of new Club members and also members who have renewed their annual membership this year. This message will include a short bio on each who have ”hooked up” in support of our Club. I would like to take this time to welcome MG (Ret) Burns to our historic and unique Club. His welcome letter was sent out by me and our executive officers made the contact to bring him on board.

I am once again happy to report that our Club remains in good financial standing as our treasurer has reported in his recent message. Your donations are both needed and welcomed. If you have any questions concerning our Club’s finances or donating please direct them to our Treasurer Dr. Sumner or any of our executive officers.

I wish to thank the executive officers, board members and membership-at-large for your steadfast contributions to our cause, and for your loyalty, trust and involvement in all that we do. I am honored to serve as your club president.

As we must always be reminded I ask that if you hear of a member’s death or sickness do pass this information on to a member of our Health and Welfare Committee- Bobby Wingate, Gordon Sumner, Ted Podewil or Susan I. Federinko. At this time I ask you to remember in your thoughts and prayers the following who have passed away:

– Nicole Lee Wingate, dughter of our secretary Bobby L. Wingate, who passed on March 1, 2017. Nicole was an will remain a part of our Club and airborne family.

– C-47 Club Charter Member Allan G. Wood who passed away on April 20, 2017. Allan served in WW2 with the 508th PIR. He made his first combat jump in Nijmegen, Holland and was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge. Allan was a good friend and strong supporter of the airborne. Some of you may have remembered Allan and his wife Flo at the 82nd Association reunion in Reno, Nevada.

– KRAFT de la Saulx, Knight Christian, Honorary President of CRIBA and C-47 Club Ardennes Salm River Chapter. who died on 16 March 2017. Christian was a strong supporter and advocate of our Club and a true Belgian friend and supporter of the airborne for many years. His devotion and participation was evident to all of us who knew him during our travels and time in Belgium. He was there for many a 82nd WW2 veteran who made it back to Belgium.

– Lt. Gen (Ret) Thomas H. Tackaberry who died on April 3, 2017. former commander of the 82nd and 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg and one of the most decorated officers in Army history with 38 years of service. I had the privilege to serve as one of General Tackaberry’s guidon bearers at his retirement on October 1, 1981. He personally awarded me as a recepient of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Distinguished Soldier Award and insignia while I was stationed at Fort Bragg. As his son BG (Ret) Tackaberry put it: ”He was a soldier’s soldier.”

In closing, God bless our WW2 paratroopers and glidermen and all veterans past, present and future as we honor and remember them during the Memorial Day observances! Do keep in mind and heart all who are serving in our armed forces throughout the world and in harm’s way.

V/r … Airborne forever!

Ed

Edward B. Lapotsky


SUBJECT: President’s Update November 11th, 2016

TODAY IS November 11th, 2016 and I send my best salute to our veterans and their families in our esteemed and historic club and beyond. I also extend to each and every one of you happy and joyous holidays ahead.

I ask you to once again take a look at my previous president’s message that I sent to you. I am proud to know how much we have accomplished as a club in the past year and over the years to move our organization forward in common pledge and purpose.

As we come upon the end of the year this has always and will remain a reflective period but I ask you not to look back but forward to what will happen. Here in Europe our Chapters continue to honor and remember the 82nd Airborne Division’s WW2 history. This happened in Normandy this past June and in The Netherlands in September of this year and will happen in January 2017 in the Belgium Ardennes.  Our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter will host a remembrance event honoring the 551 Parachute Infantry Battalion.  The 551 Parachute Infantry Battalion was attached to the 82nd Airborne Division during its fight in the Battle of the Bulge 1944-45.  This event will be held on January 7th, 2017 which happens to be the day the battalion launched an attack on the village of Rochelinval.  In honoring the courage and sacrifice of this unit we hope to honor all those who fought in the Bulge Battle as well which was the largest land battle fought by the United States Army.  You will hear more about this event and the good work our Belgium Ardennes Salm River is doing to keep our history alive.

As I mentioned in my last president’s update, do keep in mind that our club reunion for 2017 will be held in the Belgium Ardennes hosted by our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter. And again as a further reminder in 2018 we are looking at our reunion to be at Fort Bragg or in Holland. For the 75th Anniversary we will host a return to Europe tour as we have done in the past as a Club.  The planning has started.  I ask you to plan to attend these events and bring others along.

In every message that I send out to you I restate the purpose of our Club and that is to ”protect and promote our historical and unique history and heritage based on the 82nd’s hard fought World War Two campaigns and battles”. During my years as C-47 Club President this has always been and remains my focus.

At this time I deeply and heart fully congratulate our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter in their planning and hosting the return of 82nd veteran Rock Merritt and others to the Ardennes which included visits to Rencheux (Vielsalm) where our bridge memorial is located and Lanzerath where a memorial plaque to the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment was dedicated in 2015. I was told that the visit was memorable and outstanding in every way.  Again, congratulations to our Belgium Ardennes-Salm River Chapter for a job well done and deepest thanks to all who got involved with the work to make the visit happen.

We look forward to seeing more new members join our ranks and I ask you the leadership and membership to sign others up. Membership is the key for us in getting things done. As with membership, our quartermaster sales bring in revenue that allow us to do great things.  Based on feedback and demand, our focus will be on quartermaster sales and the addition of new items.  These items will be available in 2017 and posted on our website.

I am once again happy to report that our Club remains in good financial standing as our treasurer has reported in his recent message. Your donations are welcomed.  If you have any questions concerning our Club’s finances or donating please direct them to our Treasurer Dr. Sumner or any of our executive officers.

I wish to thank the executive officers, board members and membership-at-large for your steadfast contributions to the cause, and for your loyalty, trust and involvement in all that we do. I am honored to serve as your club president.

As we must always be reminded I ask that if you hear of a member’s death or sickness do pass this information on to a member of our Health and Welfare Committee- Bobby Wingate, Gordon Sumner, Ted Podewil or Susan I. Federinko.  At this time I ask you to keep in your thoughts and prayers our Belgium Ardennes-Salm River Chapter President Eddy Lamberty as he undergoes surgery.  I’ve been informed that charter member Col (Ret) Doug Dillard is recovering from health issues.  As I mentioned in my last update he was not able to join us in Normandy this past June but is now planning to bring himself and his family to the Belgium Ardennes in January 2017 to be there to honor his comrades of the 551 Parachute Infantry Battalion.

In closing, God bless our veterans past, present and future as we honor and remember Veterans Day!-

V/R … Airborne forever!

Ed

Edward B. Lapotsky


FROM: Edward B. Lapotsky, 82nd C-47 Club President

SUBJECT: President’s Update Message 2016-2017

Hello and happy summer ahead. I am glad to report that our C-47 Club Reunion in Ste Mere Eglise, Normandy, France was an outstanding success and well attended by our membership.  I would like to thank our Normandy Chapter for being host to the ceremonies, events and gatherings that occurred during 28 May through 6 June, especially at Grandval (Neuville au Plain), in Ste Mere Eglise and other venues throughout Normandy.  Special recognition goes out to Director Francine Noyon, President Alain Hasley of the Normandy Chapter and Barbara Noyon, treasurer of the Normandy Chapter for all the big and small ways they made our time in Normandy special and eventful.  To each and all of you who made the reunion what it was-  thanks!

Congratulations go out to VP Podewil, Eddy Lamberty, President Ardennes-Salm River Chapter and Bobby Feuillye as recepients of the Presidential Certificate presented to them at Grandval, Neuville au Plain. Following the Presidential Certificate presentations, I was most proud to present on behalf of our members a framed print depicting a 6 June 1944 D-Day scene of 82nd paratroopers assembled in the Ste Mere Eglise square to the Normandy Chapter for hosting the 2016 reunion.

A highlight of our gathering in Ste Mere was attending the unveiling of the General James M. Gavin portrait at the Ste Mere Eglise Airborne Museum on June 4th. A new room and exhibit dedicated to the Battle at La Fiere will be added to the museum where the Gavin portrait will be on permanent display to visitors.  The C-47 Club was honored to be invited to this unveiling by our Director Chloe Gavin and her sister Marjorie Lewis, daughters of General Gavin, and Marc Lefevre, President of the Airborne Museum. I was asked to pass on this message to the C-47 Club which follows:

”My sister Majorie Lewis and I extend sincere thanks to all C-47 Club members who attended the unveiling of a portrait of our father on June 4 at the Airborne Museum in Sainte Mere Eglise. It will have a permanent home in the Museum in the room dedicated to the battle at La Fiere.  We appreciated your support very much … With sincere thanks and appreciation.” Chloe Gavin.

We will be posting on the C-47 website highlights of the 2016 Reunion as we had a few photographers that have captured the moments. If you have photos to contribute to our Club website -please include who, what where information with each photo- do send them to our website coordinator Patrick Brion at e-mail:  patrickbrion@hotmail.com. Do keep in mind that our Club reunion for 2017 will be held in the Belgium Ardennes hosted by our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter. In 2018 we are looking at our reunion to be at Fort Bragg or in Holland.  For the 75th Anniversary we will host a return to Europe tour as we have done in the past as a Club.  The planning starts now.

In every message that I send out to you I restate the purpose of our Club and that is to ”protect and promote our historical and unique history and heritage based on the 82nd’s hard fought World War Two campaigns and battles”. During my years as C-47 Club President this has always been and remains my focus.

In August of this year our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter will host a return by 82nd veteran Rock Merritt and others to the Ardennes with included visits to Rencheux (Vielsalm) where our bridge memorial is located and Lanzerath where a memorial plaque to the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment was dedicated in 2015- both testaments to our dedication to keeping alive the history we represent as a Club.

I would like to welcome at this time our newest members of our esteemed and historic organization- William ”Bill” Knapp (Charter Member), William ”Bill” Rogitz (Airborne Member), Richard Bremner (Airborne Member), and Mary Berg (Associate Member).  Bill Knapp received three battle stars: (Normandy (D-Day), Holland (Market-Garden) and Belgium (Battle of the Bulge) and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic conduct and the Purple Heart. For the first time since 1944, he returned to Holland in 2015 and was with us in Normandy this month to join our reunion.  We hope to see him in the Belgium Ardennes during his next trip and return to where he fought.  Thanks Bill!

Bill Rogitz hails out of Chandler, Arizona served with C Trp, 17th CAV, 82nd 30 Jan 1964 thru 30 July 1966 and is an 82nd Airborne Association member. Bill was recruited by Past President Joe P. Schwan.

Richard Bremner of Mackinaw, Illinois, joined our Club as an associate member and served with the US Army and Berlin Brigade from 1969-1971. Rich is the son of Irving N. Hurley, Ist Lieutenant B Company leader , 746th Tank Battalion who fought at Neuville au Plain in 1944 and helped free 82nd Airborne paratroopers who were captured there by the Germans*  His father died 12 June, 1944 after landing at Utah Beach.

* Our members will hear more about this story and plans to honor Lt Hurley and the 746th Tk Bn.

Mary Berg of Lindstrom, Minnesota joined on the high recommendation of Club member Rick Holle. She is involved in the 8th Air Force Historical Society and Where They Fought, WW2 European Tours, LLC.  We missed Mary in Normandy.

We hope to see more new members join our ranks in 2016.  Membership is the key to our strength and ability to get things done. I call on our membership to recruit and bring people to our Club rolls.  As with membership, our quartermaster sales bring in revenue that allow us to do great things.  Based on feedback and demand, our focus will be on quartermaster sales and the addition of new items.  Do keep in mind that as with membership, one only has to visit the C-47 website and order from our quartermaster.  Do look for the Quartermaster update of new items.  Our QM items make memorable presentations, gifts and keepsakes.

I am once again happy to report that our Club remains in good financial standing. Your donations are welcomed.  If you have any questions concerning our Club’s finances or donating please direct them to our Treasurer Dr. Sumner or any of our executive officers.

I wish to thank the executive officers, board members and membership-at-large for your steadfast loyalty, trust and involvement. Congratulations go out to Ted Podewil our new Club Vice President and Jim Leahy, our new Director for stepping up.  Jim Leahy is our first British director of our Club and a veteran of the Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Hussars ad Royal Engineers.  I want to further thank representatives of our Club in Germany Martin Haid, Guido Loibl and others in their group for joining us in Normandy, and our Ardennes-Salm River Chapter for their strong presence at the reunion.  I am once again honored to serve as your Club president for another year.  I will do my best.

I regrettably report that we have lost some of our members and supporters this year, among them Jean Emert Gavin, beloved wife of General James M. Gavin who passed away on February 12, 2016 and just recently our Club Judge Advocate Henry L. Young.  I ask that if you hear of a member’s death or sickness do pass this information on to a member of our Health and Welfare Committee-  Bobby Wingate, Gordon Sumner, Ted Podewil or Susan I. Federinko.  Member and past Club officer Dick Yates was not able to attend the Normandy Reunion 2016 because of health issues.  His presence was missed as he always made it his purpose to join the Club in Normandy.  Dick, we wish you a recovery.  Charter Member Col (Ret) Doug Dillard also could not make the trip to Normandy this year because of a health issue.  We are wishing him a speedy recovery.  Colonel Dillard was voted at our Board of Directors meeting on 4 June 2016 with the honor and title of ”Director Emeritus” of the Club. This recognition has been passed on to him.

I close this update with honor and remembrance to Wanda Stump’s uncle. I’ve been in correspondence with Wanda and I think it is appropriate to honor and remember her uncle in this update.

In honor and remembrance to:

Pvt. Leander Reel, WW11 veteran attached to the 101st Airborne Division, 401st Glider Infantry 2nd Battalion, Company G and 82nd Airborne Division 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Company G.  He did a landing on D Day and earned a silver star on June 9th at La Fiere, Normandy, france.  Later he was shipped back to England where he prepared for Market Garden.  Another landing there he ws killed on September 25, 1944.  He is buried at Margraten American Cemetery, The Netherlands.

I thank you on behalf of the Club for your continued dedication, involvement and remembrance as we go forward. I encourage all of you to step out of the box and do something different this year to make us better and stronger.  If there is anything in this update that needs my attention let me know.  I am responsible and will take care of any and all matters coming from our members.  I remain

V/R … Airborne forever!

Ed

Edward B. Lapotsky

 

JEAN EMERT GAVIN

Jean Emert Gavin passed away peacefully at her home in Winter Park, on Feb. 12, 2016 at the age of 92.

She had been a resident of Winter Park since moving there in 1980 with her husband, Lt. Gen. James M. Gavin, U.S. Army retired. Gen. Gavin passed away in 1990. They were married for 42 years. Before moving to Winter Park, they lived in the Boston area for over 20 years. Jean lived in many states and three countries in Europe as the wife of an active Army officer, who was then president and chairman of the Board of Arthur D. Little, in Cambridge, Mass. until the 1970s, and President Kennedy’s United States Ambassador to France from 1961-62. Jean grew up in Knoxville, Tenn., the daughter of Laurence M. and Chloe G. Emert. She attended the University of Tennessee, where she was a member of the Tri Delta sorority. Jean was an avid golfer, reader and lover of the arts.DSC_6344_t640

She was an active member of the communities in which she lived. For all her years in Boston, she attended the Friday afternoon concerts at the Boston Symphony. She was a gallery instructor at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she volunteered for 15 years.

Prior to this she served on the Ladies Committee, known today as the Museum Associates of the MFA.

Jean was also a volunteer and fundraiser for the Newton-Wellesley Hospital, the New England Baptist Hospital, Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich, Mass. and Sturbridge Village, Mass. Jean and her husband were members of The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., the Oyster Harbors Club and the Wianno Club on Cape Cod, and founding members of The Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park. Jean is survived by her four daughters, Caroline McNeill of Wilton, Conn., Patricia Cincotta of San Diego, Ca., Marjorie Lewis of Brookline, Mass. and Chloe Beatty of Riverside, Conn. and seven grandchildren: Anna, Chloe and Eve Lewis and Thomas, James, John and Matthew Beatty.

 

 

FROM:  Edward B. Lapotsky, 82nd C-47 Club President

SUBJECT:  President’s Update Message – Winter 2015 – 2016

I would like to first take this time to wish you a prosperous and joyous new year ahead.  With this in mind, our thoughts should be on our June D-Day Normandy, France Reunion.  This is our first ever reunion held by our Club in Europe. Our reunion window is set for the first week in June and coincides with the annual D-Day celebrations.  Our C-47 Club headquarters will be the Hotel Le Sainte Mere and Restaurant „La Cotentine“ in Ste Mere Eglise.  We have a block of rooms reserved for our club members who will be joining us in this „historic first“ reunion.   As rooms will go fast do contact C-47 Club Vice President Francine Duchemin Noyon to reserve your room.  The Hotel Le Sainte Mere has been our C-47 Club headquarters and command post for many years.  The hotel has welcomed us with an airborne spirit  over the many years, so we should look forward to gathering there.  We anticipate a most memorable time as our Club unites with our Chapters in Ste Mere Eglise, the first town in France liberated on D-Day and notably by the paratroopers and glidermen of the 82nd „All American“ Airborne Division of which our Club founders and charter members were among the ranks.  Do make plans to join us in comradeship and friendship, and in memory of our 82nd Airborne Division World War Two paratroopers and glidermen of our Club and the Division. You will be supported in everyway.

In every message that I send out to you I always and foremost restate the purpose of our Club and that is to ”protect and promote our historical and unique history and heritage based on the 82nd’s hard fought World War Two campaigns and battles”.  During my years as C-47 Club President this has always been and remains my focus.

Our Chapters in Normandy, Holland, Belgium Ardennes and England have successfully engaged themselves in remembrance ceremonies and events over the past year, and continue to serve as reception committees to the many who join in their activities  This past year they honored our history with ceremonies, events and gatherings in concert with their local communities in remembrance of the 82nd.  From wreath-laying events and monument walks in places of our history such as Fresville and La Fiere, Normandy; Margraten and Groesbeek, The Netherlands, and Vielsalm (Rencheux) and Lanzerath, Belgium, they continue to honor the courage and sacrifice.  Rencheux and Lanzerath are places in Belgium where two memorials now stand honoring the 82nd.  Both monuments were erected by the efforts of the C-47 Club and its Ardennes-Salm River Chapter in cooperation with the communities of Vielsalm and Lanzerath.  They are reminders of our good work and effort to remember the courage and sacrifice of the 82nd in battle. We will continue with this mission to build reminders of our history and what we represent.

We hope to see more than a few new members join the ranks of our Club in 2016.  Do remember to get your membership renewals in.  Our Club has recently ordered some more C-47 Club challenge coins.  They make wonderful keepsakes to anyone and everyone to help honor the 82nd and our Club’s history.  As with membership, one only has to visit the C-47 website and order from our quartermaster.

Our honorable treasurer Dr. Gordon Sumner provided you with 2015 semi-annual reports of our Club finances.  I am happy to report that we remain in good financial standing.  Your donations are very much welcomed as it means we can continue our mission of remembrance and as a club.  If you have any questions or comments concerning the Club’s finances or donating please direct them to Dr. Sunmer or me. 

I again wish to thank the executive officers, board members and membership for your loyalty, trust and involvement.  I have received numerous messages and requests over the past months and I would like to report that they have all been answered by me and/or our Club’s leadership.  I am both honored and privilege to serve as your Club president.

Last but not least, we have lost some of our members over the past year.  Just recently we lost one of our nurses Dorothy L. Sinner.  She was laid to rest in Milford, Delaware, on December 27th, 2015.  I was informed that our Club representative and secretary, paratrooper Bobby L. Wingate Jr. in uniform and in tough weather stood guard during the burial.  I ask all of you to reflect upon Dorothy’s honored and dedicated service, and her wonderful contributions to all of us and our Club. I ask you to keep in mind those who we have lost over the years and remember their families who are still healing among them Irene Fary, wife of past president Ray Fary and Marolyn Pensock, former secretary of our club and wife of past president Robert Pensock.  I ask each and every one of you to send correspondence on a member who has taken ill or has passed away to our Membership/Health and Wefre Committee so that we can get the word out through our good channels. Again, I thank you on behalf of the Club, for your dedication and involvement in all that we do.

 

Airborne forever! 

          Ed

Edward B. Lapotsky


 

 

It’s with deep regret that the C-47 announces that Dorothy Levitsky passed away.

She was born on 17 April 1917 and served as nurse with her sister Ellan, during WW2 in the US ARMY  as a nurse.

For many years, Dorothy and Ellan came to Europe and were honored.

Funeral services in Dover, Delaware were held on Sunday, December 27th 2015 with military honors by the Milton, American Legion Honor Guard.

The C-47 Club Inc. was represented by Bobby Wingate and Robert Gates.

Dorothy Levitsky

 

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