"The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance. Things go wrong when good men do nothing."
"The truth must be repeated again and again because error is constantly being preached around us. And not by isolated
individuals, but by the majority!"
"Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being."-
"The price of apathy towards public affairs, is to be ruled by evil men"- Plato
"When you send young people into harm's way, they deserve a 'strategy' worthy of their sacrifices."
-John Kerry, October, 2009
(Although I am not a fan of Mr. Kerry, his speechwriters occasionally come-up with a cogent remark.)
By Mark A. Bando
Bi-Monthly Voice of the website created by Mark A. Bando
REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11th!
Elements of the Eagle Division are once again in Afganistan. Prayers for
a safe return to all of the mighty 101st Airborne, particularly the 4th BCT which recently joined
the rest of the division in Afghanistan. 2013 will be an interesting year.
Thanks to all who serve in the mighty US ARMY from all the regulars at Trigger Time.
To the current
Screaming Eagles in particular-thanks for upholding the traditions of a great fighting team and for
sacrificing so much, to preserve our way of life and uphold human rights.
Remember the martyrs of Benghazi. Americans want answers.
Then-Lieutenant Kyle Hatzinger of the 2nd BCT (502 IN) posed in
Hurriyah (a district of Baghdad) with his local fan Maryam, in 2009. Maryam and her family are members of
the 3 percent of Iraq's population that are of the Christian faith. Winning hearts and minds is good, up to
the point where it does not endanger the lives of our soldiers(as seen in overly restrictive rules of engagement).
With our troops withdrawn from Iraq, Afghanistan remains a human rights battle. Pray for our brave soldiers who
are back there once again, fighting to provide security from the oppressive Taliban.
Article for May-June, 2013
PASSING OF GLEN A. DERBER, HQ/2 501 PIR LMG Platoon
Glen was an excellent rifle shot, who joined the Army from the vicinity
of Oshkosh, WI. After arriving at Camp Toccoa in late 1942, he was assigned to the light machine-gun platoon of HQ Co.
2nd Bn 501 PIR. Glen always thought this was a waste of his expert rifle talents and he should have been placed in a
rifle company. Some of Glen's training experiences can be found in the webmaster's 7th book,'101st Airborne-The
Screaming Eagles in WWII'. Excerpts from Glen's combat diary (on the Island in Holland) can be found in the 101st
Airborne's divisional history 'RWD' (Rendezvous With Destiny) by Leonard Rapport. Glen's legendary 700 yard kill on the
dike east of Heteren, is described in RWD. That was accomplished with iron sights, using an 03 rifle.
first visited Glen and Mary Derber in 1973 and we have been friends for 4 decades.
I will miss Glen and I hope he is
reunited with his best wartime pal, Manuel 'The Greek' Dandis, also his other close comrades, including Denver Madden (KIA in Holland) and the
legendary Charlie E.S. Eckman, who died less than 2 years ago.
Glen Derber was a classic Libra, friendly, kind and always
willing to share his knowledge and experiences with any history fans who wanted to learn from him.
I have to say, he was one of my favorites.
I took this at the 101st National reunion in 1990 at Washington, D.C. Two legendary troopers of the WWII 501st PIR,
who helped make the 101st Airborne the great fighting organization it was. Glen A. Derber and the famous Charlie Eckman,
both members of the LMG platoon, HQ/2 501. What an honor it has been, to know and associate with heroes like these guys.
Passing of Sgt Ralph S. Bennett, 3rd Platoon H/506th PIR
Yet another paratrooper hero from Detroit, MI, Ralph started with H/506th in Camp Toccoa, Ga in 1942 and he made all the missions of the 101st Airborne Division in the ETO. Ralph received the Silver Star
Medal for actions on 5 October, 1944 at Opheusden on the Island in Holland. He and his family lived about 1 mile north of
me, when I was growing-up on the far west side, in the 50s-60s and he also attended Cass Technical High School.
Our condolences to Ralph's family on the loss of this modest hero; may he rest in peace.
Annual spring TT Dinner in Arlington Hts, IL
At the annual spring TT dinner in Arlington Hts, IL, WWII trooper Al Mampre
(2/506th medic) joined us once again. After dinner at the local Applebees, we adjourned to the lobby of the Wyngate
hotel, to hang-out for awhile. You can see some of the usual suspects here, including Paul Adamic, Mike Bigalke, and the
webmaster, with Mr. Mampre.
Absorbing vintage photos and historical information at
the Wyngate Hotel, following dinner at Applebees.
Larry Klemm lives in No. Illinois, coincidentally, right next door to Candace's
brother. Klemm was in E/504 PIR in Holland and Belgium. He broke his back on a postwar pay jump, but remained in the Army
until 1947. He spent time at Ft Bragg after returning from overseas. His older brother John Klemm had fought with the 517th
RCT. Larry ended-up with 15 jumps and he was born in 1927 and lied about his age to get in the Army before the war ended. He
had a stroke 2 years ago, but is now mostly recovered and is having difficulties with his eyes, due to tear duct issues.
Larry likes to talk about parachute jumping and carries his jump wings on a key chain, in his pocket;we had a nice visit on
4 May, 2013.
(page under construction, more to follow soon.)
The first of 3 planned volumes on WW2 US Airborne uniforms, insignia, equipment
and collectibles is now in print. The cover tells us that this book was compiled through the collective efforts of LTC John R.
Angolia, Jake Powers, and George Petersen. I received my comp. copy in the mail a few days ago-(there are almost fifty images from
my artifacts and photo collection in volume 1). This huge tome covers WW2 paratroop training, with the associated early gear,
jump wings and unit ovals, Troop Carrier pocket patches, steel helmets, parachutes and Para Marine items. Future volumes will cover
uniforms, jump boots, shoulder, cap and pocket patches, equipment and weapons.
Previously, the main book on this subject was Bill Rentz's 'Geronimo'book. This project far exceeds that work in
quantity of illustrated examples and detailed information. As such, it will be an indispensible series for Airborne
collectors. I'm sure all collectors and Airborne enthusiasts will want to get a copy. Nice work George P. and Jake P. Kudos
to Col. Angolia, for recognizing the need for these references in the collecting community. Without his vision, this series could
not have become a reality.
Don Burgett had the opportunity to peruse the new book at his birthday dinner. He
had some interesting comments. Here, he looks at a page devoted to a spade-painted 1/506th helmet, attributed to Lt Harold
Carter of Able Co. Don does not remember Lt Carter, so he must have been in a different platoon. One of the few mistakes in the
book states that Lt Carter was KIA at Opheusden, in 'June', 1944.
However, Don seemed to enjoy the chapter on jump wings and
the chapter on parachutes.
Speaking of parachutes I had provided a photo of the little safety fork inserted behind the T-7
slap boxes, to ensure that the disc could not be pushed-in before desired. Don says the original modified T-5's, which used
a fully-round slap disc, did not have these forks, but instead an 8 inch cotter pin, attached to a cord, to prevent loss. The
pin was inserted through a channel that ran behind the disc, so that it blocked the disc when in-place. I have never seen this
bit of equipment and learning about it, was news to me. My fork came from one of the 3/4 round T-7 quick-release slap boxes.
The forks were evidently a later refinement.
To be continued soon (30 April, 2013)
New SS Insignia book by the Webmaster is Now Available
This reference for history-minded collectors was started by the late
Michael D. Beaver over ten years ago. Following Mike's death, circa 2005, the project was set aside until an author
could be located, to finish the job. I took the project on several years ago, at the request of Bill Shea, but didn't
start working on it intensively until early in 2011. Using Adobe In-Design, I created the layout, text and captions for
the many photos Mike had assembled, from various famous collections around the US. My part of the project was basically
completed in October, 2011, and after many months of corrections and refinements, it finally was published in September
of 2012. Copies via mail order should be available soon (I will announce it here and on the TT forum) and ordering info
will be posted on the Books page of this site. I'll also have the book for sale at the coming MAX Show in October and
at various local Michigan shows and at the SoS in Feb. of 2012. This was my first attempt at a reference book, but due to
the historical aspects of the product, I think many TT regulars will enjoy it.
Update, 14 October, 2012: The mail order price for this book, to be sent anywhere in the continental U.S., is $90-
for Priority Mail shipping, or $85- for Media Mail, which takes about a week to arrive, from the time of mailing.
Mail orders are now being filled and can be paid for by paypal. See the Books page of this website for
ordering information. Overseas postage costs $48-, but those orders are also being filled, for anyone willing to
pay that amount for postage.
(Page under construction)
Price Increase, because AVENGING EAGLES will soon be SOLD OUT
Price: $50- plus $4- Shipping
There are only a few boxes remaining of this title and then it will be sold-out
and OOP. This is why I have increased the price of the finite number of remaining copies. To
read reviews of this title and find ordering information, go to:
Each month more and more titles on WWII get published and they crowd the shelves of bookstores. Sadly, the vast majority of
these titles offer nothing new in the way of stories or information. What many authors call "research" is no more than
reading a bunch of previously-published books on the same subject and taking eclectic passages from each, scrambling them
into a 'new'combination and calling it a book. Along with the previously-told stories, a lot of erroneous information also
gets repeated as well, which only serves to reinforce public myths and misconceptions.
'Avenging Eagles'covers new ground and there is no precedent for it in previously- published works. It is the result of
primary source research, i.e. veteran interviews, conducted over a period spanning almost four decades.
Read 'Avenging Eagles' and discover a lot of material that you won't get anywhere else, presented for the first and only
time in this book. Wade through the mountain of book- report books and discover something tailor-made for the discerning
Just say 'no' to the recycled pablum found in most available history tomes.
The stories in 'Avenging Eagles' range from outrageously funny to shocking or poignant.
This is a unique tribute to the
WWII warriors of the mighty Eagle Division.
Order 'Avenging Eagles' today and discover what you've been missing.
Send a check or money order for $54-, payable to Mark A. Bando, to:
Eagles, PO Box 350, Walled Lake, MI 48390.
Bando's Garage Sale/Auction
Most of the items offered here, will be things I acquired from dealers, collectors, or veterans other than 101st ABD vets,
although occasionally I will offer pieces with 101st vet provenance and on rare occasions, will offer some bonafide
historical treasures. So the offerings will range from the mundane to the rare.
As you will see in coming months, among the items offered will be patches and other insignia (both US and German),
uniform components, printed matter such as vintage books(including original unit histories),original maps, orders, postcards,
photos, etc, modern books by the webmaster,including some now out of print,(signed by the author to the winning bidder), occasional
edged weapons, field gear, decorations (US and German), etc. There will be pieces of camo parachute canopy from chutes
actually used on the Normandy or Market-Garden drops, battlefield-dug items like spent cartridges, parachute harness buckles,
shrapnel, etc from 101st locations in Normandy, Holland or Bastogne and whatever else I dredge out of my boxes and
closets. I'm reaching an age where I need to start thinning-out all non essentials from my WWII holdings.
Photos of the offered item will be posted, along with descriptions as detailed and honest as I can make them.
Another repro cricket of the same type will continue on to the next auction.
This is one of the early (1990s) French copies, which are NOT MARKED with the maker's
markings now required on all repros by French law. This is perfect for a reenactor who wants
the closest thing possible to an original. The expensive Brass ones made by ACME are of a type
which never actually existed. The markings on those were only used on nickel silver versions.
Update August, 2012: ACME now makes a silver, maker marked repro, which is very close to their
original 40s vintage, maker-marked product (although some differences are still apparent when
side by side comparison with a vintage original is made.
Most (over 90%) of 101st Airborne jumpers who were issued D-day crickets, received the unmarked
brass types, which strongly resembled the items I am offering here. These could be crudely punched
thru, off-center with a jump knife or nail, and hung on a dogtag chain, for a authentic-looking
While they last, $30- each, post-paid.
Send a check or m.o. to: Cricket, PO Box 350, Walled Lake, MI 48390.
Send BIDS TO MY EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
Bids will be made in US dollars and the winning bidder pays postage & (if desired),insurance. I'm not set-up to receive
payments by Paypal or credit cards, so payments will be made by cash, check, or money order, sent to:
PO Box 350
Walled Lake, MI 48390.
WWII ADT Calendar for 2013 NOW AVAILABLE!
As you all know the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team exists to honor WWII
veterans by performing C-47 parachute jumps at reunions and air shows. Through prodigious work and effort, Rodney R.
Roycroft has compiled the 5th edition ADT calendar. The initial sales took place in early August, 2012, at the
7th Trigger Time Convention, in Strongsville, OH.
Orders can be placed online, at: www.WWIIADT.org
Update, February, 2012: Webmaster's 7th book now out
Here's the ad for my biggest book, which Zenith Press ran in WW2 Magazine.
This book, released in September, 2007 was, I thought, the best book I ever produced...shows how little I know.
The book was eclipsed in sales by all the Band of Brothers fad exploitation books, which ignore the rest of the
101st Airborne Division, focusing on a company which comprised less than 2% of the total membership of the WWII
screaming eagles division.
But hey, what do I know?
My 4th book, '101st Airborne-The Screaming Eagles in Normandy'has been published in trade paperback and is now
available for under $20- at Amazon.com:
Thanks for your interest in my books.
Art Print of the Filthy 13
Those interested in purchasing this print can find ordering info here: http://www.victoryartgallery.com/
(page under construction)
JOIN THE BURGETT FAN CLUB
Update: -Don Burgett is pictured above right with MB, in September, 2005, in front of St Catharina's church,in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. After sending Don to Normandy in May of 05, the DBFC Members made it possible for Don to tour Holland and Belgium with a small group of 101st WW2 relatives and history fans. The trip was a success and Don called to tell me he enjoyed this one more than any of his previous return trips to Europe.
The Fan Club now has over 100 members. The DBFC continues, now on Don's own website.
To join, send a $25-(minimum)check, made out to Donald R. Burgett
All dues and requests for membership should be addressed to:
The Don Burgett Fan Club
4848 Vines Road
The Historian's Mission: Get the Facts Straight
Webmaster's note: This story, as well as 'Solving Another Mystery', have moved to page 5 of the War Stories Section. MB
THE USUAL SUSPECTS-REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS TO THE TRIGGER TIME FORUM
Paul Adamic a.k.a. Kickoff Red (l) is a fireman in Joliet, IL and also a WW2 reenactor-his medical captain impression at Rockford, IL is pictured above. Paul is researching a book on Baker Co. of the 502nd PIR in WW2.
Emmanuel Allain (r) was born March 29, 1968 (Aries). He's
married, no children, and is a historian and collector of 502nd PIR in Normandy. Emmanuel (a.k.a. Manu) lives in Normandy
and is compiling a history of Company E of the 502 PIR-one of the 'other' Easy Companies of the 101st Airborne.
These two History buffs reside in Minnesota. Ryan Baker (l) is a sales rep, history fan, martial artist and distance
runner. He's a typical Aries robust, outdoors type, who has challenged Mt. Currahee on numerous occasions.
History teacher Kurt Barickman (r), does WW2 living history projects for his students in Albert Lea, MN, and is an avid
Airborne militaria collector. Kurt is a U.S. Navy veteran who lost a brother KIA with the USMC in Vietnam. He is also
Because Frank Drebin complained about the previous photo of Kurt looking too 'mean', I've posted this kinder,
gentler pic, taken in Normandy, in 2004.
Doug Barber is a high school history teacher in the suburbs of Dayton, OH. In recent years, he has been
relentless in documenting the personal histories of WWII combat vets from various branches of service. He
has been particularly helpful to Jim Martin of G/506th, in persuading Jim to travel far and wide to WWII events
and documenting his experiences.
Above right, is Spartanburg, S.C. TV newsman Tom Colones, who contributes more stories and photos to the forum than anyone
else-even the webmaster. Tom served in the US Army several decades ago and now works for Channel 62. WASV, a UPN station.
Tom is also known as the 'Trigger Time Teddy Bear' and as a goodwill ambassador, he has spread positive vibes across the
nation and in Western Europe as well. T.C. is a true diplomat and a real asset to the TT Forum.
Joe Beyrle II is a Vietnam War survivor of the 101st
Airborne, and an avid WW2 history buff. His dad is the Joe Beyrle of I/506th PIR, who is the subject of the book
'The Simple Sounds of Freedom', more recently re-published with the title:'Behind Hitler's Lines'. The photo of Joe at
left was taken in Vietnam in 1969, when Joe was a member of the 326th Airborne Engineer Bn.
The more recent photo at right, was taken at the 101st national reunion in August, 2010.
Barb and Mike Bigalke(r) are longtime friends of the webmaster. Mike is a retired mailman, and an avid Airborne collector
and history buff. Mike does many living history presentations at schools in his area of Northern Illinois. The Bigalkes
reside in Marengo, IL.
Known on the TT Forum as 'HeadyD506' Sgt David Brackett has completed his 3rd tour in Iraq. We are proud to have
an active duty senior noncom from the 101st Airborne as a regular participant on the TT forum. David has also done WWII
reenacting with both 509 PIB and D/506th PIR units, which is how Paul Adamic came to introduce him to me. On David's
last deployment, he was assigned to the 3rd Bridage Combat Team, 'The Rakassans'.
IAIN Bramwell (l) resides in Manchester, England, and is a WW2 history buff with main emphasis on the Airborne landings of the Normandy Invasion.
Robert 'Drew' Cook (r) is an avid Airborne History buff and a policeman in Cincinatti, OH. A long time Airborne History buff, Drew is a detail guy, who frequently corrects and informs the webmaster on various facts. Drew went to Normandy with me in 2000.
Paul Clifford (l) is a lawyer and Vietnam Vet of the US Army, known on the forum as
"Cimmaron 44." He visits European battle areas regularly and is often seen in Normandy
during commemorative D-day memorial services.
John DeNeef at upper left is a Dutch friend of the 101st, who resides in western Holland.
This battlefield archaeologist is a former member of the Triple A reenactment group and
posts on the TT forum under the screen name of 'John502'.
Frenk Derks van de Ven(rt)
is another Dutch Airborne friend and Corridor historian, known on the forum as 'JoeMann44'.
Gary Dettore Gjd321 on the forum, is the resident
expert on the 321st Glider Field Artillery Battalion. Those who attended TT#1 in MI heard Gary speak about Col.
Carmichael, the Bn commander. Since 1996, Gary has interviewed every survivor he could locate from the 321st
and thus added a lot to our knowledge of that forgotten unit. He is compiling a unit history with personal
experience accounts. Gary is a retired Detroit Police Officer.
Kevin Distel lives and works in NYC. He is an avid history buff and musician, an occasional poster on the forum
and a frequent lurker. He has toured Normandy, Holland and Bastogne with the webmaster.
Boy Eyesbroek is the Dutch technician who works magic, by superimposing
vintage images over modern photos taken at the same location. He is employed at the Schipol airport in Amsterdam
and frequently turns-up in Normandy, where his girlfriend resides.
Chris Garcia lives in upstate NY; he's a
militaria collector and history buff, known on the Forum as "Abncollector". John Horn lives in the Camden
NJ area and is known on the forum as "Eagle Johnny". Both these guys are regulars on the TT forum, as well as
TT convention attendees.
Raphael Giot lives in Givry, Belgium, west of Champs (NW of Bastogne) and is a Forum regular who posts under
the screen name of 'Giopolis'. I had fun touring the Bastogne perimeter seeking 'Then & Now locations with
Giopolis and Laurent Olivier in early October, 2007.
Anthony Ilnicki is a member of the F/501 reenactment
group in Belgium-he is better known to Forum regulars under his screen name of 'Snoup Dog'.
Captain Kyle Hatzinger served as
a platoon leader in Iraq (2008) with 1st Bn 502nd IN. A USMA graduate of 2006,
Kyle's brother also attended West Point and both are on active duty. Kyle
started reenacting the 509th PIB as a teenager in his hometown of Rockford, IL.
He married and had a son in 2011. He also deployed a 2nd time to Iraq, the same year.
He is currently back in TX, with the famous 1st Cavalry Division at Ft Hood.
Kyle might soon become a WWII history instructor at West Point.
His name on the TT forum is 'GI Kyle' and he was instrumental in helping the
webmaster with his two embedded journalist visits to Afghanistan, in 2008 and 2010.
Carl Horoho is a power company guy from the area north of Indianapolis, IN.
For some years now, he has been a big booster of TT website and a valued member of the
TT community. Carl has done a lot to assist our WWII vets, particularly Don Burgett and
Fred Bahlau. Carl is a regular on the TT forum and attends most TT related events. Posting
him here somehow got overlooked and is long-overdue.
Mike Lloyd is our resident California Goth, a Libra chrome-dome history fan, who tours the WWII battle sites annually.
Craig McAvoy (l) is a resident of the U.K.and a Scot, who is a descendant of the legendary Lt. Joe McGregor (E/501)
who was KIA at Recogne, Belgium, during the battle of Bastogne. This 2002 photo was taken at the Wings of Liberation
Museum near Best, Holland. Craig appears with his kids, Steven(6), & Jennifer (2).The kids seemed to enjoy the museum
exhibits, but Craig suspects that they might have liked the ice cream more than anything.
Ann Durnin McKendry lives on
Long Island and is a physical therapist turned movie set designer. She has also been designated as my symbolic sister
by her mom, Pegg Mero-Durnin, whose brother T/4 Joseph Mero was KIA in WW2, as a member of HQ/2 501 PIR. Pegg has become
my surrogate 'udder mudder'and 'Ann501' has become a regular 501st reunion guest and occasional poster on the TT forum.
Brandon McMorries is a Grandson of the legendary 501st machine-gunner Melton"Tex"McMorries. He lives and works as a property
assessor in the Midland, TX area. Upholding the fighting traditions of his Grandfather, Brandon has fought in numerous
Tough Man contests in Texas. He has toured Normandy, Holland and Belgium with the webmaster, since 2005.
Stephane Molitor is another European history fan, known
to forum regulars by his screen name of 'KELSO'.
Ellen Peters has done a lot of work with veterans of the 82nd Airborne Division and starting in 2011, she began
frequenting the TT forum and attending related events. Her knowledge and enthusiasm have been a definite asset to
the TT community. Ellen resides in the Dallas/Ft Worth region of Texas.
Laurent Olivier (L) has been a career officer in the Belgian Navy for almost two decades. Maybe he will move to the USA
after he retires?
Laurent was the sparkplug who organized the 1st European TT Convention and he is a major booster
of the webmaster's books and the TT website in continental Europe. He also commands the 'Belgian Friendly' reenactment
group, which honors Company F of the 501 PIR in WWII, as well as providing squared-away, formal honor guards for memorial
services at former battle sites.
Stan Ortman is a financial analyst in the Kokomo,
IN area, an occasional poster and frequent lurker on the forum. He is an avid WW2 history buff and has also toured Belgium
and the Netherlands with the webmaster twice.
Mark Patterson (l) is known to Forum visitors as 'Sparkyasundevil',which derives from his being a big Arizona state fan.
He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division during Grenada in the mid 1980's. He is also famous for creating two stained
glass windows, commemorating D-day aid stations at the Cauquigny and Angoville au Plein churches in Normandy.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Mark began a new chapter of his life in late 2012.
James Parker is a Reb Airborne collector from Tennessee. Wily but personable, he is an eagle
patch addict and has compiled an impressive collection of WWII vintage insignia. James has become a true CSI analyst of
WWII Airborne patches, uniforms and original crickets.
Matt Pellet is a teenager from southern England, who idolizes Dick Winters but
who also has a healthy interest in the entire 101st Airborne's history in WWII. Tall and slender, Matt has a rather formal
type of British accent and his dark features are a clue to his ethnic ancestry, which is 1/4 Italian, 1/4 Greek and 1/2 English.
Matt joined us on the September 09 Pathfinder tour of the Netherlands and Bastogne. He is a very personable Leo Horse, who
posts on the TT Forum as 'JacquesWood1'.
Alwyn Onori from Vaxholm, Sweeden toured with us in 2009 in
Normandy. He is a serious student of the battles in Normandy and frequent lurker in the TT Forum.
The venerable Jake Powers(l), resides in Grafton, MA and is a man of many talents and many occupations. He is the
master of the large deal, a long-time friend of the Easy 506th veterans, was a surrogate son to Major R.D. Winters,
and has been a major supporter of the webmaster, Bando books, and the TT website.
Rich Riley above right, is a 40-ish Airborne history enthusiast,who resides in the Cleveland, OH area. Rich's father
was tragically KIA in the Vietnam War. Rich has interviewed most of the WWII 101st veterans in northern Ohio and he
has hosted two TT Conventions in No. Ohio in 2007 and 2010.
Rich hosted his 3rd TT convention (TT#7) in Strongsville, OH in August, 2012.
It occurs to me that with matching shirts, these guys look like the 'dynamic duo.'
Rodney R. Roycroft is an Aquarius Ox and member of the WWII
Airborne Demonstration Team. A former Navy pilot who now flies commerical overseas jets for Delta Airlines, Rodney is
a fan of all WWII history, with a special interest in US Airborne operations in NW Europe.
Norman Sibbald is a Scotsman, living in the north of England. He is an avid WW2 history buff and has been lucky enough to visit
Normandy (his christian name is pure coincidence!) on many occasions. Norm's late father-in-law was an navigator in Halifax
bombers and flew on many missions during the war.
Bando's TT tour group met Norman for 1/2 day in France on 14 August,
2004. Norman did a research project-on site in 2005/06, re: the docks at Glasgow, Scotland, and he also gives historical
presentations re: Normandy to groups in the UK. He is a gentleman and a scholar.
Ralph Sporay (l) is a 31 year veteran of the US
Army and served time with SF as well as the 101st ABD. He is also a long-time collector of US Airborne insignia
and memorabilia. His name on the TT Forum is '101Combatvet'.
Rob Stark lives in Washington state and his forum
name 'Holeshotrob' is a biker term from his motorcyclist days. Rob showed-up in person for TT conventions in Philly
and Strongsville, OH. Rob is outspoken, in expressing his mostly Politically-Incorrect opinions. He is a lot of fun,
especially after imbibing Calvados, of which he has been known to consume generous amounts.
Mark Stephenson (l) has done a detailed and scholarly study of the Bizory-Foy Belgium areas northeast of Bastogne.
He has visited the area personally and the research continues. His frequent posts pertaining to that subject have been a
real asset to the forum. Mark lives 'out east' and is tall, athletic, and smart. He is also an extremely talented fine
artist, who can duplicate paintings of the old masters with oil paints.
Bob Talbert (r) is a younger brother of Floyd
'Tab' Talbert of E/506th PIR. Bob served as a paratrooper in the 11th ABD in Japan right after WW2 and later became
Executive Vice President of the National Electrical Contractors Association, in the Detroit area. Bob currently lives in
Jeff Thomas (l) is a lifelong Detroiter, who resides on the far west side,and shares an interest in WW2 history. As a typical
disgruntled employee of the City of Detroit, Jeff must endure many of the same indignities which I experienced during my
time working for inept political appointees, who place racial politics above all else.
Tom Timmermans is a great guy
who I met at the 1st European TT Convention. A Dutchie who conducts investigations into battle locations and artifacts, he
has a website called 'Battle Detective.com'and he also posts on the TT Forum as 'Battle Detective'.
Forum regular Eric van de Sande posts on the forum under the screen name "AT BEST". He is one of our Dutch Airborne friends, from the Corridor.
WW 2 history buff Rob Van der Pol above right, resides in Knotts Island, NC and is a regular contributor to the TT Forum. Rob posts a prodigious amount of photos and news, under the screen name of 'le Bigguns'.
This photo of him was made at TT Convention #2 in Strongsville, OH, August 07. Rob also attended the 1st European TT Convention with his wife, Kelly...nice people.
Terry Webb (l) a.k.a. Terry37, is a WW2 militaria collector and avid history buff, who resides in Murfreesboro, TN.
Terry's dad was a career aviator in the USAF, which started Terry's interest in all things military.
Johan WILLAERT with his wife Kristien, shown with their 11-year old daughter Ellen at NYC's WTC Memorial in May 2012.
Johan lives at the Belgian coast near the historic city of Bruges, close to the battlefields of WW1, and he's a Senior
NCO in the Belgian Armed Forces, having served for 30 years in Belgium, Germany and other countries. He currently works
as a NATO certified language tester in the Belgian Royal Military Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He started collecting
WW2 US Army in the ETO militaria in 1976 and has a great interest in the D-Day actions, especially the ordeal of the 29th
Infantry Division on Omaha Beach.
Updated Aug. 2012.
note from MB: Johan is a great guy and he has a tendency to
pop up everywhere, when one is touring ETO battle areas. The last picture needed to be updated, because the info has
changed and Ellen was 3 years old in the previous photo! Time does pass too quickly.
Nadine Wierzbowski-Field is our original TT pinup girl. Born a Gemini Ox in 1973, Nadine is the daughter of Ed Wierzbowski H/502, who was with Joe Mann when he performed a feat of heroism which resulted in a poshumous award of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Nadine is a world class forum lurker, who works as a RN in Orlando, FL.
Nadine is now married to a law enforcement officer named Geoff Field; they have a son and a daughter.
known as 'Slim Cricket' on the TT Forum, toured with us in Normandy in 2009. Mike certainly is 'Slim', standing about 6'4
and amazingly skinny. He speaks French,which proved to be a significant asset to our tour group. Mike is carrying-on his
dad's study of WW II history and I first met him at a Band of Brothers reunion. He studied in Europe 2008/09.
If more Forum regulars would care to email me a jpeg mugshot of themselves, I'll be happy to add their faces to this gallery of Trigger Time General Discussion celebrities. Regards to all, and thanks for your participation, MB.
THE PHOTO GALLERY HAS MOVED TO PAGE 2 OF WAR STORIES
Gallery of Past Ms Trigger Times
It all began about 8 years ago, when a brave volunteer named Nadine Wierzbowski dressed-up in M42 pants, a sleeveless
WWII GI undershirt and wool knit jeep cap. The classic Ms TT pose has been back to camera, peeking back over the model's
shoulder. This was inspired by Betty Grable's iconic WWII cheesecake photo. Betty turned her back to the camera because
she was 6 months pregnant and 'showing', when her WWII vintage photo was made.
Nadine Wierzbowski-Field (l), daughter of the legendary Lt. Ed Wierzbowski
H/502 PIR, was the original and very first Ms Trigger Time.
Catherine van der Maas, Grand daughter of Barney Momcilovic
HQ/1 and C/501) is shown in the classic Ms TT pose.
I have long been a proponent that the daughters
(and later descendants) of WWII paratroopers have been exceptionally healthy and beautiful, coming as they do from a gene
pool of America's fittest and finest. The Ms Trigger Time feature has been a tribute to the beauty of daughters and
Grandaughters of US Airborne troopers. During months when genetic descendants have been unavailable, I have sometimes
substituted other American beauties, who get the title of 'Trigger Time Pinups', rather than Ms Trigger Time. Only
biological descendants of WWII 101st troopers qualify for the 'Ms Trigger Time' title and someday we may stage an
election to vote for the all-time favorite in that category.
In the near future, I may start a new feature here for
present day troops in the Sandbox- 'Ms TT Sandbox', with girls posing in ACUs and other accoutrements currently in wear
in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now I'll post cameos of some of the past Ms TT's (I can't locate pics of all the past girls). Only 3 have been
Daughters of WWII vets, while the rest are Grand daughters.
of Ed Wierzbowski, Jana, daughter of Lt. Ed Jansen C/501, and Roberta, daughter of Bob Tripp, I/502.
Amy, Grandaughter of Don Burgett A/506th, Ashley, Great niece of Jack Sizemore B/506th,Heather, Grand-
daughter of Bob Beachy H/501 PIR.
Catherine, Grandaughter of Barney Momcilovic HQ/1 501, Keely, Grandaughter of Wayne Nearpass
C/506th PIR, Lauren, Grand-daughter of Guadalupe Flores HQ/1 501 PIR, Nicole, Grand daughter of
Claude Koenig, HQ/2, 501 PIR.
(Future MsTT), Mara, Grandaughter of Glen Derber HQ/2 501 PIR, Michelle, Grandaughter of Tex McMorries,
G/501 PIR, Tessa, Granddaughter of Lt. Bill Sefton HQ/2 501 PIR, Stephanie Granddaughter of Kenneth
S. Taylor G/501 PIR.
The amazing and vivacious Sagittarius parachute-jumper Kelly O'Connell is the
Great-Niece of Robert Lott, C/401 Glider Infantry. She graced the ET page as TT pinup in
the spring of 2010.
Misc. TT Pinups, not genetic 101st Relations
In a true spirit of volunteerism, other beauties have stepped-up to volunteer their services
as shown above. This sampling includes Gina Knapp, Nyssa Rabinowitz, Erica, a vet tech
at the Detroit Zoo (recruited by Candace), and Coyeatta Vogel, wife of active duty 506th soldier
I have received an updated DVD of 'The Americans on D-Day' and watched it recently. The portions with Mr. Manoian
have been deleted and replaced by interviews cuts with other veterans. This is a useful tool
for schools and a different approach to informing audiences about the basics of what happened on D-day. There is one graphic
illustration that shows a C-47 approaching the Cotentin from the wrong direction and I can't fathom how Forrest Guth's name
could be mis-pronounced as (short 'u') Guth, rhyming with rough or guff. Other than that, I found it to be an enjoyable
You can find ordering info for this DVD here: http://www.theamericansondday.com/welcome-to-our-online-store.html
Cal KATO-Webmaster's Cousin
Above you can see photos of my 1st cousin, Calvin Kato, taken at Basic Training 1969, and after AIT school 1970. Calvin is the oldest son of my dad's youngest sister. He gave-up trying to get people to pronounce his name properly a long time ago. It is properly pronounced Kah-toe, but everyone prefers to call him KAY-toe like the Green Hornet's partner.
Calvin served briefly with the Second Armored Division at Ft Hood, TX, then was sent to Nam as an infantry replacement (he was not a jumper), and was assigned to Company 'C' 2/506th, 101st Airborne. He arrived there soon after the costly Ripcord battle and spent enough time in the field to get the C.I.B. He was then re-assigned at Camp Evans
where he served the rest of his year in-country as a mail clerk
for 2/506th. During his time in the jungle, he acquired dysentery, pneumonia and jungle rot.
So Calvin served in both
of the divisions I have written books about. Some guys were born to live history and others only to write about it. Calvin
(an 11 June Gemini) and his Gemini wife Shelly, reside in southern California. Calvin is now a broker of lawnmower parts.
His dad invented and patented one of the earliest power mowers, back in the 1950s.
Update: 2009: Here's a shot taken in August, 2009, showing my cousin Cal Kato with me. He traveled all the way from
San Juan Capistrano, CA, to be at Ft Campbell for the Week of the Eagles.
Wallace Tao-Another CousinWally was the oldest son of my mother's brother. He served as a paratrooper with the 503rd Infantry in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Nam in 1966. Wally's dad was in the Army Corps of Engineeers in WW2 and his brother Marlin was a Major and an Army dentist for 20 years. Wally was very seriously wounded in action in the Iron Triangle, in '66. An article was written about him in the VFW Magazine, describing how a mortar fragment had severed a ventricle of his heart. His survival was a modern medical miracle, made possible by medivac procedures and immediate surgery. In any previous war in history, Wally would've been a dead man.
Wally told Marlin after he returned from Nam, that his entire patrol was ambushed and wiped-out and that he was possibly the only survivor. When American medics surveyed the ambush site, they looked at Wally and thought he was just another 'Gook', and walked past him. He did some colorful American swearing to get their attention, so they returned and loaded him onto a helicopter and sent him for medical attention.
Wally died in 2004, a victim of lung cancer at age 59. Above, you can also see the photo of him that was in VFW Magazine.
So the webmaster had two cousins who saw combat with Airborne units. I do not believe that their accomplishments enhance my
credibility in any way, but I sure am proud of them. Both of them are/were better men than I, and they served in an
unpopular war, in which they looked like the enemy and the vast majority of their brothers in arms did not.