"The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance. Things go wrong when good men do nothing."

"The Price of apathy towards public affairs, is to be ruled by Evil Men"- Plato

"The task of all free men, is to call all things by their right names."-Irving Younger


By Mark A. Bando

Bi-Monthly Voice of the website created by Mark A. Bando
Copyright 2014, M. Bando


The 4th Brigade Combat Team of the 21st Century 101st Airborne Division was recently deactivated. However, the first and second battalions of the 506th IN live-on. The 1st Bn has been integrated into 1st Brigade, to join with the 327th IN, while 2nd Battalion, 506th is now with the 3rd BCT, Rakassans.
The screaming eagle division continues to stand as sentinels defending America's freedom, ready to face the challenges which lie ahead.
We all owe these heroes a debt we cannot repay, for doing the dangerous duty that relatively few individuals can handle. They, along with our other military forces are the first line sentinels who risk it all, to preserve and protect our way of life.

Regarding the question of whether parachute troops still have a place in the 21st Century Army,
General David H.Petraeus stressed the type of individuals these units attract.
He is quoted as saying:
"There's value in having people who have confronted their fears...
it takes something to jump out of an airplane without being attached to anything."

"101st Airborne spoken here..."

Msg from the Webmaster, January,2018
Note to TT visitors. My Eagle Talk page has not been updated since about 2015. I now use Facebook, to serve as a discussion forum, and as a means of disseminating recent 101st related news. Stories that were formerly published here, can now be found on my secret group page. If you wish to join and access that information, send your request to Rich Riley, at this address: currahee506@adelphia.net, Thanks, M. Bando, January, 2018.

Don Zahn from MN joined the 1st platoon of H/506th at Toccoa, GA in 1942 as a private. After 2 injuries, he was made a scout and removed from the mortar squad. He had been captain of his track team in high school and his How Co. platoon, commanded by Lt Edward Mehosky was known as 'The 40 Thieves.' On D-day, Don was the first member of the 506th to cross the road bridge over the Douve river near les Moulins, an act for which he later received the DSC. He was promoted to 2nd Lt via a battlefield commission in December, 1944, just before going to Bastogne in Co. C.
Don subsequently survived the fighting at Noville and the woods fight above Luzery. He was once knocked unconscious by a close exploding shell at Noville. Don finished the war as a 1st Lt in C/506th and he was administrator of a Displaced Persons' camp,in Worth, Austria in 1945. While in that role, he actually performed a marriage ceremony, to join two refugees who lived in that camp. After WWII Don served in the MN National Guard, then he moved west and settled with his wife Norma and their 9 children in CO. He spent the latter years of his life in Idaho.
By a great stroke of good fortune, Don met his soul mate Norma on a blind date, shortly after the war.
Since her passing several years ago, his mental and physical health declined drastically.
Don Zahn was a bonafide hero of WWII. Several years ago, he was named a DMOR of the 506th regiment and a park is named in his honor, at Ft Campbell, KY. He was a personal friend of the webmaster and we shared the same birthday, of 15 October.
Don would have turned 95 in October.

Copyright Mark Bando, 2014

Bando's Garage Sale & Auction

The recent auction for two souvenir pistols brought back by Lt Bert Collier of D/501 went well. Thanks to all who placed bids on those historical items.

Bids can be emailed to the webmaster at: markbando@aol.com

Ms Trigger Time
In the WWII tradition of Betty Grable, we have had female descendants of WWII 101st troopers as models on this site for the past dozen years. Most of them have been the daughters or Grand daughters of eagle troopers, and those receive the title of 'Ms Trigger Time.' Other attractive (non relative) volunteers are posted as 'TT Pinup of the Month'. If you have the qualifications, step-up and volunteer. The webmaster can take pics at reunions, the TT conventions, or wherever is convenient for the model. I usually bring the 'costume' to these events.
The young lady illustrated above, is Catherine VdM, the Grand daughter of the late Barney Momcilovic of HQ/1 and C/501 PIR. She remains one of the most exemplary models we've had, since Nadine W. first blazed the trail, over a decade ago.

New 2015 Calendar from WWII Abn Demonstration Team is Ready
to order a copy, google 'WWiiADT.org'
The price is $10-. These make great gifts for Airborne veterans and their families, or the history fans in your life.

Update: January, 2014:
This book is now sold-out and can be considered to be out of print. This is already a collectors' item.
There is no other book like this one.
Until/unless a US publisher re-does this book, it will only be available from used book dealers. A French language edition, containing 50 additional images will be published by Heimdal Press, in 2014.


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, to be published in 2005.

These two History buffs reside in Minnesota. Ryan Baker (l) is a sales rep, history fan 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 a runner.
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.

Mark Barber a.k.a. 'Smokejumper'writes:
"I work as an industrial maintenance supervisor at one of the worlds largest aluminum extruders/fabrcators- Hydro Aluminum. Love to fish as I live just a couple miles from the ocean and also deer hunt. As a family we love to visit historic places and camp. I read A LOT - exclusively military history".
Mark is shown above, with his son Chris- in a photo made at the WW2 Memorial.
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.

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 Enemy 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, shows what Joe looks like today.

Barb and Mike Bigalke(l) are longtime friends of the webmaster. Mike is a retired mailman, and an avid Airborne collector and history buff. The Bigalkes reside in Marengo, IL.
IAIN Bramwell (r) 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.
Dan Crews, who resides in extreme SE Illinois, is a long time collector and forum regular, who has attended some TT conventions and Arlington Hts TT dinners.

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'.

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.

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'.

Lynn Kessler has been a forum regular for several years now. As you can see from the photo, he is into 101st reenacting and he also does the 7th Bn. of the Black Watch at timelines, parades and tacticals.
He paints military miniatures and customizes and collects 1/6th scale figures. He is a Pisces Goat and his job description: sales support for Konica Minolta Business Solutions (copier manufacturer).
He also wrote and published "Never In Doubt --Remembering Iwo Jima" in 1999, through Naval Institute Press

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. 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 Ann 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 in the Midland, TX area and has toured Holland and Belgium with the webmaster.

Stephane Molitor is another European history fan, known to forum regulars by his screen name of 'KELSO'.

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.

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.

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.
Hard Boiled city police officer Terry Poyser is a patrolman and author, who works on the streets of Vallejo, CA. A regular at TT Conventions, Terry spent the last decade researching a company history of F/506th, in partnership with Bill Brown. Their book 'Fighting Fox Company' was published by Casemate, in February of 2014. Terry's beautiful Scorpio wife Josi has also become a regular at the TT conventions.

Rich Riley above right, is a 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 now hosted several TT Conventions.

Rodney R. Roycroft is an Aquarius, born year of the Ox, who met the webmaster in the Summer 2005 ADT jump school. Rodney is still jumping with the team and now has over 100 parachute jumps, from 1942 vintage C-47s. He is a former Navy pilot and currently an overseas pilot, for Delta Airlines. He has produced Airborne calendars annually for the past five years, to raise funds for the WWII Abn Demonstration Team.
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, where he discovered some interesting info. He is a gentleman and a scholar.

Jeff Thomas (l) is a lifelong Detroiter, who resides near the Webmaster 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 then 11-year old daughter Ellen, at the WTC Memorial in NY City in May 2012. Johan lives at the Belgian coast, close to the battlefields of WW1, and he's a Senior NCO in the Belgian Armed Forces, having served for over 30 years in Belgium, Germany and other countries. He currently works as a recruiter in the Armed Forces Recruiting Office in the historic city of Bruges, 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. Johan is a frequent visitor to ETO battlefields, where the webmaster has encountered him, on a number of occasions.

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.
Update: Nadine married a law enforcement officer named Geoff Field and is now the mother of multiple children. They are living the dream in Florida.

Paul Woodage, a.k.a. "reccewoody"is a Brit and a Normandy battlefield guide, who resides in Normandy. Paul's young wife Myriam tragically passed away, in June of 2013. Paul recently authored and published a book entitled 'Angels of Mercy', detailing the famous church aid station in Angoville au Plain on D-day and D plus 1. You can find ordering information on Amazon.com or on the page created for the book on Facebook.

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.

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.

Wallace Tao-Another Cousin
Wally 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.

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