Sergeant Major (R) John Diffin
Sergeant Major John Diffin, one of our World War II legends, passed away on Christmas Day 2016 at Womack Army Medical Center at the age of 94.
John jumped into Saint Mere-Eglise and Njimegen. He also fought in Korea with the 187th (Airborne) Regimental Combat Team and in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. After those wars, he returned to the All American Division where he served most of his 33-year career.
In 1974, John flew to Europe for the thirty year D-Day commemoration service in Sainte Mere Eglise, France, attending as an official representative of the 82nd Airborne Division.
In October of 1975 Sergeant Major John T. Diffin retired on Fort Bragg. At the time of his retirement he was the last WWII veteran serving in the Division. His last duty position was the Division G-2 Sergeant Major.
Sergeant Major’s awards include a staggering seven Purple Hearts, seven Bronze Stars and 2 Soldiers Medals.
Sergeant Major Diffin served with the 505 during WWII and was a charter member of the 505th Panther Association.
1948 - 2016
Thomas Wayne Holzman, 68, of Waupun, passed away
peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on December 1st, 2016 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.
After his graduation from high school, he was drafted into the U.S. Army December 1967 where he was part of the 82nd Airborne and served in the Vietnam War from May of 1968 to May of 1969. Upon arrival back home, he met the love of his life Mary (Westhuis) Holzman and wed on November 14th 1970 at Alto Reformed Church. Together they had three children, six grandchildren with one on the way. He enjoyed attending 82nd Airborne Conventions throughout the nation. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 210 of Waupun, VFW Post 6709 of Waupun, the Panther Association Parachute Infantry Regiment, the Golden Brigade Chapter and an All American member of the 82nd Airborne Division Association.
Major Duke Boswell
Major Duke Boswell, who had FOUR combat Jumps, has passed away. He survived the Battle of the Bulge..Jumped into Sicily, Italy, Normandy and the Netherlands. Duke forged his mother's signature to get into the U.S. Army when he was only 16 years old. Duke was an Airborne Legend. Read More
Dr. Northam H. ‘Doc’ Stolp
John Edward Huffman, 66, of Charleston went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on December 15, 2010 at CAMC Memorial Division after a long illness.
John served in the United States Army as a paratrooper from 1962-1965 with the 505th and 509th parachute infantry. He was an original charter member of the WV Airborne Association. He was the coach of the Sissonville Boxing Team, and a Vietnam Veteran.
Dr. Northam H. “Doc” Stolp, Appleton, age 90, died peacefully Monday June 29, 2015 at the Bridges of Appleton surrounded by his loving family.
He was born in Chicago on July 28, 1924 to the late Ernest and Dorothy (Steele) Stolp. Doc served in the Army during World War II as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne division 505. He participated in the Airborne Invasion of Holland and received many decorations and citations. He was past chairman of the Badger State Chapter of the Airborne Division Association.
We are saddened to announce the passing of Colonel Edwin M. Sayre (Ret.), 98, former commander of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He died Thursday, October 23, 2014 at his residence.
Col. Sayre was born on December 19, 1915 to Arthur Neul Sayre and Edna Yarbro Sayre in New Mexico near the Hila River.
In 1940 Ed Sayre joined the Breckenridge National Guard Company L 36th Division that was activated at the start of WWII. In April 1940 Ed passed the Army Officers test and became a 2nd Lt., and after hearing paratroopers made an extra $100.00 a month, he volunteered for parachute training. Upon completing parachute training he was promoted to Capt. of "A Company" of the 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
As the A Company Commander, Col. Sayre became known as the "hero of Piano Lupo" in Sicily. He also earned the Distinguished Service Cross during Operation Husky. Later in his Army career, Col. Sayre served as the commander of the 1st Airborne Battle Group, 505th Infantry from June of 1963 to May of 1964. He later retired from the Army in 1968 with over 30 years of service.
He met and married Betty Mavrico in Germany in 1946. His wife Betty also retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel.
COL (R) Edwin M. Sayre
Col. Sayre was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, The Legion of Merit/ 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star/3 Oak Leaf Clusters, Combat Infantry Badge for WWII and Korea, Masters Parachutists Wings with over 300 jumps; of these he has two Stars for combat jumps. He also has 3 Purple Hearts.
After his Military retirement he returned to Breckenridge. Col. Sayre served as Chamber of Commerce Director, YMCA, Breckenridge Rotary Club, West Texas Council of Governments, Texas Farm Bureau, Breckenridge Housing Authority Board, and the Stephens Memorial Hospital board. He was also vice-president of Citizens National Bank for 6 years, and an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church where he served as treasurer and Sunday School Teacher.
We are eternally grateful for Col. Sayre's service to the nation, our Army, and the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He was truly a national treasure.
Gerald R. "Jerry" Weed
Jerry telling one of his colorful war stories during the 67th National Convention in Indianapolis, IN.
WEED, Gerald R. "Jerry" (Age 95) Sunday, August 24, 2014 our country lost a true American, soldier, hero, dad and grandpa. Jerry's journey began January 19, 1919 born to Gerald and Ruth, and soon joined by sister Barb and brother Bob. A lifelong resident of Spokane, he attended Irving Elementary, Lewis and Clark High School and Gonzaga Prep. On December 7, 1941 his life changed dramatically. He jumped to serve his country, joining up with the famed 82nd Airborne Division--a young man hardened by the depression answering the call to serve his country after Pearl Harbor. He became a member of the 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, arguably the best parachute infantry to descend upon European battlefields during WWII. The 505 was the only regiment during WWII to make four combat jumps into Sicily, Salerno, Normandy and Holland, all within 14 months. He proudly served under General James M. Gavin and has been a close friend of Jim's daughter Barbara for many years. Jerry was a Tech Sergeant and received the Distinguished Service Medal, two Bronze Stars for bravery and two Purple Hearts. After the war he owned and operated a Pepsi Cola distributorship in Colfax, WA, owned the Carmelcorn Shop at Shadle Center, sold real estate and last managed a restaurant supply company in the Tri-Cities. He is survived by four children, Linda Costich, Patti (Bob) Rees, Jerry Weed and Bill Weed. Grandpa Weed has 12 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by a beautiful niece Becky (Gary) Schmerer and a wonderful nephew Dalton (Debbie) Smith. Jerry has countless friends across this country and the world, but shared a special love for his friends and families of Big Sky's Tavern in Hillyard. In his final days and at his time of passing he was in the care of Manor Care. Our family cannot say enough good about the love and care all of Manor Care showed for us and our Dad. In lieu of flowers the family would ask any donations go to the Wounded Warrior Foundation. All American All the Way AIRBORNE!
Jerry posing with re-enactors at the 67th National Convention in Indianapolis, IN.
James Vernon Rodier
Passed away on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at his residence in California. Although he spent most of his life in Vienna, VA, he moved to Sherman Oaks, CA to be closer to his younger daughter in 2010.
Vernon was born January 4, 1923 in Vienna, VA to the late Louis and Anna Rodier. He is survived by his daughters, Barbara R. Satterfield and Leslie J. Rodier (Bob Potter); his grandsons, James O. Satterfield and Robert C. Potter; as well as his sisters, Edith R. Mellott and Dorothy R. Moran; 12 nieces, nephews and their spouses, numerous great-nieces and nephews; one great-great-niece and one great-great-nephew.
He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Miller Rodier; his brother, Louis E. Rodier; his sisters, Mary R. Martin and Ruth E. Rodier; as well as his son-in-law, Omer Satterfield.
He retired from C&P Telephone Company after 42 years. He was a decorated Veteran of WWII, jumping proudly with the 82nd Airborne into Sicily, Italy, France (D-Day) and Holland. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was an enthusiastic member of the Washington Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Association.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association , via the James V. Rodier Memorial Tribute Fund at: www.alz.org
WE REMEMBER AND HONOR DECEASED PANTHER ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
Gordon Stark 505 RCT 4 Combat Jumps
Philip McKnight 505 RCT 2 Combat Jumps, 2 Glider Assaults
Warren Bowen 505 RCT 4 Combat Jumps
Julius Eisner 505 RCT 4 Combat Jumps
Robert Franco 505 RCT 4 Combat Jumps
William Steele 505 RCT 4 Combat Jumps
Ernest Schmidt 505 RCT 4 Combat Jumps, Member of 82nd Honor Guard Berlin
Howard Hubner 505 RCT 2 Combat Jumps
Edward Laughlin 505 RCT 1 Combat Jump
Ira Strack 505 RCT 1 Combat Jump
Stanley Wojtulski 505 PIR
Marion Miller 505 PIR
Daryle Whitfield 505 PIR
Frank Sharps 505 PIR
Frank Wohlfart 505 PIR
William French 505 PIR
Jean Wade 505 PIR
Edward Posey 555 PIB, 505 PIR, 2nd ABN Ranger Co
Leonard Zazula Life Member
Michael Tarasiewicz 505 PIR
Archbishop of New Orleans, Phillip Hannan, 2 Combat Jumps, 505 WW II
(He Baptized, Married and Buried John F. Kennedy)
SFC Jess A Brown 2/Panther
Allie Lamonica Med 505, 1942-1945, 4 Combat Jumps
Fedrick Hicks 1/505, 1943-1946, 4 Combat Jumps
James Curran Svc 505, 1954-1956
Jerry Golightly 1/505, 1962-1964
Norberto Ruiz HHC 2/505, 2002-2012
Timothy Diaz CL P.A.
John Lattimer CL P.A.
DECEASED GOLDEN BRIGADE MEMBERS
William Stevens, Jr.
COL John G Jameson, Jr.
MG Alexander Bolling
Clayton Defreese Jr
LTG Richard Seitz
Joseph Zajac Jr.
K-TRP 1/17 CAV
Ret. Charter Life Member
Charter Life Member
HHC 2/505 PIR Charter Life Member
“When the smoke cleared away, it was the man with the sword, or the cross bow, or the rifle,
who settled the final issue on the field.”
George C. Marshall
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