The 11th Airborne Division Association is a 501(c)(19) organization that was created to honor and promote the legacy of our mighty 11th Airborne Division as well as provide a community of Angels for all those who have served with and support us, from World War II to our modern Arctic Angels.
The 11th Airborne Division Association was the dream of members of the Division who wanted to be sure the unit did not totally cease to exist by starting an Association. The names of all of the members are unknown as many of the records and financial records have been destroyed or lost over the years, but the association has a long and strong history of providing a gathering place for Angels and those interested in our unit’s proud legacy.
Two of the original members were Richard Hoyt (511th Signals Company, 1942-1945) and Ted Lewis (HQS-675th PFAB, 1943-1946). These two Angels met in San Antonio, Tx in 1968 and discussed what and how to get the association started. It was decided to contact everyone they knew to pass the information. Considering that this was done in the pre-internet days, the details of how they did this must have been an outstanding achievement.
The first copy of The Voice of the Angels was published in late 1968 with the editor being Richard Hart and later Jerry Davis (H-511, 1943-1945). Since that initial startup, there have been, as of this writing, 215 issues mailed to the members of the Association. In that time, not a single quarter mailing has been missed.
The majority of the Association’s records have been kept by Leo Kocher. By his records there have been over 10,000 members of the Association who have died since he started keeping these records. Each honored member has been recognized in an issue of the Voice of the Angels. We still have over 750 dues-paying members on our active rosters and invite any past or present Angels to join us.
The 11th Airborne Division Association built a monument to the Division, designed and sculpted by world-famous artist and Association member William “Bill” Porteous (HQ2-511, 1942-1945). Bill’s breath-taking statue was placed at Soldier Field in Fort Benning GA on October 12, 1989 at a cost of almost $185,000.00 This was totally paid for by the Association membership and friends. The area where it was placed was an active part of the Post at that time.
Over the years this area was to be designated as a housing area for families stationed at Benning and living on the Post. We were asked to regift the monument to the Army again and have it moved, again at our expense.
Everyone joined together and the Association was again able to get donations of $62,500 00 to cover the movement of the monument to the new location. The new location is on the Airborne Walk directly in front of the Headquarters of 507th PIR who oversees the Jump School training. The first thing and the last thing a new parachutist coming to Fort Benning for training will see is our beloved monument.
The 11th Airborne Division Association has remained active over these years, from 1968 to today. We have held a Reunion every 2 years since the inception all across this great nation that we have served and sacrificed for.
We also have a Ladies Auxiliary called the Angelettes which is a major part of the unit. Without the help of our Angelettes, we would be a lot less than a total Association.
We would like to welcome the new members of the recently-activated Arctic 11th Airborne Division. The information you will need to join us and become a member of the Association is included in this web page, but please be patient. We are currently in the middle of rebuilding our association website and membership information will be coming soon.
THE PURPOSE OF THE 11TH AIRBORNE DIVISION ASSOCIATION IS TO:
- Provide avenues of connection for past and current 11th Airborne Division veterans and their families
- Plan events and communication media for member and the public
- Maintain a record of division and related member activities
- Maintain a close liaison with active duty Angels and their leadership and families
- Educate the public, and membership, about the legacy and contributions of the 11th Airborne Division
- Provide support mechanisms for active duty Angels and their families
- And more
DOWN FROM HEAVEN COMES ELEVEN!