Note: the following information has been pieced together from stories from relatives, the history of the 517th, as well as Henry Ciner's postcards to his sisters.
Henry Ciner, know to relatives as "Henny", was born on September 18, 1922 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was one of 11 children born to Jacob and Victoria Kopec Cynar, Polish immigrants. He joined the Army in 1942. He served with the 404 M.P.E.G. Co., Prisoner of War Camp, Camp Carson, Colorado in 1943. He volunteered for airborne training at Ft. Benning, Georgia in October of that year, before joining the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment. He saw action in Italy before Operation Dragoon, which was the invasion of southern France. He was a member of the Pathfinders. Killed In action, August 15, 1944, near LaMuy, France, he rests in the Rhone American Military Cemetery, Draguinan, France along with 800 other comrades in arms. His grave is decorated 4 times a year -- Memorial Day, May 30th, Liberation Day, August 15th, September 18th, Henny's birthday and Veteran's Day, November 11th.
"Oh summer sun shine brightly there
Oh summer wind blow softly there
Green sod above light light, lie light
Goodnight, braveheart, goodnight".
The Airborne Creed
I am an Airborne Trooper! A paratrooper!
I jump by parachute from any plane in flight. I volunteered to do it, knowing well the hazards of my choice.
I serve in a mighty Airborne Force - famed for deeds in war - renowned for readiness in peace. It is my pledge to uphold its honor and prestige in all I am - In all I do.
I am an elite trooper - a sky trooper - a shock trooper - a spearhead trooper, I blaze the way to far-flung goals - behind, before, above the foe's front line.
I know that I may have to fight without support for days on end. Therefore, I keep mind and body always fit to do my part in any airborne task. I am self-reliant and unafraid. I shoot true, and march fast and far. I fight hard and excel in every art and artifice in war.
I never fail a fellow trooper. I cherish as a sacred trust the lives of men with whom I serve. Leaders have my fullest loyalty, and those I lead never find me lacking.
I have pride in the Airborne! I never let it down!
In peace, I do not shirk the dullest duty nor protest the toughest training. My weapons and equipment are always combat ready. I am neat of dress - military in courtesy - proper in conduct and behavior.
In battle, I fear no foe's ability, nor underestimate his prowess, power and guile. I fight him with all my might and skill - ever alert to evade capture or escape a trap. I never surrender, though I be the last.
My goal in peace or war is to succeed in any mission of the day - or die, if needs be, in the try.
I belong to a proud and glorious team - the Airborne, the Army, my Country.
I am its chosen pride to fight where others may not go -
to serve them well until the final victory.
I am a trooper of the sky! I am my Nation's best! In peace and war I never fail. Anywhere, anytime, in anything - I am AIRBORNE!
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