All Veteran Group

James Megellas

James Megellas with Mike Elliot, Founder of AVG All Veteran Group

James Megellas with Mike Elliot, Founder of AVG All Veteran Group

James Megellas, born March 11, 1917, is a retired U.S. Army officer who commanded a platoon in Company H of the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), 82nd Airborne Division during World War II. He is "the most decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne Division," having received a Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star and a nomination for the Medal of Honor. Megellas was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and attended nearby Ripon College. He participated in the school's Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and, upon graduation in May 1942, received a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

He first experienced combat in the mountains outside Naples, Italy, where he was wounded and hospitalized. In October 1943, while the remainder of the 82nd Airborne departed Italy to recoup before the invasion of Normandy, the 504th PIR remained behind and took part in Operation Shingle. On Jan. 22, 1944, the 504th took part in an amphibious assault at Anzio. The fighting took a heavy toll with Megellas being wounded again. Due to the losses at Anzio, the 504th did not participate in the D-Day Normandy landings, but they did parachute into the Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden.

Megellas took part in the crossing of the Waal River near Nijmegen, where American forces crossed the river in flimsy boats while under heavy machine gun fire. He single-handedly attacked a German observation post and machine gun nest during the engagement. For these actions, he was awarded the U.S. military's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, and, in December 1944, the regiment was rushed into the Battle of the Bulge.

On Jan. 28, 1945, Megellas' platoon was advancing toward Heresiarch, Belgium. Struggling through heavy snow and freezing cold, they surprised 200 Germans who were advancing out of the town. Catching the Germans largely off guard, the attack proved to be devastating, with the Americans killing or capturing a large number and causing many others to flee. As they prepared to assault the town, a German Mark V tank took aim at them. Megellas ran toward it and disabled it with a single grenade. Climbing on top of the tank, he dropped another grenade into the tank, eliminating the threat to his men. He then led his men as they cleared and seized the town with no casualties to his team. He was nominated for the Medal of Honor, but the account of his actions was not included in the original battle reports, and he was instead awarded the Silver Star.

Throughout the war, Megellas served with Company H, 504th PIR, which he would later command. In January 1946, he led his company down Fifth Avenue in New York City in the Victory Parade. He left the active Army service that year with the rank of Captain and served an additional 16 years in the Army Reserve. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and wrote a memoir of his wartime experiences entitled “All the Way to Berlin: A Paratrooper at War in Europe.” Megellas and his wife currently live in Colleyville, Texas. Maggie was nominated for the Medal of Honor seventy years ago, it was reviewed by the Senate on 01/30/2017 and referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

An AVG Salute to Jill Conley, founder of Jill’s Wish

Jill Conley was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2009, one day before her 32nd birthday. She has openly shared her journey and has been an incredible motivator and inspiration for many women and their families.

Jill’s Wish helps families struggling with the financial repercussions of breast cancer.

Jill’s Wish is a source of information about the warning signs and treatments of breast cancer.

Jill’s Wish is a community, a place where women can share their story and go for support.

Please visit for more information and to donate.

Jill will be joining our CEO Donna Yost and the All Veteran Group in jumping from an AVG airplane for the cause.

Visit for more information about Mike Elliot and his team.

This video is their tribute to Jill Conley and her cause:

A Salute to Jill Conley!

Mike Elliott Shares The Contents of His Life Chest

To look inside Mike Elliott’s Life Chest is to travel through time and see each of his accomplishments, experiences and moments of inspiration. Through the carefully selected items he has placed inside of his Freedom Chest you are able learn so much about his life and of his passion to make a difference. Mike’s story is incredibly deep and touching, he is an American Hero and we are honored to know him.

Please watch this video to learn more about Mike and Visit the All Veteran Group on their website or Facebook Page.

Thank you Mike Elliott, Founder and President of the All Veteran Group, for not only sharing your memories and mementos but for also inspiring us to create meaningful Life Chest Moments of our own.

As Mike always says..

Blue Skies!

The All Veteran Veteran Group is a unique collection of highly experienced parachutists who represent the essence of what it means to be an American: patriotism, creativity, initiative, professionalism and dedication to excellence.

Harris Rosen: A Legacy And A Birthday Jump With AVG

For his birthday Mr. Harris Rosen did the jump with Mike Elliot and his AVG team.

Rosen was born in 1939 in Manhattan. He attended Cornell University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree from their School of Hotel Administration. He then served in the United States Army for three years in Germany and South Korea.

In 2002, Rosen donated a 20-acre (0.081 km2) site and $25 million to the University of Central Florida to develop the Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

His efforts extend far beyond UCF, including large involvement in Tangelo Park. These efforts include scholarships for members of the community who are accepted to vocational school, college or university in the state of Florida, and an alternative spring break for Cornell students who wish to spend their vacation mentoring students from Tangelo Park.

Please Visit these links for more information and to donate to the Tangelo Park Program:

Source :

Honored To Be A Part Of President George H.W. Bush’s Big 90th Birthday Jump!

Kennebunkport, Maine – Life 2000 Ltd.

CEO Donna Yost attended George H.W. Bush’s 90th birthday party yesterday, which included the former President jumping from a plane at 6,300 feet!

It was an amazing day and an incredible moment to witness as President Bush landed on the ground with his tandem partner Sgt. 1st Class Michael Elliot, a retired member of the U.S. Army’s parachute team, the Golden Knights and the founder and President of our affiliate All Veteran Group. As they landed on the grounds of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, family and friends sang “Happy Birthday.”

After his jump Donna presented President Bush with a personalized Freedom Chest filled with memories from this wonderful event.

“What all of us seek in our life is meaning and adventure. It’s through service that all of us can find both.” – George H.W. Bush

CEO Donna Yost with George H. W. Bush on 90th Birthday Jump
Mike Elliot and George Bush Jumping on 90th Birthday
Mike Elliot and George Bush Sr. Jumping Tandem on the Former Presidents 90th Birthday
Freedom Lifestyle with AVG and George Bush Mike Elliot
AVG Founder Mike Elliot with George Bush Sr. After the Jump