Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen: The World War II Story of Jack Womer, Ranger and Paratrooper

Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen: The World War II Story of Jack Womer, Ranger and Paratrooper

by Steven C. DeVito, Jack Womer
Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen: The World War II Story of Jack Womer, Ranger and Paratrooper

Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen: The World War II Story of Jack Womer, Ranger and Paratrooper

by Steven C. DeVito, Jack Womer


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In 2004 the world was first introduced to The Filthy Thirteen, a book describing the most notorious squad of fighting men in the 101st Airborne Division (and the inspiration for the movie “The Dirty Dozen”).

In this long awaited work one of the squad’s integral members—and probably its best soldier—reveals his own inside account of fighting as a spearhead of the Screaming Eagles in Normandy, Market Garden, and the Battle of the Bulge.

Jack Womer was originally a member of the 29th Infantry Division and was selected to be part of its elite Ranger battalion. But after a year of grueling training under the eyes of British Commando instructors, the 29th Rangers were suddenly dissolved. Bitterly disappointed, Womer asked for transfer to another elite unit, the Screaming Eagles, where room was found for him among the division’s most miscreant squad of brawlers, drunkards, and goof-offs.

Beginning on June 6, 1944, however, the Filthy Thirteen began proving themselves more a menace to the German Army than they had been to their own officers and the good people of England, embarking on a year-of ferocious combat at the very tip of the Allied advance in Europe.

In this work, with the help of Stephen DeVito, Jack provides an amazingly frank look at close-quarters combat in Europe, as well as the almost surreal experience of dust-bowl-era GI’s entering country after country in their grapple with the Wehrmacht, finally ending up in Hitler’s mountaintop lair in Germany itself.

Throughout his fights, Jack Womer credited his Ranger/Commando training for helping him to survive, even though most of the rest of the Filthy Thirteen did not. And in the end he found the reward he had most coveted all along: being able to return to his fiancée Theresa back in the States.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612001005
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 353,149
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Jack Womer is a World War II veteran of high distinction. Jack was drafted into the 29th Infantry Division in April of 1941, and sent to Europe in October of 1942. Jack volunteered for the 29th Ranger Battalion, undertook training by British Commandos, and was among the relatively few men who met the extensive and rigorous requirements for becoming a Ranger. After the 29th Rangers disbanded in October of 1943, Jack volunteered to become a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division and, in January, 1944, was assigned to the Division’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment’s Demolitions Platoon, in the section known infamously as the“Filthy Thirteen”. He fought with the Filthy Thirteen in the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day), the Battle for Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge. Arguably the Filthy Thirteen's best soldier, Jack credits his not being injured and surviving the war to his Ranger training and God. Jack was eventually made buck sergeant of the Filthy Thirteen, a position which he held until the end of the war.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments 9

The 506th Parachute Infantry Prayer 20

1 My Early Years 21

2 First Jobs 28

3 Meeting Miss Theresa Cook: My Future Bride 33

4 The Outbreak of World War II 39

5 Drafted into the Army: Private Jack Womer 43

6 Becoming a Stage Performer 48

7 War Games in the Carolinas 53

8 The Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor 61

9 Off to Europe to Fight Hitler 64

10 Arriving in England: First Impressions 70

11 Volunteering to Become an Army Ranger 75

12 Off to Scotland 79

13 Causing Trouble in Dundalk! 92

14 Back to England, As Rangers 94

15 Rangers No More 106

16 The Making of a Paratrooper 1, 2, 3! 109

17 Becoming one of the "Filthy Thirteen" 117

18 Life at the Wills' Manor Estate, Littlecote, Wiltshire 121

19 An Encounter with Winston Churchill 127

20 Prelude to OVERLORD: The Invasion of France 129

21 D-Day Mission Disclosed 134

22 The Invasion is On! 138

23 Off to a Bad Start: James Green's Parachute 143

24 D-Day 149

25 D-Day Plus One 168

26 No Time To Cry 173

27 Goo-Goo and Peepnuts are Killed 176

28 Carentan-A Red Rose for a Soldier 180

29 Back to England 188

30 Operation Market-Garden: the Battle For Holland 195

31 The Jump into Holland 201

32 Eindhoven 207

33 The Killing of Corporal Joseph J. Oleskiewicz. 210

34 Life in Holland 217

35 Goodbye to Holland 224

36 On to Bastogne: The Battle of the Bulge 233

37 A Useless Replacement 239

38 Mike Marquez and the Screaming Mee-Mees 242

39 Christmas Day, 1944 245

40 Staying with Civilians 250

41 Oh Those Ninety-Day Wonders! 254

42 To the Fatherland! 263

43 Living With the Enemy 268

44 The War In Europe Is Over! 274

45 The Last Patrol 279

46 Going Home 283

47 Settling Back into Civilian Life 290

48 Bringing Peace to the Hale Family 294

49 The Remains of the Day 301

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