Jack Womer


It's with great sadness that I must inform you of the death of Jack Womer. He passed away the 28 december 2013. With him extinguished the last "Filthy Thirteen".

We should never forget that this man has done for us; Rest in Peace my friend. God Bless you!

Many thank you to Ellen Womer for his help. Also, Thank you Jack for giving me some time during his visit in June 2012. And thank you to my friends Dominique and Real.


   <= Jack Womer - 1943


Jack Womer in Normandy - June 2012 =>



Jack Womer was born in Pennsylvania in 1917. His parents were Roxy Middelsworth and William Walk Womer. Jack is still a child when the family moved to Dundalk in Maryland in 1920. His father worked at Bethlehem Steel Corp. at Sparrows Point. He grew up before moving to Dunleer Road in adulthood. He remained there for numerous years of before moving to Edgemere.


Jack Womer was drafted into the Army shortly after the entry into America's war in 1941. He joined the 29th Infantry Division. With this unit he went to England in late 1942. He answers this time to launch a call for volunteers within the division. The General Staff has decided to create small Ranger units for conducting commando operations on the shores of occupied Europe. Jack Womer, with the other guys from the battalion left for Scotland to train in the company of British Commandos. It was the hardest moments of his life. The training is similar to the training of green berets today. But for him, the hardness of the training allowed him to survive the war. During this period he was with the 29th Ranger Battalion, Jack Womer slept in tents or in huts made of steel. He remembers that the little stove in the middle of the hut, which, in winter could not warm the hut. The drive that was in both groups. One morning, one in the evening. Training included the act of rappelling a cliff 60 meters after crossing a barbed wire fence of 7 meters and after throwing grenades from above. Jack Womer was wounded several times during this workout, but without attracting the sympathy of the British Commandos. Jack Womer remembers which he had sprained his hand during training on the obstacle course, his hand was bandaged and he had to dive into the icy water. He and his hand were refrigerated, but despite the pain, he continued the exercises. After months of training that Jack Womer described as "always thinking - no rest, no sleep," the 29th Battalion was disbanded in October 1943. Jack Womer returned to his original unit. But during a stay in Cornwall, Jack had met a sergeant of the 101st Airborne. Impressed, especially by the jump pay of $ 50, he asked to join the unit. This was refused because he was an expert at shooting with the BAR. He repeated a request and finally accepted. He made his 5 jumps calling paratroopers in one day and joined the 101st Airborne Division. He joined the 506th PIR, where he became a member of the demolition platoon: the famous Filthy Thirteen. He spent the rank of Corporal to that of Pfc. Jake McNiece, the platoon commander that joined Jack Womer, nicknamed "Hawkeye" because he saw more than 10 kilometers. This group was famous because pictures are representatives of putting paint on the face and cutting hair at the Mohawk. The pictures taken before D-Day were published in the Star and Stripes and went around the United States. But Jack Womer refused to follow these comrades. He explained that he actually followed the advice of the British commandos. He had learned never to cause the enemy. The commando, have taught him that when they fell on the Germans, they had to do the same thing they did, without cause. He also remembered that one of his comrades, was captured pushed against a wall and was nearly killed by a bullet in the head Jack Womer also remembered another great moment, its unlikely meeting with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

 "They called us to tell us that we would make a jump demonstration for Mr. Eisenhower, Churchill and Taylor. I hated the idea. It was my seventh jump, because I had an internship with the 29th Rangers, training with the British commandos. So we left, and Taylor told us "When you land, make sure you stay well camouflaged." It took off, we jumped, and we found ourselves in a completely clear fields. .. there was nothing at all, and it started raining. Hell! And there was this haystack. I looked at my buddy and I said, "Listen, let's go in this haystack! "It was stashed in the hay, with our gun between his legs, but you could always see what was happening outside. Arrive Command Car which is a station right next to our wheel. Churchill down, went around and starting to piss on my boots!

I said, "Do I have to go down that son of a ... Mr. Prime Minister, we do not piss me over! So I did not move, anyway I do not think I was going to walnut and my boots covered only my ankles. But it was so close I can say that he needed a circumcision. So I gave him this "son of a gun" the nickname "Cranckers" .. . But he never knew I was in the haystack. "

June 6, 1944, their mission, after parachuting into Normandy, was to secure, or destroy if necessary bridges along the canal "fluke" to prevent the Germans establish a bridgehead. Their goal was near the small village of Brevands was extremely dangerous. What planners had neglected to mention is that the area consisted of marsh. Jack Womer landed in, but managed to stay afloat and through his training of the commandos, he managed to find comrades and served as a scout for the lead in the marsh. The night was lit by the flashes of explosions and fires in aircraft. Suddenly a flare made them visible to the Germans. Immediately, a 20mm gun opened fire on the group planning to land on Jack. When the rocket was extinguished, Jack realized that they were only three survivors. They began to crawl to take cover in a drainage ditch. A shell fell right next to him, but fortunately, tore the left sleeve of his uniform. (Handle it still retains very carefully) He later took command of a group of men of the 506th PIR in "Hells Corner" near the tray. He fought against the German 6th Parachute Regiment. During 36 days of fighting, Jack Womer contributed to the liberation of Carentan.


Then, still with the Filthy Thirteen, Jack Womer jumped into Holland during Operation Market Garen. And December 1944 participated in the fighting at Bastogne. Jack Womer accompanied the 101st Airborne to the Berghof, the eyrie of Adolf Hitler. He finished the war with the rank of Sergeant.


At the end of the war, Jack Womer was sent to the 513th PIR, 17th Airborne to return to the United States and be demobilized. He returned to Dundalk, where he worked for Bethlehem Steel for 46 years until his retirement. Jack Womer married Theresa Elizabeth Przywozna November 17, 1945. They had two children: John and Ellen. Jack lost his wife in 1986 or 87 and his son in 2002. For the first time, Jack returns to Europe with her daughter in June 2012. Today Jack lives surrounded by his loving family. He worked with Steve DeVito to writing a book about his career: "With The Filthy Thirteen Figthing"


Jack Womer and me - 11 June 2012 - Bastogne, Belgium