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Showing 1-10 of 69 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 79 reviews
on October 5, 2015
The author of this book ends it in a most curious way. He tells us the reason he wrote this book is so future generations will not forget his generation.

I don’t think he should worry about any of us forgetting him or his generation. His book is the kind that will be read a hundred years from now because it is an uncommonly good read.

The author first starts off in the 29th Infantry Division in a musical. Yes, a musical, but Pearl Harbor ended that recruiting technique.

He then volunteers for extremely dangerous work as an Army Ranger. Sadly the 29th disbanded this highly technical unit before D-Day. The author volunteered for the 101st Airborne.

Ironically, a non-drinking man who does not smoke, is attached to the demolition unit known as The Filthy Thirteen. He was the only man in his unit who didn’t shave his hair into a Mohawk and paint himself like an “Indian” before the assault on Normandy.

His descriptions of his actions in Normandy are excellent as are his descriptions of every other battle the 101st experienced in the war.
In particularly I enjoyed reading about how he used his training as a Ranger to rescue a large number of paratroopers who landed in a swampy area of Normandy. Many readers may not know the Germans flooded the region in hopes of slowing down vehicles and killing paratroopers.

I truly enjoyed this book. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know. And even had a laugh when the author described how he parachuted with a flame thrower during a training exercise. He never carried one in combat but had a lot of fun with in training.

However, if you want to learn more about paratroopers in World War Two, I would strongly suggest reading the entire four book series written by Don Burgett. The author’s book Currahee!: A Screaming Eagle at Normandy is a classic. His book on Bastogne is nothing less that stunning.
I would also suggest reading Band of Bothers by Steven Ambros, All the Way to Berlin by James Megellas, not to be confused with On to Berlin: Battles of an Airborne Commander 1943-1946 by James M. Gavin.

Both books are worth reading. I would also suggest The Simple Sounds of Freedom by Joseph Beyrle and Parachute Infantry by David Webster.
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on February 23, 2014
In light of the recent passing of Jack Womer, it's more important than ever to read and understand what these soldiers accomplished. Womer is truly an American original who never backed away from a fight. Starting as a National Guardsman in the 29th Infantry Division, Womer volunteers for Ranger training while stationed in Britain. After the 29th Rangers were disbanded prior to D-Day, rather than returning to the 29th Womer signs up to become a paratrooper with the 101st.
Without spoiling the story for those who haven't read it yet, I can say that Jack Womer and his fellow Filthy Thirteen comrades performed admirably under harsh circumstances throughout all of the 101st's campaigns.
If you enjoyed this book, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Richard Killblane's War Paint which fills out the rest of the Filthy Thirteen saga and is packed with previously unpublished photographs.
Rest in Peace Mr. Womer, you've earned it.
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on May 23, 2014
I really enjoyed this book and I won't cover what most of the reviewers have. It was very interesting to read Jack's stories from depression era America, to his training as a Ranger and to his transfer to the 506th PIR. Lots of very unique observations and experiences that one may not expect in a WWII book. What bothered me from the very beginning is that the author says that he removed all of the profanity as Jack is a "very profane man". What the hell? Most all soldiers are profane, they always have been and will most likely always be! So it bothered me that this was sanitized in this manner. I think the author could have allowed some profanity as It would have added more context and personality (not to mention humor!) to certain situations. Also, as some other reviewers have noted, some passages are repeated in the book. This is something the editor should have caught. These two reasons are why I did not give it a full 5 stars - but to Jack and the rest of the men who fought and died for our freedom, I give 100 stars. May you rest in peace Jack and may the souls you lost in life find you in the after-life.
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on May 13, 2014
Fighting With The Filthy Thirteen: The World War II Story of Jack Womer is a book about Jack Womer, a steel worker from Baltimore Maryland and a well known soldier of World War II who served in the 101st Airborne Division, within the section of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regimental Headquarters Company’s demolitions platoon known more commonly as the “Filthy Thirteen”. Compared to other veterans of World War II, Womer’s story is unique in that unlike most of the millions of young American men who were drafted into military service during World War II, Jack was drafted into military service in April of 1941: months before the United States entered the war. Jack was drafted into the 29th Infantry Division, and sent to Europe in October of 1942. Jack volunteered for the 29th Ranger Battalion, a new and elite Commando unit, 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, 1943, Jack Womer volunteered to become a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division. His Commando training made him highly qualified to become a paratrooper, and Womer completed all of his paratrooper training and qualification jumps in just ten days. In January of 1944 Womer was assigned to the demolitions section known famously and infamously as the “Filthy Thirteen” of the 101st Airborne Division’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regimental Headquarters Company. It was with the Filthy Thirteen that Jack participated in the Invasion of Normandy (D-Day), the Battle for Holland, and the Battle of the Bulge. His leadership skills and ability to think tactically and strategically made him the perfect choice for buck sergeant of the Filthy Thirteen, a position which he maintained from December, 1944 until the end of the war.

Fighting With The Filthy Thirteen is different from many of the other books written by or about men who served in the 101st Airborne Division or 29th Infantry Division and that provide details and stories about World War II. The book is not just about Jack Womer the soldier, it is also about Jack Womer the man. It provides details on Jack’s childhood and pre-war life in Baltimore during the Great Depression of the 1930s, war experiences as a combat soldier, life after the war, and how the war affected him and his life. Many of the chapters begin with excerpts taken from letters written by Jack or to Jack during World War II, that capture the feelings and emotions that Jack or his loved ones were experiencing at the time. Vivid details of Jack’s combat experiences and how they affected him, are openly expressed.

The story is profound - Jack Womer an aging World War II veteran and a proxy for his generation (often referred to as the “Greatest Generation”), telling his story directly to the reader, who experiences the story first hand. As Jack’s story unfolds the reader will observe how the war has changed Jack, and men like him. The changes are profound, yet subtle and (as with many other veterans of World War II) understated, if not submerged. Many of the sons, daughters, grandchildren and other descendants of American soldiers who served in the European Theatre during World War II are likely to enjoy this book, as it is an insightful social history and personal drama that they can relate to in regard to their own relatives who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s and served during the war.

Another quality of Fighting With The Filthy Thirteen: The World War II Story of Jack Womer is that it provides a lot of details about Jack Womer and the units in which he served that are not covered elsewhere. It provides details about the stateside activities and European Theatre activities of the 29th Infantry Division during World War II that do not appear in other published materials. Many unpublished details about the 29th Ranger Battalion, an elite subunit within the 29th Infantry Division are provided. These details were obtained primarily from unpublished documents and also from interviews with men who served in the 29th Ranger Battalion with Jack Womer.

This is an excellent book. It is filled with emotions. There is humor, sadness, love, anger, anxiety. After having read the book I find myself going back and re-reading many of the chapters, and analyzing Jack Womer, his wife, his war buddies, and some of the other people mentioned in the book. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself doing the same.
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on July 30, 2012
This book is hands downs one of the best WWII books that I have read. Jack Womer does an incredible job at not only telling you about the war, but also what he was doing before and after the war, and everything in between. My grandfather was in WWII, and while he was not a paratrooper, I have heard many of the stories. Like Jack Womer, my grandfather didn't talk about the war for a long time because it was to much to deal with. I read this book in one day. I started reading on a Saturday at nine in the morning, and didn't put the book down till I finished later that night. The author does such a great job telling these stories, that the reader will find themselves in the middle of the battle. Space and time stops for the reader, and you are pulled into this book, and into the battles. This isnt giving anything away, but the last sentence of the book, is "don't forget about me", or something to that effect. Mr. Womer if you read these reviews of if anyone knows this author please let him know that I will personally never forget him. The author is a true hero who had to go through many battles, and see many of his friends pass away, at a very young age. Beyond that no matter how old you are, he saw things that no human being should have to see. Thank you Mr. Womer, and thank you to every veteran for keeping us safe, and keeping America free.
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on April 8, 2017
Great content, it's a shame the publisher ruined it (and robbed the author of a five-star review) by not catching a TON of annoying typos.
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on August 6, 2013
Womer and DeVito have written an excellent account of Jack Womer's experiences of being a reluctant draftee during WWII. Jack in no way paints himself as the hero that he and his mates of Headquarters Company, Demolition Section, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division were fighting the war that saved the world as we have come to know it.

The exploits of the 101st Division (Airborne)during the war continue to be documented and for us interested in the war and the men and women who fought it, every book that comes out about the division is a must read.

The book is a very fast read and I found myself reading more than the usual one chapter per night that I allow myself to unwind. Jack's point of view is well handled by DeVito and yes as a previous reviewer noted there are some editing over sights and errors. Ensuing printings will correct this but it in no way takes away from Womer's story. We are indebted to Jack Womer and every other soldier, sailor, airman and marine who served during WWII.

Get it and read it! You'll be glad you did.
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on September 1, 2017
Well written, meeting the writer's purpose of giving a voice to a World War II vet. Gives a lot of detail that one will not find in more academic history of the war. Suggest reading Roll Me Over by Raymond Gantter as a companion giving a different view of the war from an officer's perspective.
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on January 15, 2015
Jack Wormer's story, told by Stephen DeVito in an effective first person fashion will keep your full attention. This is another in a series of books on the PIR portion of the 101st Airborne Division. Well written, it will give you an insight into ground warfare you cannot get elsewhere. This is the view of the para-grunt. Read, learn. Enjoy, also. When you are done you will think of Jack as a next door neighbor.

Hap Arnold, LTC CA ANG USAF, Retired
Phantom Pilot
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on March 15, 2016
This book, written by a paratrooper of WWII is a vivid reminder of how much they suffered and did for us in the United States. It is also about a man who lived amongst us. My own father was a paratrooper of WWII and I experienced how they came back from war not wanting to talk about it. My father also jumped in Market Garden and was at Bastogne. What little my father said about these places confirms what Jack Womer (with his writer) has written. We should never forget these men.
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