Jack Neitz Womer

Jack Womer was one of the "Filthy 13", a group from the 506th RHQ of the 101st Airborne, specially trained in the destruction of strategic objectives behind enemy lines. This year he came back to his former battlefields for the first time.

Jack Womer entered Military service in April 1941 and was drafted into the 29th Infantry Division and sent to Europe October 1942. He volunteered for the 29th Ranger Battalion, and trained under the British Commandos in Scotland. After the 29th Rangers disbanded, Jack became a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne because of the fact that they made $50 more per month! The paratroopers wanted Jack because of his Commando training. Jack completed all of his Paratrooper training in just 10 days, making five qualifying jumps in one day. He was then assigned to the Filthy 13 of the 101st Airborne Division's 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment participating in the invasion of Normandy, jumped into Ste Mere Eglise on D-day, Market-Garden and the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. Jack was never wounded in battle, and stayed with his unit until the end of the war, even staying in Hitler's own home in Berchtesgaden. Jack has been decorated with The Honorable Service Lapel button, the Sharpshooter Badge, the Bronze Star, and is being considered for the Legion d' Honneur this year.

Jack's story 'Fighting with the Filthy Thirteen', published by Casemate Press, will be released in Europe in April 2012. Two months later Jack made the pilgrimage to Normandy, to revisit the battlefields he first saw 68 years ago. After Normandy Jack and his daugther Ellen traveled on to Bastogne.

 It was an honor to meet Jack and his daughter. For Jack it meant the first time back since WWII. I can only guess at what that must have meant for him.