Farewell to an American Hero: Jack Womer, last original member of Filthy Thirteen


It is with great sadness that Casemate shares the news of Jack Womer’s passing. Jack was a World War II hero,  and the final original member of the “Filthy Thirteen.”  


Compared to other veterans of World War II, Jack 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 entered 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, volunteering  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 Regiment.  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.  


After considerable coaxing from co-author Stephen DeVito, Jack Womer agreed to grant extensive interviews and original correspondence that allowed Mr. DeVito to write his memoirs. Casemate has had the great and distinct honor of working with both Jake McNiece and Jack Womer on their respective books, THE FILTHY THIRTEEN, and FIGHTING WITH THE FILTHY THIRTEEN.


Jack leaves behind many friends and family members, including his dedicated daughter Ellen, who was his caretaker during his last years.


We are grateful for Jack Womer’s example of heroic patriotism in service to his country.



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