Filthy Thirteen... ...
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Pfc. Jack Agnew
1943 - 1945
Normandy, France and Holland
HQ Company, 506th Parachute Regiment Infantry, 101st Airborne Division

Jack Agnew was part of the Filthy Thirteen a name given to an elite unit within the ranks of the Headquartes Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, of the United States Army, which fought in the European campaign in WW II. This unit was selected and trained for the purpose of demolishing enemy targets behind the lines.

They were assigned to destroy a bridge over the Douve River, a mission that cost the lives of most of these men during the Normandy Invasion of Europe in June 1944. The group was airdropped for the mission by aircraft of the 440th Troop Carrier Group of the U.S. Army Air Force.

In Memory of Brincely Stroup, 506th, Regimental Headquarters
From Jack: "At the time, we were the Dirty Dozen, not the Filthy Thirteen. We didn't know about the Filthy Thirteen until Normandy. We were the 506 at Regimental Headquarters. We were the 1st Batallion. There were three Divisions at Regimental Headquarters: Intelligence, Communication, and Demolition. We were demolition. We ran all the battle courses. Our platoon taught the others how to fight forest fires.

Brince was good with explosives. He was a Corporal who worked in the mines of West Virginia as a kid. I was sent to England to train with the Pathfinders. We trained at Hardwick Hall in Chesterfield, England. In the meanwhile, our stick was training in England. They were asked to do a night demo jump for Eisenhower and Churchill in Ramsburg. There were serious injuries. Brince broke his leg in two places. Mike Marquez was also injured and so was Jim Ives, who was paralized from the jump for life.

When I got home I asked, "Where's Stroup?". I was told he was in the Oxford Hospital. I asked where he was. They couldn't find him. He was AOL, had snuck out of the hospital to meet a young lady. Later, the guys who were hurt watched us flying over them from the hospital when we were on our way to Normandy."

After the war, Brince lived with Jack at his family home on Disston Street in Philadelphia until he married. "We were friends for years, we went fishing together often. You know, we never talked about it. Even after all those years, Yeah, we never talked about it."

Follow up from Barbara Agnew Maloney. "Uncle Brince" and his wife had two daughters. Jack had two daughters. The kids were around the same age. We used to go to the mountains each year. Dad and Brince liked to rent a boat and go fishing while the Moms and girls played on the beach, especially at Tobyhanna State Park in the Poconos. Brince had a beautiful voice and his daughter used to sing in the talent show in Atlantic City on Steel Peer. Dad never forgave Brince for smoking. He still says that Brince would still be alive if he didn't smoke.

Barbara Agnew Maloney

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Shoulderpatch of the 101st Airborne.

Jack Agnew and Mike Marquez at Boot Camp, Spring, 1943

This photo was taken after the 156 mile march from Ft. McPhearson to Ft. Benning. It was Jack’s 21st Birthday. January 2, 1943

Brincely Stroup, his friend from Taccoa through Brince's life.

Here is a powerful picture of the prison camp after the liberation. Jack said they forced the citizens of the town to march past and look at what had happened since there was so much denial of what the Nazi's were doing.