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,
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
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