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Devils in Baggy Pants: Ross S. Carter

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  • #31
    Here an extract from the manuscript I am working on:

    Elbert Winningham served in C Company Headquarters and remembered that Privates John Towle and James Killimayer were together a bazooka team in the 3rd Platoon. Winningham recalled the following incident in the morning of 21 September when Towle was killed:

    “My buddy and I had a .30 caliber machinegun and were in a ditch along the dike road. James Killimayer came back from the road and he was out of his head. We set him down and tied his hands behind his back to calm him down. He started to eat dirt and almost bit my finger off when I tried to stop him. (….) There were 4 Tiger tanks up there and we could see them once in a while. Towle calmly came back for his bazooka and knocked them out, one by one. Then he came by me and asked “Do you have a cigarette?” I gave him one and a light and when he was about 30 feet away from me a mortar shell came down close and a piece struck him in his throat. He was about half on his back when he died.”

    © 2008 by Frank van Lunteren

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    • #32
      Originally posted by macfrank View Post
      Here an extract from the manuscript I am working on:

      Elbert Winningham served in C Company Headquarters and remembered that Privates John Towle and James Killimayer were together a bazooka team in the 3rd Platoon. Winningham recalled the following incident in the morning of 21 September when Towle was killed:

      “My buddy and I had a .30 caliber machinegun and were in a ditch along the dike road. James Killimayer came back from the road and he was out of his head. We set him down and tied his hands behind his back to calm him down. He started to eat dirt and almost bit my finger off when I tried to stop him. (….) There were 4 Tiger tanks up there and we could see them once in a while. Towle calmly came back for his bazooka and knocked them out, one by one. Then he came by me and asked “Do you have a cigarette?” I gave him one and a light and when he was about 30 feet away from me a mortar shell came down close and a piece struck him in his throat. He was about half on his back when he died.”

      © 2008 by Frank van Lunteren
      I thought James K. "blew his stack" after Towle was killed. Isn't that what it said in Carter's book?
      "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

      BoRG

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      • #33
        I think so. But this is what Winningham told me and I wrote down quickly.

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        • #34
          I forgot to add that I am a little bit (the initiative is of Stewart McCrane) involved in the idea to creat a monument for John Towle in the Netherlands where he was killed, to be unveiled next September 21 - 65 years later.

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          • #35
            "James K" in "Those Devils In Baggy Pants" was James Killimayer

            So...another character from Ross Carter's "Those Devils In Baggy Pants" has been identified..."James K" was James Killimayer.

            This gives me the hope we'll eventually identify all of "the boys" in Carter's classic book.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by amygail View Post
              For those interested;
              I am of some kin to Ross Carter and I believe I have some evidence to support the theory of Ross being "Arab." On pg. 30 of the book, he states that his family had a letter from Daniel Boone. There is a letter that the Carter family found from Daniel Boone dealing some issue with property. I have not seen the original, but copies are distributed greatly among the descendants of the family. I personally believe that he is "Arab" from the language and just experiences before the war. The area describes as the Arab's home matches his own home too much. Either Arab is him or a man that was practically his neighbor. The Wilderness Trail only runs through about three counties. Also in the end, he mentions the Powell and how he was fishing on it. The Powell is a river across the mountain from where he was from. This is just my own two cents and it might not count for much, but I thought someone might be interested.
              I just saw your question about "Arab". You seem to think that he was possibly Ross in the book. I just joined this group, "Armchair General" to let you know the answer. I was a member of the 82nd Airborne in the Early 1970's. I met many great soldiers that served in the 82nd. Of those, General Matt Ridgeway, Jim Gavin, and many others. I also got to know "through Sokal" in the book, "Dan Serilla" in real life, Dr. Boyd Carter. Yes, Ross's brother. Doc Carter was a great guy. We spent several hours together. He told me things that were not known when he and Ross did the book. "Yes", The Arab was the "bad Ross". They invented this ficticious character so Mrs. Carter wouldn't know about some of the things that Ross had been involved with during the war. As they got to the end of the book, they had a serious dilemma. What do we do with the "ficticious Arab"? Well, they had to get rid of him. So "Arab" was killed off at Cheneux when Ross had been wounded. Doc Carter sent me 3 copies of the book just 2 weeks before he died in 1979. I cried when I got the word. He was also a big Civil War buff and loved Dr. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson's physician.

              Airborne All The Way!
              Tim
              www.ww2dday.com

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              • #37
                I first read 'Those Devils in Baggy Pants' way back in the early '50s when Readers Digest issued a condensed version. I bought the paperback soon after and still have it !!! Over the years I've wondered if it was because of Ross Carter I joined the British Army Parachute Regiment in 1955 at the grand young age of 17 years and 6 months. (You could do that without your parent's permission in those days). Many of the old guys in all three battalions were ex WWII men. On one 'bullshit' parade an old soldier, busted back to private for the 'x' time, had a bit of dust on his beret. Said an upstart young officer fresh from wherever:- 'Do you know that men died for the Red Beret?' 'Yes' said the old soldier, 'and I helped bury dozens of 'em'. End of bollocking by the upstart who then picked on me.

                But back to the Baggy Pants. Was Carter and 'The Arab' one and the same. On their pass to Paris, Carter recalls of The Arab:- 'We spied the scurvy fellow, a chick under each wing, a malicious grin on his sly face burning the pavement around a corner'. Thern he says:-'Believe it or not, Berkely, Finkelstein and I actually did go to the Louvre' suggesting Carter and 'The Arab' were two different characters AndyL

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                • #38
                  Ross Carter Gravesite

                  27 Dec 09, vic Duffield, VA
                  Attached Files

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                  • #39
                    Thanks for the Picture, vol923

                    "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                    BoRG

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                    • #40
                      Col Frank Dietrich (a.k.a. Berkely) Gravesite, Arlington National Cemetery

                      1st section on the right north of the visitors' center. Taken 16 Dec 09
                      Attached Files

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                      • #41
                        'Those Devils in Baggy Pants' Pseudonyms

                        I have begun a dialogue with a man from Belgium who I suspect is known to many of you for his work in commemorating the 82nd specifically, and the American GI in general; he has vivid memories as a child of American troops liberating of his country in WWII.
                        The gentleman came to know Col Frank Dietrich (a.k.a. Berkely in ‘Those Devils…’) over the years, and Dietrich provided him a hand-written manifest from memory of members of his platoon (3rd Plt, C Co, 1st Bn, 504th PIR, or 3/C/504), and pseudonyms that Ross Carter employed in the book. Here an extract: (any spelling or other errors are probably mine)

                        Code – S=survived war; K=KIA; W=WIA; D/W=died of wounds

                        Bn Cdr – Warren Williams (S)
                        Co Cdr – A.E. Milloy (S)
                        Arab – Ross S. Carter (W, Cheneux)
                        Berkely – Frank L. Dietrich (S)
                        Big Polack – Walter W. Gasiorek (W, Anzio)
                        Carleton – Composite of sev troops from 3/C/504
                        Destiny’s Tot – Elmer Swartz (S)
                        Duquesne – Leon Duquette (D/W, Cheneux)
                        Finkelstein – Raymond Levy (K, Cheneux)
                        Gruening – Fred R. Gruneberg (D/W, Cheneux)
                        Homer Carey – Harold Lea (S)
                        Larkin – Composite
                        Lone Wolf Casey – Composite
                        Lt Toland – Lt Carlock (S)
                        Master Termite – John J. Parsons (K, Hill 205)
                        Mortimer Snerd - ??? Wilson (W, Holland)
                        Nixon – Bethel Nix (S)
                        Olson – Michael J. Ogonowski (K, Hill 1205)
                        Sgt Winters – George W. McAllister (S)
                        Sheraton – Stewart Knowles (S)
                        Sokal – William D. Serilla (W, Cheneux)
                        Wild Bill McMurty – Bill Murray (S)

                        One sidebar; Andy L reminisced about being upbraided by an old paratrooper over a uniform gig. Reminded me of an incident in my first assignment, some years ago. After a payday formation in Class A's, I noticed that an old SFC/E-7 wore what i took to be the Army's then-new Air Assault wings, which were awarded after several weeks of learning how to direct and employ helicopters in combat assaults. I mentioned the badge to the Sergeant, and he said, "Look again, Sonny." As a pretty preceptive guy, I knew something was amiss, 'cuz E-7s don't usually talk to 2LTs like that. So I took a closer look at the badge, and in fact, it was a Glider Badge w/two gold stars, which signified two combat glider assaults. The Air Assault badge was modeled on the Glider Badge.
                        I apologized to the good Sergeant and learned a valuable lesson; Abn/Ranger Lts, full of **** and vinegar, would do well to talk less and listen more in the presence of old soldiers.

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                        • #42
                          Mortimer Snerd

                          Mortimer Snerd was Raymond R Wilson, born in Laurel Delaware. He survived the war, married and had four children. I am his oldest daughter.
                          He passed away in 1971. I was really glad to find this website. There is an attachment of a letter my dad received from Boyd Carter. Please feel free to contact me.
                          Jeanne / zippy
                          Attached Files

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                          • #43
                            Interesting title. I will put it on my reading list. I did a short assignment with Charlie Co. 2/504 in the summer of '78 right after Airborne school. Joe Drach was our CO at the time.

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                            • #44
                              Eh?

                              Originally posted by Alatriste View Post
                              Interesting title. I will put it on my reading list. I did a short assignment with Charlie Co. 2/504 in the summer of '78 right after Airborne school. Joe Drach was our CO at the time.
                              Charlie Co. in 2nd Battalion?

                              Was there only two companies in 1st Battalion at the time?
                              "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                              BoRG

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
                                Charlie Co. in 2nd Battalion?

                                Was there only two companies in 1st Battalion at the time?
                                I don't recall it as such. Was that ever the case at some time?

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