Paratroopers with 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division keep an eye out for opposing forces in view of Aurora Borealis during a base defense situational training exercise at Fort Greely, Alaska, Oct. 26, 2016. The battalion spent much of Exercise Spartan Cerberus in subzero temperatures and emerged successfully training in Arctic, airborne and infantry tasks alike. 

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Love)

Members of the ‘Filthy Thirteen’ 101st Airborne, sport Indian-style mohawks and apply war paint to one another before going into battle, June 5, 1944.

The Filthy Thirteen was the name given to the 1st Demolition Section of the Regimental Headquarters Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, of the United States Army, which fought in the European campaign in World War II. The Demolition Section was assigned and trained to demolish enemy targets behind the lines. They were ordered to secure or destroy the bridges over the Douve River during the Normandy Invasion of Europe in June 1944. Half were either killed, wounded or captured, but they accomplished their mission. This unit was best known for the famous photo which appeared in Stars and Stripes, showing two members wearing Indian-style “mohawks” and applying war paint to one another. The inspiration for this came from unit sergeant Jake McNiece, who was part Choctaw.

  • Boy: Why is your purse so big what do you keep in there anyways
  • Me: Three day supply of K-rations, chocolate bars, charms candy, powdered coffee, sugar, matches, compass, bayonet, entrenching tool, ammunition, gas mask, musette bag with ammo, my webbing, my .45, canteen, two cartons of smokes, hawkins mine, two grenades, smoke grenade, gamma grenade, TNT, this bullshit, and a pair of nasty skivvies.
  • Boy: Damn thats a lot of st-
  • Me: I've still got my chute, my reserve chute, my mae west, my M-1.
  • Boy:
  • Me: And some brass knuckles.