506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
Plot F, Row 9, Grave 20
Pvt. Roland R. Baribeau was born in Canada, but grew up in Andover, Mass. At the time of his enlistment, Baribeau was living in Andover with his wife, Helen, and two sons, Roland and Gary.
Baribeau was granted U.S. citizenship on May 19, 1944, while training in England. As a member of the Headquarters Company of the 506thParachute Infantry Regiment, 101stAirborne Division, and designated as a demolitions expert, he was part of a group of men that became famous as the “Filthy Thirteen.” The December 4, 1944 edition of the Springfield Daily Republican published an article describing the group:
“Who are the ‘Filthy thirteen’? Officially they are members of the first demolition section of regimental headquarters company, 506th parachute infantry regiment. Unofficially, they are a band of sportsmen and deer poachers. Actually they form one of the most individualistic groups in the most individualistic army in the field. They represent the country from Massachusetts to California, Washington to Alabama; they represent all peoples and all religions and, as is only right, their leader is part native Indian.
“Their pet dislike was undressing for bed … they climbed under their blankets fully clothed, jackets and parachute boots included. With their dislike for water they developed a complete disregard for normal behavior.”
Baribeau parachuted into Normandy behind Utah Beach on D-Day. His unit, the 1stDemolition Section of the 101stAirborne Division, was a special demolitions section trained and assigned to demolish enemy targets behind the lines. They were ordered to secure or destroy the bridges over the Douve River outside of Carentan, a major objective of the 101stAirborne. This unit was best known for a famous series of photos showing members wearing Mohawks and applying war paint to one another. The inspiration for this came from the unit's leader, Sgt. Jake McNiece, who was part Choctaw.
Baribeau was killed at the bridge at Brévands near Carentan on June 21, 1944.
Members of the “Filthy Thirteen” include:
Awards: Purple Heart
Roland R. Baribeau is buried in Normandy American Cemetery Plot F, Row 9, Grave 20.