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The Deuce
The Deuce
The Deuce
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The Deuce

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During the 1940s, the most globally inclusive battle in the history of the earth was fought in the fields and forests of Africa and Europe, on the oceans of the earth, and in the islands of the Pacific.
Among the combative participants in that war, the 101st Airborne Division became celebrated for its effectiveness and heroism on the battlefield. Within that division were several well-respected and heroic regiments, including the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), a brother regiment to the 506th PIR of Band of Brothers fame.
After training in the U.S. and England, the 502nd was dropped behind the lines of Utah Beach on D-Day beginning the epic story of the Deuce as they fought their way across Europe. Their story is represented in The Deuce by the fictitious 1st squad, 3rd platoon, Bravo company, 3rd battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division. It reveals the heroism, valor and bravery of the entire 101st.

Author Bio
The author, Symm McCord, is a native of Augusta, Georgia, who achieved his life’s goal of becoming a physician and surgeon in 1965, and began his medical career serving as a general medical officer during the Vietnam war, in which he served a year and gained a Bronze Star for meritorious service. After his last year of U.S. Army service, he became a Family Physician in the North Carolina community of Sylva, where he received much medical and personal satisfaction.
Over the years his association with active and retired military have enhanced his appreciation of their dedication and devotion to America. As he matured emotionally and patriotically, he sought the history of World War II and became enthralled by that heroic generation; so much so that he has created a memorial to their sacrifices in his historical fiction novel, The Deuce.

Key Words
Historic fiction
Battle of the Bulge
502nd PIR
101st Airborne Division

Release dateNov 12, 2017
The Deuce
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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    An honest and unique account of a time in WWII history that some have forgotten and most of us were never taught in school. We should NOT forget the past. It will inevitably repeat itself; maybe not in that country, but it will. Honor all those who have fought and continue to fight for our and the whole world’s freedom. God bless them all!
    • CJ Loiacono

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The Deuce - Symm Hawes McCord

101st Airborne Division Patch

502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment patch

The Deuce

The Heroism and Valor of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment during WW II

A Novel of Historical Fiction

Symm Hawes McCord

W & B Publishers


The Deuce © 2017. All rights reserved by Symm Hawes McCord, M.D.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any informational storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher.

W & B Publishers

At Smashwords

For information:

W & B Publishers

9001 Ridge Hill Street

Kernersville, NC 27284


ISBN: 9781635549584

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.

Book Cover designed by Dubya

Printed in the United States of America

Edited by Linda Strike Reese

It`s foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. General George S. Patton


This novel of historical fiction, set during World War II, is dedicated to those from my family and to all the other heroes who served in that great war of the nineteen forties. It was a war that saved the world from two cruel regimes and what could have been destined to be a global dictatorship. Our love and appreciation goes out to those mentioned below, who have all since passed on to receive their reward in a Greater Place.

Thomas Wallace McCord of the Naval JAG unit; Wallace Wayne McCord of Augusta, Georgia, who was a part of the Naval bombardment of Iwo Jima; Sim Hillard McCord of Augusta, Georgia, who was drafted into the Navy and took training in 1945 but had to return home before his ship set sail due to illness in the family; Perera Athel Brodie II of Augusta, Georgia, who fought at the Marine invasion of Peleliu; Theron Reginald Woodward of Augusta, Georgia, who was in the Merchant Marines and sailed the Pacific during the war, suffering the uncertainty of the perils of aircraft and submarine attacks; William Farris Brooks from the Augusta, Georgia area, who fought with Patton in the African Campaign and into Sicily, and later, Europe, during the Battle of the Bulge; Charles Douglas Brooks from the Augusta, Georgia area; Carlton Faye Brooks of the Augusta, Georgia area; Henry Virgil Benton from the general area of Claxton, Georgia, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes near Bastogne in December 1944 and early 1945; Jerry Vernon Knight, who fought and was killed right after the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium near the Bulge; Alfred Merle Knight, who was a part of the Marine invasion of Iwo Jima; and Jack Ardell Knight.

A very special thank you to Linda Strike Reese, my editor, who added so much to the creation and completion of this novel. Her expertise helped turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.


Many years ago, in the nineteen thirties, forties, and fifties, there was a breed of men and women who refused to be subjugated to any country, person, or government other than to God and the United States Constitution. These citizens respected authority, raised the American flag with pride, and sincerely pledged their allegiance to that flag. They achieved their income by the sweat of their brow, rejected welfare, except under extreme economic conditions, and have often been called The Greatest Generation of our country. Of all generations in modern times, these men and women, in their youth, went through the calamitous economic disaster called The Great Depression of the nineteen thirties. The despair and pain of those days lived in their hearts and minds until the day they died, and many of them died defending freedom in the fields and forests of Europe, in the jungles and on the waters of many South Pacific islands. They went to war in foreign lands and on foreign oceans to protect our country and our way of life.

During the nineteen thirties, there arose from Austria a madman whose ultimate goal was to rule the world. He was a genius in his intellect and a maniacal demon in his ability to manipulate the masses. Within a ten-year period, he rose from an obscure failed artist to the powerful leader of the German Nazi movement, a feat unparalleled in the modern history of man. This was Adolf Hitler, a name that will live forever in the written annals of atrocities and inhumanity to man.

His quest, within his concept of The Final Solution, was to destroy an entire race of people, the Jews. Before the end of the Second World War, his National Socialist movement had removed the lives of six million of these human beings from the face of the earth. His pursuit to rule the world came so close to success that mankind should never lose memory of Europe, Asia, and the United States, under attack. During this same time period, another attempt was being made to take over the world by the Empire of Japan. Adolph Hitler ultimately joined with the Japanese in order to attempt to accomplish his goals.

In May of 1945, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, described the men and the battle on Iwo Jima, saying that "Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue." Looking back, this can be said about all who fought in the numerous battles around the globe, against Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan. When the future of that globe was hanging in the balance, these heroes were willing to sacrifice their all for this, the greatest country in the history of man.

If such a conflict were to arise today, would the willingness to sacrifice be there among our people as complete as it was among those responding then? And would our leaders be strong enough and care enough about our country, our way of life, and our Constitution to direct our military into war? Above all, would the political leaders let the military men and women decide the methodology of carrying out the war? If Roosevelt had truly micromanaged World War II, I think most historians would agree that the war would have had a different outcome, because even though the individual soldiers, as always, were willing to sacrifice, the rules of engagement given by the politicians to the military leaders could have doomed them to failure. We cannot send our young men and women, future leaders, our husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers into an impossible situation.

In this year of 2016, for the first time in my lifetime, I see that the leadership among the national liberal political elite are reluctant to use or even maintain our military in the protection of our country and its citizens. The leadership apologetically addresses the world in what appears to be a fear of maintaining our reputation of American Exceptionalism. Our country could not, at this time (2016), take on and win a military conflict with a reasonably well-trained and well-armed military. To be attacked by a major power would be disastrous to our way of life. We have not been so devoid of adequate military defenses since the late 1970s, some say WWI, and other major powers are aware of this fact. In recent months, new leaders are coming to the forefront that offer hope to the future of our Representative Republic.

Often, I search for and watch movies about World War II. Many bring tears to my eyes, and my chest fills with pride as I watch the images of those men and women. We had real leaders then, who turned over the war and its management to the military leaders who knew how to manage the fighting men. The politicians rarely interfered. Our troops respected their leaders. This is a time when rogue nations are developing nuclear weapons and designing them to be placed on rocketry capable of reaching our mainland. How will future administrations react?

The 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment became a part of the 101st Airborne Division, the same as the 506th PIR, which was celebrated in the movie Band of Brothers. All of those warriors fought, and many died valiantly during WWII. Their stories need to be told. This is a story of those times when the greatest war in the history of man took place.

The main characters in the story are mostly fictitious, but the sequence of events, as well as the political and military leader’s names, which will be familiar to the reader, are elements of history. For that reason, this novel is categorized as historical fiction. The main actions are based significantly on the activities and movements of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment.

I have attempted to make much of the data and history of the Five-O-Deuce as accurate as possible. The characters are non-fictional down to the Regimental and Battalion Commanders. The Company, platoon and squad level members and leaders are mostly fictional names. The dates and sequences of battles and movements are as accurate as possible. This is the story of the fictional 1st Squad of the 3rd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division which had been created out of the 82nd Airborne Division in the very early 1940s.


Chapter One

After his first day as greeter at the local Bayville, Alabama Walmart, Harve Donovan drove home to his wife, Lucy. Miss Lucy, I think I’ll hit the bed early tonight.

Is that new job too much for you, Harve, she teased.

Nah, I just need to get used to workin’ again.

He grinned, and headed to the bedroom, falling off to sleep fairly fast. He was later joined by Lucy, who slept in bed beside him as she had done all of their married life, despite his snoring episodes. About three or four AM he bolted upright in bed, his body rigid and his gray hair askew; he was drenched in perspiration, and there was a look of fear, pain, and even madness in his eyes, which stared off into the distance as if in a trance. He breathed rapidly, as if he had just run a difficult race.

Here they come again, he screamed, shaking with terror, fixed bayonets…they’ll kill us all.

Harve, wake up. You’re okay, you’re dreaming. You’re home in bed. Wake up, Harve.

Lucy could feel the fear in her husband’s tense and trembling muscles as she tried to calm him. She had woken earlier as he began to toss about. She knew what was happening but was afraid to wake him then. With this dream, his entire body would tighten until she would finally give in and take hold of him, gently awakening him. Afterwards he always shook uncontrollably.

His voice broke, and he continued to tremble as he spoke. Oh God Lucy, I thought I was about to die. They were getting so close. They never got that close before. He took his bed sheet and wiped the building sweat from his forehead.

In recent years, Harvey Donovan had these night terrors maybe every six months. When he first returned from the war, back in 1945, they happened every night, and he would be totally exhausted when he finally stopped shaking. He always referred to his fear as they. He had never told Lucy who they were, what had happened during the war, or what was happening in his dreams. She had never pressed him for answers; although she pretty well knew who they were and what was happening in his dreams by his actions and vocalizations, and, of course, knowing that he had spent those years in the Army during that great war.

Do you want to try to go back to sleep Harve? she asked, knowing he wouldn’t. He never did for fear of the terrors returning.

No, let’s go to the living room and sit for a spell. He shook his head as he answered. I don’t want to go through that again anytime soon. He was shaking less now but his hands were still unsteady.

She gave him a cool damp wash towel and watched as he sat down and wiped the perspiration and tears from around his aging eyes. I wonder if it would help if we talked about it, she asked as she sat near him, you know you’ve never done that before.

Oh, God, honey, even if I tried to explain it, I don’t think you could understand. I just can’t put it into words, and if I made an attempt, I don’t think I would know how. It was like a horror movie. A man ought not have to witness those things. I just don’t know why people would do such things to each other. They just become animals during war.

She had tried this before, but he always avoided any talk of what had actually taken place. He once told her to never mention the war, but when the terrors, as he called it, would happen, it always brought it out in the open again.

I’ve always thought you would feel better if you would talk about it and get it off your chest, but I understand, Harve, if you ever want to get it out, I’ll be here.

He smiled. She had been with him since before they graduated from high school. They had eloped the weekend after graduation. Two fine boys had come from their marriage after he returned from Europe from the war.

You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, Miss Lucy. He often called her Miss Lucy rather than just Lucy. I love you dearly, and I hate having put you through so much with these terrors over the years.

I love you too, Harve. Don’t worry about me, but maybe we’d better try to get back to bed before you go and get all romantic on me.

You may be right, he agreed and winked at her. I don’t think I could handle that too.

As he got into bed and turned off the bedside lamp, he tried to settle into his pillow. He knew there would be no sleep tonight. He could never make himself sleep after the terrors struck him.

Maybe Miss Lucy was right about this. He had kept it inside of him all these years, and it did seem to never go away. God, how could he describe the memories in his head…the blood and gore of those many years ago, when the whole world was at war and the monster called Hitler refused to surrender.

Chapter Two

Bayville, Alabama – Fall 1941

Here, Harve, hit me with it! It was a Friday evening in the fall of 1941. As the crowd roared, and the cheerleaders screamed, Jake Sommers waved his arms and yelled across the football field to his quarterback and best buddy, Harvey Harve Donovan. They had played sports together since grammar school when they gathered their teams in the field behind Jake’s house on afternoons and weekends, but tonight, it was the 1941 regional 4A high school football championship. It was being played on their home field in Bayville, and the high school football fans of the entire state of Alabama were watching. It was still a little warm there near Mobile Bay but the cooling breezes of the approaching season were definitely in the air.

Harve was a quiet sensitive, kind of guy. He had good friends, but he skirted the party folks. His handsome looks and his shiny black hair kept the girls charmed and filled with chatter when they were around him. The guys all looked up to him because of his athletic abilities on the football field and his natural leadership characteristics. Jake, on the other hand, was very outgoing and equally as handsome as his best friend. He had a unique and bright blondness to his hair, which he had to constantly comb to keep in place. Harve always teased him about getting it cut a little shorter so that he wouldn’t have to brush it all the time. Jake, however, thought the girls liked it long, especially one pretty young lady named Betty Lou Wilson.

Here Harve, here..., Jake screamed again as he waved his arms in the air. He was in the open, free of defenders and only fifteen yards from the goal line.

Harve found him and put the ball right in front of him as he headed for the goal. It was a perfect pass, as he was so capable of doing. Jake snared it with one hand, pulled it in, and cradled it in his arm as he rushed into the end zone. The extra point sailed between the posts, which put them a touchdown ahead with only three seconds to play. On the ensuing kickoff, the team from Birmingham didn’t make it more than ten yards. Bayville had become the state 4A champions.

After the game, Coach Miles stood before his team of young men in the dressing room as they prepared for the showers. Men, tonight you are champions. You played hard, followed the rules and worked together as a team. You know, life is a lot like football. You’ll get roughed up like you were at the first of the game, and there will be those who will try to interfere with your victory, but if you treat life like you played tonight, with a little luck, you will be champions there also. He looked out at the team and smiled. Seniors…we will miss you next year but, you have left a legacy of winning for your predecessors to follow. I wish you the best of luck as you go forward to become the next leaders in our community and our country. See you fellas Monday night at the annual football dinner.


Leaders? Jake questioned as they stood under the showers and washed away the mud and sweat of the game. I don’t know what or who I might be leading, and right now all I want to do is take my Betty Lou to the soda shop.

Coach is right, Harve said as he soaped up

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