Forrest Leroy Guth
Forrest 'Goody' Guth in his class 'A' uniform
|Nickname(s)||"Goody", "Chow Hound"|
|Born||February 6, 1921|
Lehigh County, Pennsylvania
|Died||August 9, 2009 (aged 88)|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1942–1945|
|Unit|| Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,|
101st Airborne Division
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards|| Purple Heart|
Presidential Unit Citation 1 OLC
Good Conduct Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Croix de guerre
French Liberation Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge
|Other work||-Steel worker|
Sergeant Forrest L. Guth (6 February 1921 – 9 August 2009) was one of the 140 original members of the Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division, United States Army during the Second World War.
Forrest Guth (pronounced "Gooth") was born to John H. R. and Mayme L. Guth in the small district of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. He is a direct descendant of the original German settlers who established themselves in the inland counties of eastern Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Forrest was brought up in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Allentown, in Upper Macungie Township. Guth was fluent in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect.
In 1941, Guth was working for Bethlehem Steel making armor plates for the Navy when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. At that time, working for the defense industry meant that he was exempt from the draft and advised not to join the army, as he was needed back at home producing steel plates. But Guth chose to enlist and volunteered for the paratroopers in 1942, becoming part of the original E Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Guth went to Army Basic Combat Training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia where the Regiment's motto was born: "Currahee," named after the mountain where the regiment were forced to run the 6-mile round trip up and down daily. After parachute training at Fort Benning, Guth made his qualifying jumps and received his Jump Wings.
Easy Co. embarked on 5 September 1943, arriving at Liverpool, England. Guth was stationed in Aldbourne, Wiltshire. Training was carried out in preparation for the Invasion of France, and numerous full-equipment night-jumps were made. He and his unit were also involved in the pre-D-Day Exercise Tiger at Slapton Sands, Devon.
Guth made his first combat jump into Normandy on 6 June 1944. He met, and joined with other unit members after landing in a meadow. The group found the remains of the crashed plane which contained Easy Company members. The group fought alongside a group of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne division before joining their own unit to fight in Carentan.
On 17 September 1944, he jumped into the occupied Netherlands as part of Operation Market Garden. Guth was injured while landing because of a parachute malfunction and he was taken to an Army hospital in England. He rejoined Easy Company in Mourmelon, France, before the 101st Airborne Division were transported to Bastogne to fight in the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
In January 1945, Easy Company moved to Haguenau. Guth was selected for a patrol mission across the Moder River, led by Sergeant Ken Mercier because of his German speaking ability. In March 1945, whilst in Mourmelon, Guth won a thirty-day furlough to return to the States, and the war ended before Guth could rejoin his unit. Guth was discharged in mid-October 1945.
Guth was appreciated for his ability to keep all his weapons in prime condition, and his ability to repair and modify weapons. He became the armorer for his comrades. Guth even knew how to make an M-1 rifle fully automatic. Richard D. Winters got one of Guth's modified weapons, and took it with him when he set off for the Korean War.
Around eight years after the war, Guth has a back operation to remove a spinal disc related to injuries from his service.
He became a teacher in Norfolk, Virginia, where he met his wife Harriet and they married in 1949. Guth taught at the Granby Junior-Senior High School in Norfolk before moving to Mt. Pleasant Junior-Senior High in Bellefonte, Delaware until 1955. He later taught electronics and industrial arts at De La Warr, Conrad, and Brandywine High School and was the stage crew advisor. He continued to live there after their retirement. In his later life, he was also an avid woodworker, and he contributed the alter furniture and window encasement to the Chistiana Hospital Chapel in Wilmington, Delaware.Guth died on 9 August 2009 in Hockessin, Delaware.
Band of Brothers
Interviews with Guth about his service in WWII were a part of the research for the 1992 Stephen Ambrose book, Band of Brothers. Photographs Guth and Walter Gordon are featured in the Book and Guth is pictured on the cover of the original edition.
Although Guth was one of the original 140 Toccoa men of Easy Company, he was not included in the Band of Brothers TV miniseries, apart from briefly appearing as himself at the beginning of the eighth episode, The Patrol. His character was actually planned and his unique uniform, which had a lot of extra pockets, had been re-created. His role in the patrol as the interpreter in Haguenau was replaced by David Kenyon Webster in the episode of "The Last Patrol". In reality, Webster was not on that patrol, but was involved in the patrol assigned to cover the patrol from across the river with an M1919 Browning.
Forrest Guth in Museums
Original World War II uniforms and memorabilia of Forrest Guth are on display at these museums :
D-DAY PARATROOPERS HISTORICAL CENTER - Battle of NORMANDY - Saint-Côme-du-Mont, France
- Michel De Trez (2004). Cpl. Forrest Guth: 'E' Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division (WWII American Paratroopers Portrait Series, No. 1). D-Day Publishing. ISBN 978-2-9600176-5-6.
- Larry Alexander (2011). In the Footsteps of the Band of Brothers: A Return to Easy Company's Battefields with Sgt. Forrest Guth). NAL Trade. ISBN 0451233158.
- Marcus Brotherton (2009). We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from Band of Brothers). Berkley Trade]. ISBN 0425234193.
- Sgt. Forrest Guth, p. 5.
- Cpl. Forrest Guth, p.27.
- Cpl. Forrest Guth, p.5.
- Cpl. Forrest Guth, p.7.
- Pickering, Ann. Paratrooper recalls D-Day's Jump. The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) 3 Jun 1993, page 5, accessed at Newspapers.com
- Cpl. Forrest Guth, p.6.
- Cpl. Forrest Guth, p.10.
- Cpl. Forrest Guth, p.24.
- p.75, Alexander
- p.108, Brotherton
- p.109, Brotherton
- p.132, Brotherton
- p.286, Alexander
- p.292, Ibid
- p.199, Brotherton
- p.19, Brotherton
- Stephen E. Ambrose
- Mullinax, Gary. Good Company Men. The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware) 9 Sep 2001, page 11 and 12, accessed at Newspapers.com
- p.298, Alexander
- p.200, Ibid
- Forresst Guth Quits Mt Pleasant Post. The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) 3 Feb 1955, page 18, accessed at Newspapers.com
- p.298-299, Alexander
- A Place of Refuge. The Morning News (Wilmington, Delaware) 1 Feb 1986, page D1, accessed at Newspapers.com
- p.305, Ibid
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