Quentin T. Newhart (1944/01/28)
Quentin hit the silk with "those Devils in Baggy Pants."
Quentin T. Newhart was born in California in 1920 to A. P. and Barbara Newhart. In addition to Quentin, the Newhart family included sons Talbert and Harry and daughter Emma. In 1930 Barbara Newhart moved from San Rafael to Santa Cruz and purchased the local Mode O' Day clothing shop. Quentin entered Santa Cruz High School about 1935 and took college preparatory science courses.
Upon graduation from high school, Newhart enrolled in San Francisco State College, majored in literature and social studies and worked part time as a warehouseman. After completing two years of college, he left to join the Merchant Marine Service and remained with them until October 1942.
Quentin Newhart enlisted in the US Army in San Francisco on October 17, 1942. Following his basic training, he was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, for paratrooper instruction. In 1943 he became a member of the 504th Parachute Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. The division was called "those devils in baggy pants," a name retrieved from a German army officer's diary.
Quentin was with the 504th during the invasion of Sicily in July 1943, and is believed to have jumped on Salerno to help save that beachhead.
While the 504th was fighting near Naples in October 1943, Quentin was wounded and sent to a hospital in North Africa for a one-month recuperation period. The history of the 504th after Private First Class Newhart's return and subsequent death follows:
“Finally, the Regiment was pulled back to Naples on 4 January 1944 and rumors of another parachute mission spread. The operation was to be called "Shingle," and it involved an airborne assault into a sector behind the coastal town of Anzio, 28 miles south of Rome. It seemed, however, that even the locals in Naples knew of the operation, so the 504th was glad that the beach would be assaulted from troop-carrying landing craft. The landing on Red Beach went smoothly -- at least until enemy planes started their strafing runs on the landing craft. The unit disembarked under fire and was sent shortly thereafter to patrol in force along the Mussolini Canal. After several days of intense German artil- lery fire, the enemy launched his main drive to push the Allies back into the sea. The 3rd Battalion was committed with the British First (Guards) Division in the heaviest fighting, with the paratrooper companies reduced in strength to between 20 and 30 men. H Company drove forward to rescue a captured British General and was cut off. I Company broke through to them with their remaining 16 men.”
It was probably during this period of fighting in the vicinity of Anzio that Private First Class Quentin T. Newhart was killed in action on January 28, 1944. His body was buried in the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy. His awards include the Purple Heart.
(ABMC; NARA2; SCHSC, Pg. 14, SCSn February 29, 1944 1:7, SCR March 3, 1944 -1, WIKI, 50504th Infantry Parachute)