Latest All American Legacy Podcast to explore the origins of the ‘Devils in Baggy Pants’
By DREW BROOKS | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. (Tribune News Service) | Published: March 19, 2017
How did Fort Bragg’s Devils in Baggy Pants earn their famed nickname?
This week’s episode of the All American Legacy Podcast will explore the origins of the nickname first applied to the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War II.
The regiment now forms the core of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The podcast is part of the 82nd Airborne’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.
“Episode 11: Devils in Baggy Pants | 504th PIR earns a nickname,” will be released Tuesday and will take a close look at the regiment’s fighting in Italy during the war while speaking with the most-decorated officer in the division’s history, James “Maggie” Megellas, and other storied veterans.
The 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was involved in some of the “most barbarous, grinding combat of World War II,” according to the 82nd Airborne.
The unit became the first parachute infantry regiment assigned to the fledgling 82nd Airborne Division during the unit’s preparations for the war. It forged its legacy first in Italy, where it participated in America’s first large scale parachute assault in Sicily, played the role of savior to allied forces at Salerno, then spearheaded the allied assault at Anzio.
It was at Anzio that the unit earned its Devils in Baggy Pants nickname, from the diary of a German officer killed during fighting there.
“American parachutists… devils in baggy pants… are less than 100 meters from my outpost line,” that officer wrote. “I can’t sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere.”
In addition to Megellas, the podcast also will include interviews with World War II veterans Roy Hanna and T. Moffatt Burriss.
The podcast is available, free of charge, through iTunes, Google Play, YouTube and various other services.
A new episode is slated to be released each week this year as part of the centennial celebration, which is expected to peak during All American Week — an annual event gathering past and present paratroopers that takes place the week leading into Memorial Day.
©2017 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Visit The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) at www.fayobserver.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.