Maxwell Farmer Parrott, Class of 1937
Maxwell F. Parrott was born on November 20, 1915, to Mr. and Mrs. C.W. Parrott at Arcadia, South Carolina where he spent most of his life. He attended The Citadel in Charleston, matriculating with the Class of 1937. He later transferred to Wofford College at Spartanburg, S.C., where he graduated in 1938.
Capt. Parrott served with the US Army’s 633rd AAA AW Battalion, an anti-aircraft unit outfitted with 20mm and 40mm cannons as well as double and quad .50 caliber machine gun mounts. The battalion was attached to the 80th Infantry Division in Europe during WWII.
According to unit Morning Reports (MR), Captain Parrott was one of two captains assigned to the battalion’s Headquarters Battery.
The 80th Division had, by the start of December, fought its way across France, over the Moselle River, and into the Saar frontier bordering Luxembourg and Germany. In its After Action Report (AAR) for December 1944, the Division’s G-2 (Intelligence section) wrote,
“When the 80th Division occupied St. Avold, an enemy agent surrendered himself to our front line units. Upon interrogation, the agent, an Alsatian, declared he had been sent to St. Avold to secure a hidden radio and report the effects of time bombs which had been left in St. Avold. Search revealed the radio and two time bombs, one concealed in the city gas works and one in the artillery barracks.
Extensive search failed to uncover any further bombs, however, during the period the 80th Division remained in St. Avold, a total of four time bombs detonated, totally destroying three buildings formerly occupied by Nazi Party Organizations, and a section of the Artillery Barracks.”
See also: La libération de Saint-Avold
The bombs detonated on the evening of December 4th just after 2300. Many men of the 633rd, billeted in the artillery barracks, were seriously injured and several were killed, including Capt. Parrott. He was buried at Limey Cemetery, Toul, France.
Following the war, Capt. Parrott’s body was repatriated and laid to rest Sunday, September 26, 1948 at the Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Edith Wilson Parrott; a son, Maxwell, Jr.; and a daughter, Jane Parrott; his father; two sisters and four brothers.
Photo of Capt. Parrott courtesy of The Citadel Archives and Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.
Special note of appreciation of the efforts of Mr. Andy Adkins, 80thdivision.comwebmaster and son of a 80th Division veteran. Mr. Adkins has digitized over 30,000 pages of documents and made them accessible on the internet. His efforts made it possible for the level of detail in this account.
Spartanburg Herald Journal, Spartanburg, SC, Saturday, September 25, 1948, p.5.
St. Avold Time-Bomb Incident, 27 Nov to 4 Dec 1944, 80th Division.
G-2 After Action Report, December 1944, 80th Infantry Division.
Morning Report, December 1944, 633rd Headquarters Battery.
U.S. Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
List of WWII Casualties, NARA.