Dewitt Lowery was a simple country boy who was born and raised on a farm in Atmore, Alabama. He decided to join the war effort after he learned of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His older brother was one of the first young men in Atmore to be drafted, and Lowery felt the desire to fight for his country at the early age of 17.
Originally Lowery volunteered for the navy, but because of colorblindness he was rejected. His next plan, after waiting for three to four weeks, was to join the air force. As he listened to the recruiters, he learned of an experimental company called Paratroopers that engaged in war by jumping out of planes. This sounded interesting to Lowery, and the Paratroopers would not reject him because of his colorblindness, so he signed on.
Lowery began his training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, which was quite vigorous under the command of Lt. Col. Robert Sink, Lt. Herbert Sobel, and Lt. Dick Winters. Lowery states that he liked Lt. Sobel because “Sobel …did what he had to do to keep the boys in line.”
From Camp Toccoa, Easy Company was stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia, where they continued their training in jump school. There, they had to complete one jump from a plane at night and the remaining three during the day. The 506th PIR Easy Company also completed a 118-mile march from Ft. Benning to Atlanta, Georgia, as part of their training and conditioning.
From Ft. Benning, Easy Company moved to Ft. Mackall, North Carolina, where they continued extensive tactical training, including many night jumps. They participated in the Tennessee Maneuvers and then moved on to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, until they were stationed at Camp Shanks, New York, to prepare for transportation to Liverpool, England. Easy Company was then stationed in Wiltshire County, England, to participate in Operations Wadham and Rankin, until it was time for the Invasion of Normandy Beach, on June 6, 1944.
After the Invasion of Normandy Beach, Easy Company was to invade Holland in Operation Market Garden. However, as Lowery was preparing to board the plane for this maneuver, Easy Company was attacked by the German artillery fire, and Lowery was severely injured. This led to his return to the United States for an intensive recovery, which lasted a little more than one year, and ultimately his discharge.
After Lowery was discharged from the military, he went back to his hometown of Atmore, Alabama, where he resumed his activities such as going to nightclubs, where he greatly enjoyed dancing. This is where he met his dear wife, Barbara.
Lowery and Barbara soon married, and he began his college education in hopes of fulfilling his dream of becoming a CPA lawyer. Due to his injuries acquired in Operation Market Garden, Lowery experienced severe headaches and seizures and was unable to complete his studies. He was fortunate enough to obtain a job as a shoe salesman and continued in this career until his retirement.
Lowery and his wife had two children, a daughter and a son. Mrs. Lowery graduated from Auburn University and worked as an accountant for various department stores.
As of this interview, Lowery is living at a facility in Montgomery, Alabama, where he is cared for by a loving staff and continues to have a close, loving relationship with his daughter and son.
Interviewed by Angela Broyles on Feb.8, 2010.