By Bob Carroll
This summer we traveled from North Carolina to Paris, where I proposed to Kathleen four years ago. We also made a memorable day trip to Étampes, 50 miles south of Paris, a place quite meaningful to me and my family since World War II.
During Patton’s run across France, my dad, Paul T. Carroll, commanded the 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division. On August 19-20, 1944, my dad’s battalion made the main attack in the liberation of the town of Étampes, which at one point had been the Luftwaffe Western headquarters with a population of 5,000 French and 10,000 Germans. For his actions, my dad was awarded the Silver Star, as shown below in the picture hanging in the Étampes mayor’s office.
In 2021, I wrote a biography of my father, which included a story of the battle of Étampes.
Barbara Dee and Suncoast Digital Press helped me complete the project and get the book published. A little about the book (as described on Amazon and other online bookseller sites):
“…Paul Carroll progressed from West Point to Army assignments across the United States, to Iceland, and through France. He fought in Patton’s Third Army, earning the Combat Infantryman Badge, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, and the Legion of Merit. He was truly an outstanding combat commander, highly respected by his commanders, fellow officers, and troops.
Later in the Pentagon, Lieutenant Colonel Carroll worked for three successive Army Chiefs of Staff: Marshall, Eisenhower, and Bradley. It was while he was working for General of the Army Eisenhower for over two years that Paul developed a unique relationship of mutual respect and trust. This bond led Eisenhower, after he left the Pentagon, to call on Carroll for assistance.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Carroll became Ike’s “Go-To Guy” to put together the core team in Paris for NATO’s military headquarters; to plan, organize, and run President-elect Eisenhower’s trip to Korea; to organize the White House staff, and to serve as the first Secretary of the White House Staff.
Not long after Carroll was promoted to Brigadier General, he tragically died of a heart attack at age 44, leaving behind his beloved wife, Ruth, and sons Peter, 16, Bobby, 14, and David, 8.”
I felt it was important that my dad’s story be told, and that both family and related global history be collected in one place.
My brother Pete sent the book to the mayor of Étampes. Upon receipt of the book, the mayor and city council named a roundabout in honor of Paul T. Carroll. These people are extremely grateful to the Americans who served and died in France eighty years ago and want their younger generation to know about it.
Visiting Étampes, Kathleen and I met the mayor and other dignitaries and visited the newly named Paul T. Carroll Roundabout.