|Technical Sergeant Donald Malarkey|
Donald Malarkey was born in Astoria, Oregon in July 31, 1921, to Leo and Helen Malarkey, and had 2 brothers named John, and Bob, and a sister named Marilyn. He had two uncles that fought in World War I. One of them, Gerald, was killed by shrapnel, while the other, Robert, was gassed, and later died in 1926.
In 1933, he had jumped off his house with an umbrella to suspend himself, and somehow managed not to bust himself. That year, while working at a dairy farm, he survived the Tillamock Burn forest fire.
They eventually lost their house to financial problems, and Don's father left them and became an alcoholic, mainly to forget the bankruptcy, and later died in 1950.
He eventually entered Astoria High school in 1936. Sometime around his freshman year, he started dating a girl named Bernice. He graduated in 1939, but had no money for college. He found work at the Pillsbury Flour Mill, so he could get money for college. He saved enough money, and went to the University of Oregon in 1941. He eventually broke up with Bernice, who went to Marylhurst College, He later wrote in his memior that it was a stupid thing to do "But when you're young, sometimes you do stupid things".
After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Malarkey wanted to enlist in the Marines, but was turned down because of dental problems, and later discouraged from the Air Force, because he lacked the proper math skills. He was eventually drafted in the Army, and sent to Fort Lewis. He eventually volunteered for the Airborne. He was assigned to the Mortar Squad of 2nd Platoon, in Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He attended basic training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia. He was taunted by the company CO 1st Lieutenant Herbert Sobel, being called private "bullshit".
After training and earning his jumpwings at Fort Benning, Malarkey and the Division headed to Aldbourne, England in 1943. While there, Malarkey was approached by General Dwight Eisenhower, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during an inspection, and they asked him some questions about his life, and how he liked England. He wrote that for some reason, he wasn't flustered by this. During his stay, he also met and became friends with a man named Patrick McGrath.
He participated in the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944. He landed near the town of Ste. Mere-Eglise, and hooked up with Sgt. William Guarnere, Cpl. Joe Toye, and men from other units. They helped take out a patrol, and Malarkey, Guarnere, and Toye broke away from the group, and met up with Pvt.Robert Popeye Wynn, 1st Lt. Winters, Sgt. Lipton, and an Able Company soldier named Pvt. Hall, and two 82nd Airborne Soldiers named Pvts. Olson, and McDowell. He helped take out another German patrol, and later explained to Hall why Guarnere was so fierce.
After meeting up at Ste. Marie-du-Monte, Malarkey got in a conversation with a German POW Sergeant, who had apparently been from Portland, Oregon, and had joined the Germans after recieving the order for all Germans to return to the fatherland. This gave Malarkey a newer perspective on the war, that the people you could be shooting at could be 100 miles from you.
He then participated in the Brecourt Manor Assault. During the assault, he had made a break for what he thought was a Luger in a dead body out in the open. After discovering it was simply a sight for the 105mm guns, he ran back, but survived, because the Germans thought he was a medic (at least for a while), which was off-limits. He was later awarded the Bronze Star for his actions.
After Normandy, he was made Technical Sergeant, and was made Platoon Sergeant of the 2nd Platoon. He served then in Operation Market Garden on September 17. He helped take out two SS Companies at "The Island" on October 5, with Mortar Fire.
He then fought at the Battle of Bulge on December 17. After Don Hoobler died, Malarkey nearly shot himself, but stopped himself just in time. Later, his best friend Sgt. Warren H. Muck, and PFC. Alex M. Penkala were blown up by a mortar shell. Malarkey was traumatized after that, but manged to continue fighting. He helped at Foy, Noville, and Rachamps.
He then headed to Hagenau on January 19, 1945. He was originally assigned to go on a patrol, but was replaced by a new Lieutenant named Henry Jones.
He then headed to the Ruhr Pocket in Germany on April 2. During the occupation of Germany, he got the flu, and was sent to a hospital. However, he requested to return to his Company, as he figured everyone at the hospital were "crybabies", since all of them weren't suffering from any diseases.
After the warEdit
He returned home after the war, and returned to the University of Oregon, and graduated in 1949, with a bachelor's degree. He then met, and married Irene Moore. He later wrote his memior, Easy Company Soldier. He still lives in Salem Oregon.