I enlisted in the US Army in September of 1940 and served for one year before being discharged. Then in 1942 I was recalled by the Army and went to North Carolina for basic training. I was a Staff Sergeant who was first assigned to a Glider Unit and sent to New Guinea. Soon after, I was transferred to the 11th Airborne Division as a Paratrooper. In New Guinea I made two jumps behind enemy lines. My brother Mike, was also drafted and he served as an Engineer. We met while we were in New Guinea and spent a day together.
After leaving New Guinea, I was sent to the Philippines where I was in combat at one point for 102 consecutive days. There I also made two jumps behind enemy lines. In one jump, my parachute opened only 100 feet from the ground, and it felt as if I had landed like a sack of potatoes.
During the War, I was wounded in the arm by a shell fragment. My decision not to go to the hospital turned out to be a good one because the transport Jeep was unfortunately blown up after it had moved only 100 yards. In May 1945 I found out that my brother Mike was killed in action, shot down in a plane.
I fought in Okinawa where the fighting continued even after that War was over. I was awarded the Purple Heart Medal and the Bronze star for my wounds and missions. In November 1945, I was discharged after spending several months in Japan.
We honor you, John La Malfa.