MALACHA, THEODORE L., Staff Sergeant, # 36322751, USAAF

 

Theodore L. Malacha was born in 1917 in Downers Grove, DuPage County, Illinois, to, most likely, Frank John Malacha (1886-1944) and Mary (Wegrgyn) Malacha (1893-1968). Both parents were born in Poland, were naturalized citizens, and all children were born in Illinois. It appears that in 1942, the family lived at 4925 Stanley Ave., Downers Grove, IL. Siblings appear to include Helen Malacha (1914-    ), John Malacha (1915-    ), Stanley Malacha (1919-    ), Theresa Malacha (1924-    ), Janet “Jennie” Malacha (1925-    ) and Virginia Malacha (1931-    ).

 

He enlisted at Camp Grant, Illinois on 2 March 1942. After completing his training as an armorer (skilled in the operation and use of military weapons) and as a gunner on the B-24, he was sent overseas to India. On 25 November 1943, at about 1300 hours, he was an armorer-gunner on the B-24J, # 42-73070, assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, Heavy, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force airbase at Pandaveswar, India, on a combat mission to Mingaladon (enemy) air field, Rangoon, Burma. The B-24J was part of a formation bombing Rangoon and about fifteen minutes from the target, they were attacked by enemy fighters. The B-24J lost the #1 engine and fell behind the formation, losing altitude. The bombs were dropped over the target. The B-24J seemed to maintain an altitude of 9,400 feet until south and east of Akyab. It entered a heavy cloud bank and was not seen again. Based upon the area described, it likely went into the Bay of Bengal. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, the Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Purple Heart.

 

WOLF, EDWARD W., Corporal, # 37136294, USAAF

 

Edward W. Wolf lived with an aunt, Pauline M. Montgomery (DOB 26 Jun 1889, DOD 30 Nov 1976) in 1942 when he enlisted in Missouri. At that time, Henry W. Montgomery (DOB 7 May 1887, DOD 24 Feb 1958) worked for Maloney Electric Co. They lived at 1514A So. Broadway, St. Louis, Missouri. Henry and Pauline had children: William P., born 1918, Roy T, born Nov. 1909, Walter, born 1918, Dorothy and Doris, born 1923. In 1958 they lived at 3027A Cherokee St., St. Louis, MO.

 

After completing his training as an armorer (skilled in the operation and use of military weapons) and as a gunner on the B-24, he was sent overseas to India. On 25 November 1943, at about 1300 hours, he was an armorer-gunner on the B-24J, # 42-73070, assigned to the 7th Bomb Group, Heavy, 493rd Bomb Squadron, departed the 10th Air Force airbase at Pandaveswar, India, on a combat mission to Mingaladon (enemy) air field, Rangoon, Burma. The B-24J was part of a formation bombing Rangoon and about fifteen minutes from the target, they were attacked by enemy fighters. The B-24J lost the #1 engine and fell behind the formation, losing altitude. The bombs were dropped over the target. The B-24J seemed to maintain an altitude of 9,400 feet until south and east of Akyab. It entered a heavy cloud bank and was not seen again. Based upon the area described, it likely went into the Bay of Bengal. He is remembered on the wall of the missing in the Manila American Cemetery & Memorial, the Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and Purple Heart.