MALOK, ALBERT LOUIS, Staff Sergeant, Service # 6942456, U.S. Army Air Force
Albert L. Malok was born 10 August 1916 in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, to John Malok (1895-1968) and Anna (LePosa) Malok (1896-1978). In 1930 the family lived in Bethlehem, PA. Albert's siblings included Margaret Malok (1919- ), Helen Malok (1921-2002), and John Malok Jr. (1931-2012). Albert attended Liberty High School. On 10 December, 1951, his surviving family lived at 1629 Riegel St., Hellertown, PA and applied for state veteran compensation. Albert's first enlistment was 16 January 1938 at Allentown, PA. He reenlisted 17 January 1941 and his overseas foreign service began 15 April 1942.
He was trained as an engineer and gunner (.50 caliber Browning aircraft machine gun) to fly as a crew member on the B-17 Flying Fortress, at Langley Field. He received advanced training at Rendor Field, Texas, then returned to Langley Field before overseas service. SSgt Malok was awarded the Silver Star for exceptional courage and valor in combat while a cew member on a B-17 Flying Fortress on a bombing mission in Burma. He and other gunners engaged a swarm of twenty-three Japanese Zeros. Also awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat were crew members and gunners Sgt Harold E. Cummings and Sgt. Elias E. Gonsalves. Together, they downed four Japanese Zeros.
On a bombing mission on 4 June 1942, he and others were ordered to bail out by the pilot/aircraft commander. Major Frank D. Sharp, pilot, maneuvered the damaged B-17 to a crash landing. SSgt Malok successfully parachuted but was captured by the Japanese and imprisoned at the POW Rangoon Cantonment. Major Sharp and co-pilot 2ndLt Herbert E. Wunderlich, escaped the bomber and fought through jungle for 74 miles to a British controlled village. They were returned to duty, after medical care, to their base in Calcutta, India. Crewman PFC Francis J. Teehan, Footeville, Wisconsin, was killed by the enemy. At first reported as MIA on 5 July 1942 by telegram, SSgt Malok's parents received a War Department letter, signed by Major General J.A. Ulio, informing them that SSgt Malok was a POW of the Japanese. A memorial service for SSgt Albert L. Malok was held at St. John's Windish Lutheran Church, by Dr. E.A. Steigler, Pastor.