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MALCOMSON, William H Jr

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MALCOMSON, William Henry Jr "Bill"

Servicenumber: O-1168797

 

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Age: 26
Born: 19 February 1918, Pennsylvania
Hometown: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
Family: William H. Malcomson Sr. (father)
Mary Malcomson (mother)
Magaret Malcomson (aunt)
Mayne Malcomson (aunt)
Marion Jones (fiancee)
Rank: First Lieutenant
Function: Platoon Leader
Regiment: -
Battalion: 823rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
Division – Transport: -
Company – Squadron: B Company
Unit – Group: 2nd Platoon
Plane data:
(Serialnumber, MACR, etc.)
-
Date of death: 15 January 1945
Status: KIA
Place of death: Thirimont, Belgium
Spot: Not available
Awards: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart
Gravenumber: Plot A, Row 14, Grave 23
Cemetery: American War Cemetery Henri-Chapelle
Biography: -
Other information: 1s t Lt William H. Malcomson Jr. was a former University of University of Pennsylvania and Undine Barge Club star oarsman. His parents lived at 1613 Brown st., in 1939 and 1940 and after his graduation the latter year, he was appointed coach for Undine for whom he had rowed before entering college.
He was a member of Undine's national championship lightweight eights from 1935 to '38 and also was a member of the club's four that won the United States and Canadian title in 1936. His 1941 Undine crew won the Julius H. Barnes national rowing championship at Minneapolis.
He was a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew, the Young People's Association, the Choirs, both Junior and Senior; as student, pianist and teacher in the Primary Department and Main School of the Sunday School, and as the delightful Guy Rumor of the Messenger, he was truly a vital part of St. Matthew's.

1st Lt Malcomson was killed in Belgium while leading a tank destroyer unit he commanded.
He was killed near Thirimont, along with a few other soldiers, Prisoners of war kept under supervision when he was shot by a German sniper.
His parents received a letter from Lt Carl E. Jefferson which reads;
It happened in Belgium in a little town of Thirimont, between Malmedy and St. Vith. On the morning of the 15th, Bill's platoon strenght had been whittled down to just one M-10 Tank Destroyer. The others (3) had either been put out of action by mechanical failures or AT Mines. Supporting a fine battalion of infantry was his mission in the taking of Thirimont. He led or rather rode his one remaining destroyer into the Western edge of town on the night of the 14th, accompanied by two tanks and the infantry. In the morning, we started to drive the Germans out of the objective. On such a mission, we are usually right with the infantry, reducing mg. nests and strong points with direct fire, and always giving them (the infantry) anti-tank protection. Bill knocked out a German assault gun, they are like tanks, and in general he and his crew fought a magnificent battle. He kept his superb sense of humor to the end, always joking and exhorting his men. Never in my association with the Army have I seen a man so universally admired and so conspicuously not disliked by any man.
Well, to get on, a sniper got him as he was looking out of the turret. He was hit on the forehead and lived for about twenty minutes. He didn't suffer, nor did he say a word - just smiled his usual smile - as much as to say, that's life, you can't win 'em all. That was one of his favorite expressions.
His entire platton took it as though they had been hit with a truck and it was several days before they were able to be committed again. It was a great shock to me, I'll never forget Bill, he was the greatest friend I ever had.
About the time he was ill. He had a severe cold, and we were doing artillery work together with his platoon and I just made him stay in bed and brought the doctor. His men and I had great fun, forcing him to stay in bed and making him observe his pill schedule. We managed to get him well in a few days, and then we would go see the children in Holland most every day. Els, one of the twins, adored him. Ans, the other, was my little admirer. We had great fun bringing them chocolate, food, and everything else we could get hold of. The Kruyt family live in Spekholzerheid, Holland and are grand people and are, as all of us, broken up about Bill.

Source of information: Peter Schouteten, Frank Gubbels, Judy Alexander Roswell, www.wwiimemorial.com, www.tankdestroyer.net,
Ancestry.com

Photo source: Frank Gubbels, www.tankdestroyer.net, Judy Alexander Roswell

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