Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II's ''Band of Brothers'' [NOOK Book]

Overview


Sgt. Don Malarkey takes us not only into the battles fought from Normandy to Germany, but into the heart and mind of a soldier who beat the odds to become an elite paratrooper, and lost his best friend during the nightmarish engagement at Bastogne.

Drafted in 1942, Malarkey arrived at Camp Toccoa in Georgia and was one of the one in six soldiers who earned their Eagle wings. He went to England in 1943 to provide cover on the ground for the largest amphibious military attack in ...

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Easy Company Soldier: The Legendary Battles of a Sergeant from World War II's ''Band of Brothers''

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Overview


Sgt. Don Malarkey takes us not only into the battles fought from Normandy to Germany, but into the heart and mind of a soldier who beat the odds to become an elite paratrooper, and lost his best friend during the nightmarish engagement at Bastogne.

Drafted in 1942, Malarkey arrived at Camp Toccoa in Georgia and was one of the one in six soldiers who earned their Eagle wings. He went to England in 1943 to provide cover on the ground for the largest amphibious military attack in history: Operation Overlord. In the darkness of D-day morning, Malarkey parachuted into France and within days was awarded a Bronze Star for his heroism in battle. He fought for twenty-three days in Normandy, nearly eighty in Holland, thirty-nine in Bastogne, and nearly thirty more in and near Haugenau, France, and the Ruhr pocket in Germany.

This is his dramatic tale of those bloody days fighting his way from the shores of France to the heartland of Germany, and the epic story of how an adventurous kid from Oregon became a leader of men.

 



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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Don Malarkey: an outstanding soldier in combat, a gentleman with the memory of an elephant who I always will consider to be an esteemed friend.”—-Dick Winters, Commander of Easy Company and author of the New York Times bestseller Beyond Band of Brothers

“First of all, you’re going to love this book. Mortar Sgt., second platoon, Don Malarkey . . . together, we were the best (not bragging). In training and in combat, we never had any problems. We’ve been friends for life, over sixty-five years. He’s my hero.”—-William “Wild Bill” Guarnere, member of Easy Company and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends

“Very conscientious, very compassionate. We had great men in Easy Company and Don was one of the best. When I joined the men [in England], he took care of me like I was a Currahee man. He was a dead shot with the mortar.”—-Ed “Babe” Heffron, member of Easy Company and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers in Battle, Best of Friends

“Don Malarkey is a staunch patriot who truly understands the principles for which we fought. He contributed his all in building the reputation of the 101st Airborne as a great fighting unit. His life today epitomizes the standards to which all good Americans should strive to emulate.”—-Lt. Buck Compton, member of Easy Company and author of Call of Duty

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429938044
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 161,809
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


DON MALARKEY was born in 1921 and grew up in Astoria, Oregon. After trying to enlist in several branches of the service, he was drafted in 1942 and spent more consecutive days in combat than any other member of E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division---the most recognized fighting unit in American history. Today he lives in Oregon.

BOB WELCH is a nationally recognized author and journalist whose book American Nightingale, about the first nurse to die in World War II after the landings at Normandy, was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and was an Oregon Book Award finalist. He lives in Oregon.


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Read an Excerpt


THE CHOICE Bastogne, BelgiumJanuary 3, 1945 One shot. That’s all it would take, I figured, as I warmed my hands around the campfire with a few other shivering soldiers. One shot and this frozen hell of Belgium’s Ardennes Forest would be over for me. It was January 1945, seven months since me and the guys in the 101st Airborne’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment had jumped into that dark sky over Normandy. Now, a handful of us E Company guys were numb from war, death, and bitter cold and snow. In the flames’ flickering light, I looked down at my boots, wrapped in burlap bags and purposely dipped in water so they’d freeze and keep my feet warmer. One shot and those damn feet would never be cold again. One shot and the sight of Joe Toye and Bill Guarnere lying in the snow, each missing a leg, would never haunt me Again. Why Toye? Why not the SOB who I’d seen a few days ago slicing fingers off the dead German soldiers to get their rings, the guy who was almost smiling when he told me “cuttin’ those fingers was just like cuttin’ a candle in half.” Toye was wounded in Normandy, Holland, and once here, coming back with his arm in a sling to fight. Maybe I’m biased because, like me, Joe was Irish, but hadn’t he already paid the war piper? And why Guarnere? He gets it trying to save Joe. The Germans are raining down artillery shells like a Fourth of July show gone wrong, and Bill sees Joe out there trying to get up and so runs across the snow to save his buddy. Sort of like one swimmer trying to help another swimmer who’s drowning. And, boom, both end up drowning. At least it hadn’t been Skip Muck, whose 1st Platoon was a few hundred yards away from our 2nd. He was closer than a brother to me. I blew on my cupped hands to warm them up. I then put my right hand onto the pistol’s holster, and around the wooden grip, cold as a frozen salmon. We were virtually surrounded by the Germans, the proverbial hole in the doughnut. And had been here for more than two weeks, though time wasn’t easy to keep track of when you couldn’t see beyond the fog and snow of some ice boxed forest that’s so far from home that you can hardly remember what home is like anymore. Sometimes, in the night, when the quiet wasn’t feared as much, I would remember home. Not so much my family or our house in Astoria, where I’d grown up near where the Columbia River meets up with the Pacific Ocean, but the cabin. It was snug to the Nehalem River, in Oregon’s Coast Range. I lived like an Indian. Swam in the Nehalem each day. Dove for crawdads. Went bird hunting with a bow, carved from a yew tree. While crouched in a foxhole in Bastogne, I remembered watching the riffle in the river, knowing that beneath that water lived sea-run cutthroat trout and crawdads galore. I remembered easing into the current and letting it take me—fishing pole in hand—wherever it might. I remembered fires on the banks at night. The sound of a hoot owl. And the smell of late-summer blackberries. All things that now didn’t seem possible. Unless . . . One shot. I looked at the flames and fingered the pistol, a P38 I’d picked up from a German we’d taken prisoner in Holland. One shot and I’d be back to all that. Not a shot in the head, though a few soldiers were known to do that, too. But in the foot. Hell, there’s no sugarcoating it: This was a coward’s way out. It wasn’t common, but it happened in war: One squeeze of the trigger and you’d be unable to fight. You’d be a liability to your company, so they’d have no choice but to ship you back to the safety of England, maybe even the States. Accidents happen. But would the guys really buy that your gun had accidentally gone off? Don Hoobler’s had just yesterday, but he bled to death on the way to an aid station. I’d make sure I missed a main artery. Regardless, the price for my ticket home would be my integrity. All these guys forever wondering, Did Malark do it on purpose? But, then, integrity is an easy thing to lose in times of war, accidentally or on purpose. And when you watch others lose theirs, it becomes easier to let go of your own. Hell, back near Utah Beach, you’d see the bodies of soldiers stacked up like so much cordwood. Where’s the integrity in that? Or hear those stories about 1st Lt. Ronald Speirs gunning down a bunch of German prisoners, even one of his own men, some say. Where’s the integrity in that? Or even before the war, at Fort Benning, watch the drumming-out ceremonies. The guys who couldn’t cut it— the guys who weren’t going to make paratroopers—would be marched up in front of everybody with a tommy gun at their backs and an officer would strip them of basically everything they had, including their pride. Where was the integrity in that? In war, you quickly realize that you’re playing a game of odds. The longer you fight, the better chance you have of something bad happening to you. You die. You get wounded. You get sick. You get captured. Or you quit. Like my father. He quit. Not in war. But in life. Went bankrupt during the Depression—he was an insurance man— and just quit. Quit trying. Quit caring. Quit noticing anything and anybody around him. When times got tough, when he lost his business, my dad was like some twenty-foot runabout trying to get over the bar at the mouth of the Columbia: crushed to splinters. My father missed World War I because he had been 90 percent blind in one eye; he was 4F so he worked in a spruce mill making airplane parts. But World War I took the lives of two of my uncles, his brothers. Though I never knew them, they were my heroes. I felt a bond with them both. So much of a bond, in fact, that when learning that Easy Company would be shipping out, ultimately to fight the Germans, I felt the need to somehow avenge their deaths. To bring back something—some symbol—that would tell my family, I did it. I evened the slate. Some sort of souvenir. Like the pistol whose hammer, in the chill of the Ardennes Forest, I now cocked. Truth is, I’d gotten to this point for reasons beyond Joe Toye and Bill Guarnere getting their legs blown off. Beyond missing the Nehalem River, I also missed Bernice Franetovich, a girl I’d known from Astoria who was now living in New York, where she was a singer. I’d started to wonder if it was only a matter of time before everyone in Easy Company was going to wind up like those frozen Germans you’d have to all but step over when heading to an outpost. We were like the shipwrecked sailors on a raft, waiting for the sharks. I felt hopeless. Numb. Not from the cold, as I’d been since we’d arrived in this god-awful forest December 19, but from something that chills you far deeper inside you: death. We’d lost more than a dozen guys in the last few weeks, some of whom were my friends. You see a dead enemy soldier and you say, At least it wasn’t one of ours. You see a dead American soldier—one of your own—and you say, At least it wasn’t me. You lose a friend and you say, To hell with this. Get me out of here. At the same time, though this might sound strange, you almost envy the peace they now have. No more being cold. No more war. No more pain. All that bad stuff gets left to those of us who remain. Things started swirling in my mind, like a cottonwood bud caught in an eddy on the Nehalem. I didn’t say anything because there are certain things soldiers don’t talk about. Like a lot of other jabs of pain—say, the time after we’d gotten back from Normandy when our laundry woman kept handing me clothes for dead guys who weren’t going to be needing them—I stuffed it deep inside, thinking it would somehow just go away. It didn’t. It just builds up, like carrying one more brick on your back, and one more, and more, and more. And finally you say, Enough. I can’t walk another step. So I found myself standing in front of that fire, which was growing weaker and weaker as the late afternoon grew darker and darker. Somewhere out there, the enemy still lurked, waiting for morning—and me. And somewhere inside me, another enemy lurked as well, waiting for my decision. Soldiers around me smoked cigarettes and made small talk, but I didn’t hear a word of it. Instead, I stared at the embers, mesmerized. Slowly, my right forefinger curled around the pistol’s icy trigger. Excerpted from Easy Company Soldier by Sgt. Don MalarkeyCopyright© 2008 by Sgt. Don MalarkeyPublished in 2008 by United state of AmericaAll rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited.Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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Table of Contents

1 The Choice 1

2 Bomba the Jungle Boy 7

3 "Mom, Don't Worry, I'll Be Back" 25

4 Toccoa, Sobel, and Survival 35

5 Skip Muck and the March to Atlanta 50

6 Prelude to the Great Crusade 64

7 Jumping into the Darkness 87

8 Beauty and the Beast 102

9 Unclaimed Laundry 114

10 "Beyond This Place of Wrath and Tears" 126

11 The Knock on the Door 148

12 "What's a Guy Gotta Do to Die?" 159

13 Burying It Deep Within 183

14 Letters from Two Women 196

15 Dreaming of Wild Blackberries 214

16 The War That Never Ends 224

Epilogue: Remembering the Band of Brothers 240

Afterword 255

Acknowledgments 259

Index 261

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Read for any War History Buffs

    Those familiar with Band of Brothers will enjoy this tale of history through the eyes of Sgt. Don Malarkey. As a fan of the book and the mini-series, as well as books by other men of Easy, I enjoyed gaining yet another perspective of the fight that these great men provided for our nation. Malarkey narrates in such a way that not only does the writing flow, but the reader actually gains an insight into his thoughts as they came. Some sentences/thoughts end abruptly as the reader experiences the uncertainty of war just as Malarkey did. A great read and a great read for anyone who has a curiosity to learn more of the fight in Europe.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2008

    Don Malarkey, Dick Winters, and others of Easy Company should have Medal of Honor

    I read the book in two nights. Thankfully several men of Easy Company plus other military soldiers of different battles have given us a first hand account of their experiences. I am 73 and remember when WW II started and can remember the Movietone news showing the initial start of Normandy, but the men have waited many years to become so real in what they survived plus the many who remained in Europe and the Pacific. Thanks to Mr. Welch and Don for publishing this account of his combat experiences plus constant adjustment upon returning. I tried to find an autographed book in Astoria several weeks ago but could not find one. I really think older generations plus the younger generations should read this to know who fought wars for us to live in the freedom we have today. Outstanding book. I would like to thank Don for his great knowledge of his combat experiences plus the integrity to give an honest account of Normandy, Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. I enjoyed his statements of life at Eagle's Nest after the war ended. I would fly to Salem If I could meet Mr Malarkey. Gary Sedgwick

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2013

    Excellent

    Just another well written first person view of the war to end all wars. Don Malarky does an excellent job depicting life, and death, of the combat hero before they were hereoes. How a bunch of average kids from around the country became such an elite unit of soldiers is unbelievable in today's society but then this group wasn't from today's society. They are the last great generation. There will never be another one like them.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Excellent! Makes me feel like I've known Don Malarkey forever.

    This book lets adds character to the Don Malarkey that we met in Band of Brothers.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    More than just war

    What I enjoyed about this book the most was how it caputured pre and post war life for Sgt Malarkey. I found it interesting to read about what led to his decision to join the paratroopers. I was also astonished to read about how he dealt with the loss of so many of his comrades.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2013

    Great Read

    It's as simple as this - what these guys endured for us must never be forgotten.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Message to Anonymous (73 yrs old)

    If I may suggest, abebooks.com to try to find an autographed copy. They rate their vendors for reliability.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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