Born October 11, 1920 to Veronica Camfield
Maloney and Maurice L. Maloney, 2nd & youngest son and brother
to John H. Maloney, all of Mechanicville, NY.
Graduated from Mechanicville High School, Class
of 1937 as Class valedictorian. Won the Spanish, English and History
Entered New York State College for Teachers at
Albany, September, 1937 as a freshman in the class of 1941.
Sports Editor of the State College News, recipient
of the Gold key Award as Director of the Men's Athletic Association
Member of Sigma Lambda Sigma social fraternity
and kappa Phi Kappa, national honorary education fraternity.
Graduated June of 1941 Cum Laude with a Bachelor's
of Arts degree with a teaching certificate in Spanish, English
and Social Studies (History).
Unable to find a teaching position, he returned
to NYSCT-Albany to pursue his Master's degree in English. Graduated
in June of 1942.
Since the United States was at War as of December
7, 1941, James enlisted in the United States Navy Upon his graduation
in June of 1942.
He was a member of the 1st Midshipmen's Class
for New Officers at Notre Dame, where he was No. 1 in his Communications
Class. graduated in January of 1943 and was commissioned as Ensign.
Within a year, he was promoted to Lt. J.G. while serving aboard
From Notre Dame he was subsequently stationed
in Washington D.C. for further training. it was on to Little Creek
Amphibious School for training on LCT's and LST's.
It was while he was at Little Creek NAS, that
he met Douglas Fairbanks, jr., the actor, who was training British
troops in Naval Amphibious warfare.
After Little Creek, he was assigned to LST39
as its Communications Officer. His travels took him down the Mississippi,
to New Orleans, then through the Panama canal and to points in
LST (Landing Ship, Tank) is a naval vessel that
is used to transport fuel and heavy equipment to support ground
troops. They are nicknamed Large, Slow Targets for their speed
is slow: 11 knots. Jim always reported that they received excellent
air cover from NAVY & AIR FORCE when he was on a mission to
transport fuel, equipment to a military operation.
It was while he was readying his ship for the
Invasion of Saipan, at the West Loch Munitions Facility, Pearl
Harbor, Hawaii, that the terrible explosion occurred that cost
Jim his life [on May 21, 1944].
At West Lock, 21 LST's were lined up, tied end
to end to each other. Jimmie's LST was the last. The explosion
occurred on another LST and it quickly spread like wildfire, as
most of the LST's were loaded with high explosives, being readied
for the Invasion of Saipan. Jimmie was on deck and helped to put
out the spreading fire, but it was total chaos. He & others
tried in vain to loosen the ship form its moorings. Abandon ship
order came down--and as communications officer, it was his duty
to destroy all the ship's communications. He went below to do
that and told a shipmate after doing that he was going to 'get
the hell out of here.' That was the last time he was seen. The
harbor was an inferno of exploding shells & fuel and ships
trying to get underway--from the conflagration.
The family was not notified of his death until
1 month later. The family received personal commendation for Jimmie's
valor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and a personal letter
of sympathy from Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal. He was
awarded, posthumously the World War II Victory Medal in 1949.
Letters came to the family from many of his fellow
officers telling of Jimmie's efforts on that fateful day. However,
it didn't help fill the void in the family that his death caused.
from Ernest Lefner