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THOMAS F. Maloney U.S. Army WWII
THOMAS F. Maloney U.S. Army WWII

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Date of Birth: 1916
Died On: 10/18/1943
Street Address: 68 Grapal Street
Service Number: 32810647
Branch of Service: U.S. Army - Fifth Army, in one of the VI Corps divisions

Veteran Code: KIA-12

BIOGRAPHY Extended Information
Thomas F. Maloney

Thomas F. Maloney was born in 1916 to Catherine and Patrick Maloney. He was the youngest of four with two brothers Alfred and William along with his sister Alice. His father was born in Ireland and was a gardener at a private estate and his mother was born in Wales and was a homemaker at their house at 333 Mamaroneck Avenue.

Thomas attended Mamaroneck Schools and graduated Mamaroneck High School in 1934. He then was employed as a Chauffeur and had lived in Rye for seven years. He married Bridgit Dyer of Rye and they had a son Thomas Jr. who was born in Rye on June 16, 1943 and they lived at 68 Grapal Street and were members of the Church of the Resurrection. THOMAS enlisted in 1943 and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Thomas F. Maloney enlisted in the U. S. Army on 19 Feb 1943 in New York City. He was put in the infantry and received his basic training at Camp Wheeler. Pvt. Maloney was only home once on furlough when he received a one-day medical pass to see his wife and newborn son. He was sent overseas in July 1943, he served in Fifth Army, in one of the VI Corps divisions. Thomas and the entire Fifth Army then trained in Africa and Sicily for the invasion of Italy.

Fifth Army was commanded by General Mark Clark, and was to experience some of the toughest fighting of World War II, where it was engaged on the Italian Front, which was, in many ways, often more reminiscent of the trench warfare of the Western Front in World War I.

VI Corps first saw combat during the Allied Invasion of ItalyInvasion of Italy when it landed at Salerno on 9 September 1943, along with the British X Corps, under the command of the U. S. Fifth Army as part of Operation Avalanche. From October to December 1943 VI Corps was involved in a bruising and bloody slog advancing from Naples up the Italian peninsula against the determined rearguard defense of the German 10th Army which skillfully took great advantage of the favorable terrain in organizing successive lines of prepared defenses Volturno Line, Barbara Line and Bernhardt Line.

Commanding General Mark Clark ordered a general assault on the Volturno line for 13 and 14 October. Initially, VI Corps attacked employing three divisions. The Allies encountered strong resistance and purchased each inch of progress with blood. The German General Vietinghoff had held the Volturno River line until 15 October as ordered. He directed his soldiers to conduct a fighting delay northward to the Barbara Line where the next major battles with the Allies would take place.

Pvt. Maloney with VI Corps slowly pushed forward of the Volturno toward Rome. Progress was steady but slow. Determined resistance at a roadblock or ford often halted the advance, forcing units to struggle through the mountains to envelop the obstacle. With the roadblock reduced or the ford secured, the units would resume their forward progress, perhaps to be halted only a few hundred yards farther on by another obstacle.

In twenty days during October across a forty-mile front, Fifth Army forces advanced only between fifteen and twenty miles. However, the Allies finally breached the vague and ill-defined Barbara Line. In the interim, German forces had laid 45,000 mines in the Bernhardt Line, and another 30,000 mines on its approaches. By the end of October, Rome was still a long way off.

Pvt. Thomas F. Maloney was killed in action in Italy on October 18, 1943 during VI corps advance to the Barbara Line. His wife Bridgit learned of his death on Armistice Day Veterans Day through a War Department telegram and was listening to taps being played on the radio for the dead of World War I when the message was received.

Five years to the day November 11, 1948, Bridgit Maloney would receive another notification by the United States Army that the body of her husband, Private Thomas Maloney, would arrive in Rye in a few days from overseas where it was interred during the war.

A funeral mass was held for Thomas on November 16,1948 at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye, NY. He was buried at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery in White Plains, NY with full military honors.

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