Segment 1


Donald (Don) Malarkey tried to get into the Marine Corps right after the attack on Pearl Harbor but was turned down because of a problem with his teeth. He then applied to be a fighter pilot but couldn't pass the entrance exam because of the math problems. One day Malarkey saw an article in a magazine about paratroopers. His mother was upset that he wanted to go into the paratroopers because his dad's two brothers lost their lives in World War I. Malarkey went to work in Portland, Oregon in the summer of 1942. While there he was notified that he had been drafted. His boss told him that he could get a deferment but he didn't want it. He was told to report to Fort Lewis [Annotator's note: Fort Lewis is outside of Tacoma, Washington and is now known as Joint Base Lewis-McChord]. Malarkey volunteered for the paratroopers. He was sent to Toccoa, Georgia [Annotator's note: Camp Toccoa] where he was to join an experimental regiment that was training to go into the paratroops. The training was very demanding. They ran up a mountain called "Currahee." The men marched to Atlanta from Toccoa in full field gear. They set a world record. The men then took the train to Benning [Annotator's Note: Fort Benning, Georgia].

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