Deep River Honor Rolls
"In MemoriumErected by the citizens of this townin honor ofHer patriotic men and womenwho served their country in time of warTo the dead - a tributeTo the living - a memoryTo posterity - an emblem of loyaltyto the flag of their country1923"
"Deep River Roll of HonorWorld War I1917 - 1918"
"Deep River Roll of HonorOur Country Tis of TheeKorea25 Jun 1950 - 31 Jan 1955VietNam22 Dec 1961 - 7 May 1975"
Dom Malchiodi was raised in the Bronx and, like many kids of his era, he had a love for baseball and the New York Yankees. In 1941 he was signed as a catcher for the Yanks and began the climbs through their farm club system. In 1942 he played in 27 games, hitting a decent .272 average. The kid was "headin' for the bigs" when the call came to put on an olive drab uniform.
Malchiodi trained as a bombadier in the B-26 and was assigned to 344th Bomb Group of the 495th Bomb Squadron. He had survived unscathed and wrote his mother that rotation home was scheduled very soon and that the guys in his unit were building a baseball diamond. It was his intention to arrive back home fit and ready to trade the Army greens for a new pin stripe uniform. Can you imagine the excitement of Malchiodi AND his squadron mates? A bright future lay before them, just a couple of weeks away.
But, when a war ends the needs of the service still demand the aircrews stay sharp. The 344th was routinely going offshore to practice strafing runs against waterborne towed targets. It was May 31st, and back home the season was just beginning. Most of the crew on that training flight were new. The tail turret gunner managed to stich a line of heavy caliber bullets across the starboard vertical stabilizer. The aircraft commander almost got the crew home, but the umpire called strike three and Dom Malchiodi and six others aboard were killed when the tail came apart and aircraft spun in.
War isn't fair. There are never any guarantees about how many innings will be played, how many batters will get up to the plate, or that either team will truly win. The only thing that is assured will be the tears shed for those that have died and the anguish and pain that continues for those wounded.
Dom Malchiodi, professional baseball player, wasn't even 24 years old when he died.