The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

Suggest Edits
MSGT Joseph Maliawski

Photo added by JTerry ღ

MSGT Joseph Maliawski

  • Birth 14 Apr 1918 North Bergen, Hudson County, New Jersey, USA
  • Death 19 Oct 2003 Willingboro, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
  • Burial Wrightstown, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA
  • Plot N 9661
  • Memorial ID 28943269

My father, Joseph Maliawski, always said he was born in Shady Side, New Jersey, but he never knew exactly where it was located and searches turned up nothing (until 2012). A 1909 railroad map shows Shady Side along the Hudson River waterfront in North Bergen Township. This matches a notation on the 1920 US Federal Census sheet for North Bergen Ward 1, Hudson County NJ, on the sheet enumerating 1-year old Joe with his parents and two sisters. The note written in the left column reads "Shady Side River Road". The family's dwelling number was 1219 (as of 2013, this is near the site of the Hudson Cove Condos).

From Wikipedia: "Shadyside (sic) is the southernmost neighborhood of Edgewater, New Jersey that overlaps the waterfront of neighboring North Bergen, New Jersey. It likely takes its name from the fact that its position on the west bank of the Hudson River is sometimes in the shadow of the Hudson Palisades."

Dad grew up during the Great Depression in northern New Jersey. The family was poor and Dad was the oldest son. He left home at age 16. He spoke of working at odd jobs, including as a waiter in restaurants and shining shoes, and of hopping trains like a Hobo. For two years, he worked at the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps created during the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to put young men to work in public service projects. Dad was assigned to a camp near Ithaca, New York.

When he turned 21, my father enlisted in the United States Army. (His parents would not sign for him to join up earlier.) This was in 1939. He was paid $21 per month. Of that, he sent home $16 to his parents to help feed his younger brothers and sisters. He served 20 years in the military. During that time he was stationed at Fort Benning GA, Fort Bragg NC, Fort Bliss TX, Fort Lewis WA, Fort Campbell KY, Fort Dix NJ, the Philippines, Korea, Japan and Augsburg Germany. As a member of the infantry, he fought on the ground during World War II in Normandy (France) and Belgium. He met his future wife while stationed at Fort Bragg, which is near her hometown of Buie, Robeson County, North Carolina.

My father retired twice. First, at age 41, from the U.S. Army as a Master Sargeant (MSGT) with 20 years service. He was a combat veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict. Dad was a paratrooper with both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. He made 51 jumps - two of which were in combat. He was a member of Co. E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment (Strike), 101st Airborne Division that parachuted into Normandy on D-Day 1944 during WWII. On 19 December 1944, the unit along with other elements of the 101st Airborne, including 502nd and 506th PIR, rode 18 hours from Reims, France to Bastogne, Belgium. The 502nd was assigned to the woods east of Bastogne. The ensuing action became known as the Battle of the Bulge. Dad received many medals, including the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He was wounded by scrapnal in the shoulder. He was nominated for the Silver Star for Valor in WWII; however, the officer carrying the paperwork was killed in combat. Dad never pursued the final award. The 502nd received Presidential Citations for their accomplishments on D-Day and at the Battle of the Bulge.

Dad next retired from the Moorestown, New Jersey, School District at age 65. For many years, he was also the designated driver for disabled children in Willingboro Township, New Jersey, getting them to and from school safely. He was a very caring and gentle man who went out of his way to ensure that the children were comfortable. For 15 years, he worked two jobs, starting at 7am with the first and returning home at midnight from the second. He had a truly remarkable work ethic.

Dad was predeceased by his parents, Karolina Sabat and Joseph Maliawsky who emigrated to America from Poland and Russia (now Belarus) in the early years of the 20th century. He was also predeceased by siblings Mary, John, George, Walter, Alexander and presumably Carol. His sister Olga died in 2016.

My parents were married for 60 years. Dad was survived by his wife Laura, a daughter, two sons and a son-in-law.

Although the circumstances of Dad's early life led him to join the military, he was a very peace loving and gentle man. He always regretted having to carry a machine gun while in combat. He was a man who could fix anything and who had a great love of animals, nature and classical music. As a young boy, he asked his mother for permission to learn how to play the violin. The family was so poor that she had to say no. Dad always spoke of his regret at not learning that skill. He was also a great reader and a staunch believer in education as the way out of poverty. Dad was always purchasing books and reading newspapers. Those skills he passed on to his children. He only attained an 8th grade education but he was the smartest man on the planet during his lifetime. This is how his children will always remember him. A man who always put family first. A man who would drop anything and run to help -- no matter what the problem. A totally dependable and loving Father.

My father passed away at home in his sleep in the early morning hours of a Sunday on 19 October 2003 at age 85.

Bio by: JTerry ღ

Family Members



  • Created by: JTerry ღ
  • Added: 11 Aug 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 28943269
  • JTerry ღ
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for MSGT Joseph Maliawski (14 Apr 1918–19 Oct 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 28943269, citing Brig. Gen. Wm. C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by JTerry ღ (contributor 47030398) .