MSG Albert Blithe
June 25, 1923-December 17, 1967
"I'm a paratrooper . . . that's my job."

PVT Albert Blithe was one of the Easy Company paratroopers featured in Episode 3 Carentan of the HBO Band of Brothers mini-series. In that episode, Blithe is first struck with a temporary case of hysterical blindness and then severely wounded in the neck. Fellow Easy Company Currahee veterans had thought that Blithe did not recover from his neck wound and had died in Philadelphia, PA in 1948.

After viewing the mini-series, relatives of Albert Blithe have come forward with information and documentation that Blithe was wounded in the right shoulder, recovered from his wounds, attended the 1st Annual Reunion of the 101st Airborne Division Association, and subsequently went on to have an outstanding Army career (including over 600 parachute jumps and a MAAG assignment in Taiwan). Blithe died in 1967 while on active duty in Germany, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Note that Blithe's Army Serial Number has not been blacked out in the documents on this web site for military service confirmation purposes.

photos and items from Gordon Albert Blithe,
son of Albert Blithe (E Co, 2nd BN, 506th PIR, 1942-1944)

Blithe at Camp Toccoa

Albert Blithe in one of the Company areas at Camp Toccoa, GA, 1942

Blithe at Ravenoville

Albert Blithe passed his copy of this photo on to his son
Gordon, who has it hanging on his wall at home.

June 6, 1944, Ravenoville, France: holding the flag, James Flanagan (2nd Platoon, C Co, 1-502nd PIR)

(L-R): PFC Arthur A. Justice (B Co, 1-502nd PIR), unknown, PVT Justo Correa (A Co, 1-506th PIR),
PFC Arthur J. Barker (B Co, 1-502nd PIR), PVT Joe E. Ridgeway (B Co, 1-502nd PIR), PVT Norwood
B. Newinger (B Co, 1-502nd PIR), unknown, CPL Earl H. Butz (HQ, 3-502nd PIR), SGT Smith C. Fuller
(B Co, 1-502nd PIR)

Names and units from page 39 of The Way We Were: CPL Forrest Guth

German Bullet
Albert Blithe was wounded in his right shoulder on June 25, 1944, his 21st birthday. He
kept the bullet from that wound and would carry it his pocket. In the summer of 1967, Albert
gave this bullet to his son Gordon. It was the last time that Gordon would see his father alive.

Blithe Discharge/Reenlistment

Albert Blithe's DD Form 303A, US Army Discharge from the
4001st Army Support Unit, Fort Bliss, TX and his re-enlistment.

Award of Master Parachutist Badge

Award of Master Parachutist Badge to Albert Blithe, May 1954.

Master Parachutist Badge Affidavit

Affidavit accompanying his Award of Master Parachutist Badge
and detailing Blithe's paratrooper training with the 506th PIR

Domain of the Golden Dragon Certificate

Five months after being awarded his Master Parachutist Badge, SFC Albert Blithe was assigned to the Service Company
of 187th Airborne Infantry and was transported to the Republic of Korea on the troop ship USS General Randall. This
Domain of the Golden Dragon certificate was given to those on board ship who crossed the 180th Meridian (longitude),
which is basically the International Date Line.

The USS General Randall is probably best known as the troop ship that carried PVT Elvis Presley to Germany in 1958.

1958 Trooper of Year Award, front
In 1958, MSG Albert Blithe was selected as Trooper of the Year at Fort Bragg, NC.
The front of his DA 638 Recommendation for Award lists the various medals awarded to
Blithe when he was fighting with the 506th PIR in 1944.

1958 Trooper of Year Award, back

Back of the DA 638 recommendation for 82nd Airborne Division 1958 Trooper of the Year Award

Kay and Al Blithe
MSG Albert Blithe and his wife Kay celebrate his being named 82nd Airborne
Division 1958 Trooper of the Year
at the NCO Club at Fort Bragg, NC. Kay
had wanted to go out to the NCO Club and celebrate when Al was picked Trooper
of the Month, but he had said, "No, if I get picked as Trooper of the Year, then that's
when it's time to celebrate."

Soldiers' Home ID Card
MSG Albert Blithe first retired from the U.S. Army on July 5, 1963,
with a "temporary disability," and lived in the US Soldier's Home in
Washington, D.C. However, he once again returned to active duty on
August 1, 1967, and was subsequently assigned to the 11th Quarter-
master Company, 8th Supply and Transport Battalion
in Germany.

LTC Duane H. Stubbs Letter

Letter from MSG Albert Blithe's commanding officer, LTC Duane H. Stubbs,
informing Blithe's widow of her husband's death on December 17, 1967.

Blithe Obituary

MSG Albert Blithe's obituary

Blithe Grave
photo from Joe Blithe, nephew of Albert Blithe

Blithe's grave, #7672, section 31, Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery Map, 1967
This 1967 map of Arlington National Cemetery marks the location of
MSG Albert Blithe's grave: Section 31; Grave 7672.
The circular area
on the map just above and to the left of Blithe's gravesite contains the grave
of President John F. Kennedy; just below and to the left of Blithe's grave-
site on the map is the Memorial Gate/Memorial Entrance to the cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery Pass

Pass used by Gordon Blithe when he visited his father's grave, Easter 1968.

These pages are maintained the
506th Airborne Infantry Regiment Association (Airmobile - Air Assault)
This page updated 04/06/13