USS SLC...USMC...Robert L. Malch, Sr., Cpl.
Major Robert L. Malch, Sr., passed away on April 8th, 1996. Information from brother John T. Malch
May 4th, 2011
I appreciate your rapid response to my request. I have attached a photo of my brother that was taken on my birthday, July
13, 1938. Also, his DOB & DOD information.
I do not have much of a recollection of his seagoing-Marine activity while aboard the USS Salt Lake City, except for his
extended cruise in 1939 to the Caribbean via the Panama Canal. As, he had sent home many souvenirs from Central America and
items from various islands in the Caribbean.
Last fall I wrote a brief history on my brother's World War II activity in the Pacific Theater:
"In 1942 Bob was already in the South Pacific. He was a Sergeant and was due for promotion to Warrant Officer which would
enable him to become a Postal Officer (same as Postmaster in civilian life)."
The time line for this story would begin after October 1943. As we had moved to the San Martin ranch during that month.
Bob had been in many campaigns from 1942 and through first half of 1945.
His First: Battle of Guadalcanal and codenamed Operation Watchtower, was fought between August 7, 1942 and February 9, 1943.
Second: Bougainville Campaign, (Operation Cherry Blossom) November 1, 1943
Third: The Battle of Saipan, in the Mariana Island from 15 June 1944 to 9 July 1944. After the battle, Saipan became an
important base for further operations in the Marianas, and then for the invasion of the Philippines in October 1944. Bombers
based at Saipan attacked the Philippines, the Ryukyu Island and Japan.
Final Campaign: The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until
mid-June, 1945. However, Bob was due to rotate back to the states at the end of April 1945. He was returning aboard a
Liberty Troop carrier that was hit by a Kamikaze attack that did very little damage and continued to Pearl Harbor.
Bob was station at Saipan for the longest period of his Pacific tour. From June 1944 to March 1945. He was designated
Fleet Marine Division Postal Officer for that entire Theater."
Robert was a 'Mustang'; in USMC lingo, a commissioned officer who started his military career as an enlisted man and move up the promotion ladder to Major. He retired in 1965 with the permanent rank of O-4/Major
If you need further data, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for your attention to my request.
Battle Station Orders, 1939