CHICOPEE, MA, USA U.S. Marines CAPT, C CO, 1ST BN, 5TH MAR, (2-BCT, 2D MAR DIV), 1ST MAR DIV, CAMP PENDLETON, CA AR RAMADI, IRAQ 06/16/2005
Marine Captain John W. Maloney was thirty-six years old when he died. He was far from his native home of Chicopee, Massachusetts, but he was with his Marine Corps mates assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Forcce (Forward). CAPT Maloney was killed on June 16, 2005 when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device while he conducted combat operations near Ramadi, Iraq.
In a Marine Corps-wide message, ALMar 015/06 Capt
Maloney was awarded the Leftwich Trophy. It was the first time in the award’s twenty-seven years that the Marine Corps recognized the awardee posthumously. The Trophy recognizes active duty captains in the ground combat-arms community holding company or battery command who “clearly and dramatically demonstrate the ideals of courage, resourcefulness, perseverance and concern for the well-being of the Corps and its enlisted Marines.”
John was the eldest of three sons — all of them Marines — and like a father figure to his younger brother always dispensing the voice of reason. He enlisted in the Marines two months after he turned 18 and his brothers followed his lead. His youngest brother was also serving in the Middle East. His brothers knew that John had no regrets about the life he led. Everyone knew he took great pride in his men and fully understood what his job was as a Marine. His brothers concern was for John’s then six-year-old son and one-year-old daughter. The Maloney brothers had an exceptional double bond of family and Marine Corps brotherhood. John’s brother notes that they were not just looking out for the three of them, but for their brothers right next to them. John was the kind of Marine that made sure other Marines come home and kept their country safe.
Maloney’s passion for the Marines blossomed out of an interest in studying the Vietnam War at Chicopee High School, from which he graduated in 1986. As a Marine, John never lost his natural tendency to take care of people and make them laugh and create a wonderful presence when he entered a room.
Maloney fought during the first Gulf War and served in Somalia. He met his wife, Michelle, while stationed in California.