Albert-Blithe

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As soon as Blithe regained his vision, he immediately returned to duty. If you think about that for a minute, that boy had been paralyzed by fear, yet he had the guts and dedication to stick to his buddies in Easy Company. As soon as he relaxed and pulled himself together, he returned to the front rather than taking the easy way out with an evacuation. Sometimes all a soldier needed was a calm voice reassuring him that everything was fine. In Blithe’s case, he rejoined the company and was wounded in action during the upcoming fight. After World War II, he served in the 187th Airborne Regiment in the Korean War, where he was awarded a Silver Star and the Bronze Star. By the time he retired from military service, Blithe was a company first sergeant.

Richard Winters (Beyond Band of Brothers)

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Nothing more than a decoy, a point man needs to possess the willingness to die. When he’s shot in the line of duty, the enemy’s position is revealed. Don’t confuse this willingness with “bravery.” A point man is just doing his job, what he has been trained to do and when it does it well, he can save lives. He has a chance of survival, but not much of one. It’s one of the most dangerous positions in a rifle company to volunteer, or to be volunteered, for.

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"I’m a paratrooper, that’s my job." 

Master Sergeant Albert Blithe trained at Camp Toccoa, jumped with the rest of Easy Company into occupied France and was struck with a temporary case of hysterical blindness following the fierce fight to capture Carentan. He recovered and was part of a patrol a few days later, where he was shot by a sniper in his right shoulder for wich he received a Purple Heart on June 25, his 21st birthday. He kept the bullet from that wound and would carry it his pocket until before his death, when he gave to his son. 

Due to his wound, Blithe was released from the Army Hospital one year later on 1945, he reenlisted on 1949 and again on 1954 when he received his Master Parachutist Badge and went on to serve in post-war Korea with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team and the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) in Taiwan. Later, he married his wife Kay and became the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1957 Trooper of the Year. He then served in the 82nd Quartermaster Corps, 82nd Quartermaster Parachute Supply and Maintenance Company. He was the second American paratrooper to earn the Nationalist Chinese Army Master Jump Wings in 1962.

Blithe’s son, Gordon, remembers vividly when he was young, he asked his Father if he was scared when he was in the war, in silence he slowly shook his head yes. Gordon’s mother told him many times that the war messed his mind up but he loved being a paratrooper more than anything else.  

In his times in war he earned 3 Purple Hearts, 3 Bronze Stars, 1 Silver Star Army Occupation Medal and the War World 2 Victory Medal, he had achieved the rank of Master Sergeant and had completed over 600 parachute jumps.

Blithe died December 17, 1967, while on active duty with the 8th Infantry Division, in West Germany. After a memorial service conducted by Chaplain (Major) Thomas F DesChamps, Blithe was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia with full military honors .

Bill Guarnere said Albert Blithe, whose nickname was Alby, was unjustly treated in the miniseries “Blithe was a good soldier, that’s why I put him on point!”.

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30 days of Band of Brothers ▸ favorite quote

↳ Speirs’ advice to Blithe
"The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’re already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it."