new thing i’m emotional about: how sourpuss grumbler who never lets anyone get away with anything or slack off for even a second, johnny martin, is with blithe so much in carentan and never takes him on. there are some sidelong looks, but he’s mostly just there, quietly watching, and he’s right fucking there taking care of blithe and screaming for the medic when he gets hit.
blithe brings out interesting things in all of them (notice that shifty, of all people almost always looks at him with mild apprehension), but the patience and silent, watchful care he brings out in martin is about to make me cry.
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!”.