Hamilton County


Lt. Col. Marion Malcolm





Lieut. Col. Marion Malcolm in Charge of Instructors School

Randolph Field, Texas — A husky officer who insists his flying career has been all “routine” but who won a medal in ice water will direct the training of elementary flying tutors at the new central instructors’ school at Randolph Field.

These “routine” duties of Lt. Col. Marion Malcolm, husky, brown-eyed, balding, affable, 30 year old Iowa native, have included pursuit plane pilot, instructor, director of gunnery training, and an assignment in England observing the RAF at work.

Won Medal

He won the soldier’s Medal early in 1937 while at Selfridge Field, Mich., with the first pursuit group. The four year old daughter of his commanding officer, Major Joseph Dawson, had been playing on the ice on Lake St. Clair when it broke with her weight and she floated into an open channel.

The flier plunged into the cold water and brought the child to safety.

Born at Webster City, Iowa, Lt. Col. Malcolm graduated from the University of Iowa in 1934 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He held a reserve commission in the corps of engineers, won through the school’s ROTC unit, but he returned to the air forces and received his wings after graduation from Kelly Field in 1935.

In Louisiana

He served with the 20th pursuit group at Barksdale Field, La., before being transferred to Selfridge and came to Randolph as an instructor in 1937, after his assignment to the Michigan base. In 1940 he was transferred to the air corps technical detachment at Glendale, Cal., as supervisor of the elementary flight school.

Then followed his tour of duty in England, from August to November of 1941, but of that he says, “It was quiet, and not much of anything was going on.”

Gunnery Director

Returning to the United States he became director of gunnery at Luke Field Ariz., and thence was transferred to headquarters of the west coast training center as assistant to the plans and training officer in charge of elementary flight training.

From there he was assigned to his present position last January.

Lt. Col. Malcolm’s, Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Malcolm, reside in Yale, Iowa. He is married to the former Miss Carolyn LaBeaume of San Antonio, Texas.

Source: Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - March 16, 1943

Lt. Col. Malcolm Assumes Command of P-51 Group

15TH AIR FORCE IN ITALY—Addressing all officers and men of the unit soon after assuming command of a veteran P-51 Mustang fighter group in Italy, Lt. Col. Marion Malcolm, 33, of San Antonio, Texas, called for an all-out effort to keep “every plane in the air and deal Hitler the knockout punch.”

Seated on the ground, on benches, on trucks and jeeps—in a wide semicircle before the outdoor stage where the commanding officer stood before the microphone, the entire personnel listened intently while he outlined his policies and called upon officers and men alike for cooperation in carrying them out.

“We may have to work overtime and double-time,” he declared, “but we’ve got the nazis on the run and staggering under our blows so let’s get in that knock out smash that will put an end to this whole business.”

Lt. Col. Malcolm expressed himself as being “highly honored and greatly pleased” to have been selected to command a group which “not only is one of the first outfits to arrive overseas, but one which has established one of the finest combat records of any fighter group.”

Born in This City

Born at Webster City, Iowa, Lt. Col. Malcolm is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Malcolm, Los Angeles, Cal. He graduated from Iowa City high school in 1929 and from the University of Iowa, where he majored in electrical engineering, in 1934. In October of 1934 he decided to become a pilot and was accepted as an aviation cadet at Randolph Field, Texas. Completing his advanced training course at Kelly Field, he was presented with his wings and commission as a second lieutenant Oct. 12, 1935.

From Jan. 25, 1943 to June 6th of this year he served as commander of one of four instructor training groups and director of flying at the Central instructors school, Randolph Field, Texas, then on June 11, left for overseas. For a time after arriving in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations he was attached to another P-51 group before assignment to his present command in August.

With a record of over 380 planes destroyed in the air, besides many other combat achievements, Lt. Col. Malcolm’s group has served in England, North Ireland, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Corsica, and Italy, and its pilots have also flown bomber-escort, strafing, and special missions over France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia, as well as a shuttle mission to Russia.

Unit Citation

For “outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy” during a bomber-escort mission to Munich, Germany last June, the group was presented with a distinguished unit citation by Major General Nathan F. Swining, commanding general of the 15th Air Force. The same month the group set a new MOT combat record by shooting down 102 enemy aircraft in 30 days.

Lt. Col. Malcolm’s wife, Mrs. Virginia Carolyn Malcolm, and their son, David, reside with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence LaBeaume, San Antonio, Texas.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - September 27, 1944


Former W. C. Flier Also Has Air Medal Plus 2 Clusters.

Col. Marion Malcolm, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Malcolm of Los Angeles, Cal., formerly of Webster City, has been awarded the air medal for outstanding performance in leading a fighter formation on a strafing mission against nazi rail and motor transportation in Hungary Nov. 19.

According to word received by the Freeman-Journal from his parents, Colonel Malcolm has completed 30 combat missions as a commander of a Mustang fighter group with the 15th air force in Italy and also wears the air medal plus two oak leaf clusters.

Aggressive Leadership

The citation from the AAF read in part: “Despite the heavy enemy opposition, displaying outstanding aggressiveness and combat proficiency, he courageously pressed his attack against hostile transportation and installations, destroying two locomotives and severely damaging many units of rolling stock. Through his outstanding leadership, his formation destroyed or damaged large numbers of vitally needed enemy transport equipment.”

The former Webster City aviator was promoted from lieutenant-colonel to full colonel last November.

Wife in Texas

Colonel Malcolm’s wife and young son, David live at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence La Beaume in San Antonio, Texas.

The colonel’s sister, Mrs. John H. James, the former Marcelyn Malcolm, is making her home at Abilene, Texas, her husband is assigned to the regional hospital dental laboratory at Camp Barkeley as a dental technician. Mrs. James is secretary to the contact representative of the veteran’s administration at Camp Barkeley and is also serving as a member of the civil service board interviewing discharged men from the army.

Source: Daily Freeman Journal, Webster City, IA - January 22, 1945

Marion Malcolm was born July 22, 1911 to Frank Ludlow and Imogene A. Cook Malcolm. He died May 1984 and is buried in the Yale Cemetery, Yale, IA.

Source: ancestry.com