William F. Madden
PFC. William J. Madden. Enclosed is the front page newspaper article from the Malden News dated July 6, 1945. It reads as follows:
PFC. WILLIAM J. MADDEN WOUNDED ON OKINAWA
Brother-in-law of Lieut. Charlie O'Rourke of Navy and Football Fame Writes Home of Mishap in So Pacific and Credits Sergt Hyman "Dan" Daniels, Cousin of ALD Rosenblatt, With Saving His Life After Receiving Machine Gun Wounds. Daniels Himself Wounded.
A real story of heroism and suffering on the part of Malden boys in the So Pacific is told in a letter from Pfc. Wm. J. Madden, 21 Desmond rd, to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. D. Madden. Pfc. Madden writes he was rescued form certain death after being thrice wounded by Japanese machine gun bullets, by his buddy, Sergt "Dan" Daniels, 34 Clayton St., cousin of ALD Rosenblatt, with whom he made his home before service.
Daniels Hit Performing Rescue. The Madden family had had no official word from their soldier son and were stunned when the letter came from a hospital cot on the Mariannas saying that he was gaining steadily from the machine gun bullet wounds in both legs and in the left elbow, on June 23. Pfc Madden wrote that he owed his life to his Marine buddy, Sergt "Dan" Daniels of Clayton St., who dragged him from the line of fire to a place of safety, administered first aid although he (Daniels) sustained a shattered elbow in the rescue. Both Marines have been serving in the South Pacific for many months and have been in six major engagements according to the letter. Sergt Daniels said nothing of his rescue work in his recent letter, but did mention that he had been wounded slightly. Pfc Madden is a native of this city left Malden High to join the Marines after graduating from the West Side Parochial school and has three brothers in the service: Lieut John R and Radioman Donald R. Madden both in the Navy located in the Pacific and Sergt Edwin J. Madden in France or enroute to theSouth Pacific.
My grandfather spent 5 months aboard hospital ships from his wounds and dengue fever till he was discharged. He received the Purple Heart for his injuries that day as well as PFC William Madden. I never had the chance to meet my grandfather nor did my mother. After being sent home he lived for a few more years, settled down, got married had 1 daughter and another on the way when he suffered a fatal heart attack due to never recuperating from Dengue Fever three weeks before my mother was born. In his belongings that were saved throughout his time in the war he saved this newspaper article that his cousin had saved and passed onto him, He spoke kindly of PFC Madden according to my grandmother. Their bond that day was a lasting friendship that continued till the day my grandfather died when, PFC William Madden and his brother honored my grandfather by attending his funeral. I have never met Mr. Madden nor have found him through several years of endless searching. This brown, tattered and torn, as well as taped, newspaper clipping passed on from my grandmother to my mother to me is and will always be treasured.
A few years after me posting this to Sgt. Grit's website I decided to give it one more go around. I started to look more at Charlie O'Rourke in hopes to find out if William Madden's sister was still alive if not maybe a family member.
I searched online and noticed that Charlie O'Rourke had a few mentions in web sites and that he was a College Football Hall of Fame member & he played professional football for the Bears, Los Angeles Dons, and the Baltimore Colts. I found out he had passed away in April 2000 which I then went and found his obituary which it listed his wife and several children. I tried one of his daughters that were living in Natick and gave her a phone call.