Kenneth H. Mallen
Biography: Kenneth "Kenny" Harry Mallen was born on January 17, 1921, on Long Island, New York. He is the son of Harry Mallen and Jessie Davis and attended Pawling High School.
Service Time: Kenny entered the service on December 12, 1941, and was assigned to the 658th Tank Destroyer Battalion. While stationed at Fort Ord, California, the unit was redesignated as the 658th Amphibian Tractor Battalion and sailed from the San Francisco Port on September 23, 1944. They landed in New Guinea, then New Britain Island, and later onto the Lingayen Gulf, Philippines. The unit remained in the Pacific receiving credit for four campaigns, Bismarck Archipelago, Leyte, Luzon and Southern Philippines.
Kenny would distinguish himself by earning a Bronze Star, American Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal and the Philippines Liberation Medal with one Bronze Service Star. He left the service at the rank of Technical Sergeant.
When he returned to the U.S., he went to work for the Green Haven Correctional Facility as an Automotive Mechanics Instructor. He later went back to school, SUNY (State University of New York) at New Paltz, and received his teaching certification.
On April 13, 1953, Kenny married the former Helen Kernaghan who was the daughter of John Wallace Kernaghan and Sarah Mary Jane Hughes. Helen was born in Green Haven, New York, but the couple made their residence in Poughquag, New York. Together they would have three children, Teri, born in 1955, John in 1958 and Sue in 1964.
When he wasn't spending time with his family, Kenny could be seen fighting fires with the Beekman Fire Department in which he has served for over 70 years. For 26 of those years, he held the position of Fire Chief and he currently serves on the Board of Commissionaires. On September 14, 2009, a Kenneth Mallen Day was proclaimed and he was presented with a plaque. In the photos below, you can see the sign at the fire station and Kenny accepting one of about 10 awards he received that day. Obviously, his spirit of service went far beyond his days in the 658th.
You might also see Kenny enjoying one of his other hobbies, which includes hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. Kenny is shown kneeling, front right, in the photo to the left, with the only good buck of the bunch. Kenny served on the Town of Beekman Zoning Board of Appeals and is a member of the Harlem Valley Masonic Lodge 358.
I want to thank Kenny for his life of service to this country and his community and wish him long life and good health. I also want to thank Kenny's daughter, Sue, for contacting me and providing the photos and information about her father.