Albert Blithe


A man with a quiet nature.

Someone whose uncontrollable fear turned to incredible bravery.

Someone who loved to make people laugh.

A man who became ‘trooper of the year’ while at Fort Bragg. 


Don Malarkey said: “I remember Albie Blithe very well and the most interesting thing I recall is that he used to like dice games. He would never roll the dice, but he would always bet against the shooter. He always won!”


Albert was born on June 25, 1923, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After three years of high school, Blithe volunteered for the Paratroopers, an elite force known for their courage and skill in airborne operations. The date he signed up was 18 August 1942. He went through training, enduring the physical and mental demands of parachute jumps and combat exercises, earning his jump wings at Fort Benning.

Albert Blithe was a rifleman, in 1st platoon of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101stAirborne. Easy Company, in particular, became renowned for their bravery and tenacity in the face of adversity. Albert was proud to stand beside them.

Blithe’s journey mirrored the challenges and sacrifices faced by the men of Easy Company as they played a crucial role in some of the most significant battles of the war. The true test for Blithe and his comrades came on D-Day, June 6, 1944, during the Allied invasion of Normandy. Easy Company parachuted behind enemy lines in the early hours of the morning. The chaos and confusion of the drop scattered the paratroopers, and many found themselves far from their intended drop zones. Blithe was no exception to this, and he landed away from his designated location.

The experience of the jump was harrowing for Blithe, as he found himself alone and disoriented in the dark French countryside. The jump had taken a toll on him, the sense of isolation and the threat of German patrols adding to the intensity of the situation. This experience was depicted in the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, highlighting the disorienting and chaotic nature of airborne operations.


Despite the challenges, Blithe eventually reunited with Easy Company. His resilience in overcoming the initial setbacks demonstrated the strength and determination that characterised not only Blithe, but all the men of the 506th. Following the success of the Normandy invasion, Easy Company continued to play a pivotal role in the European Theatre of Operations. Throughout all their campaigns, Blithe and his comrades forged a deep bond born out of shared hardships and a common commitment to their mission.

One of the most significant moments in Blithe’s story occurred when he is depicted as being emotionally affected by the intensity of the combat. He is portrayed as struggling with fear and a sense of helplessness, reflecting the psychological toll that warfare can take on even the bravest soldiers

Blithe’s character arc in “Band of Brothers” serves as a poignant reminder of the mental and emotional challenges faced by those who served in combat. The series suggests that Blithe may have been suffering from a form of combat stress or shell shock. In the midst of battle, the toll on the human psyche is a reality that many soldiers grapple with, and Blithe’s portrayal brings attention to the often-overlooked aspect of mental health in wartime.

Despite the internal struggles depicted in the series, it’s important to note that the actual details of Blithe’s experiences during the Battle of the Bulge remain a subject of historical debate. The miniseries takes creative liberties in portraying certain events and characters to convey broader themes and emotions.

The series depicted Blithe suffering from hysterical blindness due to the stress of the battle. Following conversation with Winters, his sight returns. Blithe is seen during the defence of Carentan. He confesses his fears to Lieutenant Spiers who puts Blithe firmly in his place.  Later while seen crying and scared bunked down in a foxhole, Lieutenant Winters displays the skills and body language that encourage Blithe back on his feet. While out on patrol with the company, Blithe volunteers to scout ahead. He is hit by sniper fire in the neck and is evacuated to the hospital.

Unable to return to duty, he was released from the hospital returning to a job with Westinghouse Electric in Philadelphia. However, the army never left him. He reenlisted and served three more years leaving on 27 March 1952. Then, for the 3rdtime he reenlisted again on 24 March 1954. He won “Master Parachutist’s Badge” and served in post war Korea he was later assigned to the 82nd Airborne and made ‘Division Trooper of the year’ in 1958. He went on to the 82nd Quartermaster Corps and was made Master Sergeant. Blithe then served with the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Taiwan.

After the war, Albert Blithe returned home and resumed civilian life. His service with Easy Company during World War II became an indelible part of his identity. The camaraderie and shared experiences of the men in Easy Company continued long after the war, as they formed a tight-knit brotherhood that endured for decades. However, as Gordon’s mother explained to him, “you just don’t know how badly the war messed up your dads mind.” Albert Blithe is reported to have been a chronic alcoholic who drank himself to death.

Albert Blithe’s life was cut short.  In the week before his passing, he was in Bastogne commemorating the Battle of the Bulge. On December 17, 1967, he passed away while on duty in West Germany. It is reported that he had an ulcer leading to renal failure and following emergency surgery passed away. His legacy, however, lives on through the accounts of his family and comrades, the historical records of Easy Company, and the enduring popularity of “Band of Brothers.”

None of Company E knew what had happened to Blithe and had speculated that he had died in 1948 from his wound. The same information was relayed in Stephen E. Ambrose’s book ‘Band of Brothers’ leading to the information being relayed again in the series. This was refuted by the Blithe family and while corrections were made in later editions of Ambrose’s book, the series and DVDs did not reflect this.

Albert Blithe’s journey with Easy Company is a compelling and complex narrative that reflects the broader experiences of the men who served in World War II. From the chaos of the D-Day drop to the challenges of the Battle of the Bulge, Blithe’s story encapsulates the physical and emotional toll of combat. His portrayal in “Band of Brothers” serves as a reminder of the resilience, camaraderie, and sacrifices made by the “men of Easy” as they played a crucial role in shaping the course of history.


The final words belong to Gordon Blithe, Albert’s son.

I want people to remember my father this way: he was a true American paratrooper who put his life on the line for this country and thousands of other people in this world. He fought for people he didn’t even know. I’m proud of him, so proud. That’s how I want people to remember Albert Blithe.”


Marc Warren - Actor portraying Albert Blithe