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NEWS | May 16, 2024

New York Guard Says Farewell to 100-year-old Guard Veteran

By Petty Officer 1st Class Stephanie Butler and Eric Durr, New York National Guard

WATERFORD, N.Y. - A 100-year-old New York National Guard World War II veteran who survived the bloody Battle of Saipan was honored by a New York Army National Guard Honor Guard team as he was laid to rest May 7.

Cpl. Wilfred “Spike” Mailloux, who served in B Company of the 27th Infantry Division’s 105th Infantry Regiment, was a 20-year-old Soldier on July 7, 1944, when the regiment’s 1st Battalion was overrun in the largest Japanese charge of World War II.

Mailloux was one of the 512 Soldiers wounded when over 4,000 Japanese soldiers staged a “banzai” charge against the positions of the 1st and 2nd battalions toward the end of the month-long battle. Another 502 members of the National Guard regiment were killed.

Mailloux was stabbed in the thigh with a knife by a Japanese officer and lay in a ditch for hours. He survived because another Soldier from his Cohoes, New York-based company went looking for survivors.

Providing funeral honors at Mailloux’s burial at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Waterford was “a great honor,” said Sgt. Carlos Garcia, an infantryman who led the two-Soldier detail.

He and Spc. Samantha Bruce were aware of Mailloux’s history and wanted to make sure the service they provided was perfect.

“We try to be perfect,” he said. “ For every family, every service is special.”

Mailloux was the last survivor of the B Company Guardsmen mobilized in October 1940 by President Franklin Roosevelt after France fell to the Nazis.

With Mailloux’s history as a bugler in mind, the Honor Guard found a real bugler from Buglers Across America for the funeral instead of using the standard issue electronic bugle, which plays a recorded version of taps.

After leaving the Army in August 1945, Mailloux came back to Cohoes, got married, and worked for General Electric as a systems analyst until 1986.

 

 

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