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Ken Vander Molen

  • Ken Vander Molen poses for a formal photo in Japan. Source: Kenneth Vander Molen Collection.
  • A smiling Ken Vander Molen, seen at Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1946. Source: Kenneth Vander Molen Collection.

Ken Vander Molen, from Detroit, Michigan, joined Company G as a replacement just days after the landing on Cebu. He was immediately hurried to the front lines, and joined the gruff veterans, who were initially hesitant to make friends with this new man. Inexperienced replacements often became battle casualties, and veterans kept their distance. Vander Molen survived the remaining months of combat, and accompanied the unit to Japan (see Photo #1). He re-enlisted in the army, and served at home with the Fifth Army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, until his discharge in December 1946 (see Photo #2). He lives today in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has penned a book about his experiences during the war entitled I Remember When. Vander Molen has a twin brother Gordon – who also served with Company G, but who has since passed away.