Roderick Bain

Roderick G. Bain
Nickname(s) Rod
Born (1922-05-13)May 13, 1922
Portland, Oregon, United States
Died February 5, 2014(2014-02-05) (aged 91)
Anchorage, Alaska, United States
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank Technician Fifth Grade
Unit Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment,
101st Airborne Division

World War II

Technician fifth Grade Roderick G. Bain (May 13, 1922 February 5, 2014)[1] was a non-commissioned officer in the Second Platoon of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the 101st Airborne Division, United States Army during the Second World War. Bain was one of the 140 original Toccoa men of Easy Company. His life story was featured in the 2009 book We Who Are Alive and Remain: Untold Stories from Band of Brothers.

Early life

Bain was born in Portland, Oregon. His mother died during the Depression. His father remarried a woman with two children and the family moved to Long Beach, Washington. Bain graduated from Ilwaco High School in Washington.[2] He was attending the University of Washington when the Attack on Pearl Harbor took place.[3]

Military Service

Bain was a member of the US Army Reserve, but he volunteered on August 19, 1942 and enlisted in Fort Lewis at Tacoma, Washington. He volunteered for Airborne Command Parachute School and was sent to Camp Toccoa, Georgia for training under Captain Herbert Sobel.[3] There he befriended Donald Malarkey, who was only a ferry ride away from where he lived.[4] Bain followed Easy Company to the U.K. and prepared for the invasion of Europe. Bain received the news that his stepbrother, Glen Spriggs, was killed while taking flight training in Texas, right before the Invasion of Normandy.[3]

Bain was one of the radiomen of the company. He was often selected for patrol missions because of his radio skills. Bain often had worse time during the missions, because his radio weighed 60 pounds.[5] As a radioman, one of his duties was to lay wire from outposts to company CP. Whenever the wire broke, he had to find the damage and reconnect it, wherever it was.[6] William Guarnere described Bain a very quiet, very nice kid and a very dependable soldier, and was usually the first one he would call on when he needed help.[7]

Bain made his first combat jump into Normandy on D-Day. He landed about three miles from Ste. Mere Eglise.[8] He linked up with another paratrooper and headed toward the beaches. They came upon 20 to 30 paratroopers at a crossroads, and helped check the surrounded Germans for weapons. Bain arrived at Utah Beach when the area was secure. He survived D-Day without firing a single shot.[8]

Bain also participated in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. When Easy Company was sent to defend the Island, Bain was chosen for a reconnaissance mission with Malarkey and Eugene Jackson.[9] A group of 8 Germans, not knowing that there were only three of them, surrendered to them. Easy Company commander Richard D. Winters wanted the prisoners back for interrogation, and the group had to run back to Division at a full gallop to avoid getting fired by the Germans. Malarkey thought Bain, running with the radio, would have a heart attack, but knew that he would be fine as he recalled how Bain could run up the Currahee with ease during the training in Camp Toccoa. Fortunately, the three were able to take the prisoners back to the Division without incident.[10]

Bain also fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium. There he shared a foxhole with Malarkey and Guarnere.[11][12] He survived the war and fought with Easy Company until the end of the war.

Later life

After the war, Bain transferred to Western Washington College of Education (now Western Washington University) and met Donelle Mosier, whom he married in 1950. They both graduated as certified teachers. They had four children and moved to Anchorage in 1960.[13]


See also


  1. Roderick Bain Obituary
  2. Brotherton 2009, p. 28.
  3. 1 2 3 Brotherton 2009, p. 35.
  4. Location 498, Malarkey
  5. Location 1438, Malarkey
  6. Post, Guarnere & Heffron 2008, 2024.
  7. Post, Guarnere & Heffron 2008, 2017.
  8. 1 2 Forever Brothers
  9. Location 1808, Malarkey
  10. Location 1860, Malarkey
  11. Location 2027, Malarkey
  12. Post, Guarnere & Heffron 2008, 2563.
  13. Post, Guarnere & Heffron 2008, p. 215.
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