Einar Axel Malmstrom

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Einar Axel Malmstrom
Colonel Einar Axel Malmstrom
Colonel Einar Axel Malmstrom
Born (1907-07-14)July 14, 1907
Died August 21, 1954(1954-08-21) (aged 47)
Great Falls, Montana
Buried at Arlington National Cemetery
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch USAAC Roundel 1919-1941.svg United States Army Air Corps
US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg United States Army Air Forces
 United States Air Force
Rank Colonel
Commands held 356th Fighter Group

Einar Axel Malmstrom (July 14, 1907 – August 21, 1954) was a Colonel in the United States Air Force.[1][2] He was a was a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot and commanding officer of the 356th Fighter Group of the 8th Air Force during World War II. He was shot down in 1944 and was a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft I from April 1944 through May 1945.

National Guard

Malmstrom joined the Washington National Guard on May 12, 1929, and was commissioned a second lieutenant on May 25, 1931.

World War II

File:Eighth Air Force Fighter Group COs 1944.jpg
Commanding officers of the fighter groups of the 8th Air Force in 1944; Malstrom is fifth from the right standing

Malstrom was called to active service as a first lieutenant on September 16, 1940 at Parkwater, Washington. He was sent to Europe in May 1943 and took command of the 356th Fighter Group at RAF Martlesham Heath.

On April 24, 1944 he was shot down over France and taken prisoner by the German Army. He spent a year in captivity at Stalag Luft I where he was American commander of the south compound. For this he was awarded a Bronze Star.

Cold War

Malstrom returned to the U.S. in May 1945 and was assigned as Air Inspector for the 312th Base Unit in Barksdale, Louisiana, the XIX Tactical Air Command at Biggs Field, Texas, and at Greenville, South Carolina. He was Deputy for Reserve Forces for the 9th Air Force until August 1949 when he entered the Air War College. He was then a senior Air Force instructor at the Army War College. He was Director of Personnel at Lockbourne Air Force Base. In February 1954 he was assigned to Great Falls Air Force Base in Montana, as Deputy Wing Commander of the 407th Strategic Fighter Wing.


Malstrom was killed in a Lockheed T-33 fighter jet crash near Great Falls Air Force Base in Montana on August 21, 1954.[3]

Malmstrom Air Force Base

Great Falls Air Force Base was renamed Malmstrom Air Force Base in his honor in October 1955.[4]


  1. "Col. Einar Malmstrom". United States Air Force. Retrieved 2018-11-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Mark W. Royston (2009). The Faces Behind the Bases: Brief Biographies of Those for Whom Our Military Bases Were Named. iUniverse. pp. 93–. ISBN 978-1-4401-3712-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Ecke, Richard (2014-01-18). "Into the fog: Last man to see Einar Malmstrom alive tells story". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved 2018-11-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Alan H. Winquist; Jessica Rousselow-Winquist (26 June 2009). Touring Swedish America. Minnesota Historical Society. pp. 302–. ISBN 978-0-87351-704-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links