Private First Class
Private First Class John J. Maroon
Award: Honoring Our Veterans
Private First Class John J. Maroon was born at Niagara Falls in 1925 and, before completing high school, joined the U.S. Army in November 1943.
After being assigned to the 36th Infantry “Arrowhead” Division, Private Maroon fought in the Battle of Monte Cassino, and the capture and the liberation of Rome.
On August 15, 1944, Private Maroon took part in the Operation Dragoon assault landing at Saint-Raphaël . In November 1944, Private Maroon was captured during heavy fighting as the 36th Infantry Division advanced into the mountains. He and 12 other survivors were taken to Germany’s Stalag 7A, prisoner of war (POW) camp in Mooseburg, Bavaria. He was later freed by advancing American forces. John credits his Catholic faith for giving him the strength to endure the hardships he endured as a POW.
Upon returning to civilian life, he married Margaret Agnello in 1947 and raised a family of three children, Linda, Debbie, and John. He later relocated to Olean. He and his late wife have five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
In 2002, Private Maroon received his high school diploma through the Operation Recognition Program. Private Maroon’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the POW Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three campaign stars and bronze arrowhead device, the World War II Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Marksman Badge with rifle bar, and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.