Mal Nurnberg passed away on June 4, 2013 in Colorado Springs, CO. He was born on February 12, 1920 at Colwyn, Pennsylvania to Lloyd Nurnberg and Anna Peacock. A natural athlete, he lettered in college in football, track, and tennis, while establishing a school record in the pole vault event. In 1941 he met his true love Barbara Voigt on a tennis court and they were married in June 1942, a love affair that burned brightly in his heart even after her passing in 2004.|
In 1941 Mal enlisted in the US Army Air Forces as an aviation cadet, winning his pilot's wings and commission. He was assigned as a P-47 fighter pilot and flew 112 combat missions totaling 176 hours in P-47 aircraft. He never left the Air Force, serving a full 31-year career, flying missions in support of Korean forces and gunship strike missions in Vietnam. Mal was particularly proud of several tours in Latin America training allied air forces in Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Argentina and Boliva. In 1956 he led search and rescue operations for missionaries missing in Ecuador, ultimately discovering they had been killed trying to spread the gospel to the Waorani people, a story covered by Life magazine.
Colonel Nurnberg had his first airplane flight at the age of seven years in a World War I Curtis J-N4 (Jenny) trainer hi-plane flown by a Barnstorming pilot at Stone Harbor, N.J. ($5.00 for a 10 minute flight) The thrill and excitement he felt that day never left him and he delighted in flying and flying different aircraft. At one point while flight testing aircraft after maintenance repair he was current in ten different aircraft. Colonel Nurnberg logged over 7,000 flight hours in sixty (60) different aircraft. He flew combat missions in World War II and Viet Nam and combat support missions during the Korean Police action.
Mal retired from the Air Force in 1973, a command pilot in the grade of colonel. His many U.S. military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit; Bronze Star; Air Medal with Oak Leaf cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters; Air Force Commendation Medal; United Nations Korea Service Medal; U.S. National Defense Medal with One Bronze Service Star; American Theater Campaign Medal; European, African, Middle East Campaign Medal; WW II Victory Medal; and Korean Service Medal.
Foreign awards and decorations include the Air Force Cross from Guatemala; the Condor of the Andes from Bolivia; the Medalla de Aprecio from Argentina ; and the Air Service Medal along with the Combat and Service Medal from the Republic of Vietnam. He was awarded pilot wings from Peru; senior pilot wings from Ecuador; command pilot wings from Bolivia; command pilot wings from Guatemala and command pilot wings from Republic of Viet Nam.
He is survived by sons Ronald (Karen), Gary, and David who live in Colorado. Grandson Morgan lives in Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, son Malcolm "Scott" Jr., and daughter Nancy.
His Memorial service will be held at the Shrine of Remembrance on 8 November 2013 at 10:00 am.
He will be laid to rest at Fort Logan Cemetery with his wife and daughter.
Published in The Gazette on Nov. 3, 2013