|Maurice “Murray” Band|
Maurice "Murray" Band was born in Claremont, New Hampshire, to a family of Russian immigrants. In his youth he was a member of the Labor Zionist Movement. During World War II he served for three years in the U.S. Army, and saw combat in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
He graduated from Northeastern University in 1947, and was living in Malden in March 1948 when he volunteered for Machal. He was amongst the earliest Machal volunteers to arrive, even before Israel's statehood was declared, and joined the Haganah. With the formation of the IDF he served in the Givati 51st Battalion, and later in the Air Force. His Givati unit confronted the Egyptian drive on Tel Aviv in June 1948. He was severely wounded in an explosion during the war, and returned to the U.S. in October 1949.
Maurice Band wrote about his Machal experience: "We were the first Americans to arrive in Israel as volunteers. The excitement of the Israelis was fantastic. Volunteers were instrumental in helping the Israelis win... I enjoyed a great sense of satisfaction and have always thought a little differently since then."
Maurice was a member of the delegation that received Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion during his visit to Boston in 1951.
Source: American Veterans of Israel Newsletter Spring 2014