Private Stanley Mellish
Nickname(s) Fish (by Caparzo)
Rank Private
Affiliations United States Army 2nd Rangers Battalion, Company C
Birth Yonkers, New York City, 1916 (Based on actor's age).
Death June 13, 1944
Weapon M1 Garand Rifle

Private Stanley "Fish" Mellish was a supporting character in the film, Saving Private Ryan. He was a Jewish-American soldier, and a member of Miller's Squad during the later stages of World War Two. He had a strong dislike for the Nazis due to their public persecution and slaughter of his fellow Jews.


Early life

Mellish was born sometime around 1916, to Jewish parents, in Yonkers, New York. He eventually joined the Army around 1943, and was assigned as a ranger to C Company, 2nd Ranger Battalion, as a Machine Gunner.


He trained at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, which was where the 2nd Rangers were developed. There, he became friends with Private Adrian Caparzo, who nicknamed him "Fish". He was eventually sent to Europe, where they prepared to attack Normandy, France.

He and the 2nd Rangers landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. His LCA recieved a burst of MG-42 fire, which forced him and the other survivors to go over the side. He eventually reached a small hill of shingle, along with Caparzo, and PFC Reiben. He helped Medic Wade to the hill as well. After blowing through the shingle, he and a group of Rangers breached the sea wall after taking out a machine gun position, and a pillbox. Shortly at the battle's end, Mellish is handed a Hitler Youth Knife by Caparzo. He jokes that it's a "Shabbat challah cutter", but then starts sobbing, most likely from the stress of battle.

Later, on June 9, he was selected to be part of Captain John H. Miller's squad, which was tasked with rescuing a Private James Francis Ryan, who lost his brothers, and got a ticket home. He was seen to be very harsh towards Corporal Timothy E. Upham, an interpreter from the 29th Infantry assigned to Miller's squad. He once snapped, "You want your head blown off you fancy little fuck?" for saying hi.

While searching the town of Neuville, his best friend, Private Adrian Caparzo, is the first squad member killed after being fatally wounded by a German sniper, something that deeply impacts Mellish. Later on, he is seen taunting German P.O.W.'s, exclaiming to them that he is a Jewish soldier. He is then seen searching though some Dog tags, with Privates Reiben and Jackson to see if Ryan would be in them, and started gambling about who would fine him first, till Wade takes them all, exclaiming "The whole goddamn Airborne is watching", referring to the group of tired Paratroopers eyeing them as they insensitively handle the dog tags of their dead comrades.

After the squad finds Ryan, he chooses to stay, rather than leave, so they decide to defend the town of Ramelle. Mellish is chosen to serve as Corporal Henderson's assistant gunner, and set up a .30 caliber machine gun near some rubble. After setting up the defences, he appears to take a more of a liking to Upham, as he helps him with some .30 caliber ammo, and jokes with him about the expression, "FUBAR".

During the Battle of Ramelle, he and Henderson kill a few Germans with their gun, before moving to a building with a hole in the room to fire their gun. They eventually run out of ammo, and are forced to fend off with their regular weapons. They both toss back a few grenades thrown at them, and continue to kill some Germans, when Mellish's M1 jams. They then hear footsteps coming. Henderson fires his weapon through the wall, killing one man, when a burst of German fire shoots through the room, fatally wounding Henderson. Mellish unjams his rifle, and kills the German who killed Henderson, but runs out of ammo, and is forced to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the last Waffen SS Soldier. He is eventually killed after a violent fight with the soldier, who stabs him in the chest with his own bayonet.


Mellish is a happy-go-lucky Jewish soldier, who jokes frequently. He also has an apparent hatred for the Nazis for exterminating his fellow Jews as shown when he taunts some Germans prisoners about being "Juden", and when he yelled "Your father was circumcised by my rabbi you prick!" at a German on a bullhorn.


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