Frederick J. Frey of Montgomery, Alabama, on October 10th, 1943 held the rank of 2nd Lt. and was Co-Pilot on a B-17 (Flying Fortress) assigned to the 96th Bomb Group, 338th Squadron, 3rd Bomber Division, 8th Air Force. The plane was shot down over Munster, Germany. (He was 23 years old). The plane was hit by ground fire, knocking out the number two engine, and then attacked by fighters after dropping out of formation. Lt. Frey bailed out of the burning aircraft at 23,000 feet and was captured on landing. He was taken to the hospital at the fighter air drome and treated for shock, shell fragments in the left thigh, and facial burns. Later he was sent to the Dulag interrogation center at Frankfurt.
Lt. Frey was then sent to Stalag Luft lll, Sagan, Germany in the forty and eight rail cars, which took three days and two nights, packed like sardines.
Sixteen months later on January 25th the camp was ordered out on forced march, in one of the worst winters to hit Europe in fifty years, bound for Stammlager VllA, Moosburg, Germany. The camp was liberated by Gen. Patton's 3rd Army, 14th Armored Division on April 29th, 1945.
After the war Fred attended Stevens Institute of Technology, then went to work for Security Steel for fifteen and a half years, becoming Plant Mgr. He also held positions at Interroyal Corporation as Director of R&D for fourteen years, and VP of Operations at Universal Nolin for ten years. He retired from the Air Force Reserve in April 1963 as as Lt. Col.
Fred received numerous medals and ribbons during his service, among which are the Purple Heart, Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, POW Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Pre-Pearl Harbor, ETO medal with Bronze Star, American Defense, WWII Victory Medal, Reserve Officers Medal.
Fred Frey's message to future generations is, to always remember, Liberty and Freedom were not given freely. They were won on the fields of battle, and will take work and self sacrifice to maintain.