STAFF SERGEANT ELMER LESTER FREDERICK; U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE

December 1, 1920 (Norwalk, CT) – June 22, 1943; 22 years old
Unmarried; engaged to Catherine Nolan when he was killed
Last local address: 198 Lakeview Drive, Norwalk
Enlisted May 12, 1942
Service number: 11066576
Unit: 91st Bomber Group, 324th Bomber Squadron

Born to William (1881-1950) and Lillian Hall Frederick (1888-1964). Five sisters, Adelaide Frederick Ferris (1916-1999), Dorothy (1919-1958), Lillian (1923-1998), Muriel (1924-2004), and Martha (1931-2019). Two brothers, William (1914-2005), Robert (1928-1988).

He was awarded the Air Medal four times and the Purple Heart Medal.

Officially listed as “Finding of Death.”


Norwalk Hour January 14, 1943

From The Norwalk Hour December 22, 1936

HONOR MEDAL MAY GO TO LIFE SAVING SCOUTS
Troop 27 Boys Rescued Lad From Drowning in Bishop Mill Pond; Other Scout Awards

Scouts Lester Whone, Stanley Ferris and Elmer Frederick of Troop 27 appeared before the Court of Honor held at the YMCA last night with an application for the Honor Medal. These scouts saved the life of Jack Halloway on May 26, 1936, from drowning in the Bishop Mill Pond. The Court of Honor accepted the application and it will be forwarded to the national office for review.


From The Norwalk Hour January 14, 1943

Sergeant Elmer “Buddy” Frederick left yesterday to return to Salina, Kansas, after spending a short furlough with his mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick of Lakeview Drive. Sergeant Frederick entered the U.S. Army Air Corps on May 12, 1942, and after a week at Fort Devens, he was transferred to Miami Beach, Florida, to receive his basic training. At Panama City and Tyndall Field, Florida, he studied aerial gunnery and was sent to Brockley Field, Alabama to study engineering. Sergeant Frederick continued his study of engineering at Hendricks Field, Florida; Gowen Field, Idaho; Biggs Field, El Paso Texas; Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota. His training consisted of link and bomb training and radio, and received his flying instructions at Rapid City, South Dakota. He is now first engineer on a bomber.


From The Norwalk Hour June 30, 1943

NORWALK FLIER WAR CASUALTY
Sgt Elmer “Buddy” Frederick Missing, Family is Notified; Probably Prisoner

Staff Sergeant Elmer L. “Buddy” Frederick, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick of Lakeview Drive, was reported as “missing in action” according to a telegram received by his parents last night from the War Department. Sergeant Frederick was reported missing since June 22, the day in which his picture appeared in The Norwalk Hour weawring the new armor suit adopted for use by airmen in the heavy bombers. The local youth, a former member of Troop 27, Boy Scouts of America, entered the U.S. Army on May 12, 1942. He trained at Fort Devens, Massachusetts; Panama City and Tyndall Field, Florida, Brookley Field, Alabama; Hendricks Field, Florida; Gowen Field, Idaho; El Paso, Texas; Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota. His studies included aerial gunnery, engineering, bombing and radio work. He was rated first engineer on a bomber. Sergeant Frederick had been in England since February. On June 5, his parents received a letter telling of receiving two Air Medals for “achievement in air action.” There was no detail about the deeds that led to the honors. It is believed that Sergeant Frederick was a member of the crew of a Flying Fortress which took part in one of the mass raids on Germany on June 22. As in most cases of missing airmen, Sergeant Frederick is believed to be a prisoner of Germany. His parents are awaiting further information from the War Department.


From The Norwalk Hour December 15, 1943

RECEIVE MEDALS ON BEHALF OF SON
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Frederick Get Honors for Staff Sergeant Missing In Action

Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick of Lakeview Drive, at ceremonies held locally at Bradley Field in Connecticut, were presented with an Air Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, on behalf of their son, Staff Sergeant Elmer L. “Buddy” Frederick who has been missing in action since last June 22. The presentation was made by Major Charles L. Wright, operations officer and the citations were read by First Lieutenant Richard L. Alphin, assistant public relations officer. The local youth, a former member of Troop 27, Boy Scouts of America, entered the U.S. Army on May 12, 1942. He trained at Fort Devens, Massachusetts; Panama City and Tyndall Field, Florida; Brookley Field, Alabama; Hendricks Field, Florida; Gowen Field, Idaho; El Paso, Texas; Rapid City and Pierre, South Dakota. His studies included aerial gunnery, engineering, bombing and radio work. He was rated first engineer on a bomber. Sergeant Frederick had been in England since February. It is believed that Sergeant Frederick was a member of the crew of a Flying Fortress which took part in one of the mass raids on German y on June 22. Sergeant Frederick’s citations follow:

30 May 1943 – Awards of Air Medal. Citation: For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in five separate bomber combat missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by these officers and enlisted men upon these occasions reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States.

4 June 1943 – Awards of Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal. Citation: For meritorious achievement of the destruction of one enemy airplane while serving as crewman on a bombardment mission over enemy occupied Continental Europe. The courage, coolness and skill displayed by these officers and enlisted men upon these occasions reflect great credit upon themselves and the Armed Forces of the United States.

5 June 1943 – Awards of Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal. Citation: For meritorious achievement of the destruction of one enemy airplane while serving as a crewman on a bombardment mission over enemy occupied Europe.

27 June, 1943 – Awards of Oak Leaf Cluster to Air Medal. Citation: For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in five separate bomber missions over enemy occupied Continental Europe.

From unknown newspaper courtesy of Riverside Cemetery

SGT FREDERICK RITES FRIDAY 2 P.M.

Funeral services for Sergeant Elmer L. Frederick, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick of Forbell Manor, who was killed in action June 22, 1943 over Hul, Germany, and whose body arrives in Norwalk at noon on Thursday, will be held in his late home Friday at 2 P.M. Reverend Harold E. Martin, pastor of the First Congregational Church on the Green, will officiate. Interment will take place in Riverside Cemetery. The deceased will be accorded full military honors. Members of the Mulvoy-Tarlov-Aquino Post VFW and Frank C. Godfrey Post, American Legion, will conduct services Thursday at 7:30 P.M. Friends may call at the late home Thursday after 2 P.M.


From airnoseart.blogspot.com

Boeing B-17F-75, s/n 42-29921, “Oklahoma Okie”, 324th Bombardment Squadron, 91st Bombardment Group, Bassingbourne, England. 16 June 1943
Crew members, left to right
1st Lt James Lundy – bombardier
SSgt Elmer L. Frederick – waist gunner
Lt Winfield Scovell – navigator

Elmer served as a Waist Gunner on B-17 #42-29998, 324th Bomber Squadron, 91st Bomber Group, U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. B-17 #42-29998 took off, with a crew of 10, from England on a bombing mission over a synthetic rubber plant in Huls, Germany. Over the target they were attacked by German fighter aircraft and shot down. Eight members of the crew were killed and 2 became POW’s of the German Army.


Names of Crew Killed In Action
Pilot: Joe Slattery
Navigator: Julius Ziegelmeyer
Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Dickson
Radio Operator: Glenn MacDonald
Ball turret gunner: Eldridge Hulet
Waist gunner: Dave Fishburn
Waist gunner: Elmer Frederick
Tail gunner: Ed Simon

Survivors
Co-pilot: Walter Brass (survived, POW)
Bombardier: Bob Brubaker (survived, POW)


Buried in Riverside Cemetery, 81 Riverside Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut; Section 11, Plot 153

Photo pending


END

Published by jeffd1121

USAF retiree. Veteran advocate. Committed to telling the stories of those who died while in the service of the country during wartime.

10 thoughts on “STAFF SERGEANT ELMER LESTER FREDERICK; U.S. ARMY AIR FORCE

  1. My Mom Catherine Nolan was Elmer’s fiancee at the time. I have always wanted to know what he looked like. Thank you so much for providing some information. I wonder if there are still relatives in Norwalk who would have photos of him.

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  2. Hello Carole. I’m sorry I missed your comment on Memorial Day. I updated Elmer’s page to include the engagement and Catherine’s name. I’d like to hear more about her. A search on ancestry.com led to many Catherine Nolan’s born around the same time as Elmer. Her date of birth will help me narrow the search. Thanks for your contribution. I will pursue relatives in Norwalk also!

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    1. Hello Jeff
      I just read today your comment. I always wanted to know what Buddy looked like. My Mom passed in 2001 at the age of 80. She was born in Port Jervis,NY and raised in Bridgeport, Ct, on October 19, 1021. I am trying to get a better photo of Buddy. The paper that originally posted the photo in 1943 did not have archives that go back that far and suggested I contact the library. I’m sure there are quite a few Frederick’s still in Norwalk. Would love to know what high school he attended, perhaps I could find a photo. If you have any incite as to where I should look I would appreciate.

      Thank you so much for the work that you do. It’s nice to know they are never forgotten.

      God Bless
      Carole

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  3. I don’t know the section but there is a wooden American flag right behind his stone. Go in the cemetery entrance go right and it’s about 50 yards on the left side of the road.

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    1. I contacted the cemetery and was provided an Interment Card and a newspaper clipping about the service and burial. I have updated Sgt Frederick’s web page with the new information. If you would like any of the source material, e-mail me at mvlc@norwalkct.org. I would be happy to share it. In addition, if the family has anything they would like to add, please feel free to send it to that same e-mail address and I will make it a part of his web page and credit the source. Thank you.

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