Americans in Wartime Experience

John Fry

World War II

John N. Fry- US Army- World War II

Although born in Oklahoma, John Fry spent most of his youth in Gainesville, Texas. Inspired by his father’s experiences in the Navy during World War I, John desired an opportunity to serve his country in the military. At the age of 15, John was filled with a sense of patriotism and duty after the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. His opportunity presented itself after he graduated high school in the summer of 1943.

Scoring extremely high during his enlistment testing, John qualified for a commissioning program which included a four-year engineering degree. After completing boot camp at Fort Hood, John began his education at Ohio State University. Only a year into the program, it was canceled due to manpower shortages in the field. By October of 1944, John transferred to the French/Italian border with the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion which was subordinate to the 14th Armored Division.

His unit’s first assignment was to relieve an airborne unit that held a defensive position on the border area. Their time at that location was relatively quiet and uneventful. After a short period, John’s unit was relieved by the famous 442nd Infantry Regiment. John was reassigned to Patton’s 3rd Army and positioned at Alsace-Lorraine and took part in the advance into Germany. John was wounded twice, with the second requiring medical evacuation. By the time he was fit for full duty and able to reunite with his unit, it was the beginning of May 1945 and the war was over.

The war ended on the 8th of May 1945. Despite this, he would not return home until the beginning of 1946. He separated from the Army, decorated with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. John returned to college, eventually receiving his doctorate.Bio prepared by Shannon P. Reck, MMH

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The Americans in Wartime Experience explores the impact of war and conflict on America since WWI. It honors those who served in the military and on the home front and highlights the values they demonstrated in serving – duty, honor, and courage. It examines how periods of conflict have profoundly shaped American society. It educates visitors about the costs of war, both on a personal and social level. It challenges visitors to remember the service and sacrifices made by their fellow citizens to preserve and defend our freedoms. LEARN MORE

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