Pvt ELMER E. FRYAR
Co E, 511th Parachute Infantry
11th Airborne Division
Leyte, Philippine Islands
8 December 1944
Pvt. Fryar’s battalion encountered the enemy in a position supported by mortars and automatic weapons. In spite of repeated efforts, the Americans were unable to take the position.
Pvt. Fryar’s company was ordered to cover the battalion’s withdrawal, but the enemy launched a strong counterattack. Seeing an enemy platoon moving to outflank his company, Fryar moved to higher ground and delivered heavy and accurate fire.
Pvt. Fryar was hit, and wounded, but continued his attack driving the enemy back killing 27. While withdrawing he found a seriously wounded comrade, helped him to the rear, and soon overtook his platoon leader, who was assisting another wounded.
While these 4 were moving to rejoin their platoon, an enemy sniper appeared and aimed his weapon at the platoon leader. Pvt. Fryar instantly sprang forward, received the full burst of automatic fire in his own body and fell mortally wounded.
With his remaining strength, he threw a hand grenade killing the sniper. Pvt. Fryar’s indomitable fighting spirit and extraordinary gallantry above and beyond the call of duty contributed outstandingly to the success of the battalion’s withdrawal and its subsequent attack and defeat of the enemy. His heroic action in unhesitatingly giving his own life for his comrade in arms exemplifies the highest tradition of the U.S. Armed Forces.
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My father was HQ Co./187th/11th Airborne Division from when it was formed at Camp MacKall, in Feb, 1943 until 1946.
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