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Fort Benning in Russell County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Fryar Field

 
 
Fryar Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 3, 2008
1. Fryar Field Marker
Inscription.  
Named in honor of
Pvt Elmer E. Fryar
Congressional Medal of Honor
511th Parachute Infantry Regiment
United States Army

 
Erected by United States Army.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients series list.
 
Location. 32° 16.343′ N, 84° 57.068′ W. Marker is in Fort Benning, Alabama, in Russell County. Marker can be reached from 101st Airborne Division Road, on the right when traveling south. Signs along 101st Airborne Division Road provide directions to Fryar Field drop zone. Although Fort Benning is primarily in Muscogee and Talbot Counties, Georgia, Fryar Field is located in Alabama. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Mitchell AL 36856, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bartram's Trail (approx. 3.1 miles away); Spanish Fort, 1689-1691 (approx. 4.8 miles away); 505th Parachute Infantry (approx. 5.8 miles away in Georgia);
Fryar Field Drop Zone and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 3, 2008
2. Fryar Field Drop Zone and Marker
Marker is near the flagpole.
General George C. Marshall House (approx. 5.9 miles away in Georgia); Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church / Macedonia School (approx. 6.2 miles away); China Gate (approx. 6.3 miles away in Georgia); The Lafayette Monument (approx. 6.3 miles away in Georgia); The Infantry Board (approx. 6.4 miles away in Georgia). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Benning.
 
Regarding Fryar Field. Private Elmer E. Fryar was born in Denver, Colorado. He served in Company E, 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, United States Army. Fryar was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions against the Japanese on Leyte Island in the Philippines on 8 December 1944.

Pvt Fryar exposed himself to the direct fire of an enemy machine gun during an early morning Japanese banzai attack; then, under heavy enemy fire, recovered a wounded Sergeant outside the perimeter; and later in the day purposely stepped in front of his platoon leader and took a fatal burst of automatic fire in his chest from a sniper whom he spotted at the last minute. The posthumous Medal of Honor was the first award to an individual from the
Private Elmer E. Fryar image. Click for full size.
Official US Army Photograph
3. Private Elmer E. Fryar
11th Airborne Division. Private Fryar's Medal of Honor Citation is included below.

Private Fryar's body was never recovered after the battle. His name is listed on the Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery, the Philippines.

The first Medal of Honor awarded by President Harry Truman was presented to Private Fryar's parents during a May 1945 ceremony in Denver, Colorado.
 
Also see . . .  Private Fryar's Medal of Honor being presented to his parents. Beginning at 5:31 in this archival newsreel film, Private Fryar's Medal of Honor is presented to his parents.
"To the parents of Private Fryar, nothing can replace their son. But he lives forever in his country's heart." (Submitted on October 8, 2008.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Medal of Honor Citation
The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to:
Fryar, Elmer E.

Rank and organization: Private, U .S. Army, Company E, 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division. Place and date: Leyte, Philippine Islands, 8 December 1944. Entered service at: Denver, Colo. Birth: Denver, Colo. G.O. No.: 35, 9 May 1945.

Citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the
Fryar Field Welcome Sign image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., July 3, 2008
4. Fryar Field Welcome Sign
call of duty. Pvt. Fryar's battalion encountered the enemy strongly entrenched in a position supported by mortars and automatic weapons. The battalion attacked, but in spite of repeated efforts was unable to take the position. Pvt. Fryar's company was ordered to cover the battalion's withdrawal to a more suitable point from which to attack, but the enemy launched a strong counterattack which threatened to cut off the company. Seeing an enemy platoon moving to outflank his company, he moved to higher ground and opened heavy and accurate fire. He was hit, and wounded, but continuing his attack he drove the enemy back with a loss of 27 killed. While withdrawing to overtake his squad, 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 and killed 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
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giving his own life for his comrade in arms exemplifies the highest tradition of the U.S. Armed Forces.
    — Submitted October 8, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

2. Fryar Drop Zone
Fryar Drop Zone (or DZ) is used by the United States Army Airborne School for training parachute jumps. During the final week of the school, known as "jump week," all students must make five parachute jumps from a cargo aircraft onto Fryar DZ. Three of these jumps are made with only duty uniform, parachute, and reserve, commonly known as "Hollywood" jumps. The other two are made with full combat gear, to include backpack and dummy weapon, commonly known as "Combat" jumps. Usually one of the jumps is made at night. These first five jumps become somewhat a right of passage for military personnel, particularly in the Army.
    — Submitted October 8, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 8,310 times since then and 37 times this year. Last updated on October 20, 2012, by R Wilson of Hoover, Alabama. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 6, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   3. submitted on October 8, 2008.   4. submitted on October 6, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A clear daylight photo of the marker as well as a wide-view shot of the marker in context. • Can you help?
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Feb. 27, 2021