Fort Benning in Russell County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Pvt Elmer E. Fryar
Congressional Medal of Honor
511th Parachute Infantry Regiment
United States Army
Erected by United States Army.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Medal of Honor Recipients marker series.
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. Touch for map. 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. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Mitchell AL 36856, United States of America.
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 miles away); Spanish Fort, 1689-1691 (approx. 4.8 miles away); 505th Parachute Infantry (approx. 5.8 miles away in Georgia); General George C. Marshall House (approx. 5.9 miles away in Georgia); Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church /Macedonia School 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 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
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 . . .
1. Airborne Forces at War: From Parachute Test Platoon to the 21st Century. Page 99 of this book, by John T. Greenwood, Robert K. Wright, and the Association of the United States Army (published by Naval Institute Press, 2007) briefly mentions Private Fryar. (Submitted on October 8, 2008.)
2. 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.)
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:
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.
For conspicuous gallantry
— 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.
Categories. • Notable Persons • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 6, 2008, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 7,737 times since then and 80 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.