Date of Interview
Don Frederick was born 1 January 1923 in Albert Lea, Minnesota; he spent his youth there before his family relocated to the Twin Cities when he was fifteen. Don enlisted in the National Guard in August 1939, during high school. This National Guard was federalized into the US Army in 1941, prior to the US entering the war, and was part of the Army's 34th Infantry Division. Don served as a platoon leader. In the aftermath of the 1943 Allied invasion of Italy, Don was taken prisoner on 4 November 1943 near the small town of Venafro. After transport to Germany in a boxcar, Don spent the next seventeen months at several camps: III-A Luckenwalde; Oflag 64; and XIII-C Hammelburg. He was actually liberated from XIII-C during a US Army action known as the Hamelburg Raid, but the Raid failed and Don was among those POWs recaptured by the Germans. He was then sent to VII-A Moosburg, in Bavaria, where he was liberated on 29 April 1945. Don was returned to the United States and discharged in late 1945. Again a civilian, Don was married in 1946 (wife Carolyn) and raised three children. He had a career in the hardware business in Minnesota and Iowa, as a salesman and a hardware store owner.
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Saylor, Thomas, "Oral History Project World War II Years, 1941-1946 - Don Frederick" (2005). Oral History Project: World War II Years, 1941-1946. 23.