Fred Dees, Pilot
|Lt. Fred Dees, Jr., was
killed in a training
flight on November 16, 1942, flying from Page Field, Ft. Myers, Fl.
There were several close friends that went on through the war, and I think
one of them must have named the plane. One of Uncle Fred's closest friends
was Lt. Melvin Clanton, who kept in contact with Uncle Fred's
mother after the war, but I never heard anything about the naming of the
plane, so I am only guessing as to how the plane was named. Uncle Fred had
just been picked to be complete another flight crew just prior to the
crash and was acting as a co-pilot that day. The pilot, Lt. Donald Vail
and Uncle Fred's bodies were recovered a couple of days later with their
parachutes deployed, so they did leave the plane prior to the crash. The
other four crew members were never found and they were, Louis P. Miles,
Richard Treat, Milton H. Newton, and
William G. Kittiko.
Their plane was recently found in the Gulf and the story was in the Ft. Myers newspaper this summer. Parts of the plane I believe will be recovered and placed in the Ft. Myers museum.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has any knowledge of my Uncle Fred and the B-26, the Freddie Dees. It would be a nice to know that Uncle Fred did see combat, albeit as a name on the side of a plane. And also that someone who knew him, thought enough of him, and honored him by taking him to the war he worked so hard to be a part of, and contribute to the victory.
Fred J. Dees