Fred C. Graesslin
Photo Courtesy of Bob Graesslin, Fred's brother
graduated Janesville High School class of 1943. At the June commencement
exercises he was awarded two scholarships - Hi-Y and Milton. He
was an outstanding member of the all Janesville High School sport
aggregations known for his aggressive leadership. In his last
season of football in 1942, although carrying a knee injury during
the last part of the season, he figured in the most important
games and was a constant threat to his opponents because of his
accurate passes - and his leadership. With "Fritz" as
the spark plug the 42 Football team tied with Kenosha for the
Big Eight championship. While listed as a reserve on the Bluebird
basketball team, Graesslin was elected captain for the all-important
Beloit game, which was won by Janesville to keep a clean record
of continuous wins against Beloit during his sports career at
Janesville High School.
lived just down the block from the Robert Kasmarek, father of
James Kasmarek, who has provided the newspaper articles and regarding
F/O Graesslin and MACR # 14511 for the Kobler Crew). Fritz and
Robert spent a lot of time together; they were the best of friends.
In the team pictures from football and basketball, Fritz and Robert
are almost always side-by-side.
into the service Army Air Corps 23 July 1943. Graesslin took training
at three Texas camps, two in Nebraska, at Clovis, New Mexico,
radar work in Victorville California, University of Toledo, Toledo
Ohio and Miami Beach, Florida. He received the silver wings of
Flight Officer in November 1944 at Hondo Field, Texas. Leaving
California May 4, 1945, he crossed the International Date Line
May 7, on his 20th birthday.
Hanewall, a close friend, had made plans to meet Graesslin on
27 May. When he went to the North Field for their dinner date
he found that Fred and his crew hadn't returned according to the
Officer in charge of Graesslin's Quonset hut. Hanwell and Graesslin
were both from Janesville and after each entering in the service
they met in Hawaii and again on Guam.
had a sister named Phyllis and a younger brother named Bob.
to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, MO. records -
Fritz and 9 other members of his crew were buried on 23 March 1950.
Fritz's grave is in Sec 78 Grave 78 0 978-980.