FRED G. HUDGEONS
Patriot, Chapter 1919
was born in
in 1944. In 1957 his family moved to
and Fred went through Junior High School there. They moved again, to
and he was in High School there when
celebrated the 350th anniversary of its establishment as a “villa” by
Spanish officials in 1610 (making
the “oldest capital city” in
Part of that celebration
included a company of paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division jumping
in at the local airport.
Fred was there and he was
impressed. Later he got his parents to sign a consent form so he could
enlist in the Army.
He signed up, unit of choice,
101st Airborne Division.
seventeen when he took the oath in Albuquerque
and entered active duty on November 30, 1961, he would finish his high
school education later by GED.
He completed Basic and
Infantry Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Ord,
California in April 1962 and was sent
to Fort Benning,
for Airborne training. After earning his “jump wings,” Fred arrived at
home of the 101st Airborne in June 1962 and was further assigned to Company
B, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry in 2nd Brigade.
Only eight weeks into his airborne career, he
sustained injuries to his left leg during a tactical training jump that took
him off parachute status permanently.
He was soon put on orders for
had joined the Army to be in the paratroopers
and he went through the training and did everything necessary to qualify.
That goal was cut short only two months into his first and what would be his
only airborne assignment. But, Fred soldiered on in an Army career for the
next 24 years in peacetime and combat assignments that took him all over the
Here is a brief look at that
those unit assignments and places.
He served a 13 month tour in
Korea in 2nd Battle Group,
32nd Infantry, 7th Infantry Division, then returned to the
United States in 1963,
assigned to the 2nd Armored Division at
Fort Hood, Texas.
He arrived just in time to go with the 2nd
Battalion, 41st Infantry when the entire division deployed to
Germany on Operation “Big
Lift,” an early version of what later became the “Reforger” annual training
exercises in Europe.
Soon after their return to Fort
Hood, In December 1963, Fred
He was with the Trainfire Committee there, during
the early years of difficulties with the Trainfire system, until receiving
an assignment to
Hawaii in 1965.
Shortly after arrival in his new home at Schofield
Barracks with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry
Division, he was sent on a 90 day TDY training mission to Vietnam.
He arrived back from temporary duty only to go back
again, that time for good, as the entire division deployed to CU CHI in
He was wounded by a sniper February 2, 1966, only a few days
after arrival. He was shot through both feet, the bullet going through his
left ankle and across the bones in his right ankle.
With massive damage to his left ankle, Fred was
medevac’d to Fitzsimmons
He says, “I couldn’t do anything but crawl at
first. I had to learn how to walk all over again, and I was in Fitzsimmons
for a full year. Then I had to fight to avoid being medically retired. The
medical board agreed to let me out on a limited duty profile, but only close
to the hospital where it would be easy for them to call me back for
reevaluation. So, I trained AIT’s at Fort
Carson until 1968 and
then received orders for
Europe to the Berlin Command, despite
the fact that I was still on Temporary Profile. In fact I remained on
Temporary Profile for a number of years.”
Fred arrived in his assignment to the 1st
Battalion, 6th Infantry of the Berlin Brigade, but after being there only
about three months all the medical profiles, he among them, were screened
out and reassigned elsewhere in United States Army Europe (USAREUR). Fred
was sent to Aschaffenburg and the
1st Battalion, 4th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.
Describing it today, Fred says, “Aschaffenburg
was a good assignment, but the next year, 1969, I volunteered for an
inter-theatre transfer to go back to
I was assigned to the 1st Logistics Command
and sent to the Long Binh Depot where I became the ranking NCO for the
Depot’s Open Storage. That was the Army’s biggest Open Storage Area anywhere
in the world at that time and I was supervisor of the work force of 97
military and 63 Vietnamese civilian employees. In early 1970, March or
April, I don’t recall the date, it was during the night and I was in the
barracks when we came under attack with mortar rounds being fired into our
I was hit in the left leg by shrapnel and was
quickly treated in the hospital there at Long Binh. It was a substantial
wound that has left me with a ten inch scar, but I refused to stay in the
hospital, I didn’t intend to go through that again. I went back to my unit
the next day and resumed my duties, hobbling around on crutches for about
eight or nine weeks. When my tour was up in 1970, I rotated home to
Fred was a Platoon Sergeant
in the 620th Supply Depot at Fort
Carson until 1975, then was sent to
to the Artic Test Center of Materiel Readiness Command.
In 1977 he was assigned to
Kentucky working in the 101st Airborne
Division’s Materiel Management Center (DMMC) and he went with them on two
deployments to Europe for “Reforger” exercises, and once to Panama
on TDY, training the units there. In 1979, Fred received orders back to
He was part of the 1st
Infantry Division’s “overrep group” stationed near
there he met SGT Laurie Anne Yahne, and they were married in
during that overseas tour. In 1981 they returned to the United States
where Fred was assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas and the Office of the
Post Commander, 5th Army Honor Guard.
from the Army in
on March 31, 1985 and immediately moved to the Austin
area to begin work at his second career as construction supervisor with
MARCAM Contracting, where he remained employed at this writing some 25 years
He joined the Military Order of
the Purple Heart as soon as he discovered our local area chapter, and served
as Commander of Chapter 1919 in 2012-2013 until illness prevented his
This month PATRIOT BULLETIN proudly salutes
Patriot Fred G. Hudgeons.
Fred Hudgeons passed away on December 15, 2015
and is survived by his wife Laurie Anne.