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Veteran Profiles

E-4 Fred Leroy Hawk

August 10, 1943 Clarence Earl and Ruth Elizabeth (Bollinger) Hawk were blessed with a son born at Annie M Warner Hospital at Gettysburg, Pa. and they named him Fred. Fred grew up with three brothers ( Clarence Jr., Bill and Wayne ) and one sister ( Jane ). The family grew up at their home on the Taneytown Road east of Emmitsburg, Md. Fred had a normal childhood playing games and ball with his siblings. Fred also liked to take long bicycle rides, hunt, fish, and swim and play in the water of the Monocacy River because it was very near his home. Fred worked on several farms in the area while growing up and continued while attending school in Emmitsburg. Fred liked attending school and excelled in sports and academics. He graduated from Emmitsburg High School in 1961. Fred didn't waste time and so he went to work for Endicott Johnson in Westminster Md. selling shoes and in less than a year he was promoted to manager of that store. He was looking to advance in the company so when they offered him a job as manager of their store in Palmyra, Pa. Fred took the job. Fred stayed with them until 1963 and decided to enlist in the US AIR FORCE before he was drafted into the Army.

Fred reported to Lack land Air Force base for basic training and went through an eight week course in five weeks. He then went to Amarillo Texas for tech school and when he graduated Fred got his orders to report for duty in Alaska. Fred crossed the Arctic Circle on a Wien Alaska Airlines plane September 12, 1963 and landed at Fort Yukon Alaska NORAD Air Command base station which is located eight miles above the Arctic Circle. There was two radar domes in the camp and the specialist would sit in those domes and could pick up any take offs or landings anywhere in Russia. Fort Yukon had a team of husky sled dogs that Fred was sure could easily win sled races except for the fact they were being fed Air Force food from the chow hall by Fred and his buddies and they were more like pets than sled dogs and they would anxiously await at each meal time because they knew they were getting a treat. Fred said they were wonderful dogs but they were only used to bring officials from the airport to the camp. The officials enjoyed the sled rides and had something to talk about when they got home. When it snowed there it stayed on the ground all winter because the temperature there in the winter was way below zero in fact sometimes seventy degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit thermometer. The barracks were all connected so no one had to go outside to get from one building to another. Fred was an administration specialist and part of his job was going to the post office daily for the camps mail.

The post office was located away from the base so Fred would go to the motor pool which was also connected to all the other buildings and use a half track to go to the post office. The only time he was in the severe cold was from the half track to the post office and back again to the half track. When spring came all the ice and snow would melt and flood the streets and the only way to get around was by boat. The temperature would get as high as one hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and is considered the coldest and hottest place in Alaska. Fred and his buddies would go fishing wearing shorts and no shirt it was so warm. They would catch northern pike so big they would hold them at their waist and the tails would curl on the ground. The Indians traded salmon for the pike and Fred said he got the best part of the deal. Fred was amazed how visible the Northern Lights were there and how close they appeared to be. USO Shows were performed for the men stationed at Fort Yukon and Fred enjoyed the singing and dancing performances very much. Fred was transferred after a year in the Arctic circle to france where he got to see the eiffel tower and several other landmarks of France. He was then sent to England and then back to France again. Fred, after four years of service was sent back to the United States and was honorably discharged in 1967 at Fort Dix New Jersey.

Fred was not ready to relax yet because on return home he went and put two applications in, one at Black and Decker in Hampstead Md. and one at Random House in Westminster, Md. Random House called him first and he went for an interview and was hired and started work for Random House. While working for Random House he started dating a girl he had met earlier by the name of Helen Morningstar and after a while Fred asked her to marry him and she said yes. They decided to get married in Alexandra Virginia and had a nice ceremony at the beautiful Cathedral at Alexandra. Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hawk resided in Westminster, Md. for a while and then built a home on the property beside Freds' mom and dad. Fred retired from Random House after thirty six and a half years. He just can not sit still because Fred is now managing Reds tavern in Emmitsburg, Md and doing a wonderful job of it. Fred has brought the home cooked meals back and runs a daily special each day and the food is great and very affordable. Stop in and see Fred and tell him Jim sent you. I just know he will give you a big smile and good conversation and sometimes that all a person needs.