1SG, USA Retired
Fred C. Brander 1st Sgt. Ret passed away at the
Montgomery Nursing Home on September 11, 2009
Enlisted in the Army in January 1946 at the age of seventeen. After basic training, I went to Germany on occupation duty with Co. B, 16th Inf. Regt, 1st Infantry Division. I returned to CONUS in 1949 and had a break in service. In October 1949, I re-enlisted and served with various units, until 1951, when I volunteered for the Airborne Ranger Companies. I remained in the Ranger Training Command, with the 7th Ranger Co (Abn) until deactivation of the Ranger Companies in August 1951.
In 1952, I was sent to Germany again, and served four and one half years with the 6th Infantry Regt in Berlin. I returned to CONUS with orders to the 82nd Abn Division, but was diverted to the 101st Abn Division. I was initially assigned to Co E, 508th Abn, then to HHC, 506th Abn Battle Group, I was later reassigned to Co E, 506th. In mid 1961 I transferred to Co D, 327th Battle Group. In 1962 I transferred to Co E 327th BG. In mid 1963 I went to Korea for one year. Upon return from Korea in 1964 I was assigned to HHC, 1/506 as Recon Platoon Sgt. In 1965 I volunteered for the 1st Brigade, and was assigned to C, 1/327 as the 2nd Platoon Sgt. In June 1965 I deployed with the unit and went to Vietnam aboard the “Leroy S Eltinge”, a luxury liner chartered by DOD.
I remained with C, 1/327 until March 1966. I then went to MACV and was assigned as an advisor to the RVN 37th Ranger BN. I returned to CONUS in September 1965 and rejoined the 101st Abn Division. I was initially assigned to HHC 2/501 as Recon Platoon Sgt, and upon promotion to E-8, I was assigned to A 2/501 as First Sergeant and deployed with the unit to Vietnam in December 1967. I remained with A 2/501 until <arch 1969. In March 1969 I extended my tour and was assigned as an advisor to the Vietnamese Airborne Division. I remained in this assignment until my retirement in Vietnam in February 1973. I remained in Vietnam as a civilian until November 1974.
In 1974 I went to Singapore and was employed by a company named Offshore Navigation Inc. The company provided navigation for offshore oil survey, positioning of offshore oil rigs, etc. I lived and worked out of Singapore until 1984. I returned to CONUS in 1984 and continued to work for ONI. I worked in the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Burma, Greece, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, East Malaysia, Morocco, New Guinea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand and a few countries in the Persian Gulf.
I worked as Property Manager for a Real Estate firm from 1990 to 1995, and then went into full retirement.
Awards & Decorations
Silver Star, w/1 OLC
Bronze Star, w/V 7 OLC
Purple Heart, w/2 OLC
ARCOM, w/V 4 OLC
Air Medal, 2nd Award
National Defense Service Medal w/1 OLC
Occupation Medal, Germany
World War II Victory Medal
Good Conduct Medal, 7th Award
Vietnam Gallantry Cross, w/Silver Star
Vietnam Gallantry Cross, w/Bronze Star
Vietnamese Honor Medal 2nd Class
Vietnamese Staff Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal, w/16 Stars
Valorous Unit Award, w/1 OLC
Meritorious Unit Award
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, w/Palm
Vietnamese Civic Action Medal
Group picture taken in March 1968, when Fred was a First Sergeant of A, 2/501 General Abrams is on left awarding a Purple Heart to Fred, also in photo are MG Barsanti, CG 101st Abn Div and Col John Cushman, CO 2nd Brigade.