Ensign Eugene Leroy Friedt was born March, 2 1919 to Jack and Rosa (Mauller) Friedt in Pleasant Mills, Indiana. He had four siblings, Russell, Anola, Marion and Jackie.
Eugene and Dorothy at Ball State Junior Prom

Eugene went to Ball State Teacher's College and became a teacher in Daleville, Indiana. He also Enlisted into the U.S. Naval Reserves at Ball State on January 20, 1942. He married Dorothy Leah Arnold on March 29, 1944. She became a gym teacher.

Mr. Friedt was assigned to the V-7 Training program (serial #6261645). He trained as an Aviation Cadet for the U.S. Naval Reserve Flying Service in Iowa City, Iowa from February to May, 1943. Freidt was stationed at Mers El Kébir. Eugene flew an F6F-5 Hellcat.

Photo courtesy of North Africa America Cemetery
Friedt served on the CVE-72 Tulagi. It was commissioned in December 21, 1943 and would later be decommissioned on April 30, 1946. It had four boilers and could travel up to 19 knots. It was a class escort and could only hold up to 28 planes. The Tulagi took part in Operation Dragoon. Operation Dragoon was the invasion of southern France. On August 21, 1944 German forces were pushed back. The Tulagi's fliers attacked German convoys. After this, she was mainly used for training missions, including conducting hunter-killer exercises to train for the invasion of Iwo Jima.

Not much is known about his death. One could speculate his plane crashed during a training incident. His remains were never recovered. There is a marker stone set in his honor at the Saint Mark's Cemetery in Decatur, Indiana. Additionally, Ensign Friedt is commemorated on the Wall of the Missing at the North Africa American Cemetery in Carthage, Tunisia.

For his service, Eugene was presented a Purple Heart, the American Campaign Medal, Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

Information collected and researched by Leah Butler, 2015.

"Eugene Friedt." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Eugene Friedt and Dorothy Arnold: Ball State Junior Prom. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2015
"List of aircraft that served in Mers El Kébir." U.S. - NAVY et le Débarquement de Provence. Web. 24 Nov. 2015. <>.
"USS Tulagi (CVE 72)." N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.
Indiana Historical Bureau, comp. Gold Star Honor Roll: Adams County. Bloomington: Indiana War History Commission, 1949. Print. Vol. 1 of Indiana in World War II.