Harden1.jpg
PFC FREDERICK R. HARDEN

HardenRack2.jpg

Frederick Ross Harden was born on April 30, 1923 to Morris Clyde and Edna Theresa Harden. He was born in Adams County. Fred had two older brothers, Paul and Warren, Paul was the oldest. His parents and both his brothers have since passed away.

Fred attended the Decatur Elementary schools and and went to Decatur High School. He was one semester of high school short of graduating. Fred worked at the Decatur Casting Company.

On February 17, 1943 Fred enlisted into the Army in Toledo, Ohio. He was five foot four inches and weighed one hundred twenty-two pounds when he enlisted. He trained at Camp Swift, Texas and Camp Forest, Tennessee. HeHarden2.png would go on to earn the rank of Private First Class.

PFC Harden was part of the Thirteenth Infantry Regiment of the Eighth Division. The Eighth Division was known as the "Golden Arrow" or "Pathfinder Division." It's motto is "These are my credentials." In December 1943 Fred was sent overseas and stationed in Northern Ireland and in Scotland where the troops were preparing for the Invasion of Europe. On July 4, 1944 the Eighth Division arrived on Utah Beach, Normandy. They joined combat on July 7, 1944. Fred was killed in action in France on July 15, 1944. His division went on to continue the fight in France and then move on to the Rhineland. The Rhineland had been taken over by Germany since the beginning of the war. It was a critical area for the U.S. to take back because it pushed Germany back to Germany. The division also fought in the Ruhr Pocket. The victory was one of the largest turning points in the war because marked the end of major Harden3.jpgNazi resistance on the western front. Nearly 300,000 German soldiers were taken prisoner.

Private First Class Harden was returned to the states and his family had him buried in Decatur Cemetery.

PFC Harden earned multiple awards for his service. His awards included the Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal,, American Campaign Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.

Information researched and collected by Connor Brite, 2015.

SOURCES:
Ravelings Yearbook Staff, ed. Ravelings Yearbook. Decatur, IN: Decatur High School, 1944. Print.

"Pfc. Fred R. Harden Killed In Action In French Invasion." Decatur Daily Democrat June 1944: Print

Ancestry.com. U.S., Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1963 [database on-line].Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Introduction to the Holocaust.”Holocaust Encyclopedia. 9 December 2015

Findagrave.com. Frederick Ross Harden. Findagrave.com. 6 December 2015. Web.