Friend E. Fair
Friend Elmus Fair was born in Reader, Wetzel County, West Virginia on July 14, 1906. He was the only son of Josephus Fair and Arminta Bell Bland Fair. Friend had four sisters, Zona (Mrs. Elsworth Hawkins), Hazel (Mrs. Henry Earl Butler, Jr.), Madge (Mrs. Luther Mason & Mrs. Ruben McAllister) and Opal (Mrs. Okey Price). He also had a half bother, A. Roy Fair and two half sisters, Louise (Mrs. Harry Palmer) and Pearl (Mrs. Frank Roth). Friend attended the public schools of Wetzel County and later Salem College.
After leaving Salem College, he returned to Reader to assist his father in the operation of their 500-acre farm. The family grew up on the farm, where they learned to live without modern conveniences, such as indoor plumbing, electricity and refrigeration. They raised their own meat and vegetables on the farm. Friend was accomplished in raising, training and working oxen in the harvesting operations. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing music and singing with local groups. The entire family learned to play instruments and accompanied their father on his fiddle.
Friend was drafted into the Army in 1942 and then sent to Columbus, Ohio for basic training. The lack of a suitable uniform kept him in Columbus for a few extra weeks. He stood over six feet and weighed in excess of two hundred and fifty pounds. He was later sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he was assigned him to the 82nd Airborne Glider Division. After attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant, he was shipped to Europe. His campaigns included North Africa, Italy, Sicily and Southern France. The army sent him back to England and then to Normandy, where he became a member of the 325th Infantry Regiment (to learn more of this regiment, click here . He was wounded on June 8, 1944 and died of his wounds on June 14, 1944. He is interred in the Normandy American Cemetery, St. Laurent, France in Plot: D, Row: 18, Grave: 31. He received the Purple Heart for giving his life for his country.
Information was generously provided by Lee Price.
West Virginia Archives and History welcomes any additional information that can be provided about these veterans, including photographs, family names, letters and other relevant personal history. For more information contact Constance Baston at (304) 558-0230.
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