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Fred Michael Kerns

West Virginia
Veterans Memorial

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Fred Michael Kerns
1948-1969

Fred Michael Kerns was born on October 15, 1948, the eldest of four sons born to Fred G. and Thelma Glover Kerns.
Kerns basketball player
Fred Kerns, basketball player

Key Club
Key Club
Fred attended Buckhannon–Upshur High School, where he was a member of the Boy’s Athletic Association, the basketball squad, and the Key Club. After graduation in 1966, he attended Fairmont State College.

Fred entered the Marine Corps in January 1967 and was sent to Vietnam in October of 1968. His unit was the Marine Air Group 16 of the First Marine Air Wing. While in Vietnam “Corporal Mike” became active in helping a girls’ orphanage in the vicinity of Marble Mountain near DaNang. A lot of his time was spent in an effort to make life easier for the children, ages 3 through 14. He and his fellow Marines visited the orphanage often with gifts for the children. In a letter home, “Corporal Mike” emphasized the need at the orphanage, which led his father to help in the effort. He spearheaded a drive for summer clothing to be collected and sent to “Corporal Mike” for distribution to the orphans. Employees in Clarksburg, Elkins, Buckhannon, Weston, Grafton, and Sutton responded to the appeal, and the contributions were picked up and shipped to the needy orphans in Vietnam.
Kerns with Vietnamese orphan
Fred Kerns with Vietnamese orphan

On July 29, 1969, Corporal Fred Michael Kerns was killed in Quang Nam Province when the helicopter he was aboard went into the water following engine failure. On August 1 he was buried in the Masonic Cemetery near Weston, West Virginia.

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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.


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