14 May 2008

Hillsborough's Cold War Casualty

With Memorial Day approaching, I wanted to reprint this story about a World War II hero that was killed right here in Hillsborough during the Cold War. The following appeared in The New York Times July 18, 1959.


HILLSBORO TOWNSHIP, N.J., July 17 - A Marine Corps pilot who shot down eleven enemy aircraft in World War II was killed today on a routine flight when his Navy jet crashed and burned in a cornfield near here, at the base of Sourland Mountain.

Just before the crash, farmers saw the SJ3 jet circling in what appeared to be a struggle to gain altitude. The pilot, Lieut. Col. Kenneth D. Frazier was flying out of the Naval Air Station at Willow Grove, Pa.

Three officers from Willow Grove found Colonel Frazier's wallet in the wreckage. They were unable to determine the cause of the crash.

The pilot had flown about thirty-five miles from his base, which is north of Philadelphia. He was to log flying time and return to the base.

Colonel Frazier lived at 5 Home Road in Hatboro, Pa. His wife and four daughters are vacationing in California.

The 39-year-old pilot joined the Marine Corps in 1941. He saw action over Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Guam in the Pacific during World War II. He held the Navy Cross, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, eleven Air Medals, and a Presidential Unit Citation.

Colonel Frazier was a graduate of Temple University. He had 3,600 flying hours, 825 of them in jet aircraft.

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