Natick Honors WWII Vet Missing 3 Weeks
Frederick Spellman, a WWII veteran, was honored for his service on Wednesday.
Almost 67 years after he went missing during WWII, Natick resident Frederick Spellman has received the Silver Star Honorable Service medal, recognizing his bravery in action.
At 19-years-old, the Maine native joined the U.S. Army, serving in Normandy in 1944. In December of that year, he became trapped behind enemy lines for three weeks, during which the Army sent his family a letter notifying them that Spellman was missing. After returning to friendly lines, he continued to fight and was wounded in combat in July 1945 and earned a Purple Heart.
Spellman was unable to attend a ceremony for WWII veterans in Maine earlier this month so his family arranged Wednesday's ceremony at Eliot Healthcare Center in Natick. New garrison commander of the Army Garrison—Natick, Lt. Col. Frank Sobchak was in attendance, along with other representatives from the Natick Labs and several veterans.
"There are times in our nation's history where we have been called on to defend freedom and to basically fight evil—to fight the most vile and most dangerous threats to our nation," said Sobchak, who participated in the ceremony. "WWII was probably the most serious time that our nation has ever been threatened with that form of evil."
"I really just can't express how much feeling of gratitude I have toward everybody here that's come to honor my father and the other vets...the generation that gave their all," said Spellman's son, Gerald Spellman, with tears in his eyes. He created a scrapbook of his father's service, which was on display at the ceremony.