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Charles George "Chuck" Fries Jr.

CPL in 3133rd Signal Service Co


Born 1917 in NY, Died 2004

County of residence at enlistment: Erie County, NY
Other residence(s): Buffalo, NY; Prospect Heights, IL; Mount Prospect, IL; Des Plaines, IL
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
Occupation before the war: foremen, extraction of minerals
College education before the war: Canisius College 2 years
College education after the war: Canisius College
Notes: T/4 in 1944 Christmas Program
Source: 3133rd Program, 15 Sept 1944;  3133rd roster from 10th Mountain Division Museum at Fort Drum; AES 1944 Christmas Dinner Program; photo from family via Facebook

Chuck Fries* was born on May 29, 1917 in Buffalo, NY, the oldest of four children. His mother was Canadian born. His father worked his whole career for an elevator company—as a draftsman, a tool designer, and finally a mechanical engineer.

Chuck graduated from Canisius High School, a Jesuit high school in Buffalo, and then attended Canisius College. When he registered for the draft, on October 16, 1940, he was working at Kendall Refining Co., an oil company in Buffalo. The 1940 census says he was a truck driver there.

Chuck married Marie E. Lankes on August 16, 1941. He enlisted two and a half years later, on January 27, 1944. At that time, he was living in Buffalo and stated that he had completed two years of college. His occupation was given as "foreman, extraction of minerals." He was assigned to the 3133 Signal Service Company, and saw service in Italy during the war. He was discharged from the Army with the rank of CPL.

After returning to Buffalo he may have gone back to Canisius to finish his degree, since later records indicate that he graduated. He and Marie had three children: Charles, Jr., Paul, and Deborah. He worked at Bell Aircraft in Buffalo for a time.

But at some point, he took a job with Sun Electric company in Crystal Lake, IL, and the family relocated to Illinois. He spent 24 years at Sun Electric, a company that had been founded right after the war and specialized in automotive diagnostics.

The family lived in several suburbs northwest of Chicago, including Prospect Heights and Mount Prospect.

His son, Paul, received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Vietnam in 1967. Like his father, he worked at Sun Electric prior to joining the Army. In the late 1970s, Paul (and possibly other family members) started the business of Fries Automotive Service, a company specializing in truck/bus/auto repair, heavy duty towing, and aircraft recovery. After he retired from Sun, Chuck went to work at Fries Automotive.

Chuck died on January 23, 2004; he had been a resident of Alden Rehabilitation Center in Des Plaines at the time of his death.

*All of the family trees in give his middle name as "Griffin," not "George." But any official documents I could find (such as his Social Security record) use "George."

He was a "Jr." at the time of his World War II service. Later, after the death of his father, he became "Sr." to his son Charles' status as "Jr."


in uniform


1920 census

1930 census

1940 census

1940 draft card

1944 enlistment record

1967 article about son Paul's Purple Heart in The Daily Herald (Chicago IL)

2004 Social Security applications and claims index

2004 obituary in Chicago Tribune (IL),0.40888974,0.48538047,0.49718973&xid=3355&_ga=2.7162610.1144573834.1626478176-1182829562.1626124255

2004 obituary in Buffalo News (NY)

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