Frederick Everett Day
LT COL in 23rd Headquarters Co
Born 1904 in AZ, Died 1979
Other residence(s): Tampa, FL
United States Army, European Theatre of Operations
College education before the war: West Point; UCalifornia
College education after the war: Illinois Institute of Technology
Fred Day was born on October 22, 1904 in Arizona, the older of two sons. The family relocated to Idaho before 1910.
Fred graduated in the top 24 in his class at the US Military Academy, West Point, in 1927, with a commission as a 2LT. Some time shortly after that, he married Margaret Krakau, a schoolteacher he had met in Idaho.
Over the course of the next 17 years (prior to his arrival in the Ghost Army) he moved through the ranks, achieving the rank of Lt. Col. in 1942. During the early years he was stationed at Brooks Field in San Antonio, TX, in the Philippines, and at Fort Worden in Townsend, WA. In the fall of 1932 he was transferred to California where he attended the University of California for a year, earning a second BS degree.
From there, he went to West Point where he became an instructor in mechanical engineering.
In 1937-38 he took a year-long course at the Coast Artillery School. Following that, he spent two and a half years in Honolulu, commanding a battery in the 64th Coast Artillery, the oldest and largest anti-aircraft regiment in the US. From Hawaii he returned to the Coast Artillery School as an instructor, first in Fort Monroe, VA, and then moving with the school to Camp Davis, NC.
In 1944 he was assigned to the 23rd HQ Special Troops. He assumed command of all the troops who boarded the ship in New York on May 2, 1944, to head to the European Theatre. He was one of a number of West Point graduates, senior officers, who brought their expertise to the Ghost Army; his role was as the anti-aircraft officer, to help develop and plan operations.
According to the Official History of the 23rd HQ Special Troops, Lt. Col. Day, at Brest with the 6th Armored Division, was instrumental in the capture of 300 Germans and "a good store of Wehrmacht chocolate."
After World War II, Lt. Col. Day earned an MS degree in electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, was promoted to Colonel, and served in the Korean War. Near the end of his military career, he spent two and a half years as Commandant of the Far East Anti-Aircraft Artillery Specialist School in Tokyo, Japan. He retired from the military on the 30th anniversary of his graduation from West Point, in June, 1957, and moved with his wife to Tampa, Florida.
In Florida they were both active as officers of the Retired Officers Association and the Retired Officers' Wives Club in Tampa.
Margaret Day died of cancer on August 1, 1968. Fred Day died on November 4, 1979. Both of them are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
1932 article in Washington DC Evening Star re his beginning program at University of California
1937 article in Newport News VA Daily Press re his attendance at Coast Artillery School
1940 article in Montgomery Advertiser (AL) re his transfer from Hawaii to Fort Bragg
1956 US Select Military Registers
1964 Tampa Times article re his retirement work
1975 Tampa Tribune death notice
1975 Gravestone Photo
Official History of 23rd HQ Special Troops by Fred Fox
Ghosts of the ETO by Jonathan Gawne
...plus other tiny articles in various newspapers detailing his presence at a particular Army base, or his transfer to another base over time. Didn't want to clutter this up mentioning them all.