Kevin Mark Frye

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
11 January 1950 - 28 July 1970
Jacksonville, Florida
Panel 08W Line 062


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Kevin Mark Frye

21 Jan 1998

"Kevin's Spaatz Award was issued on the 9th of December, 1966. At that point in time, I had about three stripes. I lived in the Orlando area and Kevin was in Jacksonville, so our paths didn't cross until I attended the Florida Wing Cadet Command and Staff School in the summer of 1967. The school was about a week long and was held just prior to the Summer Encampments at the Orlando Air Force Base.

"The CCSS was a tough program with a lot of emphasis on leadership. Each barracks was headed up by an advanced cadet - in my case, Cadet Colonel Kevin Frye. As a C/TSgt, I was about the most junior cadet present, looking to earn a staff slot after having been a doolie the year before. Kevin was impressive. He had a leader persona. His uniform and appearance were impeccable. He was strict but fair as a disciplinarian. I remember walking past his room on a number of occasions and he would be sitting at his desk writing. He said he kept a journal. He said his ambition was to become a Naval Aviator and fly jets off an aircraft carrier.

"The night before graduation, he was ambushed as a token of our appreciation. Stripped to his t-shirt and skivvies, tied to an unmade rack, he was hoisted up and ceremoniously carried over to the female barracks. Of course, his threats were not dissuasive enough. The girls did a very thorough number on him with lipstick and shaving cream. I have pictures somewhere to prove this story.

"The remainder of what I know about Kevin is somewhat sketchy. He went to college for a year or two, but the lure of combat aviation grabbed him. The Army had a Warrant Officer program whereby a young man could become a pilot and a college degree was not required. Apparently, Kevin wanted to fly in the military more than anything else. He joined the Army, completed pilot training at Ft Rucker, AL, and flew helicopters in Vietnam.

"My Spaatz award ceremony was held in mid-1970. The USAF Liaison Officer told me that following my luncheon he would be traveling up to Jacksonville to present the Air Medal to Kevin's parents; the helicopter Kevin was co-piloting had been shot down and he was killed in action.

"The name KEVIN M. FRYE is engraved on 'The Wall' in Washington. I've been there and touched the letters."

Skip Pfeiffer, CAP Sqdn 114

Taken from the
Spaatz Organization

Placed on The Virtual Wall
by someone who remembers,
but wishes to remain anonymous.

Kevin Frye (left) during the Florida Wing Cadet Command and Staff School, 1967.

Kevin inspects a cadet at the Florida Wing encampment, 1967.
(photos courtesy of Mike Murphy, #115)

10 Feb 2005

Kevin was my best friend in this world and my college roommate at the University of South Carolina where he was a Navy ROTC cadet. When the burning of the draft cards began, the riots on campus and far more the campus in Columbia, SC, sweltered. Many a weekend was spent discoving the freedom of travel out on the open highway across the southeast. Kevin HAD to fly. Like myself, we had both flown as a part of our growing up. Kevin couldn't fly fixed wing as an NCO having left college to get to the action, so he excelled in choppers. Kevin and Carla were inseparable, but then she was killed on horseback. I will never, ever forget the letter from his Dad telling me he had been killed. So much of my youth died with him. He was my best friend ... but, so much more, he was a brother to me.

From a friend,
Clarence W. Walker

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The General Carl A. Spaatz Award is the highest award given to Civil Air Patrol cadets; as noted, Warrant Officer Kevin Frye received the award in December 1966. By July 1970, Frye was a rated helicopter pilot and was flying as the gunner and copilot in AH-1 Cobras of C Troop, 1/9th Cavalry.

On 28 July, he and CWO David E. Zimmerman were flying AH-1G tail number 66-15305 as part of a recon mission led by an OH-1 flying at low altitude. The OH-1 crew heard the Cobra call an engine failure, broke off the recon, and began a climb to altitude to observe and assist the Cobra crew. The two aircraft passed one another at about 500 feet, the OH-1 climbing and the AH-1 descending in what appeared to be a normal autorotation to landing. The autorotative glide carried the AH-1 past a stand of trees to a clearing, where the AH-1 appeared to decelerate radically, pitch up, and fall vertically to the ground. Both Cobra crewmen were killed in the crash.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his college roommate and friend,
Clarence W. Walker 
21 Jan 1998

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 02/11/2005