10.27.17

Peters Presents Michigan WWII Veteran’s Family with Medals and Honors

West Michigan Resident, U.S. Army Private Frederick Ash Served in European Theater

GRAND RAPIDS, MI– U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today presented nine medals and honors to the family of U.S. Army Private Frederick Ash. Ash bravely served in the European Theater in World War II and passed away in the 1950s. Peters helped obtain the commendations after Mr. Ash’s daughter contacted his office to ensure his contributions to our nation were properly honored. Peters is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

“Private Ash was part of the Greatest Generation, fighting in the trenches of Europe in defense of our country, our allies and our shared democratic values under threat from a fascist dictator,” said Senator Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “Private Ash suffered through harsh conditions and distinguished himself through meritorious conduct in the fight against tyranny, and today we honor his patriotism and valiant service on behalf of a grateful nation. While some of the details of his story have been lost to history, I hope that with these medals his heroic actions will live on in the memories of his children and grandchildren who are here today.”

The awards Sen. Peters presented to the Ash family include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Double Bronze Star Attachment, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and Honorable Service Lapel Button World War II. 

Frederick Ash was born and raised in West Michigan, and enlisted in the U.S. Army in the Spring of 1942 at Fort Custer – shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served in the as an infrantryman in the European Theater during World War II. Following his honorable discharge in 1945, he returned to West Michigan and started a family. He worked as a commercial fisherman in Saugatuck, and was tragically killed in a boating accident in the 1950s.

All records of Private Ash’s service were destroyed in a 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center. Due to the fire, records regarding the extent of Private Ash’s actions, including those that earned him the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, are no longer available.

Senator Peters, the son of a World War II veteran, has been a strong voice in Congress for our nation’s servicemembers and veterans. Last year, the President signed into law Peters’ amendment to help veterans erroneously discharged from the military due to behavior linked to mental traumas, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.