ANDREW FEDOR - PFC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- June 08, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- March 16, 1967
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Andrew Fedor was born in France on June 8, 1947. His family came to the US in 1950, and he became a citizen in 1956. Andrew graduated from Hunterdon Central High School in 1966.
He enlisted in the US Marine Corps shortly after high school graduation where he attained the rank of Private First Class (PFC).
Fedor was stationed at Camp Pendelton, CA, and trained at Camp LeJeune, NC. He went to Vietnam in January 1967.
He was a member of the John Basilone Platoon, an all New Jersey platoon in the 7th Regiment of the 1st Marine Division.
Fedor was killed in action on March 16, 1967, while on patrol.
On June 8, 1947, Mrs. and Mr. Michael Fedor were blessed with a healthy baby boy. They named him Andrew. When Andrew was about four and a half years old, the small French family moved to the United States. To the surprise of his still learning parents, he quickly mastered the English language. At this time, the Fedors were expecting another child. A boy named John. John died before he was even able to come home. The news of this death upset Andrew so much that he, at age eight, literally wanted to kill the doctor. He wanted his little brother. Two years later, Mrs. Fedor was expecting again. This time it was a girl, Sonia. Andrew and Sonia quickly bonded and remained close for the time they were together.
Andrew was a talented young man. He painted at a young age with a group of older women and an instructor. Andy was always sketching on napkins, receipts, or anything he could get his hands on. He was also a talented athlete, although he was very skinny. He played Little League Baseball, ran cross-country and played soccer. He even played hockey and broke his two front teeth. He lettered in two sports at Hunterdon Central, cross-country and soccer. He was constantly in the newspaper, praised for his game. Andrew also enjoyed woodwork and made a bookshelf, which is still in the Fedor home, a coffee table and a wooden bowl, which are in Sonia's home. His biggest project was to build an A-frame home for himself and his fiancée.
According to his parents, he was popular among his classmates even though he was quiet. He refused to have parties even though his parents would permit him to. He didn't even want birthday parties after seventh grade. Mrs. Fedor remembers Andy and a set of triplets who were always running around together. He only had two girlfriends, one from the one-room schoolhouse that he attended in kindergarten. The other became his fiancée.
One of his loves was hunting. He loved drawing pictures of deer. "He was so proud of that dead deer hanging in our garage," recalls his sister, Sonia. She can see an old picture of him smiling proudly with his 8-point buck hanging from the ceiling of the garage. He fished too, but never seemed able to catch anything.
When he was just out of Hunterdon Central, Andrew enlisted in the US Marine Corps. He said that he didn't want to be drafted because he "wanted to go where he wanted to go," which was the military. To get into the military, one had to be fairly tall. Andy only stood about 5'7", which was too short. He stretched to make the height requirements.
As he was leaving his family in Newark Airport, he told his mother that he had a feeling he wasn't coming home. She asked why he would say such a thing. He said he just had a feeling.
He went to Camp Pendleton, a boot camp in California. While he was there, he and a few other marines were on a break, sitting on a park bench. An old man walked up to them and asked why they were all sitting there. They said they were waiting to go to war. Then the old man proceeded to point at each of the young men predicting whether they would return home or not. When he pointed to Andrew, he said he wouldn't be returning.
Andy was a sharpshooter and was shipped over to Vietnam in January 1967. He wrote home a lot, telling his family that everything was fine. Three months later, he received a gunshot wound to his chest. He died about five minutes after being hit. He received a full military burial at Prospects Hill Cemetery in Flemington, NJ.
His family went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC to find his name. Sonia remembers looking for the book that shows where each name is. She turned around and there was his name right at eye level.
Memories of Andrew
When we asked the family members about memories that they will always remember about Andy, Sonia told us about his drawings. She said that she loved anything having to do with Disney, especially Lady and the Tramp, so he drew her a picture of the two dogs which she has hanging in her children's playroom at home.
While Andy was in California, he and some friends visited Disneyland. He bought and sent her several postcards from there telling her that she would love it. A few years ago, Sonia went for the first time. She couldn't help but think of Andy. Everything was just like the postcards.
Andy's first car was a red Corvair, which both he and his sister loved. Sonia would constantly bug him for rides in it. One time he got into an accident and bent the bumper. From then on it was never the same. The Fedors sold the car many years after his death.
Sonia also remembers a black and white cat that Andy gave her. She remembers the two of them sitting on the floor playing with the cat and eating TV dinners after school. The cat died while Andy was in Vietnam. Andy told her to buy another one, but she had developed an allergy to felines and she couldn't get a new one.
Andy's mom remembered a time when they lived in Locktown, NJ. They lived on a farm with another family. The other couple would ask Andy to do things for them. There was a fence surrounding the farm. Andy was told to paint a small section. They handed him a paint can and a paintbrush and sent him on his way. When he came back he was covered from head to toe in paint, yet the fence wasn't touched.
The family remembers Andy coming home late at night from work. He would take cookies and a glass of milk from the kitchen and go to his room. The next morning, Mrs. Fedor would find a plate of crumbs and an empty glass underneath Andy's bed. She would inquire about the dirty dishes and he would say that he was hungry and needed something to eat. He said he didn't want to starve!
The Fedors had another daughter two years after Andy passed away. Sonia says that she would make up stories about what "she and Andy" had done, though she never knew him. She had heard each Fedor talk about him so she wanted to fit in. She made her own memories to match everyone elses.
Written by students from Reading Fleming Middle School
Sources: Reading Fleming Middle School and NJVVMF.
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