Steven G. Frew

Memorial Location

COLUMN: 10    ROW: 2

  • E4
  • Served: May 3, 1969 – January 15, 1971
  • Vietnam War
  • Armor Recon Specialist
  • Awarded National Defense Service Medal, Sharpshooter (Rifle M-14), 1st Class Gunner (M-60 MG), Expert (Rifle M-16), Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device 60, Army Good Conduct Medal, 2 O/S Bars, Soldier’s Medal

Army Spec 4 Stephen G. Frew, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Frew of Sherrard, received the Soldier’s Medal from post commander, Major General William S. Coleman, at a ceremony in the general’s office at Ft. Jackson November 17th.  The award was given for heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy force.  Frew received the award for gallantry while serving in Vietnam.  The action in which he was involved occurred when a group of solders were defoliating a perimeter with aviation fuel and it suddenly ignited, according to the citation read at the ceremony.

“A warrant office was spraying the bunker line and burning off the grass and weeds,” said Frew, “when the hose exploded, engulfing him in flames.”

A recount of the events from the award citation revealed that immediately the entire area and truck, containing 5,000 gallons of aviation fuel, were ablaze, threatening to explode at any minute.

“I was standing in the area with six other men when the explosion occurred,” Frew said, “and at first I started to run like the others.  But I turned around and saw the warrant officer on fire and went back.” “I took off my shirt and  wrapped it around him.  About then another man came up with a blanket and we succeeded in putting out the flames,” he added.

“By that time, the other men who were in the area had brought back firemen and the truck was saved before it could explode”, Frew said.

In the meantime, the warrant officer was loaded onto a helicopter that had just landed and rushed to medics, but despite efforts to save him, he died three weeks later, Frew recounted.