Sons of Men - Evansville's War Record
Gold Star Biographies
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|Engineer 1st Class. Fred Hassler
United States Navy
February 14, 1891 - November 23, 1918
Fred Hassler's answer to Germany's announcement of unrestricted submarine policy which went into effect on February 1, 1917, was a series of trips across the Atlantic, picking up the gauntlet which Germany threw in the face of humanity, and defying Germany's submarines, torpedo boats, and other inhuman instruments of naval warfare. He was born February 14, 1891. He attended St. Boniface School. He was a machinist by trade, and he worked for six years in the fitting department of the Blount Plow Works. He was also employed at the Hercules Gas Engine Works. In September, 1913, he enlisted for a four year term in the navy and was assigned to U.S.S. Montana. In 1916, he took part in the Vera Cruz expedition. Before his period of enlistment was completed he made four trips across the ocean, helping transport American troops to France. When he completed his four years of service in the navy he was an engineer, first class. He was discharged in September, 1917, and remained home for about ten months. He knew his country needed help, and with his training and experience, was he to remain in the background? Was he to squander talents which he developed when he was in the service before? Once more he decided to abandon civil life. In the middle of July he went to Indianapoils to enlist. Much to his disappointment he was rejected because of a defect in hearing. Not satisfied with the result of his effort he went to Philadelphia, and there he was accepted in the navy. In November, 1918, he sailed for France on the S.S. Duncan. On board ship he contracted the influenza which developed into pneumonia. The ship went to Ireland, and in Belfast, Fred Hassler died on November 23, 1918. The navy chaplain wrote to his sister: "His body was sent here for transportation to America, and a number of Navy men gathered in the Chapel this afternoon as a mark of respect to one of their comrades. All present joined in the prayer that the God of all Grace will comfort your mind and heart in this deep bereavement." His body was brought to Evansville and was buried in the family lot in the St. Joseph Cemetery. _____ Sons of Men: Evansville's War Record, Compiled by Heiman Blatt, Published by Abe P. Madison, 1920 pp81-82.
October 25, 1998