Frederick (Andy) Messing, Jr.

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Fred Messing was with the 50th Combat Engineers on Attu in May of 1943. He was a 1st Lieutenant at the time. Fred helped stop a Banzai attack of up to 600 Japanese soldiers on Engineer Hill. He was awarded the Purple Heart as a result of wounds received in the left arm by rifle fire. He later received a Bronze Star with "V" for that action. In March of 2000, then Lt. Colonel Messing, USA (Ret.), was receiving a physical exam at Bethesda Navel Medical Center from Cmdr. Marlene DeMaio, USNR (the Ortho there) and it was revealed through X-Rays that he had also taken shrapnel in his right thigh from grenades thrown onto the bulldozer he and his fellow Engineers were fighting from. Later, on 22 May 2000, his son, Major Andy Messing, visited the actual battle site on Attu, and took dirt from that site for placement in now Colonel Messing's grave at Arlington Cemetery on 21 November 2000...where he was interred in a full Military Honors burial, along with his wife of 59 years, Anne.

These pictures were sent to us by Major Messing, and are from his dad's collection. Thank you Andy for sharing these.

e-Mail Major Andy Messing


#1. The aftermath of the Battle for Engineer Hill.
#2. This battle sealed the fate of the Japanese Army on Attu. It was their last stand.
#3. Trenches were dug for the mass burials that followed.
#4. Fred Messing standing on the right holding on to a knife that later saved his son's life in Vietnam.
#5. The Battle for Engineer Hill was over.

Last Updated: 04 Jan 2013 12:02