Charles Donald Frederick enlisted in the US Navy in July of 1939, long before World War II began. He was serving aboard the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked by the Japanese on December 7, 1941.
His parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. U. “Frank” Frederick, were not officially notified of his death until the end of January of 1942. The Abbeville Meridional reported that Frederick was “the first Vermilion Parish youth to lose his life in the present war.” The editors knew that he would not be the last.
On February 2, 1942, less than two months after the attack, Mayor J. E. Kibbe and the town council adopted a resolution giving the name “Donald Frederick Boulevard” to the street leading from Charity Street to the entrance to Frederick’s alma mater, Abbeville High School (now J. H. Williams).
An elegant and moving military requiem mass was held in Frederick’s honor at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church on February 8, 1942, and was reportedly attended by thousands, including representatives of veterans’ groups from all over south Louisiana.
An honor guard comprised of American Legion members, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and veterans of the Spanish American War stood at attention during the entire ceremony around a draped American flag. "Taps" was performed during the ceremony by Abbeville trumpeter and later superintendent of education Norman Romero.
Electrician's Mate 2c Donald Frederick had two brothers, Ray and Roland.
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