Frederick James Adelsperger, Class of 1938

Fred was born December 25, 1919 to Ace and Mary Adelsperger. Mary had immigrated from Ireland and Ace from Germany. They came to Richmond and Ace worked for the Electric company where he was electrocuted and was in a coma for a time. Mary was blind, so Fred had to drop out of high school his junior year. His older brother Tom already had a family to care for and Fred was left to go to work to support the family.

Though he was a football player in high school, he found he was dyslexic.

He wanted to learn to fly so he worked as a refueler at the airport. Though his pay was only $5 a week, he saved $15 for flying lessons. Fred married Ruth and they had a son while he was just 18. He decided to join the Navy in 1942 after viewing a parade of soldiers. He enlisted and was sent to the south Pacific. While in the service, he played football for the Army, co-piloted a PBC, and traveled around the south Pacific until Christmas, 1944, when he and his crew were shot down and spent 27 days with no real food, eating marmalade and crackers. The cook in their group shot Japanese soldiers before they could attack and kill his group, saving them.

Fred returned after the war and became deputy sheriff in California. He recalls losing a prisoner named Bliss who was on the loose for two weeks and during that time killed two people. Later, the man committed suicide by sticking his head in an automatic door.

His work included co-pilot, deputy sheriff, mechanic, assistant court reporter, law library, and bailiff for the Wayne county Circuit Court for 30 years. He built houses, restored cars, worked as an electrician, a radio operator, and learned Morse code.


































































  380 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond, IN 47374

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