Sergeant Frederick R. Kuehn was born in 1925 in Lawrence, MA. He was educated in public schools and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1942. He entered the College of Technology at the University of New Hampshire in the fall of the same year. At UNH, he participated in the basic ROTC program. His intention was to volunteer for the Army Air Force cadet program, but due to color blindness, he was called to serve and pursued combat engineering training instead.
Fred was inducted into the Army in June of 1943. Because of his engineering studies at UNH, he was sent to Fort Belvoir, VA, for basic training at the Corps of Engineer Headquarters. He qualified for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), so instead of being transferred overseas as a replacement, he was sent to Brooklyn College, NY, to study engineering. When the Engineering Program was discontinued, all ASTP students were reassigned to the infantry. Fred was sent to Camp Polk, LA, to join the 75th Infantry Division as a rifleman. He took part in maneuvers and then he was once again transferred. During April of 1944, he return to the Corps of Engineers and joined the 289th Engineer Combat Battalion at Camp Robinson, AR. During that period, Fred Kuehn was promoted to non-commissioned officer. His battalion was shipped overseas in October of 1944. After a short stay in England, his unit embarked for the continent in December at the time of the last two major German offenses: The widely know Battle of the Bulge, and the lesser known battle to save Alsace by repulsing the German offensive named Operation Nordwind. The 289th Engineer Combat Battalion was part of the XXI Corps attached to the Seventh Army. Sergeant Kuehn participated in the Alsace, Rhineland and Central European campaigns from Eastern France through Germany to Austria, and later served with occupational forces. After the war ended in 1945, he was transferred back to Fort Belvoir. There, he served as a drill instructor at the Engineer Replacement Training Center until discharged from the Army in 1946.
Sergeant Kuehn was awarded the Good Conduct, American Campaign, European-African-Middle East Campaign with two bronze stars, World War II Victory, and World War II Occupation medals. He received the Rifle Marksman and Sharp Shooter Badges, and Honorable Discharge Pin. Sergeant Kuehn’s abbreviated oral history was recorded for broadcast on the local Community Cable Television program “Call to Serve.” A copy of the video is housed at the Library of Congress as part of the US Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.
After the war, Fred Kuehn returned to the University of New Hampshire to continue his college education. He changed his course of study to Business Administration and graduated with the class of 1949 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. Subsequently, he continued his education at Northeastern University and Framingham State College. Most of Fred’s work after graduation was in the career field of information processing. He was employed by Dun and Bradstreet, the General Tire and Rubber Company, Avco Corporation, and Raytheon Company. Fred Kuehn worked as an operator, supervisor, programmer, systems analyst, and finally as manager of a group at Raytheon which developed an integrated financial control system to be processed on large scale computers. This system was installed and maintained in Raytheon’s Government Group locations throughout the United States and Canada, and some foreign subsidiaries. He retired from Raytheon in 1989 after nearly 30 years employment with the company.
For meritorious service to the United States Army during World War II and sharing our nation’s history, Sergeant Frederick R. Kuehn is inducted into the ROTC Hall of Fame.