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By Lacey Gardner

Route 63 stretch in Pavilion NY named after George Fry, killed in action in Vietnam

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Fry received the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for his actions in combat

NYS Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley co-sponsored legislation

PAVILION – In conjunction with the nation’s celebration of Veterans Day, Sen. George Borrello announced that Governor Hochul has signed into law a measure renaming Route 63 in the town of Pavilion as the “SP4 George Harold Fry Memorial Highway.” 

Legislation marking the designation was sponsored by Senator Borrello and Assemblyman Stephen Hawley.  

U.S. Army Specialist 4 George Harold Fry, a native of Pavilion, was killed in action on July 11, 1969, along with 20 other members of the 506th Infantry during combat on Hill 996 in the Shau Valley of Vietnam. Specialist Fry’s actions that day are credited with saving the lives of many other members of his unit.  

He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. 

“Specialist Fry gave his life defending his brothers in arms,” Sen. Borrello said. “He is a decorated war hero who served his country with honor and distinction. Dedicating this highway in his name is one small way we can honor the courage, dedication and ultimate sacrifice of this American hero.”  

Assemblyman Hawley said for generations to come, the SP4 George Harold Fry Memorial Highway will stand as a testament to Specialist Fry’s heroism and commitment to his country and freedom. 

“As an Army veteran and member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, I was honored to sponsor this proposal recognizing one of Western New York’s most valiant, Specialist George Harold Fry. It’s fitting that this highway is being memorialized at the same time we’re remembering those who served on Veteran’s Day,” Assemblyman Hawley said.  

Specialist Fry served with D Company, 1st Battalion, 506th infantry, 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. As an RTO (Radio-Telephone Operator), it was his duty to maintain radio contact between his unit, other platoons and Battalion Command. After two fellow RTO’s were killed early in the assault on July 11, Specialist Fry left the safety of cover to re-establish communication between platoons during the battle, placing himself in jeopardy. 

Specialist Fry’s actions enabled his commanding officer to call in artillery support, coordinate the U.S. counter assault and evacuate the wounded. Continuously under fire, Specialist Fry kept transmitting until he too was shot and killed. His company suffered more than 50 percent casualties. Survivors said were it not for Specialist Fry, many more U.S. troops would have been killed or wounded.  

For gallantry in action on July 11, 1969, Specialist Fry received the Silver Star Medal. He also received the Bronze Star Medal for outstanding meritorious service in connection with ground operations against a hostile force during the period of October 22, 1968 to July 11, 1969.  

Additionally, he received the Presidential Unit Citation for Operation Snow for the period of May 10 through May 21, 1969, in the Shau Valley. 

“For generations, many of our region’s finest and bravest young men and women have found their calling in military service and safeguarding the liberties we cherish,” Sen. Borrello said. “Specialist Fry was one of those patriots. Naming this highway in his honor commemorates his courageous service to our country and reminds us of the immense contributions America’s veterans have made for us all. 

“I want to thank Assemblyman Hawley for sponsoring this legislation in the Assembly and Governor Hochul for signing the bill to honor Specialist Fry who gave his life for our freedom.” 

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