Today, the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed House Joint Resolution 37, offered by State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield), to honor the memory of Chief Warrant Officer 4 John W. Frederick, Jr. The resolution Designates Interstate I-155 from Interstate 74 to IL Route 9 near Morton and Tremont as the “CWO4 John W. Frederick Jr. Memorial Highway.” CWO4 Frederick, who was born in Manito and whose remains were later laid to rest at Mount Hope Cemetery in Tremont, is one of the most decorated warrant officers in U.S. Marine Corps history.
“CWO4 Frederick served our nation heroically during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War,” said Butler. “During his service in World War II and the Korean War, he distinguished himself by flying nearly 150 combat missions. Already decorated for his service, it was in Vietnam where he displayed great fortitude for his fellow Marines as he spent more than 2,400 days as a POW. He helped set the standard for conduct to unify the men in captivity and boost morale. He died in captivity on July 19, 1972.
“Although it is much too late after his death, I look forward to a portion of I-155 being named in his memory. A small honor we can pay to Mr. Frederick for his service to our nation.”
For his service, John W. Frederick, Jr. was posthumously promoted to chief warrant officer 4 and was awarded the Navy Cross. He was also awarded the Silver Star, two Legions of Merit, and the Bronze Star for his actions while a prisoner of war. In 1999, a study lounge at The Basic School in Marine Corps Base Quantico was dedicated in his name.
After passing unanimously, HJR 37 now heads to the Senate, where Butler hopes to see it receive the same level of support to enshrine the memory of CWO4 Frederick. The full text of the resolution noting his service can be found here.