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Kerry W. Frith
Staff Sergeant, United States Army
California State Flag
KW Frith PORTRAIT
Photo courtesy of the Frith Family

 U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kerry W. Frith was killed in the crash of his MH-47, during anti-terrorism training exercises in the Philippines, on February 22, 2002. The entire crew of eight and two Air Force personnel was lost in the crash.

His body was recovered when the salvage operations retrieved portions of the wreckage at the end of March. He was subsequently identified as one of the five crew members recovered during that phase and returned to the U.S. Two members of the crew had not been found when the salvage operations were ended on April 3, 2002.

Kerry was born at Lemoore Naval Air Station, California, on September 27, 1964. Kerry was the youngest of seven children. He enlisted in the Army in 1987. Prior to his Army enlistment he served in the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy he served on board the USS New Jersey. Kerry was on board the New Jersey, off the coast of Beirut, Lebanon, when the U.S. Marines barracks was bombed in October, 1983.

Kerry was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as part of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. He was on a year-long deployment to Korea when the unit was called to action after September 11. The unit is known as the Night Stalkers, due to their special operations missions that are flown mostly at night. The unit motto is "Night Stalkers Don't Quit." For the unofficial web site for the Night Stalkers association please click here. On that site is a memorial site for all the members of the crew of Chinook 471 (the helicopter that went down). 

For a direct link to the page for Kerry please click here.

Note: This page incorrectly states that Kerry was a native of Las Vegas.)

 Sergeant Frith was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on April 25, 2002. His survived by his wife and two children, his parents, four brothers, and a sister.

KW Frith PHOTO
U.S. Army Photo



"The funeral for Kerry was on April 25, and it was a cold and rainy day. Kerry's best friend, Sergeant William Mitchell of the 160th SOAR, had returned from Afghanistan after the crash and was there to accept the flag from the honor guard and present it to Kerry's widow. Another flag was presented to my mother by a General Mills. As he presented the flag to my mother, with my father on one side and I on the other, I found myself fixated on the general's name tag and the irony of his name. My mother had weakened in the two month's since the crash (which was on my parents 58th wedding anniversary) to the point she was in a wheelchair at the funeral. The chair, coupled with the rain, made the day especially miserable. As the salute was fired, and the bagpiper played, the rain stopped; just as if a water faucet had been turned off.

When I made the arrangements for my mother with the interment office at Arlington, I told them that we had recently buried my brother there. We were looking at placing her ashes in the columbarium, as that would be near section 64, where Kerry is. The interment office representative, by the name of Loretta, made a point to tell me that my father, and therefore my mother, qualified for ground burial. She indicated that a grave would be available in section 64. That was the most I could have ever dreamed for.

The day of the funeral, I was going over the paperwork with my father and immediately noticed the grave number was 6665, just one more than that of Kerry, 6664. I could not believe that the best outcome to the most terrible series of events could have happened, that Kerry would be forever next to our mother, and someday, our father. I made a special point to call Loretta in the interment office to thank her. She was somewhat taken by surprise, by the sound of her voice. I guess they don't get a lot of calls of appreciation.

One additional note of irony. I noticed when Kerry was buried that his grave is one row back of the grave of Cyrus Vance, the former Secretary of State under President Carter. The irony is that Mr. Vance resigned his post in protest over the ill-fated Iran hostage rescue mission in 1980. The unit that Kerry was a part of, the 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment) aka the Nightstalkers, was formed as a direct result of, and in response to, that failed mission. In addition, Kerry's marker has the 160th unit insignia on it. I have not noticed this on the markers of other members of his unit.

Thank you again for the dedication you have put into your site. I have spent several hours there recently viewing the pages.

Respectfully,
 James Frith aka Anthony Wilde

KW Frith Medals PHOTO



KW Frith Funeral Services PHOTO
The Bagpiper at Sergeant Frith's Funeral Services

KW Frith Funeral Services PHOTO
Members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard) Carry Sergeant
Frith to his final resting place in Section 64 of Alrington National Cemetery

KW Frith Funeral Services PHOTO
Members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard) prepare the flag covering Sergeant Frith's casket.

KW Frith Funeral Services PHOTO
Sergeant Frith's children bid him farewell at funeral services held at Arlington National Cemetery.

KW Frith Funeral Services PHOTO
Sergeant Frith's friend, Sergeant William Mitchell, accepts the flag from his casket from a member of the Army Honor Guard. 
The flag was presented to Sergeant Frith's family

KW Frith Gravesite PHOTO
Sergeant Frith lies at rest just to the rear of former  Secretary of State Cyrus Roberts Vance.
Funeral Service Photos Courtesy of the Frith Family

KW Frith Gravesite PHOTO
Photo By M. R. Patterson, October 2002
Section 64, Grave 6664



MJ Frith Portrait

Our mother, Martha Jo Frith, was cremated and her remains placed in the grave next to Kerry (based on our father's eligibility) on Kerry's 38th birthday, September 27, 2002. She was not well when the helicopter crashed, taking Kerry, and went downhill rapidly after that. She was only 73.

MJ and KW Frith PHOTO
Martha Jo and Kerry Frith - Photo Taken At Tootsie's In Nashville, Tennessee
Photo Courtesy of the Frith Family

MJ Frith Funeral Services PHOTO

MJ Frith Funeral Services PHOTO

MJ Frith Funeral Services PHOTO
Funeral Service Photos Courtesy of the Frith Family


Photo by M. R. Patterson, October 2002

MJ Frith Gravesite PHOTO
Photo By Her Son Paul Robert Frith


See file on Jody L. Egnor, Chief Warrant Officer, United States Army, as well as the one for Sergeant James Paul Dorrity, both of whom were killed on the same mission.
FRITH, KERRY W

SSG US ARMY
VETERAN SERVICE DATES: 10/19/1982 - 02/22/2002
DATE OF BIRTH: 09/27/1964
DATE OF DEATH: 02/22/2002
DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/25/2002
BURIED AT: SECTION 64  SITE 6664
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY 

FRITH, MARTHA JO
DATE OF BIRTH: 11/29/1928
DATE OF DEATH: 07/14/2002
DATE OF INTERMENT: 09/27/2002
BURIED AT: SECTION 64  SITE 6665
 ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY 
  WIFE OF FRITH, PAUL R CS3 US NAVY

Webmaster: Michael Robert Patterson



Posted: 8 September 2002  Updated: 17 October 2002 Updated: 29 December 2002  Updated: 13 April 2003 Updated: 15 April 2003 Updated: 20 April 2003 Updated: 6 March 2004 
Updated: 29 June 2004 Updated: 20 April 2007 Updated: 10 November 2009
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The Nightstalkers