May 5, 2006 San Diego San Diego County California, USA
US Marine Corps LtCol WWII & Korean War Veteran
He served his country from 1936 to 1958
VMA 323 MAG-12 1st MAW, Korea
Retired Miramar CO passes at 91
Colonel William M. Frash, USMC Retired, passed away of complications from surgery in Escondido on May 5. A San Diego native, he attended local schools and went on to the University of California, Berkeley, where he received a bachelor of science degree in 1937. He joined the Marine Corps soon after graduation and trained at the Naval Air Station, Opalocka, Florida, receiving his wings in early 1942. He was transferred to Camp Kearny, San Diego and became executive officer for Marine Fighter Squadron One-Twenty-Two, who were soon to be shipped to the Pacific. Camp Kearney was later to become Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
Col. Frash first served in the Pacific War as one of the youngest executive officers of a squadron in the Corps. He finished the Pacific War in China and was ordered back to what was by that time Miramar, where he became the commanding officer of the base. He later served in the Korean War as the executive officer of a fighter squadron flying Corsairs.
After retiring his commission as a colonel, Frash started a successful business career working for Northrop Aviation and others before becoming an executive recruiter with Heidrick & Struggles. The last 20 plus years were spent as a gentleman rancher on the family's avocado ranch in the Valley Center area, where he set about writing historical adventure novels calling upon his military experiences and love of history. Over the last decade he published four books.
Col. Frash was honored in 1997 by the Marine Corps to participate in the Realignment Ceremony marking the return of Miramar to the Marines from the Navy, who trained the famous Top Gun pilots on the base for many years. He was asked to write the preface for the Tribute Book, marking the occasion and to stand for the Honorary Pass and Review with top officers from both the Corps and the Navy.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jeannette Howard Frash and their three children, Bill Frash, Karen Frash Hand, Julieanne Frash Hathaway; and six grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at Miramar Monday, May 22, at 11 a.m. followed by a small family service at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.