Fred J. Dambrie Sr. ’40

Fred J. Dambrie Sr. ’40 died on February 27, 2014, at his home in Portland, Maine.

He was born on May 9, 1918, in Portland, and he graduated from Portland High, where he was president of his class and recipient of the Brown Medal. At Bowdoin, where he was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity, he served as an instructor in foreign languages, teaching French, Spanish, and Italian. He later qualified for a Civil Service appointment as an interpreter. Two years after graduating from college, he enlisted in the Army, where he spent one month as a private first class in basic training. The next two years he served as a sergeant and clerk/typist. He spent his remaining year-and-a-half as an Army Air Forces Intelligence Specialist. As Intelligence NCO, he typed operational and daily combat history reports of the 79th Fighter Group. He served in North Appenines, Rhineland, Po Valley, Air Combat Balkans, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples, Foggia, Rome, Arno, and South France. While in Rome he met with the Pope and subsequently received a Papal Indulgence. He received the Good Conduct medal; European, African, and Middle Eastern Theater Ribbons; and a Distinguished Unit Badge for the 79th Fighter Group’s outstanding performance of duty in action in the Mediterranean Theater. He also received the Soldiers Medal of Valor for rescuing a downed pilot from a burning plane. He was the owner and operator of the Yellow and Central Cab Company and then the owner and operator of Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. In 1983, he made a 45-rpm record with a twenty-five-piece Boston orchestra; it sold more than 650 copies and was played on local radio stations. He is survived by a son, Fred Joseph; daughters Linda Anne and Cynthia Louise; five grandchildren; and eleven great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of sixty-six years, Louise Leo Dambrie; and by his brothers Louis (1959), Neil (1982), and Eadle (1991).

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