Frederick A. Uphoff, Jr.March 6, 2017
Age 94, on March 6, 2017, of Shaler Township. Son of the late Fred and A. Patti Uphoff Sr. Husband of the late Margaret "Boots" Uphoff. Brother of the late Ruth (Howard) Dudt. Father to Paula Watson, Cheryl (Jim) Prugh, Nancy Crawley, Fred (Debbie) Uphoff III, Eric (Tina) Uphoff, Ruth Adams, Melissa (William) McKaveney, Cindy (Jeff) Usher, Gary (Debra) Iskra and Kathy (Jeff) Skrbin. Grandfather to 25 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren and 2 great, great grandchildren.
Fred attended Shenley High school where he began his dedicaton of service by serving in the Boys Brigade along side life long friends, Joe Parco and Jack Hennen. Upon graduation in 1940 he began working at Blawnox Steele as a steel roller until he enlisted in the United States Army Airforce on November 4, 1942. Upon completion of Gunnery and Airplane Mechanic school, he transferred to Davis Monthan Field, AZ for B 24 flight training. He was then sent to Alamogordo, NM where the 450th Bomber Group was being formed, he became a charter member of the group and the 723rd Bomber Squadron in October 1943. Led by flight pilot Lou Samsa, his crew was assiged to the ship Round Trip Rosie and began flying missions in Manduria, Italy in January 1944. During a brief reassignment with another crew ship, Fred returned to the loss of the Round Trip Rosie plane and crew. With his original crew lost he filled in on any plane that needed a member. He flew with five different pilots and finished the last 25 missions with pilot Richard Hefner, the crew would eventually become historically known as one of the crews of the "Cotton Tails". A Book entitled " The Flight of the Cotton Tails" was published with documentaries of the events of the missions lead by these dedicated war heroes. Of the five crews he flew with, only one crew was able to complete the required missions, while the other crews were lost in battle. Fred ended his tour of duty, as staff sargeant, on June 4, 1944 , with 51 completed missions and several metals of Valor including 2 Purple Hearts. Fred was indeed, honorable to his country and his dedication of service will remain respected historically for generations.
After his honorable discharge from USAAF, he returned to work at Blawnox Steele and later Wheeling Pittsburgh Steele as a Foreman. Fred married Margaret (Boots) on May 27, 1964 and they raised 10 children (hers, his and theirs). He was a life long member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and spent many years sharing his gift of singing and his love of music and dancing. The next time you hear Frank Sinatra music, think of Fred, as he most likely will be singing along with you. He greatly enjoyed making people laugh by his flirtatous antics that brought a smile to all who knew him. As for his departing affectionate words , "Tapioca for now" with love, Fred.
Visitation Thursday 2-4pm & 6-8 pm, Fri 9-10am at Neely Funeral Home, 2208 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. Service Fri at 11am , Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Kindly consider a donation in memory of Fred to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Wounded Warrior Project
One Oxford Centre, 301 Grant St., Pittsburgh PA 15219