Major Fred A. Hancock was born 28 April 1910 at Oktaha, Oklahoma. In 1927 he enlisted into the 45th Infantry Division, Oklahoma U.S. Army National Guard. After completing required correspondence courses, he was appointed to second lieutenant and shortly thereafter to first lieutenant.
The 45th was activated in 1940 and ordered to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and later to Abilene, Texas, where he was appointed to captain. There he volunteered for the newly formed Army Parachute Infantry, was accepted and was assigned to command Company C, 1st Battalion, 502nd Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. The Division was soon transferred to Hungerford, England. The 101st jumped into France, there his company repelled a German counterattack, preventing the Germans from retaking the town of Carentan. For his unit's action during the campaign he was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart. The Division later jumped into Holland landing near the town of Eindhoven. There he was wounded in the chest. After leaving the hospital, he served in the Battle of the Bulge assigned to Battalion S-2--Intelligence.
After the war he was discharged from Camp Roberts, California. He then joined the 40th Infantry Division, California U. S. Army National Guard, appointed to major. After his unit was deactivated, he was discharged from the 40th Division. In 2000, a stone monument was erected in the town of Carentan, France in honor of his company. The area of its location is named Hancock Field.
Major Hancock died in Bellflower, California. For his service he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachute Badge, Belgium Fourragere and Netherlands Dutch Orange Lanyard. Major Hancock is cited in many books, to include "Night Drop" by SLA Marshall.