Longtime Brookfield resident Frederick G. Hitzman, 90, died March 14, 2011, at Emeritus Living Center in Burr Ridge.
According to the book Guadalcanal Legacy, 50th Anniversary written by Eugene L. Keller and published in 1992, Mr. Hitzman enlisted in the 132nd Infantry Regiment, which was an Illinois National Guard unit, in 1936.
On Oct. 4, 1940, Mr. Hitzman married Mary B. Streit. After war was declared in 1941, Mr. Hitzman’s regiment was attached to the 23rd Infantry Division, also known as the “Americal Division,” which in early 1942 landed in Australia and New Caledonia to defend against a Japanese invasion.
Later that year, wrote Keller, the division along with Mr. Hitzman fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal, the first major ground victory in the Pacific for U.S. forces.
As a communications sergeant on Guadalcanal, Mr. Hitzman was awarded the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Mr. Hitzman’s division also earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its performance on Guadalcanal.
After Guadalcanal, according to Keller, Mr. Hitzman returned to the United States to train soldiers for a new jungle raider battalion. While that unit never formed, Mr. Hitzman trained 15,000 men at Fort Walter, Texas.
Mr. Hitzman remained in the Army after World War II, retiring in 1980 at the rank of lieutenant colonel, according to Keller.
Frederick and Mary Hitzman moved to Brookfield in 1950 and remained in the village until 2005. Mr. Hitzman was a self-employed carpenter doing local jobs for more than 50 years. He was also a member of the VFW, Amvets, the American Legion and the Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans.
Mr. Hitzman was preceded in death by his wife, if 2005, and his son Frederick (Cynthia) Hitzman.
He is survived by his children, Mary Sarah (John) Shuper, Lawrence (Christine) Hitzman and Thomas (Alice) Hitzman; his grandchildren, Michelle Hitzman, Ryan Hitzman, Paige Hitzman, John Shuper and Traci Collier; his great grandchildren, Makenzie Collier and Erika Collier; and his brother, George (Carol) Hitzman.
A funeral Mass was held March 19 at St. Barbara Church in Brookfield, followed by interment at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside.
Johnson Funeral Home, Brookfield, handled arrangements.