Fred Hamill

Captain Fred Hamill
  • Rank: Captain
  • Occupational Specialty: Paratrooper (pathfinder)
  • Unit: 101st Airborne Division
  • Brothers: 2

Days after the successful landings along the Normandy coast, Captain Fred Hamill and his men were in the French town of Neuville. It was there that he encountered a Ranger squad led by Captain Miller. The Rangers were searching for a Private James Francis Ryan of the 101st Airborne Division.

Although Hamill did have a soldier with this name in his unit, it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity—two men with nearly identical names. Hamill's Ryan, James Frederick Ryan, was still confused by events, even after he was told that it had not been his own brothers that had been killed in combat. After the Rangers questioned one of Hamill's men (Paratrooper Oliver) to determine the possible location of their Private Ryan, Hamill set the Rangers up for the night in an abandoned church.

Fact vs. Fiction

Captain Fred Hamill is a fictional character. Just as Tom Hanks was technically too old to be portraying a World War II era captain, so was Ted Danson (complete with gray hair). This is quite common in Hollywood, and a very minor issue. A good actor is much more valuable than one who is simply the correct age.


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