Every year thousands of newcomers flock to Horry County to begin new lives.

This is nothing new.

Writing in the Vol. 8, No. 4 edition of the Independent Republic Quarterly, the late Annette E. Reesor told the inspiring story of Fred Nash.

In 1907, 19-year-old Nash immigrated from Tyre, Lebanon to the United States.

He became a naturalized citizen in 1913 and after serving in World War I in the U.S. Army he made his way to Conway. For a while he farmed land in Keysfield before operating a shoe repair shop on Third Avenue.

He also ran what was probably Horry County’s first regular taxi service to Myrtle Beach.

He and his wife had seven children and sometime during their growing years Nash moved his family to Myrtle Beach. His family flourished at the young, beach town.

Beatrice, the youngest daughter, was selected Miss Myrtle Beach High over 47 other contestants in 1957.

According to Reesor, Nash settled into the relatively quiet life of running a concession stand near Myrtle Beach State Park after his retirement.

In September of 1958, the busy summer season had ended but hopeful fishermen swarmed the state park pier.

“Suddenly, from over the sea area, zoomed a low-flying T-33, obviously in serious trouble,” wrote Reesor. “In a split second, Capt. Wallace B. McCafferty maneuvered the crippled craft in a vain attempt to land in an uninhabited area, so as not to endanger lives or property.”

Unfortunately, his evasive actions were unsuccessful.

The T-33 damaged the pier before slamming into a car, killing a father and two sons. Myrtle Beach’s L.J. Mackey also was killed.

Nash saw the accident and rushed to the aid of the pilots.

“At the risk of his life and oblivious to his own serious burns, Fred Nash went into action,” wrote Reesor. “From the maw of the inferno he dragged Captain McCafferty and William J. Sitzmen, Jr. Quickly putting out flames in hair and tearing off blazing clothing, Fred succeeded in saving the life of the former.”

April 10, 1959, the 71-year-old Nash stood at attention, as he had been taught to do while serving in the U.S. Army during World War I.

Shaw AFB commander Maj. General David W. Hutchinson presented Nash with the Exceptional Service Award, which included a certificate and an engraved medal, the most distinguished honor presented by the military to civilians only.

“Thus did a likeable, industrious Lebanese-American render exceptional service to his adopted county,” concluded Reesor.

The Independent Republic Quarterly can be read online by visiting www.digitalcommons. coastal.edu.

More Horry County history can be read at Robertson-blog.com

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Steve Robertson is owner and publisher of the Waccamaw Publishers family of community newspapers

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