Local Businessman, Local Hero, Civilian Fred Nash

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Market Common History 9.17

Our history column usually recounts the stories of those who served in the United States Military and were connected with the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

But this month, we’d like to commemorate the actions of a local civilian who was honored many years ago with his own plaque in the Market Common as well as with the naming of a street.

The eponymous Fred Nash Boulevard is located in the Market Common; it intersects Farrow Parkway near Highway 17 Business. Once through the intersection, the boulevard turns into Crow Lane. Nash Boulevard is located near Myrtle Beach State Park.

Fred Nash was a local businessman who together with his wife, Agnes, opened Fred Nash’s Grill near Springmaid Beach in 1947.

The two also built and ran Nash’s Rooms and Apartments in the same area in the ’50s; they lived near Myrtle Beach State Park.

On August 18, 1958, a T-33 aircraft was returning to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base when something went terribly awry. The plane hit the State Park Pier, and had a crash-landing just outside of Fred’s house.

Fred was home at the time, and ran over to the burning plane. A pilot was trapped inside, and Fred single-handedly pulled him out and to safety.

He extinguished the flames on the pilot’s clothes and burning body, and sustained 3rd degree burns on his hands as a result. He was 71 years-old when he saved the life of the pilot.

The United States Air Force showed their gratitude and recognized is heroism by presenting him with an Exceptional Service Award in Recognition of Distinguished Patriotic Service.

Fred Nash loved to fish in the ocean, especially with his family, and was always helpful to people in his community.

After he passed, his sons dedicated an artificial reef to their father, to honor his memory.

The artificial reef is a mass of concrete, which is placed at certain locations in the ocean as a way to attract more marine life and learn more about ocean ecology.

Fish will congregate around any substance in the ocean— thus artificial reefs create more opportunities for fishing and are a great way to help fishermen in the area.

Myrtle Beach’s miles of sandy bottoms, devoid of any hiding holes that fish like to find, makes artificial reefs important for fishermen.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources helped to implement the 400-yard diameter reef in 2016. It is called Pop Nash Reef and is located 6 miles straight offshore of the Surfside Pier in Surfside Beach.

Friends and family members gathered for a dedication ceremony, and scattered yellow roses at the site of the new reef— now an additional place near the Market Common that salutes the legacy of this local hero.

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